- Hello! We would like to ask you several questions about your company. Please, introduce yourself and tell us a little about the first period of implementation of the project. When did you decide to create Sparkster? How did the project start?
- Hi! My name is Sajjad and I'm the CEO of Sparkster. To tell you a little bit about Sparkster, we began Sparkster in 2012 with the mission and the problem of how do we put the power of application development in the hands of ordinary people.
We were trying to solve problems in the existing businesses that we owned, and those problems were across the company whether it's in the customer service function, manufacturing or in our distribution centers. What was clear is that the people on the ground, who understood the business, knew how to solve those problems. However, communicating those problems to a software developer and having the software developer understand the solution and then being able and most importantly getting that software developer to deliver the solution in a timely manner, was a core problem. So they take what they understood to be the problem and they devise a solution, but it would take months for them to come back with something and by that point in time the team on the ground have created a patchwork solution using spreadsheets or something else and they've moved on to a different problem.
Software development was out of sync with the needs of the business and wasn't able to keep up. So during this time we were also researching other technologies and we began researching Blockchain, we started out by reading white papers of other projects just to figure out what this Blockchain stuff was. And it became immediately apparent to us we could use Blockchain technology to solve a problem that we were creating.
We could create a decentralized cloud that rewards people for contributing their devices, contributes to the environment and such and that's when we began and went out to start to try and do.
- What is the secret of your success?
- I don't know if there're any secrets to our success, I think that Sparkster’s success comes down to is hard work and a great team, and a bold vision combined a bold vision with people that are committed to making that vision a reality and work tirelessly every day to make it happen.
And I don't know that there's any magic outside of that, that's just representative of who we are. But I think that this reflects on other projects, there're lots of projects in the ICO space and my thoughts on kind of what to look for in a project is a team that's built something in the past and actually want to build technology, want to build a business rather than want to raise money which unfortunately a lot of projects just aim to do. They raise money but don't necessarily build things, we're here to deliver technology and the evidence of that is that we funded the development of Sparkster out of our own pocket for many years and even to this day we continue to do so. We've not liquidated our eth, we're funding the development of Sparkster one hundred percent out of our own pocket, so clearly we're here to deliver on the promises that we've made and actually build a company and build viable technology.
- Could you comment Road Map? Will Sparkster develop exactly in this way?
- We're on track with our roadmap, we're certainly on track with delivering Mainet at the end of this year and we're very excited about that and you'll see there's plenty more to come in that regard.
- Who is the greatest rival in Crypto Market for you?
- I don't think we have any rivalries in crypto, we certainly have potential competitors I would say the Definity is a potential competitor to Sparkster, but I also don't look at competitors from the perspective that competition is a bad thing, I think competition is a great thing. Industries are not built by one company or one person, they're built by firms that are frenemies, we're working together to create this vision and mission of decentralized cloud computing and that's kind of how I feel about Definity.
- What mistakes have you done?
- I think it's probably better to rephrase things in terms of what would we do differently if we were to go through this process again, one thing that we weren't able to manage during the course of our ICO sufficiently was our communication with our community through telegram.
And while we were extremely active including myself, the process of running an ICO is almost like trying to coordinate an orchestra with your hair on fire, it's kind of madness all the time, every day, 24 hours a day. I think that one thing that certainly happened through the course of our ICO, is that outside of our group we lost control of the narrative, there were a lot of people that were saying many negative things about Sparkster which frankly were not true, but we were too busy internally focused on trying to make things happen, coordinating our bounty program.
We didn't have the capacity or the ability to counteract the narrative that was being framed about us outside of our group and outside of our community, we've made a lot of strides in that since the token sale has ended. Many people think very differently about Sparkster today especially given the video that we released lately. I think that the claims people made about the value of the no-code platform or about our ability to deliver a decentralized cloud or it's just all nonsense in reality, and I think that we've proven that at this point.
- Name top 5 "killers" of ICO projects.
1-honesty and transparency. When you have a team that isn't honest with its community or transparent about in what it’s engaging in or what it's doing, it kills a project. It can take a lifetime to earn trust and trust can be lost in a moment.
2-useless intentions. When the intentions of the project are to create things that either don't have value or don't have a real-world use case or don't have a need in the world, that's a big problem.
3-a bad team. Lack of a cohesive team and hard-working people can tear projects apart.
4-illegal ideas. If the intentions of the team are illicit, if they're to run off with the money or whatever that's not exactly a recipe for anything good, it’s a killer of ICO projects.
5-a wrong focus. In 2018 projects that aren't community oriented are going to struggle in the future. In today’s world companies are built by communities, by people that love what you do and love your product. We've seen evidence of that historically for example Apple. Nonetheless one would say that Apple is a movement and backed by an extremely strong community.
- Is your team perfect? Who can become a part of Sparkster?
