Stephen Tse, Please Read

I will apologize for not using my normal account. For some reason, I cannot access it. For those who don’t know me… this is me:

I was the first Governor proposed by the Team, to help start the Community DAO. I had concerns then, that they would be mere extensions of Harmony, and ineffectual, so it did not seem like the right time to run.

Last night, I sent Stephen and Li the letter that follows. Hoping that given one last opportunity, they might allow common sense to overshadow ego. After giving them extra time, it seems that they are choosing the difficult road.

Sent content follows:
"An open letter to Stephen Tse from the Community, and the Harmony Team.

Bottom Line Up Front:
Stephen Tse needs to be gone by 1700 PST on Friday, 15 July. Preferably sooner.
If this does not happen, a Snapshot Vote will be initiated so that in Harmony, we may be heard.

It brings me no joy to be writing this. I am actually quite saddened by the way things have turned out. I had hoped to have this conversation privately with you and Li on Friday.

Crypto IS Community. Without Community, crypto fails.

My only intention is to hopefully rip this band-aid off quickly, so we can come together and heal. We need to get this done so we can move forward. The team is only together for a limited time. When they leave Palo Alto and go home, they need to have a clear vision of what they are going to achieve before they come back.

I came out here hoping that I could convince you to go on sabbatical, allow someone with the skillsets necessary to migrate the successful small business that Harmony was, into the large/medium sized business it has become. You are amazing at running small businesses. You’ve proven that time and again. As soon as possible, we need to be identifying what was successful, and codify it into Business Practices that will enable a small team, to manage a much larger organization effectively.

With the hack and other recent blunders, we need to move methodically, but with some haste to begin getting some of this in place.

Unfortunately, we can see you trying to work through these same problems and learn how to do what needs to be done, but we simply don’t have time to wait. We need someone who already knows what they are doing to come in ASAP and get to work creating some structure, while also allowing for free thinking, and a culture understanding of failure… as no one has ever created something great without first failing a time or two. Learn from this. Grow from this. You’re incredibly intelligent and amazing. I have no doubt that your next venture will be wildly successful.

If we could trust that you would step back and let someone else take the reins to do what needs to be done, that would possibly be an option. Unfortunately, you told us that had already happened when the community demanded it last time… yet you deceived us and just continued to run the organization through Li, and now have also made him Persona Non Grata to the Community.

What we need from you now, and I hope that you are hearing the meaning, not just learning the words… is to leave Harmony.

The community has been up in arms for a long time now, but instead of listening to your community moderators, you undervalued, underpaid, and caused them to become disgruntled and leave.

You are surrounded by incredibly successful, brilliant people. Many of them have wanted to say these things to you also but have not for fear of being fired while trying to help.

I was urged by people on your inner team to write this.

If you have not left the company by 1700 PST on Friday, I will create a snapshot vote, and we will show you in no uncertain terms that this is real. I truly hope that you talk to your team tomorrow with an open and loving heart. This is NOT being done out of malice. This is being done with heavy hearts and hopes that we may remain friends. (I may not be speaking for everyone here… but I am certainly speaking truth about my personal hopes)

The reason we need you gone by the end of the week, is so the team can come together, find their purpose, and have goals/objectives by the time they go home.

My suggestion - Read this to your team. Ask them to write a simple Y or N on a 3 x 5 card indicating whether or not they agree that you need to be gone by the end of the week. Anonymously collect them in hat or bucket. Count them.

Hear them.

I wish you the best of luck on your next venture Stephen. I truly am impressed by you. I am sorry.

Edited to add: The original I sent you (Stephen) last night, after deciding to give you one last chance to save face, has been modified to add this explanation, and remove the sentence stating that no one had seen it prior to publication."

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Hi everyone,

I want to begin by saying thank you to the OP for starting this discussion and evaluation of our current leadership. It is necessary to consider their ability and track records as we move forward and to use that information to produce accurate and timely assessments of our leaders. One example of this would be the team’s already existing ‘Team Performance Review & Peer Feedback’ found here. This is something that appears to be filed on the notion site quarterly and is a good foundation for us to start with and build from. The addition of Stephen Tse being a necessary factor here, as he is currently absent from peer review. That being said, making immediate demands and stating that there is (at this point) many anonymous core team members that support the decision to dismiss Stephen Tse is, in my opinion, distasteful and counter-productive.

