Rated on Feb 18, 2018
1. Whitepaper has been translated to two less common languages (compared to many other ICO whitepapers that I've come across), ie. Turk and Arabic. Thumbs-up for considering other non-English communities and I understand from Alexander that translation to other languages is in progress.
2. Typos in the EN whitepaper - do proofread the paper for your next version, eg. Pg 14 "blockchain techonology" for the English version and also other languages.
3. MindLink has a reasonable-sized group of members (460 as of 18 Feb 2018): https://t.me/MindLinkCO
4. I've posted several questions to the MindLink team via their Telegram group and is awaiting for responses from the core team:
Q1: I noticed that you have provided the Facebook links to all the team members which is a good start, could you also share their LinkedIn page or Personal homepage address?
Q2: You indicated that one of the milestone in Q3 2017 is "Web-application development" where the schedule indicates the product would be ready for beta testing by end of this month (Feb 2018), could you elaborate on that.
Q3: Would be helpful if you can share screen snapshots of your platform.
Q4: I can see potential inventions relating to your platform to be patentable, any plans for patent creation, protection and commercialisation?
Q5: For Alexander, what is the programme that you are studying in KRIT? and when will you be graduating?
Q6: I saw that your WP has been translated to two other languages, Turk and what's the other language?
Q7: I read from your website mindlink.io that "All our contracts are verified by clearify.io", can you show me the verification report from clearify.io for your most recent smart contract.
Q8: Excluding the blockchain portion and focusing on just the e-learning part, your product seems to be a function (with weightage of various web-based products), ie. MindLink = Fn(a*Udemy, b*Coursera, c*Blackboard, d*Moodle, e*Webex, f*Edmodo, g*Others); would like to invite you to indicate what is the appropriate value (ranged between 0.0 to 1.0) for a, b, c, d, e, f and g (where a+b+c+d+e+f+g is less than 1.0); and to indicate what might be Others (if applicable).
I may revise my ratings after receiving the answers to my above questions.
Responses by Alexander Westing (within 4 hrs of posting in their Telegram channel):
"@dryeap Rex, thank you for asking the right questions and for your responsible approach to the matter!
A1: We are glad you asked this. The reason for this is that our team is composed of young specialists who are yet to conquer the corporate world. Someone might be sceptical about that, but we believe that it is our advantage in relation to the many projects that are now being launched. Although our team doesn't have 15-20 years of experience, which all the other teams are so eager to emphasize, we can offer something different. We are driven by our project and we have fresh experience and views on current situation with education in different parts of the world.
A2-A3: Yes, Q3 2017 was the starting point for our application development. And if you are familiar with standard development process, you should know that it is all about approximate estimations. If everything goes according to the plan, closed beta test should start soon. Details on closed beta test procedure will be posted. As for the screen snapshots, although it is a possibility, we wouldn't want to leak anything beforehand. This information will be available and accessible to everyone in the given time.
A4: Today is the dawn of the open source era. Though we are not going to have everything in an open source, we are not going to patent technologies that we are using. We plan to offer a software for everyone to utilize, a platform that wouldn't require patents to achieve success, there is more to the process of providing a quality service than just specific technologies. It is more about our approach and vision.
A5: I am studying in KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Degree in Computer Engineering, graduating in 2020.
A6: White Paper has been translated to Turkish and Arabic, there are several other translations in process right now, to name the few: Hindi, Tagalog, Italian.
A7: We have applied for the verification of our contracts, since it is essential for the process of contributing to be more secure. Our application is still pending, yet as you can see for yourself here (https://www.clearify.io/get-verified/) - one of conditions of the application being approved is to have their badge posted on our page.
A8: MindLink = 0.1*Udemy + 0.1*Coursera + 0.1*Blackboard + 0.1*Moodle + 0.1*Webex + 0.1*Edmodo + 0.4*Other
Other = certificates stored on blockchain; smart-contracts:
Students’ courses might be paid by a recruiting company, only if student passes the certification successfully, or if he achieves more than certain amount of points. Designer for various ways of learning and other features."
My reply to Alexander & team:
R1: I understand. Chances are there are many coders within your team and each coder may wish to put together a simple portfolio of projects (program) that they have developed, this was my portfolio during my earlier coding years: http://ye.sg/pub/rex/prj-ty.htm
R2/3: As of today, are you on track to be ready for beta testing by end of this month? I presume that alpha test has started or to be started very soon.
R4: I respect your IP Strategy. In any case many professionals in the industry, including those who have decades of experience do not fully appreciate patent strategy and how it adds value to their own company. These two resources may be of interest:
o "Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology"*: https://www.lexology.com/r.ashx?l=7XVNE6H
o There are over 18,000 education related global patents (where the patent owners are from individuals, startups, SMEs, edu institution and listed companies): http://invcapital.com/gallery.htm#Patent_Landscape_of_18,626_Educational_Related_Patents
R5: Excellent. I would be very proud of my son if he is in your current position, where you are (1) doing computer science in the university (2) likely to be able to self-fund your studies (3) potentially the next Bill Gates who was also a technopreneur when during his teens years. Years from now when you are rich and/or famous, please remember to pay it forward to the society (Sweden first and then the rest of the world) - eg. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, https://www.gatesfoundation.org
R6: Very wonderful. Many non-English communities thank-you for thinking of them.
R7: Ah... Clearify goals are different from Quantstamp. The former is a "... wallet address verification service that allows users to verify that they genuinely own a specific wallet address.", while the latter is for a proof-of-audit service for smart contracts! If you do come across scammy wallet address - which is surprisingly many out there, feel free to post it here https://padlet.com/dryeap/icoScammers (We are crowd sourcing for more)
R8: Ok, for now MindLink = Fn(0.1*Udemy, 0.1*Coursera, 0.1*Blackboard, 0.1*Moodle, 0.1*Webex, 0.1*Edmodo, 0.4*Others), where Others = certificates stored on blockchain; smart-contracts. It is clear to me that MindLink is a complex but desirable product for the educational industry - be it public or private institutions. One of the key critical success factor for MindLink is the ability to hire good developers to deliver the product. Coupled with ICO funds and the environment that Alexander is in, he should be able to hire great coders to eventually build an outstanding product.
R9: I wish the team success in their ICO campaign and not to disappoint its funders and the rest of us in the educational industry by persevering till the product is ready for mass adoption.
*Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology (in brief):
Misconception 1: It takes too long to get a patent/the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will be obsolete by the time it issues.
Misconception 2: We are leveraging open source technology so it’s not patentable.
Misconception 3: Most patents are invalid so why bother to pursue them.
Misconception 4: Patents are too expensive.
Misconception 5: We would never sue so why get a patent?
Misconception 6: Even if we wanted to sue, we couldn’t afford it.
Misconception 7: I have not invented any new technology, I am just using existing tools/components.
Post Q&A Action: I've changed the Product score from 2 to 3, and want to change Team score from 3.0 to 3.2. The team may continue to update me the progress of their product development and I'll continuously adjust the scores here.
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