W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > November 2014

Re: Web Payment IG - Reality Check

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2014 11:17:12 -0500
Message-ID: <5479F188.5010900@digitalbazaar.com>
To: Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>, "public-webpayments-comments@w3.org" <public-webpayments-comments@w3.org>
On 11/27/2014 09:02 AM, Anders Rundgren wrote:
> The activity on the Web Payment IG mailing-list is less than 
> one-tenth of for example TLS 1.3 although the TLS WG deals with a 
> much smaller and better scoped task.

The group is only one and a half months old at this point. Give them
time to get their footing before comparing them to a group that has been
operating for 15 years.

> Yes, the IG haven't decided what to do but doesn't that call for an 
> even higher activity?

I don't think it does. IGs are about as high-level as you get wrt. W3C
activities. Why is a higher activity needed?

> My guess is that you need a team of competent programmers, a couple 
> of editors, marketing folks and very strong project management to get
> anywhere but still there are no guarantees for success.

+1

I think we have competent programmers (but we need more) and we are
gaining editors rapidly.

We may not have the marketing folks yet, but these are big organizations
w/ marketing departments and they'll be pulled in when the time comes.

As for project management, the current IG chairs and staff contact are
very competent. Sure, no guarantee of success, but that's never the case
in standards. As far as I can tell, the IG is off to a good start.

> This doesn't look like your average standardization project.  Who
> has $20M and five years to spend?

The participants in the IG/WG - while $20M sounds like a lot, it isn't a
great deal for a standard that could affect 2.5 billion people. We did
JSON-LD for around $1.5M-$3M and that took 4 years from start to finish.

The Web Payments work is far more expansive than the JSON-LD stuff, so
it wouldn't surprise me if we're at $20M by the time we have multiple
interoperable implementations. That number is a drop in the bucket
compared to what large organizations spend on their financial systems on
a yearly basis. $20M is still a bargain.

The reason standards work is because this $20M figure that you're using
is spread across all the organizations participating in the work, making
the investment far more palatable. How much do you think PayPal, Google,
and the US Fed have spent on their payment systems? Far, far more than $20M.

> Just as a reference my SKS/KeyGen2 project which "only" targets 
> tokens have burnt at least $2M and taken roughly 10 000 man-hours to
>  complete.  It was an in-house project as well which of course is
> much cheaper (and faster) than standardization.

Multiply that times 10 people actually doing implementations and you're
easily at $20M. If we're successful in creating some standard that even
20% of the world's 2.5 billion Web users use, it'll have an upside of
hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. Even if we were
starting from scratch (which we're not), and even if it cost twice as
much as you say it will (which it might), it's still something worth doing.

I agree with you that we want to be smart about the type of work that we
take on. That's why this stuff is being done transparently, so we
can get feedback like yours to make sure we're on the right path.

-- manu

-- 
Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: The Marathonic Dawn of Web Payments
http://manu.sporny.org/2014/dawn-of-web-payments/
Received on Saturday, 29 November 2014 16:17:37 UTC

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