I am just another user on Harmony. My words don’t carry extra weight and I can always be wrong. I love information and the chance to organize it, make sense of it, discuss it, and to find a new and hopefully better way to do things. I have been doing just this in various other fronts, but in a more delicate fashion, so as to preserve the chain and to maintain the sense of direction and community that I believe is paramount to the chain’s success moving forward. We need the tech, we need the community. We could also use the money, and… We need leaders. Do not forget that this is Stephen Tse’s startup company. In my honest opinion we are his guests and he is our host. Our success is mutual and we can both benefit from cooperation, communication, and decisive action that is created by the leadership and executed by the team, community, and users. I know that this is not decentralized and I know that many wish to see an autonomous, anonymous, and majority-wins scenario. I understand that the legendary, even mythological Satoshi Nakamoto started Bitcoin, wrote the documents, saw it through for a few years, and then faded into the consensus to allow for decentralization. But that isn’t us right now and I firmly believe that we are not ready for that.

Why? Because we’re in the middle of a crisis that is arguably not Stephen Tse’s fault (the bridge exploit). We’re also down big on numbers due to the bear cycle, which requires a new round of strategic treasury management, cost reductions, revenue considerations, all the while being expected to maintain and improve upon the existing structure, as well as strive to increase your user-base. This is our leadership’s time to shine. Prove it. Show us what you can do. Report back to us. Give the team clear direction and if you don’t have any, call them all to Palo Alto, sit them down in a room and look them in the eyes and tell them that you don’t know what to do. Ask for their help. If you’ve surrounded yourself with qualified people that care about you, the users, and the chain, you will figure out what to do.

There is a lot to do and there is blame to go around. I could write for days on all the problems with the chain, the community, the treasury management, the grant process, the lack of communication, the fact that there are projects leaving each week. I get it and I don’t think that those things should be swept under the rug. There is a time and place for those discussions too. If you don’t see a place for them, start one. We as a community can do that and we can change things. But I strongly feel that sidelining the core team and the topmost level of leadership in the midst of these emergency level incidents would cripple us. I am not an unrealistic person and I want to believe that the best thing that we as the community and userbase can do for the longevity of the chain is to support and empower the team that leads us.

In general, if you care for Harmony, the best thing that you can do is to be active in your own capacity, to stay informed, listen to the people around you, and form your own opinions. And then share those opinions and reformulate them, because you won’t get everything right the first time around, and that is okay. Don’t argue and be rude. Don’t aspire to be right all the time and don’t put your ego in front of your sense of judgement. This is what I respect about the OP, they are doing exactly these things based on what they know and have experienced.

We’re all here for the same reasons: we want to make money, we want things to be different from Web2, and we want to know that we were a part of something that succeeded. Or you’re a true degen and you’re here for Evoverses. Wait, they left. Play Rocket Monsters.

Not everyone likes Stephen Tse, but he holds a massive vested interest in the success of this chain and our community. He is therefore highly incentivized not to fail. And if he fails remember to support him nonetheless, because this is a community and one person’s failure doesn’t mean the whole ship has to sink. If we stay together, we can remain whole.

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Yah this is no small thing and is going to take some serious thought and discussion. I’m also curious as to how many core team members are behind this proposal.

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…Personally, I don’t understand.
I need more details…
from @OgreAbroad1
and from the rest of the core team @giv @RockTheBlockchain @leo @rongjian @lij @Zi_Wang @nickw

I am not exactly sure why his removal would be so helpful and honestly, i don’t understand exactly what damage he might be doing in the role; if that’s something you can speak to, I think that would help.

I am not disagreeing, but literally I do not have the understanding of what role he actually plays, and what negative impact he could be having.

I can see finding someone to replace him…
Because the community is upset and has lost a lot of faith in some aspects of the leadership…
but not sure whom, but I don’t feel plugged into the situation well enough to agree on this subject.

It seems out of left field and a bit like a Hail Mary without any details about what is WRONG with his leadership to be honest.

MUCH RESPECT @OgreAbroad1 @OgreAbroad

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Danke, Ogre for stepping up and saying what needed to be unequivocally stated.

Harmony needs to show up and do better but to achieve that - the helm can no longer be steered by TSe and Li. Things must be different. Harmony has to begin winning back the trust of the community and projects who repped it hard and long from its days of old.

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I understand the sentiment of this post and where it is coming from, but with a proposal this big and chain changing I would really love to hear what the core members who want this to happen have to say about what they have seen and why they would want the replacement to happen. I know it may be putting themselves out there, but I think if it’s something they truly believe in they should have no problem doing so just as you have done with this post! This is in no way a negative reply just an ask for more information from the core team members who believe in this as to why they believe in it! Much love and let’s stay Harmonious :heart::heart:

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Sadly enough, the inner core team members who are not about Tse and Li canna risk that as we all know what that blowback would look like. Harmony is bigger then the two of them (Tse and Li).

