no code OS for web3, notion alternative - private and open source, open developer platform, user data vault.
|Alexander Lange||Feb 5, 2020||5|
In 2016 I wrote a piece titled 'Making the internet great again' where I briefly described the concept of a user centric data vault in the context of open data marketplaces. I've been quite obsessed with companies innovating in that problem space ever since and saw many different approaches come and go. Anytype pursues a radically different path to capture the opportunity and I believe it is the most exciting one thus far. Hence, we decided to back Zhanna, Anton, Roman and their incredibly mission driven team with Inflection in 2019.
This is an early alpha demo video.
User data vault – decoupling data from applications
We envision a future where users are controlling their digital twins as opposed to some tech companies – a necessity to uphold human rights in cyberspace. A user centric data vault can be described as a user’s complete digital life being locked up in a black box only the user holds the keys for. It’s sort of a non custodial crypto wallet allowing the user to gradually reveal herself to the outside world without being watched, scrutinised, censored or manipulated in any way.
To bring such vision to life data needs to be decoupled from applications. Algorithms could run locally on encrypted data leaving users with a choice between different services - goodbye data silos, hello open data. They’d be empowered to switch between different algorithms and interfaces without being locked into attention grabbing, closed platforms, no login required. Through an open application and algorithm marketplace users could chose to go with a news feed algorithm that is transparent in its mechanics to see content around contradictory political opinions from friends breaking open filter bubbles. Or they might chose to explore music they never listened to before or innovative ideas they didn’t read about anywhere else before etc.
As users do always carry their digital twins with them each new service they use could be hyper customised from day 0. Barriers between applications could be broken down – no more switching between signal, telegram and what’s app for communications. Everything could be connected to everything.
Operating environment for the new internet
A user data vault doesn't have any utility by itself. It can only become useful in the context of actual products and services that are running on the same standard. To achieve that an open, permission-less application marketplace is required where developers can write and distribute apps without being censored or economically exploited by monopolists.
The first web3 protocols that anytype is building on are IPFS / Textile (alternative to http). In the future integrations can be openly enhanced by adding other protocols such as Maker, Centrifuge, Matrix or others to the mix and let developers create open financial applications, ERP systems or programmatic workflows for example. The opportunities are quite endless.
Notion alternative that is open source, private and local first
A user data vault embedded into an open source operating system alone isn't a useful product, still. This is why anytype was looking for its first killer application to introduce the potential of its ecosystem to the world in a light weight way. They decided to go for an all in one collaboration tool that resembles the functionalities of notion on first sight but will go far beyond that over time. As opposed to other collaboration tools like notion, dropbox, gdrive, airtable, asana etc. it is private by design, open source and local first. It leverages the serverless web which cannot be shut down, censored or surveilled. The same applies to websites or social media sites that have been created with anytype. Users can enjoy the benefits of self hosted software without the technical complexities around proprietary hardware and cyber security that usually come with it. The system is open and can easily be enhanced by developers wishing to tweak views or create new software building blocks for it. No gate keeping. Permission-less innovation.
We couldn't be more excited about getting anytype into the hands of the developer community and are honoured to work with the team to bring their ambitious and beautiful vision to life.
Onwards & upwards!