The best match for R&D! LayerX's high trust way of using Scrapbox
LayerX Inc. was launched jointly by Gunosy and AnyPay in 2018.
Work in Progress. This post will be updated further.
The company is founded by Yoshinori Fukushima, the founder of Gunosy, a web services company. They are engaged in many businesses such as consulting, system development, planning and operation, and R&D focused on blockchain technology.
The company introduced Scrapbox among the venture companies that conduct research and development. This time, we will ask researcher Ryuya Nakamura about the purpose and usability of Scrapbox and explore the affinity between technology research and Scrapbox.
Researcher, LayerX Inc.
The LayerX R&D team is researching security verification by consensus protocol and formal methods. They are currently focusing on completing the theory of CBC Casper and preparing it for introduction into Ethereum, and published a paper on CBC Casper and its formal verification in April this year.
Nakamura is currently studying Engineering at The University of Tokyo. You can follow him on Twitter (In english and Japanese)
Scrapbox is both an internal wiki and an external blog
First of all, please tell us how you started using Scrapbox.
LayerX entered the blockchain business shortly after the dawn of blockchain, so there were many things I didn't know at first, and I was aware of the problem that I had to learn more. So, about an hour each day, there were about two themes. I decided and held a study session and compiled the results in a wiki using a collaboration tool. On the other hand, I wanted to update a blog that publishes my research result, but it was very troublesome to change the sentences into blogs for outsiders. At that time, when I learned about Scrapbox and tried using it with interest, it matched the circumstances of the team. Then, by using Scrapbox for study sessions, the results become released to the public just like that.
Got it. Certainly, your company's Scrapbox page conveys a fresh atmosphere of research. Because of that, the other researchers and people in your field may become interested in what you're working on.
How is it used outside the research team's blog?
The engineering team uses Scrapbox for technical research. It's used for research notes that explore the space before we build anything and to collect related tools and libraries. In my case, I also have a personal account. I write small ideas that I have and don't need to share in-house, or notes that are not very organized, like sketches.
Team trust deepened with Scrapbox
Please tell us what you really felt when first introducing Scrapbox.
First of all, I felt frustration that the collaboration tool I used before required me to stop and save each time I updated it. Since Scrapbox saves one line at at time the stress in that area has disappeared, and I think that the study group itself has become even more fulfilling. If you enter your question with your own icon in the middle of the study group, discussions will be held outside of the main subject. The slide presentation mode is also useful in study sessions.
Does it feel like it gets ridiculous editing on the page while someone is presenting?
That's exactly the most interesting situation. Using Scrapbox is not a "software mastery" image like " threading content" but a "park sandbox" where you can freely play without rules. That kind of feeling. Anyone can feel free to join and various collaborations will be born, which will stimulate our imagination.
Got it. Are there any rules you have in place to maintain the order of a “sandbox without rules”?
No, there are no specific rules, because LayerX has five corporate slogans, including the words “Trustful Team.” Blockchain has no central administrator. It is said to be trustless because you can send money, etc., but our team is trustful. We are committed to trusting each other and keeping information open. Anyone can edit notes written in Scrapbox. The worldview is similar to the idea of LayerX, so from the beginning team members could use it naturally without any rules.
For example, there is a Scrapbox page that summarizes papers on blockchain. The page has a link to the paper in the title, followed by the professor's name and university name. I was adding more and more according to some rules I decided, and from one day, other members also arbitrarily added according to my rules. This is a unique Scrapbox form of collaboration. I feel that trusting the other person and using Scrapbox without setting rules has made the team more credible.
Connecting unconventional information! There's an affinity between Scrapbox and technology research.
What do you think is the biggest advantage of introducing Scrapbox?
First, I think that the individual activities of the research team have been visualized. For example, there are times when research results are like “I just read for about 10 hours today and i'm finished,” but that is Scrapbox. It's just a reminder that says, “This person is paying attention to this now.” You can see who is doing what, who knows a certain technique or knowledge, and know who to ask about things.
Because blockchain is a new industry, the information is ghost-like. It's stuck in the tweets of people who have important ideas, or buried in personal blogs like "If you read this paper you will understand everything." That's why I often do the work of linking together meaningful information I found myself. Scrapbox is very useful at that time. The affinity of Scrapbox for curating important technical research is quite high. That might be its biggest advantage.
An unexpected issue emerged with the introduction of Scrapbox? LayerX is looking for colleagues to work with!
I had a problem with recruitment ... Currently, LayerX is recruiting members for various occupations such as researchers and engineers, but I heard people saying things like "I was hesitant to apply because Scrapbox's notes were too specialized." The page of the research team is mainly open to the public, but from the perspective of the viewer, they may think that "everyone must have such specialized knowledge". Actually, the details are different depending on the members, and when I joined the company, I could not understand right or left. Because it is a company with interesting jobs for people with various backgrounds, please do not judge it on the Scrapbox page and miss out. Please feel free to come and visit us in the company!
Click below to apply!
That is an unexpected issue (laughs). Finally, can you tell us about your future outlook?
Our Scrapbox has become fairly well known in Japan's blockchain area lately, but LayerX often works with companies and teams overseas, so I'm eager to become popular outside Japan as well!
Thank you, Nakamura!
This was translated from the original interview in Japanese by Shingo Shimojo on June 24, 2019.
Scrapbox lets you instantly capture and find knowhow at any scale, both solo and with a team.
You can rapidly capture things like notes, manuals, tasks, code, meeting minutes, and research results. All pages are automatically connected with bi-directional links, allowing you to seamlessly work across even tens of thousands of pages.