What's the Big Deal?

It may look like Zold is yet another cryptocurrency. And it actually is. However, aside from a simple desire to dominate the market of digital payments, we do have a bigger vision. We see Zold as a vehicle to help Zerocracy fix the software development industry.

I think that the industry is broken now and it’s not only me saying so. The CHAOS Report by The Standish Group says that “Software development projects are in chaos, and we can no longer imitate the three monkeys—hear no failures, see no failures, speak no failures.” The report also demonstrates that as a result of this chaos we have restarts (94% projects!), cost overruns, and time overruns. What’s especially interesting is that technology incompetence is the root cause of project failures only in 7% of cases. In almost all other cases the management is the source of trouble, which is also confirmed by the InfoQ article The Most Common Reasons Why Software Projects Fail.

As I attempted to demonstrate in my recent book Code Ahead, the management is incapable of improving until software developers are motivated correctly. Almost all of the more than 11 million programmers in the world are currently being paid for their time, instead of for results. Software project sponsors need their products to be created faster and with higher quality, while software engineers’ needs are the opposite: the lower the quality and the longer the project, the bigger the income. In this paradoxical conflict programmers win, while product owners lose: salaries of IT personnel keep growing every year, while the quality of software projects keep degrading.

We created XDSD in 2010 and founded Zerocracy in 2016 in order to fix this. We invented the rules and implemented the software that organizes software projects the right way: programmers get paid only when they deliver results. We managed to prove that the concept works, as I demonstrated in one of my recent talks at The Entrepreneurs’ Club in Palo Alto, CA. To date we have finished over 40 projects, managed over 250 programmers, and written over 500K lines of code.

However, we have a serious enemy: the rich economy. The software industry is growing by ~4% every year, giving managers and CTOs enough money to fix quality issues with redundant and expensive human resources. Due to this situation in the market, very few programmers are interested in joining Zerocracy, working hard, and being paid by result. They know plenty of companies who are willing to pay them large salaries demanding very little contribution in return. On the other hand, so far, Zerocracy can’t afford high rates, in order to “buy” their interest, because it doesn’t have enough funds and big customers yet.

Zold will help us solve this “chicken or egg” problem. The funds we will collect by ZLD emission will be entirely donated to the software projects managed by Zerocracy. With the current speculative market interest in cryptocurrencies we expect to raise enough money to afford exceptionally high rates for our programmers, like $200 per hour or even higher.

With these rates, the platform will start attracting the best programmers in the world and will become a serious competitor to the status quo. The choice between a boring well-paid traditional office job and Zerocracy, where one has to work hard and be paid extremely well, will come out in our favor.

Then, when the number of programmers on the platform is large (say, ten thousand) it will become obvious to traditional software companies that the way they organize projects and manage people is not the best anymore: they will see a working and proven alternative. They will join Zerocracy and will encourage their full-time employees to upgrade to a new paradigm.

Thus, Zold is not yet another speculative digital asset. It is a catalyst for the software development revolution we started almost eight years ago.