- I don't think our team is perfect, I don't think I'm perfect. We're not big enough, we don't have enough people, it's very difficult to find good quality engineers especially when you're working on cutting edge technology like C++ and we're working actively to mitigate and resolve that and working hard to bring on board new people to fill the ranks at Sparkster. I strongly believe that everybody is a Sparkster, our vision is not about saying that technology is limited to certain people or certain types of people, but rather our mission is to democratize access to technology and therefore with Sparkster you become a Sparkster, you become someone that's able to manifest their ideas in reality through technology, specifically through our technology.
- Please, tell us the funniest story about Sparkster.
- Funny is that we've spent 15 minutes trying to figure out what's funny about Sparkster. I think as a team we have incredible camaraderie, we've known each other a long time and the relationships that we've built are very strong amongst ourselves. We have a lot of fun with each other, we have a very open culture here between us and the developers, between Nehru and Shabeer and everybody else we have incredible camaraderie.
- Are partnerships valuable part of your project?
- Undoubtedly, they’re a valuable part of Sparkster. Partnerships are essential to sponsor.
- Your goal is an integration of NEO, Cardano, Stellar and other leading networks to facilitate payment transactions(information was given from your Road Map). Could you tell more about the process of integration?
- If someone wants to execute a payment transaction, they have to do that through somebody else's network, and that makes us agnostic, agnostic to whichever payment network that people choose to use. You can use anything you want. So on our roadmap you can see integrations with Neo, Cardano, Stellar and so forth. I think that as new platforms and technologies emerge and those that prove themselves to become adopted or get adopted, those are networks that will naturally integrate into Sparkster’s platform.
But the key here is that we are building software to run on Sparkster’s decentralized cloud, so decentralized cloud is about running software and that software can interact with payments but payments are not the be-all and end-all.
- What customers are ideal for your company?
- We're focusing on two completely different segments but I think that they merge eventually into one kind of conglomerate of customers. We’re focused on individuals. Our mission is to give people the tools to express their creativity and to manifest their ambitions. We have a famous statement at Sparkster which is that the currency of the future is our ideas not our efforts, and so we're very focused on making that a reality but we also understand that the primary users of the decentralized cloud are going to be companies. And so we've recently brought on board a PR firm to help us bridge that gap, while we focus on enabling people to build software with our no-code platform, what we're now calling our innovation platform.
It's important that companies begin to realize the value in the future of decentralized cloud computing and also understand that not only is the future of cloud computing decentralized, but the future of software development is no-code and that's a powerful statement for a company because it enables a company to transition to being a company that essentially fosters innovation. Sparkster’s no-code tool in the enterprise is about transforming that enterprise to becoming a center of innovation, and by putting the tools of innovation software development creativity in the hands of all of its employees, enables that company to become more competitive to outpace its competitors in the form of innovation, to improve efficiency and so forth. To my mind, we're working both ends of the spectrum in both targeting executives and companies to sell this vision of becoming an innovative enterprise, but also empowering individuals to realize their potential to be innovators.
- Imagine that you're in 2025. What do you see? Is Sparkster the same?
- Sparkster is a leading company in 2025 (like Microsoft or Google), it's a company that's well known all over the world. Our world is extremely software driven, its software almost in absolutely everything telephones and cars and smoke alarms and refrigerators and all of the stuffs there is software baked into all of these things even if they're not a IOT devices. The light coming on and off in your refrigerator is indeed software, so what we will have in 2025 is we will have a world where all these devices around us are much more intelligent and they're open and accessible, and that becomes a kids’ playground. It's like the Lego of the future, our real devices that you can connect together and wire together through Sparkster’s technology to create things that we just can't even imagine today, it's kind of the Lego for grown-ups except we're building things that are valuable, we're building things that are fun, we're building things that we can share. I think that society will transform to be much more creation focused, and we hope to lead that charge.
- Your project is really aspirational. What difficulties have you met on your way?
- We've had many problems in the very beginning. It was challenging to get our message across, for people to understand what we're doing and then when we won the pitching contest in Amsterdam, there were lots of interests. It was difficult to manage that interest, it was extremely overwhelming. We grew from 200 people in our telegram group to over 64,000 people in the space of four weeks. Managing that sort of growth and managing the communication was a really difficult challenge for us. We've had problems along the way where we've been accused of things that are just not true, so we've had a lot of problems. When people are saying bad stuff about you obviously it hurts. It hurts the team, it hurts morale.
We're slowly overcoming those things, we're still challenged today in terms of resources, we don't have enough resources to meet all the needs of the community but we're working on filling those gaps as quickly as we possibly can. Both adding personnel, but also bringing on board professional companies like PR companies to help us with some of the things that are probably better suited to be done by professional agencies.
Our blitz. 3 last questions.
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- You are in front of Satoshi Nakamoto (doesn't matter if it is a man or woman or group of people), what would you say?
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