May 4, 2021
The Rise of Benobi One
It has been over three years since the Make Sense Labs journey began. Today, we embark on our evolution and take a leap forward toward our next phase of growth.
We are among the early builders of Web 3.0, those pioneers working to launch a new Internet with humans using the products, rather than being the products. Today’s most ubiquitous digital platforms share an old model that extracts all of the value out of its users and profits from it, without sharing the wealth. We’re working to build tools in which the community participates in the economy, has ownership of their contributions, and shares rewards with the collective.
The idea of a community-powered and crypto-enabled social messenger came after our predecessor product revealed a major flaw in the current system. This product - our chatbot network (2015-2017) - was built across all of the major messengers you’re familiar with, and probably use at least one of today, including text messages. We amassed data in the form of millions of records of private chats sent between individuals. We used machine learning to crunch this data and modify product behavior with it, but it was a moral dilemma. Our terms of service were exactly like the giants, but our ethos was different. Rather than exploiting our users' most private conversations and brokering their privacy for profit, we decided to set out to be a platform that truly cared about the people who use it.
There was another important piece: our passion for moving toward a more decentralized world and our excitement for cryptocurrency as the new model of value became a guiding force of energy. The benefits of blockchain technology were evident and we set out to build a secure communication layer that would reward people for being good humans, and not bots or algorithms. This was the pivotal moment I knew we needed a great technologist to join the team, so in 2018 we appointed Ben Sigman as our CTO.
Ben Sigman - or ‘Benobi’ as he’s known on Sense Chat and beyond - has worked with many LA-based tech startups. He has been a cryptocurrency miner, advocate and pioneer since the genesis days of early blockchains. He collaborated with the core team building EOSIO to help launch the now multi-billion dollar network and contributed to open source projects globally to benefit the broader blockchain industry. Today, he is one of the founding members of the EdenOS protocol with Dan Larimer.
After Ben joined, our innovation accelerated. Our first messenger was built on the EOS blockchain and was the very first platform to connect two blockchain wallet addresses to create a chat, with a video and audio connection. Ben wrote an innovative end-to-end encryption method over blockchain, expanded our technology team, created crypto enabled chat in the difficult iOS environment, and helped grew a grassroots community of Sense Makers who are the heartbeat of our products.
2021 has already been an exciting year. The Sense Chat app launched live on iOS and Android in April and we have achieved our mission of delivering a next-generation messenger to the world. We have 70,000 users and during our limited beta, over three million SENSE tokens were mined. I am proud of our team and thrilled about our accomplishments.
Starting tomorrow, on May 5th 2021, Ben Sigman will take leadership as the CEO of Make Sense Labs. This came by a unanimous vote from our board of directors and executive leadership team. I will remain on the board of directors as the Executive Chairman with Tim Draper and will continue to have a meaningful role in our product’s development.
Ben has my ultimate support and endorsement. He has been a very influential part of the growth of the blockchain community and I believe that he is the right leader to take our company forward to the next stage of growth.
Crystal Rose Pierce