Harmony has been struggling in multiple fronts and Tse had numerous opportunities to pivot and direct it to the right path. He chose not to do this.

This $100m hack was just the latest and biggest kerfuffle. If harmony doesn’t get back on track, harmony will never get back on track and fall to the waste.

No easy decision but it is time for others to step up and in and lead the charge.

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Hi @OgreAbroad1

I understand why you say that.
I’m in contact with some team members who left the project.
They don’t want to explain why they left to don’t affect the community.
But I think is time to give some explanations.

Stephen is a very bad manager
Stephen spend the money for crazy things
Stephen was giving grants to anyone only to give grants
Stephen onboard team members and don’t pay salaries
Stephen don’t respect people

Li Jiang is good but he depend too much from Stephen.
Li Jiang did a lot for the community and for the project.

Thanks @OgreAbroad1 for opening the debate :pray:

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I completely understand. I have been doing this incrementally, trying to achieve the necessary goal, while causing as little damage as possible. Once we start airing dirty laundry… it cannot be undone.

While I don’t have much hope left that he will choose the lesser of two evils, and leave. I fear that he may yet be so out of touch, that he has no idea what is happening inside his own team… causing him to choose the worse, and stay.

My prediction if Stephen doesn’t leave:

The next week and a half will be spent going over his new initiative, which is nothing new. He hasn’t been able to clearly express his vision to his team, nor give them useful direction in many cases. When they leave, sent off to do task which they may not even understand, many will find new employment, and sell all of their tokens. That will begin the downward spiral. Next, the community and devs will see the team jumping ship, and they will follow… creating more sell pressure, and making it ridiculously unprofitable to run a Validator… and the chain will die.

Alternatively, we can hopefully get Stephen to leave. If we cannot, there are plans for after.
There are multiple, and some are still being researched. I am not privy to the details of those.

One of many possible alternatives could be to fork the chain and move forward. Sorta like HIVE did when Justin Sun took over STEEM. The community collectively said, “NOPE!” and they forked. The attention it got from Ethereum supporters and those who want decentralization revitalized the new chain.

What I have shared above is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be more to follow… if necessary.

5 Likes

Completely understandable. With the market being in the dumps, most are scared they might lose their job if they speak out.

I am speaking with several of them.

As we the community show them that we have their back, it will begin to embolden them… or such is my hope.

This only works if there is enough of a community ready to stick around afterwards… we need to show them that we will be here when the dust settles.

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Its time to be transparent. Those of you with information need to post it now. Its time to tell the community the truth.

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team afraid. many need the work & support themselves and family.

me = i worked at harmony. i worked with stephen. team members i know… this account = anonymous

under stephen, since main net launch harmony has:

eth bridge: currently down. hacked

btc bridge: vaults down. Flopped on launch

metaverse: dead. never defined.

apes: dead. never defined.

blue to fly: dead. never defined.

10 thousand dao: dead. money wasted

rpc: broken always

multisig: broken always

explorer: broken always. useless

chain: always slow downs.

ALL OF THIS UNDER STEPHEN LEADERSHIP
.

stephen disappeared, stephen reappeard.
team say stephen disappear and micro manage same time
stephen shares no clear vision
stephen never gives solutions. only bad ideas. only bad leadership. only bad communication. only bad vision.
stephen can not communicate to us. team tells me this
stephen manages like a dictators. team tells me this.

now… harmony stopped bridges. harmony stopped cross shard. harmony stopped grants. harmony killed treasury. stephen says not true but team knows all this is true

now harmony focus?? look at Q3 Market-Product-Team Fit with Utility NFT for Creator Economy

another harmony change of mind.
another crazy stephen idea. no vision

on /nft, team argue with stephen but stephen delete

harmony dying with stephen and Li Jiang too busy dancing twitter videos to manage money

Harmony teams know stephen is big problem but cannot say this to him

stephen must get out of harmony teams way.

  • anonymous but very informed.
  • former harmony team
  • close to core team people
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I dont know the inter workings of Harmony, but as an investor the lack of response from the team about how we are moving forward from the Horizon hack has been lackluster.

Sure for a week we got some team communication but after that it was back to radio silence as usual.

Between Horizon and Tse wanting to be DAO heavy, I don’t feel like that’s the best choice for Harmony - I think its clear that Harmony has built a great Gamefi place with a community that is tight knit I would love for someone who sees that opportunity to promote Harmony as the Gamefi chain instead of focusing on something that has brought no real innovation to Harmony.

