The past, present and future phases of LobeShare.
Phase 0 - Preparation (Completed 1991)
27 years of learning about the world, the self and technology culminating in total burnout in a financially deprived setting created uniquely ideal conditions for LobeShare to spark to life at “Milestone 1 - The birth of LobeShare.”
Phase 1 - Searching (Completed 2014)
During the first 23 years after its birth in 1991 the evolution of a stable, viable definition of what mankind requires to unlock its full potential took place almost entirely inside one probing mind. Towards the end of this phase, a few key principles were confirmed through real world software system projects. It is estimated that the entire evolution happening not only in the realm of the imagination but in the realm of physical computer system development projects, would have required between 200 and 1000 years of undistracted development and millions of man years. “Milestone 2 - Knowing WHAT to do.” was reached in 2014 and resulted in the resignation of the founder in order to focus entirely on creating the physical manifestation of LobeShare.
Phase 2 - Creating (Completing)
The current phase is focused on creating the real world artifacts required by LobeShare. A proof of concept implementation the “secret sauce” software only computer-brain interface was done, as well as an HTML5 implementation of a design of the same interface that was conceptualized around 1995. Although found unsuitable for the required computer-brain interface because it was not sufficiently bi-directional, that same limitation made the old yet still a novelty some 11 years later user interface a great choice for helping convey the fully contextualized rationale behind LobeShare to a wide audience as their first encounters. Beyond the technical implementations, the remaining time and effort was spent on writing down that rationale and all of its context for presentation in a smartphone app using the ’95 concept user interface. The milestone for this phase was planned to be “App Launched”, but the funds to see development through to launch date was insufficient. Consequently the decision was made to secure what is needed to complete this phase through crowdfunding, as “Phase 2b - Starter App”.
Phase 2b - Starter App (Starting)
What remains of the current Phase 2 is simply to take the content that had been prepared over the past two years, refactor it into the format required by the '95 user interface to finalize the iOS app in order launch it on the Apple AppStore. That however was a minimum phase scope resulting from lowered ambitions as the reality of time and money hit home. With the support from donors via GoFundMe it is hoped that the proper milestone objective for Phase 2 can be restored and upgraded to what would would be the best result possible for the overall project and the donors interests.
Consequently, the revised Phase 2b plans are to:
- Establish a core team (of requisite variety) to develop, maintain and support the full range of smartphone apps.
- Complete the work on the initial content for the app (in book and LS95 format).
- Complete the iOS app
- Port the iOS hybrid app (HTML5) to Android (Support for Windows Phone, Blackberry OS and Symbian will be added as required in Phase 5).
- Pass type-approval for all the supported smartphone OS's.
- Prepare an ad campaign for the app launch.
- Launch app on all supported platforms.
Phase 3 - Ready, Set… (Future)
Out of the total of more than 7 billion shareholders who will ultimately pay around $6B in annual levies, it is expected that a tiny slither of the market paying their levies forward by purchasing the Starter App on the various app-stores should at a target of $10m bring in sufficient revenue to undertake the development and launch of the primary communications system. The system will comprise of software, hardware, guaranteed bandwidth on the global data network and a full compliment of trade-ready organizations duly registered in the largest containing jurisdiction for each nation with a shared objective.
With the Phase 3 goal to ready the full version of LobeShare for global switch-on within 36 months, there is a mountain of work to be done. The original core team created at the start of the preceding phase will split into several specialized divisions, each of which would need to expand by between 500% and 5000% to meet the demands of this phase while maintaining requisite variety. Depending on the depth of viral response to the preceding phase, there may be sufficient surplus funds to effect such a fast and effective capacity ramp-up, which could easily delay both the effective start date and the completion dates by 12 to 36 months.
