As we approach the end of the first week of the crowdsale, we would like to give our community a quick update. With USD 10.5 million raised, less than a week into the crowdsale, the VETRI team is thoroughly pleased. This marks an important milestone in the VETRI journey and takes us one step closer […]
As we approach the end of the first week of the crowdsale, we would like to give our community a quick update. With USD 10.5 million raised, less than a week into the crowdsale, the VETRI team is thoroughly pleased. This marks an important milestone in the VETRI journey and takes us one step closer to delivering our vision. As a community driven project, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all our supporters. In this blogpost, we seek to inform our community about the crowdsale milestones, strategic tools and the values which shape VETRI.
In an era marked by eroding privacy standards, VETRI is driven by the end objective of restoring control over personal data in the cyberspace, back to the user. We operate in a dynamic industry marked by changing regulatory regimes, shifting public opinion and accelerating pace of innovation. On the regulatory front, the EU GDPR is set to disrupt the existing order and empower users with greater control over their personal data. In 2017, a survey by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that 70% of US consumers felt that their concern regarding privacy is greater today than just a few years ago.  And on the technological front, our data collection and processing capabilities have expanded exponentially over the past few years with 2015 and 2016 generating 90% of all the data ever collected in history. 
With the sand shifting under our feet at a rapid pace, it is vital that VETRI adopts an agile approach which permits it to move in line with an evolving reality. It is natural human tendency to get fixated on solutions, thus getting disconnected from reality. This is termed as the Einstellung Effect and has been recognized by the Lean Startup Co. as one of the biggest mistakes that an entrepreneur can make. Instead the lean startup approach recommends “falling in love with the problem” and making it the guiding light (the north star) through the course of building a product.
While the lean startup approach offers vital lessons in operationalizing a project, it falls short when it comes to informing methods of managing resources. This leads us to Saraswathy’s theory of effectuation (2001). The theory of effectuation outlines decision making principles employed by expert entrepreneurs operating in contexts of uncertainty. This is in contrast to causal reasoning employed by large corporations which traditionally operate in a context of greater certainty than startups. *
A startup would be better advised to employ effectual reasoning which involves identifying the means available and then defining several feasible paths towards the end vision, given the means, on an ongoing basis. The truth is, no one really knows the ultimate solution which will be able to deliver our vision of restoring privacy to users. Thus, we believe that making the problem our north star and planning with the available resources, on an ongoing basis, places us in the best position to adapt to the evolving setting we operate in and ultimately deliver a product which is aligned with the user’s needs.
The Hard Cap, Soft Cap and the interstellar space in between
These theories which have now emerged as the holy grail of startup strategy, have informed our decisions on the hard cap, soft cap and the 3rd milestone between the two, USD 10 million. The soft cap marks the absolute minimum required to deliver an MVP with bare minimum. This would limit our ability to invest on building a community, which we believe will form the backbone of our project. The onus of taking the VETRI vision forward would then be shifted to other innovators who may build upon the open source VETRI platform which has been delivered.
We are fortunate that we have surpassed this important milestone and reached the next one, USD 10 million which places us in a strong position to deliver the full VETRI vision. That brings us to the question about the hard cap. Any further progress from USD 10 million towards the hard cap would increase our financial power to invest on the following areas: 1. Local community development teams in strategic locations across the globe, 2. A fully centralized technical development team in the Zurich headquarters, 3. Broader humanitarian pilot projects to further VETRI’s objective of inclusion and empowerment.
The VETRI Vision and Values
If the history of technological innovation has shown us anything, it is that capital is one of the many factors which influence the success of a venture. Bill Gross, founder of the iconic startup studio, Idealab ranks funding as the 5th indicator of startup success, below timing, team, idea and business model. This is also reflected in Procivis’ own story, which is a bootstrapped venture and has now been ranked among Switzerland’s 50 startups to invest in by Bilan and is also a revenue generating enterprise with its eID+ product.
VETRI marks the next step in Procivis’ vision, of empowering users with a fully self-sovereign digital identity, thus eliminating exclusive dependencies on governments for the issuance of identities. With privacy and control over personal data being an issue which affects virtually everyone, we believe that the success of VETRI depends on fostering a healthy community with shared values and vision.
The crowdsale is thus, the first step in our journey of building a community and opening up the opportunity to participate in our vision. We believe that the values that we stand for must be ingrained in everything we do, our token sale included. As a result, we refrain from using marketing tools which diverge from what we stand for. Having reached our USD 10 million milestone, our efforts over the remaining period of the crowdsale will be focused on empowering our community members to advocate the VETRI vision and share the opportunity to participate in the journey with their likeminded peers.
Stay tuned for more on this and thank you once again for your contribution towards making VETRI a reality.
* Causal Reasoning refers to an approach adopted by corporate leaders where a specific end goal is defined following which the means required to achieve this end are identified. For example, Nestlé sets a target to achieve a 2% CAGR on revenues between 2017 and 2020. With this target defined, the company puts in place the means required to achieve it, which may include a large marketing team and budget. This works in situations where the organization has virtually unlimited means to achieve an end.
 Accessed on 28th February 2018, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42253017
 Accessed on 28th February 2018,