Miro | Online Whiteboard for Visual Collaboration this chart was made by a community member was a real insight to how your community interacts with each other on a in-depth level and as you can see the DAO’s that have been receiving grants operate completely disconnected from that of the community in a lot of cases and if they are disconnected from the community what is the benefit to the community they serve?

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Stephen should not leave.

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So I am probably going to be back with little tidbits as I think about this. I think it is the community’s prerogative to ask the team to do anything pretty much. BUT… I have a few questions and will probably have a few more before this one is over.

What is the plan if Stephen Tse did step down?
Who chooses the next team leaders?
Who will the next leaders be?
Has anyone qualified stepped up?
What direction do you expect the Harmony Team to take with the removal of Stephen Tse?

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You can’t solve big problems if you can’t solve small problems.

As an ex validator, I’ve seen an experienced the ups and downs of the network. The development structure of harmony has always baffled me in the sense that it’s quantity over quality and I think the majority of the community can agree on this.

From issues being persistent for months/years, such as a literal unusable network or it not being user friendly for the masses. Pending transactions for days, rising gas costs and expecting all users to manually switch RPC’s is ludicrous. At this stage your promise of 2 second finality and a fast network, can be considered false advertisement.

So why am I mentioning the chain first and just a few of its issues? Well, because this is the foundation of harmony itself and what should be the most important part of harmony to deliver on. Without a strong foundation anything you build on it crumbles to the ground. Hopefully you are seeing the trend here that everything launched ontop of a broken chain has failed.

I’m not even going to waste time going into detail on the rest of the deliverables that simply do not improve on the tech and user experience. Whether, all these decisions are part of bad management an unclear vision, it doesn’t take much to realise that the network itself is abysmal to use. Honestly, have you even tried to use your own network? Like go onto dfk and try start a quest on a main net RPC.

Realise your errors, come up with solutions and execute.

Stephen, focus on the vision you first started, building a beast of blockchain.

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The main concern I get is that this project was supposed to be decentralized.
It means that the community in the end has the last word, and the team is executing the community’s vision.

Of course, people like Stephen and Li have a big weight both by their position as founders and by the weight in tokens they carry.

I find it ironic that the vision for Harmony was to found 10’000+ DAO while the way they handle their own project is as monolithic as you can imagine.
Until now, 11 days passed since the last announcement related to the hack. The last announcement was unpopular because meaningless: “Hey, we know there was a hack, we do something, brb” could summarize it completely.

Since then, all people in the team have been completely mute. There is no channel for the community to exchange with the team. There is genuinely kind and understanding mods helping people to vent their frustration, but they are in the same boat as us: They don’t know anything.

While we could argue that the hack might be caused by poor opsec practices, I’m more worried about the contingency plan and crisis management, which is abysmal until now.
The team hasn’t acknowledged the fear of the investors, never work on it, and never communicated the different solutions and options they are exploring.

This hack gives a good vision about the main problem of Harmony: The blockchain is 100% dependent to the good-willing of the team building it. There is little communication between the core members and the community. Decision about where the chain should go are decided by two people, without any real concern.
Community is pushing forever about RPC issues, Explorer node issue, BTC bridge pre-alpha state, documentation problems, lack of help & resource to build an ecosystem. I mean it’s here, on daily basis, on all communication channel.
What does the team do? Buy BAYC, finance meaningless DAO & projects, work on new features (sharding is great but for the good of everybody makes shards 0 works first !!!), on new ideas.

I think it’s time now for the Harmony Foundation to listen to their community. I think they have the technical skillset to be able to do their mission, which is building this project. But it is the role to the community to decide what should be prioritized. It seems like the developers are NOT using the blockchain, hence they are NOT seeing the daily hassle of switching RPC, reloading the dapps, changing manually gas cost and so on.

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I agree that Stephen has made a significant number of mistakes, but execution sounds a bit harsh :wink:

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Sorry that was an error, now corrected lol

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i talk to another team member.

whole team is off site to work on Q3 Market-Product-Team Fit with Utility NFT for Creator Economy
they say stephen is wasting time. they say team members are confused why stephen doing this

my friend on phone call. my notes:

Everything you are reading? true. Many

do not think Harmony will

Succeed with Stephen and Li.

Stephen? Too controlling.

Listens to no one. Stephen communicates poorly. We

Do not understand what he says to us

Or why makes these choices. no sense.

thinks always is right. Talks down to team oftem.

stopped dev work on many things bec stephen

To work on NFT even though everyone

arguments against. Now everyone works

Off site at palo alto on nft, 10 or 11 hr days

6 days per week. Very confused and upset

Li only say YES to stephen. No decisions.

Li Stephen never make sense. They are

Wrong for growing Harmony company

team off site. Upset and worried because stephen and li

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