As the year slowly comes to an end, I think the time is right for an introspective, detailed and honest look, over these last 12 months.
With the goal, to learn from the past for a more prosperous future in 2019 and beyond - both for myself and for Steem.
When I personally look back at the last few years, then 2018 stands out for me as the year where one word had the complete spotlight: BUIDL
I've never been so focused on work ever before. While 2017 was the time for me to find myself work-wise, learning how to code again and finding the right platform to focus my efforts on - 2018 was the year where I put my foot on the gas pedal.
Multiple times over the year I got burned out, but I do think that's simply part of the deal.
Projects in 2018
Just so you have an idea, what I've build over the last year - here is a quick overview (in chronological order):
- Smartsteem.com - The biggest promotion marketplace on Steem
- Account creation module for @utopian-io
- Steem Chat Wallet - A desktop light-wallet/messenger for Steem
- Witness Essentials - A toolbox of scripts for Witnesses
- therealwolf.me - Witness website
- Witness Schedule
- Steem Anchor - Tethered assets on Stellar DEX (Supportive Work)
- Steem Tank
- Steem Apps - The front page for apps on Steem
As time moved on, my work became more and more sophisticated, with a higher focus on providing as much value as possible for Steem.
I've also put my eye on the social side, by being part of many radio-shows on Steem and by writing quite a few articles/blog-posts. (such as this one)
Last but not least, I also became a witness for Steem - where I currently reside at spot 25 as backup-witness. This is an important task for me, and I'm very grateful for the trust my voters have put in me.
All in all, 2018 was a huge year in terms of personal growth and improvement of my skillset.
All That Glitters Is Not Gold
As my focus was completely on Steem the last year, many learning experiences have come through this medium - Steem.
I still remember it as if it were yesterday when @ned launched the first video and promise of SMTs (in 2017; over 14 months ago) and how people were excited about the idea. Even the price got a huge pump from the news.
But I also remember how Bernie aka ngc was always the one, in 2018 and before, being sceptical and vocal of promises Steemit Inc. did.
While I'm not agreeing with everything Bernie did, I do have to say that the last year opened my eyes about one important fact:
The truth is not always the popular opinion
It's not that I didn't know this before, but we as humans are drawn to the comforting believes. And believing that, essentially, the company behind the product, Steem, wouldn't be able to keep their promises - is not something that comes naturally to mind.
But it's a fact. SMTs have been delayed by at least 1 year (from the initial launch date) in addition with multiple other things Steem has failed to achieve in 2018.
Again, I don't agree with everything @berniesanders did, but it's a fact that he spoke the truth, nobody wanted to hear (me included).
Wall of Gratitude
So this next section is dedicated for all those Steemians, that have brought value to Steem, either by talking about the untalkable topics or by doing/building something valuable for Steem & its community.
All of these names are in no particular order. And if you're not named here, then please take my apology, it's not meant as an insult - simply too many names.
@berniesanders - For being the voice of truth on many occasions
@whatsup - For talking about important topics in your blog (for example @dstors)
@exyle - For being one of the most honest & transparent Steemians I've ever met
@meno, @llfarms, @crimsonclad, @coruscate & @pennsif - For being a bright light of hope many of us have needed on Steem
@artbunny - For being my own rock and supporting my crazy endeavours
@nathanmars - For doing everything in your power to empower the community
@theycallmedan & @imacryptorick - For investing and believing in Steem
@yabapmatt & @aggroed - For developing the most amazing game on Steem
@timcliff, @lukestokes, @gtg & @ausbitbank - For being great and reliable witnesses
@roelandp - For your outstanding work on SteemFest (I loved the whole event!)
@jarvie & @asgarth - For developing amazing apps on Steem
@blocktrades - For being the rock Steem can hold onto (you and your company being involved with Steem is critical)
@smooth - For continuously being a voice of experience on Steem
@penguinpablo - For keeping us up to date with the statistics day in and day out
@fyrstikken - For your honest and unique blogs and involvement on Steem
@ats-david & @sircork - For your honest criticism on Steem
@themarkymark - For your energy in the fight against abuse on Steem
@taskmaster4450 - For blogging about important Steem-topics every day
@holger80 - For creating beem & other tools
@stoodkev - For your work with steem-plus
@upheaver - For your work on Steem Anchor and the many other projects you've developed on Steem
@neander-squirrel - For your amazing work on GINA (you deserve all the laurels!)
@elear - For your engagement and work on utopian
@sndbox - For being the most creative blog
@cryptoctopus - For your work on TokenBB
@anthonyadavisii & @patrice - For your work against abuse on Steem
@fulltimegeek - For your community engagement (your fulltime bots have done good for many people)
@clayop - For your work within the KR community
@jedigeiss & @theaustrianguy - For your work within the DACH community
@anomadsoul, @tarazkp & @kevinwong - For blogging with honesty and transparency about important Steem topics
@abh12345, @paulag, @crokkon & @miniature-tiger - For your amazing talent on analysing data on Steem
@crypto.talk & @goodkarma - For building one of the most important apps (both partiko and esteem are amazing)
@heimindanger - For your work on dtube
@starkerz & @anarcotech - For your engagement and work with oracle-d
@someguy123 - For your work on privex & steem in a box
And besides many, many more Steemians - of course, also all the different apps, dapps, interfaces & projects on Steem!
Different Opinions = Value
We've got many, many talented people here on Steem, way more than I've just listed. (Again, apology if you haven't found your name here)
And while it feels good to only interact with same minded people - the real value lies in this vast amount of different opinions.
So even though there will always be some kind of distress or even arguments between each other - that's normal. And as long as we keep on coming back to the point of wanting the best for Steem, then these discussions can be fruitful.
All of these 3 are very intelligent human beings and before SteemFest3, they all were a bit on the fence against me (due to my history with Smartsteem.com), but once we met each other face-to-face, at least from my point of view, I can say that we are not so different in our ideologies and goals for Steem.
2019 - The future
So by looking back into 2018, I believe we're able to work on making 2019 as great as possible - whatever this might mean for each of us.
Nobody should be forced to believe in Steem or sticking with it. There are many problems associated with it, but as a developer, I can say one thing:
It is easy to ditch an old project and start a new one - and some of the problems are going to be resolved, but new ones will be created and there is no guarantee for the final product to be better.
But sometimes, it's worth to fix the already existing project, instead.
Especially, when we already have so many talented and motivated people wanting to do their part.
So in my opinion, it's just a matter of finding the right people of leadership in the community, who can focus all of the work on one goal and redirect the rewards, Steem generates, to the right people.
We know that Steemit Inc. isn't going to do that (their focus is on rocksdb & SMTs), so if we want to bundle the strength of our community and make Steem a success, it's our task to take the reins!
And the truth is .. I know that we have the power to do exactly that.
I wish all of you a very smooth ride into the New Year, 2019!
May 2019 be the year, you've always dreamed about!
Do you believe that my work is valuable for Steem? Then please vote for me as witness.