Hello imbrex community,
As we close out 2018 and look forward to a productive year ahead, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last twelve months of imbrex’s progress and highlight a few (of many, many!) learnings.
A year ago, we had just finished imbrex’s Subscription and Listing Rewards contracts. Alex was settling into Operations, Brock was leading Tegula’s new trajectory and Ryan was keeping us in touch with our community, which at that point was more crypto than real estate. You might say that we were too! Stephen was traveling to Austin, San Francisco, and Chicago, presenting Tegula and imbrex to real estate firms and trade associations. Positive feedback from these early demos led to a presentation of imbrex’s Subscription Model at the World Crypto Economic Forum, Token Fest and BlockDev.
The March to June period saw us deep in protocol integration, receiving good grades from both our independent smart contract audit and security assessment, kicking off our first Ambassadors program, quadrupling the team, moving offices three times, and most significantly: preparing for mainnet! Which, among other things, meant testing, testing, testing…
Mid-May, while we were stress-testing the Subscription contract, we found that approximately thirty percent of web3 transactions were failing. All of us happily banging away on the app was leaving a backlog of unprocessed web3 transactions. Ethereum can only process fourteen transactions per second. Visa, for reference, can process 40,000. The latency caused transactions to override themselves, then fail. To meet our July launch deadline, pretty much everyone one of us shifted gears and we began development on the Owner Account Management (OAM) model. OAM collected transactions in the backend and safely queued them until one of our fifty owner accounts was available to process it. This rectified the backlog issue, and we got back to work on testing.
The imbrex Owner Account Management (OAM) model.
On July 17th we successfully launched the imbrex alpha to mainnet! Pioneers, we were actually mid-flight, crossing the country, on our way to Inman Connect, where all of us would switch gears again, from building the first decentralized real estate marketplace to interacting with the community in real life. It was a key milestone. The process of bridging the past (web2) and the future (web3), centralized and decentralized services, to connect all stakeholders in the real estate industry had now begun. We were fortunate to launch with Toll Brothers, who seeded the next generation of multiple listing services with over 2,200 listings. We are grateful to Toll Brothers for being an early participant. Their vision and participation have had a tremendous impact on imbrex’s forward momentum.
September through December, we onboarded agents from twenty-seven states and several prominent firms, including MyHomeGroup. During this time, we also attended Devcon4 in Prague, where we participated in the User Experience competition. It was validating to get positive feedback from some of our most respected peers. User Experience was, not surprisingly, a hot topic at the conference. Our users aren’t users after all, they’re people transacting real estate for their jobs, or for their homes and their places of business. It’s on all of us building web3 applications to provide a comfortable transition to the future we envision for our respective communities.
Five months on mainnet generated valuable feedback. Over the last few months, we’ve made use of these learnings to redesign some user frustration out of the app. On January 15th, imbrex will launch beta, that includes a UX overhaul. It will now be as easy to add a listing on imbrex as it is on web2 applications. No more gas, no more having to obtain ether to add a listing. In addition, users will be able to obtain their listing Owner Keys. The Owner Key is the tool that enables users to take their data and share it among disparate applications, on their own terms.
On December 5th we open-sourced the Tegula protocol, the engine that fuels imbrex. Now, anyone can download Tegula and add custom data schemas. One of the objectives in making Tegula open source is that developers in other countries can customize data schemas to meet their regions specific fields. This will accelerate a global effort to connect the world’s real estate networks, as well as diversify its base.
January 15th will be the next major milestone for imbrex. We will come out of alpha and transition to beta and with the year’s feedback and learnings baked in it, we feel confident to market imbrex widely. Come check it out. It’s free to sign up and list. Now is a more propitious time than ever as the real estate industry incumbents continue to discount the agent through high fees, expensive lead tools and power struggles.
We look forward to the twelve months ahead, the thresholds we’ll cross together, as a community, and want to thank you for your continued support. We quite literally cannot do this without you.
Have a happy, safe and healthy new year!
Stephen, Alex, Edouard, Brock, Kyle, James, John, Oli, Jacques, Rachel.