Dear DGraph Team:
@MichelDiz , we really appreciate you coming to the defense of Dgraph. I think you, like a lot of the users, genuinely care about Dgraph. I do think you, like Manish, don’t understand why simple responses are important. However, I can imagine it is hard to see the big picture, when you’re tired, and blinded by a lot of complaints and repeated questions. It seems you are one of the most competent DQL programmers left, and everyone appreciates you.
@mrjn , you deserve an incredible amount of gratitude for the product you have created. I do not think you are a good CEO. I do not think you are a good marketer. People should not have to search for an official answer to a simple question in 5 different places. Dgraph has most likely lost 10s of thousands or more in the last 6 months directly related to ignoring responses to extremely important questions, even if you can’t give real ones. I believe you probably cut funding at certain points where you shouldn’t have. I believe you probably made many huge dire mistakes along the way. I believe you probably made great decisions that were changed right in front of you by a board member or temporary CEO. I believe you broke promises, regretted some things, and probably looked at Trump for tweeting advice. I believe you probably are smarter than some people that were fired from this project. I believe you have narcissistic tendencies like the rest of us, but you treat people well who support you in spite of it. You are a human being.
I believe you know the Dgraph core code potentially better than anybody, but you don’t know the GraphQL code as well. I think when all this gets resolved, you need to build a real app using Dgraph’s security, to humbly understand what is missing in the full picture. I do believe you share the vision of Dgraph that most of us want with DQL and GraphQL. I also believe you have created an incredibly underestimated, underrated, and invariably unique product. I think it is not fair that so many people misunderstand Dgraph. I image a lot of people made many mistakes in the last few years, not just you. Dgraph is your baby. You have built something incredibly powerful, with the help of past and present team members that all deserve lots and lots of praise. Thank you sir. Thank you timeless team members.
Right now we know three things:
- A tentative decision should be made around the end of the month
- You will continue to support Dgraph regardless, hopefully in your open-source vision
- You want Dgraph to be in a foundation
This is what I would do if I ran this business:
- Put the core code in a Foundation headed by Manish (and a foundation board of your choosing), Manish resigns as Dgraph CEO, becomes unofficial CTO, official foundation CEO
- Dgraph should pay your salary (and anyone else involved in the core code, not cloud code) to the foundation… boom… 10% tax savings by Dgraph Inc
- Give @amaster507 complete control of the documentation (dql, graphql) with a Lifetime Shared Cluster, cloud documentation stays with dgraph inc, other users contribute with his permission
- Cloud programmers focus on Cloud features (support, CRUD like Firebase studio, storage, cli, built-in auth api, etc), while core programmers focus on GraphQl and DQL features within the foundation
- Dgraph uses that 10% salary tax savings to hire a new CEO (with a background in IT marketing?)
- Rethink the free tier, at least 1GB a month so you can have enough time to test it. Right now with the lack of good documentation, only an expert could juggle this thing to get a simple todo app to work. I know, I literally couldn’t build that.
- The new Dgraph foundation accepts monthly tax-deductible donations. This is not much, but every bit helps. Their name will be listed somewhere as a contributor.
Let’s say a programmer gets paid $150,000 a year in example. We need $12,500 a month per programmer. That will not happen with donations. You need 625 users at $40 a month, and potentially double or more to cover expenses. However, you only need 31 enterprise users who make a profit of $400 per user. Boom another programmer. Those margins go down and down the better the product gets etc.
So yes, Dgraph needs money. However, if the Cloud is self-sufficient, it does not need as much money you would think. It needs smart spending. I just created at least 1 job for you by the Foundation Tax savings alone (depending on number of people paid by the foundation).
- New CEO
- New Marketer
- At least 1 Foundation DQL Go Programmer
- At least 1 Foundation GraphQL Go Programmer
And of course, X dollars for marketing…
Some of these positions may exists now. Some of these positions could be combined, expenses cut, etc. If there is a current marketer at Dgraph, that person needs to be fired last year.
This could be done with a one-million-dollar bridge loan that I believe could easily be paid back within one year if the marketer and new CEO do their job to:
- Appease current users by creating an official announcement that is updated weekly. A roadmap would be nice, but not even necessary yet.
- Advertise in the right markets (Youtube, Hack-a-thons, all that stuff @BenW said, dev.to, IT events, whatever a modern marketer would do). There are so many cheap ways to advertise on the internet if you know what you’re doing. Redo website, etc etc…
- Let the users help… build test apps, graphic design work, documentation, maybe even a referral code, etc, etc… the marketer getting the users involved alone could turn things around
With all the damage that has been done in the last year, I think everyone could get on the same page and turn it around. We want it. We crave it. I think the entire Dgraph team (CEO, programmers, board members, etc) underestimates the power of a simple positive announcement while at the same time the negative power of no response. Commit to fixing this forever.
Manish, you are the face of this entire organization. Even if things are out of your control, you are and will always be the face of this product. Commit to weekly updates, positive announcements, and responding to all important questions, even if you don’t know the answers. You are already reading this, and people won’t ask questions you make announcements for. The trust people have lost in you can be built back, but you have to believe in this product first. It is of course not all your fault, but it starts with you in whatever the next phrase of Dgraph holds. Anthony’s passion will never be comparable to the Founder.
I may be way off. I may not know what I am talking about. No one may care. The decision may already be made. However, I don’t want to see Dgraph Cloud go away, as it will be the end of Dgraph as a real Firestore competitor, which IMHO is mainly what Dgraph is. An incredibly beautiful database, that we want to see prosper…
No matter what happens, thank you Manish, sincerely. Thank you to all Dgraph Team members and passionate users. I just hope it one day gets the recognition it deserves.