Metronome Minute — Phil Gomes
In the Metronome Minute, we ask members of the Metronome team a few questions about their role, expertise, and what interests them about the project.
What is your role on the Metronome team?
Well, I came to Metronome in a somewhat unusual way. By day, I was a senior vice president at Edelman (the world’s largest PR firm) and serving as head of its global blockchain center-of-excellence. By night (and, let’s be real, a small amount during the day), I had been volunteering as the communications director for the Chicago Blockchain Center, a public/private non-profit founded by Matthew Roszak, the co-founder and chairman of Bloq.
About three months into the latter role, Matthew sat me down and said he wanted to work together to launch something called “Metronome.” (Basically, if Matthew starts a sentence with “I’d like to work together on…” just say “yes.”) About three hours later, Bloq was my client and I found myself sitting down for dinner next to Jeff Garzik, Bloq’s co-founder and CEO, who was also one of Bitcoin’s original developers.
Metronome enjoys a unique place within a portfolio of other projects that Bloq leads or otherwise contributes to. Today, as Bloq’s chief communications officer (starting just last month), I look after the communications philosophy, strategy, operations, messaging and tactics that support these projects and the master brand. This function is internally called “PRISMIC,” which is an admittedly tortured acronym for “PR, Influencer, Social Media, Internal, Content, and Community.” Sound busy? It is!
What excites you most about Metronome?
To say nothing of the engineering achievements that Metronome represents, the aspects that most excite me are best summarized in an earlier post about fairness as a first-order variable. From the auction to the treatment of the founder retention and even its fully autonomous nature itself, the focus on fairness was what most impressed me early on.
Consider that all of this took place against a backdrop of what could have only been described as a period of ICO insanity, where obvious scams and nakedly take-the-tokens-and-run schemes appeared with truly alarming frequency. Metronome is truly the only cryptocurrency that approaches fairness as a core philosophy and design principle. Most certainly, the passionate community members that I see in our Telegram understand this and have been wonderful evangelists.
What do you think have been the greatest challenges in bringing this cryptocurrency to life?
Well, in the service of Metronome’s fairness mission, we pushed aside many of the customary norms that rapidly emerged during the ICO craze. These norms included pre-sales, private sales, discounts, whitelists, and so on. Eschewing this template — again, as a component of our fairness mission — caused a certain amount of confusion that we didn’t really anticipate early on. For a while, “When pre-sale?” and “When whitelist?” were two of the most frequently asked questions in our Telegram channel and on Twitter.
Moving forward, though, I’m confident that more people will understand these decisions. In many ways, it can provide a new template for other launches.
What do you hope will be the most-used application of Metronome?
Not to potentially tread on sacred ground, but I would most want Metronome to fulfill the plain-reading promise of a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system” as described in the headline of the original Nakamoto whitepaper. Within that, my thoughts about how an “electronic cash” can be used are pretty broad. In discussion of cryptocurrencies and micropayments, we have to be open to the idea that the “users” of an electronic cash will be IoT devices, intelligent agents, or robots just as much as humans.
Where were you when the initial supply auction started and ended?
When the auction began, I was at home participating in a Google Hangout with the Metronome team. I suitably treated myself to a celebratory glass of cachaça from my special stash. (I’m a collector.) This particular brand of cachaça is no longer made and when it’s gone, it’s gone. The very special occasion warranted this, I felt.
When it ended a week later (the auction, that is, not the cachaça), I was at a restaurant called The Grumpy Italian in Saratoga, Wyoming, frequently swipe-refreshing my phone’s browser during the auction’s last few minutes as my cousin regaled a room full of relatives with her accordion mastery.
A two months later, nearly to the day, was my last day at Edelman. A month after that, I joined Bloq.