by Patrick Murck, Executive Director
When I took over as Executive Director in November, my goal was to get the Foundation running like a business. That is, if we focused on building value in the community, the market would reward us with the funding we need to sustainably meet our mission. But we faced some daunting challenges along the way, including:
- Reputation struggles
- Spread too thin as a result of lack of focus
- Declining membership revenue
- Falling bitcoin price
- Weak balance sheet
In spite of these challenges, we had an opportunity to refocus our efforts and create a clear value proposition for our membership and the broader community interested in blockchain technology and digital currency. Discovering a path to sustainable operations required us to instill some organizational discipline around reducing expenses, eliminating distractions and focusing on revenue generating activities.
In the first two months, we began executing the first steps of our new razor sharp focus on core development. We wound down distractions, reduced our staff, and brought costs in line with what we believed could be sustainable given the total addressable market for supporting bitcoin research and development. Over these last two months, we have accelerated membership development efforts and launched DevCore as a complementary revenue stream.
As we went along we would know if we were making the right decisions because the market would tell us. Four months in, here are the results:
These trends reversed as a result of DevCore’s success and the increased confidence from our new and existing membership base that the Foundation will stay the course on our newly focused efforts. Our ability to grow revenue while cutting expenses in such a short period of time has been a tremendous accomplishment for the team and a clear indication that we are on the right course.
We were able to reverse those trends and orient the Foundation toward a successful future based on the grit and determination of our staff. If you see them around, please say thanks to Jodie Brady, Greg Egan, Helen Disney, Mark Woods and Jinyoung Englund. They have all made sacrifices and persevered in the face of daunting challenges to come together as a team and turn the Foundation around.
And, of course, thank you to our members. It is through the support of our membership that we are able to meet our mission of promoting research and development into Bitcoin Core, creating new avenues for people to participate in the bitcoin project and advancing the development of an open and participatory digital economy.
We still have a long way to go and there’s still a lot of work to do, but if you want to build something you have to start from a solid base of support.
For now, I’m looking forward to working with our first ever fully-elected board of directors and to seeing you all at DevCore in London!