The company confirmed what many believed would be inevitable: the exponential progress loved by Joseph Lubin’s decentralized enterprise experiment can’t, and received’t, go on eternally.
A press release optimistically dubbed the new, 13-percent-lighter firm as “ConsenSys 2.0,” presumably an try and spin the scenario positively.
“Excited as we are about ConsenSys 2.0, our first step in this direction has been a difficult one,” the press launch learn. “We are streamlining several parts of the business including ConsenSys Solutions, spokes, and hub services, leading to a [13-percent] reduction of mesh members.”
Well, one nameless ex-employee took to Reddit to area questions from a curious cryptocurrency group. They declare they had been let go as they’d not efficiently turned potential progress into earnings – or so that they had been told.
Anyhoo, right here’s a few of the key takeaways:
Life at ConsenSys was ‘confusing, sometimes toxic, and empowering’
An enormous chunk of responses had been dedicated to detailing life inside the partitions of one in every of blockchain’s strongest firms.
The supply claims the working tradition was “confusing, sometimes toxic, empowering, and like no other professional setting” they’d beforehand encountered.
Traditional management took a backseat to extra democratic choice making, permitting staff to be extra versatile and imaginative of their roles. This labored, as lengthy as they’d sufficient funds, consensus, and help from their colleagues.
“Our remote first culture and emphasis on electronic communication could sometimes lead to toxicity, as egos can be emphasized or challenged in strange ways through these tools versus face to face communication and work,” the former employee mentioned.
Employees had been allowed limitless trip (however apparently most staff in the US took lower than two weeks). They might additionally work remotely from anyplace, even afforded the energy to form roles themselves.
Other feedback defined a lot of ConsenSys’ staff are younger. This allegedly led folks into external-facing management roles that “perhaps were not mature enough to handle the responsibility.”
“It was at times debilitating when it came to accountability and internal processes (from expense reporting and onboarding to designing new initiatives),” they wrote. “How do you keep people accountable in a remote first leaderless (but leader-full) company? It seemed as if the emphasis was on discovering what could emerge from the bottom up and less on designing from the top down.”
But when requested about morale, contemplating how ugly this years’s bear market has been, they replied:
“I can only speak from what I could see at ConsenSys, which is myopic at best with regards to morale: currently pretty damn low, but still hopeful and eager to build,” they replied. “Changes in price certainly impacted mood, but never development. It was surprising how many people I encountered at ConsenSys who had zero ETH or very little – including developers.”
Although pay for ConsenSys devs (and non-devs) was reportedly “generous,” this specific employee was not paid in cryptocurrency. Although, they claimed some staff had obtained remuneration in cryptocurrency in the previous.
“Seemed like a lack of tax and regulatory clarity made it preferential to pay in cash,” they mentioned.
The writing was already on the wall
The supply was requested if there was any indication their jobs had been in jeopardy. They replied a “town hall” assembly had taken place, the place they had been told in a easy, respectful method that downsizing would happen, and to anticipate layoffs.
“Prior to that, the writing may have been on the wall following internal communications about spending pauses following the downturn in the price of ETH,” they mentioned.
“Joe [Lubin] has repeated that the runway of the organization is long, regardless of the price of Ether, but that regardless of price the organization needed to change priorities.”
These had been famous as the first situations of ETH’s value being factored into the work and roles set by the group in a vital approach.
“[…] Leadership sees a tremendous opportunity cost to spending now, at this price, vs [sic] in the future at a higher price,” they added, additional revealing ConsenSys had truly downsized groups in the months previous to this announcement.
In hindsight, the supply realized they need to have identified bother was coming. They recounted recollections of “teams being downsized in the months prior, and a “somewhat strong-armed” restructuring of inner crew leaders.
They nonetheless wish to imagine in decentralized tech, however…
It needs to be made clear this employee isn’t precisely disgruntled. They truly make some quite hopeful statements associated to what the future holds for ConsenSys.
“That the current batch of layoffs only impacts 13 [percent] of people is remarkable,” they famous. “That said, not all investments are good ones and some are better than others. Like the larger blockchain ecosystem, a little downsizing and pruning at ConsenSys from time to time is probably a good thing overall.”
But, it’s clear the time spent at ConsenSys left a sure ambiguous mark on this specific ex-employee, regardless of noting they felt helpful and fascinating throughout their employment.
“I want to believe in decentralized tech and crypto, [but] belief [plus] doubt [equals] sanity,” they confessed. “I query whether or not the present development of incumbent gamers and the world elite trying [towards] crypto and Ethereum is a positive trend.”
“Think banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and governments. Ultimately, tech is just a tool, like a hammer, and a hammer can build or it can smash,” one comment continued. “Will this tech be used responsibly by governments like the UAE? Is it wise to invite multinational corporations in to a future where value has been turned on its head?”
Hard Fork has reached out to ConsenSys for a statement, and will update this piece should we hear back.
Ultimately, the source hasn’t ruled out working with blockchain, or in any adjacent industry, again.
Much akin to ConsenSys (2.0), the source warned they would be treating this as a “moment to pause and consider” the next steps.
This news solidifies downsizing as a verifiable blockchain trend. Last week, Hard Fork reported at least three other cryptocurrency-related startups have let employees go as a results of this yr’s cryptocurrency downturn.
Most notable (in addition to ConsenSys) is “decentralized” content-sharing platform Steemit, which not too long ago fired 70 percent of its workforce with a view to keep alive.
Published December 7, 2018 — 14:43 UTC