Future Phase 4 - GO! (Future)
With the development done and the system tested and rolled out across the globe, all set for the big switch-on, what remains is to pull the big lever to “ON” and let it all happen, right? Not quite. Sure that has to happen, but there is a lot more to it. One of the divisions set up during the preceding development phase, now has to resume daily operation of the global system. Even while the system might only have a fraction of its potential impact, there will be a fast growing number of active shareholders for whom using the system will become as essential as breathing. It is crucial that the system, however well engineered for fault tolerance and resilience, is operated and looked after accordingly to ensure availability. As usage ramps up, more and more components will show cracks and faults that could not economically be detected during development testing.
Not entirely by coincidence, the first few years after switch-on, will not only be a bedding down period for the hardware and software involved. It will also be a period during which growing numbers of shareholders try out their new-found freedom of communication and association to connect with others they never knew they had so much in common with and never had any hope of really interacting with on a meaningful level. From a high level perspective, and probably also at grass roots level, this period will have the look and feel of chaos and anarchy as connections are made and broken for all the wrong reasons. But it will pass, as the wrong reasons become better and then right reasons to associate in groups, and the novelty wears off.
During these chaotic beginnings, the system will have both planned and unplanned outages or limited availability. Using these to discourage people from taking the chaos and anarchy from the virtual / online environment to the physical environment too soon is an important mitigation against the risk of real-world anarchy.
Future Phase 5 - Cleanup (Future)
Although the primary development and launch would have aimed to cover an many nations, jurisdictions and shareholder environments / circumstances as possible, there are bound to be a number of groups that are just too small or specialized to get the attention they require. Under the LobeShare founding principles, all shareholders are equal, and thus it is just as important to provide the same service to these outlier groups and individuals as it is to the statistical bulk. Phase 5 is dedicated to using the revenue streaming in from the growing number of active shareholders to complete coverage of all people in all regions.
Dealing with things unforeseen
The social media era had seen some heavy duty research being done to try understand what makes some things go viral while others of equal or even better merit never does. If the magic recipe had been found, it certainly is being kept secret. But there is one thing about the viral spread that needs no fancy recipes or magic formulae to work - if the general public want something to go viral, it goes viral. The second part is that if something like LobeShare gets discovered for the genuine good it will do for everybody, and the portion of the general public that has already learned about it really wants to see it become reality and really understand that for that to happen those who don’t know about it yet must simply be told, viral spread is inevitable. The unknown quantity that viral marketing is, is only unknowable as far as how to force it for things people don’t want. But for things people do want, it really is as simple as to allow them knowledge that they can have what they want. LobeShare is such a thing, but there are complications - it sounds too good to be true, and too hard to understand at the same time, so everyone rejects the very idea of it before they’ve even given themselves half a chance of understanding what LobeShare really will be, what it will achieve and why it is safe. There remains no doubt that LobeShare, once understood, will spread viral. The challenge over the last two years had been to create a way for people to get that understanding using classic communication techniques. Many attempts at finding one description that a large number of people can follow with little enough effort to compete with the barrage of other messages flooding their worlds had failed, lessons learned, but the school-fees spent. Which is how and why funding got depleted. By the time it was clear what radically different approach was required, resulting in the old user interface design being dug up and implemented in HTML5 to convey the all important message in a manner that adapts to the reader’s specific mindset while reading it, there was not enough money left to see it through. The GoFundMe project was created to get the project back on track.
But as always with the perfect view hindsight affords us, another serendipitous mistake came to light in the process. With a single full-time employee supported by a very small set of part-time volunteers, it is a serious saving grace that none of the attempts to break the viral barriers had come off yet. Handling the flood of inquiries and interactions would have overwhelmed the makeshift crew to the extent that control over the ongoing evolution would have been possible and in the time it would have taken to grow the team, the impetus would have been lost. It is now understood that the better course of action is to set up the organization of requisite variety at the very least before the smartphone app is released to create the viral wave. Should the GoFundMe campaign go viral already, the first and foremost application of donors' funds would go towards setting up the organization to ensure viability/continuity of the entire LobeShare concept being brought to market.