GEUT: One Year Later

Some conclusions of our first year as a company and where we want to go from here

Diego Paez
September 13, 2019

Our first year is done. We've always believed in our capacity as a team. But, our real strength is actually shown when put down to practice. The result, which is still a work in progress, is being shaped and we are proud of it. Maneuvering between different team setups organization (either 50/50 internal and consultancy work or full time consultancy when needed) was clearly an effective way which led to fruitful insights. We are more mature now and we have a renewed goal of our initial basis: to work more in our own products and hence give more rope to the GEUT way of building.

Early Days: About Convictions

We were sure from day one that we wanted to explore our own ideas and we were eager to create innovative products. The group convictions are our compass. That way of thinking together with our combined personalities has given us some sort of our own game book. This book will continue to add rules and strategies as we grow.

From the very beginning we were clear that playing with other teams the relationship should not be the one of a simple consultancy work, not at all. We have always been looking for a relationship beyond that, a more cohesive bond where our technical team could have the chance to shine, this relationship should come with technological freedom and responsibility.

As an example of that, one of our first projects was a UI framework, combining Material-UI and React. The idea was to add some custom components that were missing from the Material-UI module. This work has allowed us to define and bootstrap not only the missing modules but a whole foundation for the design, development, testing and feedback.

A New Opportunity

A few months later, a new opportunity appears, one that involves a new business relationship with a strong commitment in the pursuit of novelties. Of course, this is not always 100% true as we have learnt on the way. Every step felt like walking on thin ice (if you have grown in a cold place like me, you would be familiar with this feeling).

Coming back to this new opportunity. As it grew, it demanded more of us and so we re-arranged "our forces" accordingly.

In the middle of that, we made two apparent unrelated things. One was to formalize some of our ideas around some initial play with Dat and the P2P scene on web apps. This became the dat-workshop. We presented it at NodeConf Argentina 2018 to an audience of ~25 people, that ended up creating this P2P chat called olaf chat. This first experience was memorable. Another thing we did was to kickstart the Dat comm-comm working group. This has the main goal of incrementing the conversation about Dat, its ecosystem, the authors and the users. This was December 2018 when we had the first meeting between two users and now hosts of each comm-comm meeting, Martin Heidegger and Diego. Currently we have more than 27 meetings and counting.

GEUT team members, Martin and Diego giving the 1st edition of the Dat Workshop at NodeConf Argentina 2018.

The accumulated knowledge around Dat and our own GEUT spirit allowed us to change the direction of this project that we were working on. The change was profound and whole new stack was developed. The results were presented in other events, the cult conference known as Data Terra Nemo 2019 and later as part of the Web3Summit.

In companion with all this, we started to work more closely with the Dat community and whenever we had chance we try to make everything open source; some of the modules with GEUT participation are:

  • → discovery-swarm-webrtc
    • webrtc-swarm but with a similar API to discovery-swarm. Used by discovery-swarm-web.
  • → random-access-web
    • Choose the best storage strategy according the browser. Used by universal-dat-storage, dat-sdk, dat-js.
  • → geut/signalhubws
    • Our custom fork of soyuka/signalhubws
  • → saga
    • A little helper module to share operations between peers built on top of hyperdb.

The Research Muscle

In addition to the mentioned context, we decided to explore some ideas. Besides some small projects, our interest in the decentralized scene was strong. In a couple of months a new project was created, it was Caracara a P2P editor based on Dat, built with react and automerge (a conflict-free data type using JSON). The learning was key to advance in other similar projects. Soon, another chance to publicly speak about Dat materialized. Diego, the researcher, was selected to be a speaker of the NodeConf Colombia 2019. One of our core abilities is to spread knowledge, we like to do research work; which is not complete, if it is not shared.

For that event we prepared not only a cool set of slides but two side projects to show the average node developer how to quickly start working with Dat. It does not matter if it is a web app or a node app, we have your back. Again, the experience was outstanding.

These days we have another side project in process. Its code name is GLP which stands for "GEUT Learning Project" and in short it is a Dat desktop app that can help you to easily share (in the decentralized web and the regular one), organize and evolve ideas (with the collaboration of your team members). Hopefully you can learn more about GLP when the article gets published.

The Near Future or What We See Ahead

Predict what is going to happen is almost like a good made up story. We don't want to do that, instead we want to share what is in the core of our game book. With all the accumulated experience we believe it is a good time to genuinely focus on our own ideas to grow. So for the next few months you can expect some chaos, some effervescence and some creation from our side. Stay tuned to this blog to know more about this process. Of course, you can write to us for augmented interaction, it is always nice to hear from you.

All in all, that is what we have been doing and a little hint on our next steps. We know that this is risky and somehow ambitious, that there are plenty of players on this field but we have a solid team (which is something, isn't it?) and we have our own particular instinct, which we definitely trust.

Thanks for reading. Farewell, traveler.