Whatever would happen during this event was going to be crucial and most likely would determine if Steem as an experiment would thrive or fail. As a third year attendee, I've noticed that the events that take place on SteemFest set the pace of what the year will bring, not only because of the projects and announcements that take place but also because some - if not most - of the community builders and project leaders are there, watching and being part of how things unfold, and their attitude towards Steem is permeated to a point where they will eventually influence everyone they work with. If Steem Fest goes wrong, that sets the pace for the general attitude towards Steem.
But this year this aspect was even more important than any other. After being fed promises and pure smoke to an extent, Lisbon set our expectations incredibly high for what Steemit inc had to offer and was supposedly launching in the short to middle term. The hype was real, everyone was positive and even the sceptics were shilly. A year passed and Steemit inc didn't deliver, Appics fell way short on their promises, most of the first Dapp experiments turned out to be just wrongly executed ideas. But the hype was still there during most of 2018, although if you ask me, I believe that hype was mainly driven by the ATH bull run we were part of and not because of how things were unfolding on Steem.
But the community builders, project leaders and Steem believers were still 100% committed. We kept on doing what we do best with a mind full of positivity and belief of what Steem represents and the potential it has.
Then, Steem Fest in Krakow happened, which to be completely honest, apart from a few Dapps that did deliver what they promised, the general perception was that Poland was mainly a party and regarding the projects and tech part, nothing much happened. What did happen was that the community builders and people focused attendees really came together, bonded and the core soul of the community - if you can call it like that - was stronger and more committed to Steem than ever. The negative part was that Steemit inc didn't deliver anything they promised they would, but that didn't surprised anyone because sadly, due to their lack of communication and unreachability during 2018, we were all kind of expecting they wouldn't deliver anything. Krakow was poor regarding good news or even promises, from both Steemit inc and the community driven Dapps.
2019 was a great year for dapps. Despite what I mentioned on the previous paragraph about the lack of deliverance and overall short of expectations from ideas presented at SF, the community was stronger than ever. Alliances were formed, leverage between communities began happening, consulting other dapp leaders became a reality. We were no longer competing against each other - or at least not as much as before - because SF3 allowed us to realize that we need to work as a whole, help each other when it comes to projects, value and embrace alliances. What kept steem going during 2019 was the community strength rallied by several of the SF3 attendees. We understood that things needed to happen, and that they wouldn't - at least for the biggest part - happen thanks to Inc, we would need to get it done by ourselves. There were several attempts to get organized and start things rolling, as a community, everyone together working for the same goals, trying to get things done from within the community. We witnessed the first organized efforts where several top witnesses, Dapp founders, community leaders and community members came together and began speaking like a truthfully strong community. In terms of advantages and edges versus any other Blockchain, we were really leveraging ours: The power of community.
The change in leadership on Steemit inc and thus, the evolution of how they do things combined with how they communicate them, set our expectations high for what SF4 would bring. As I said, what happens at SF sets the pace of what will happen over the next year.
We didn't want promises, we definitely didn't expected smoke and for sure as hell some of us were going to demand results and concrete things. That first presentation from Steemit Inc was crucial, it would set the attitude of us attendees for the rest of the event. I can tell you, for sure, some of us were hesitant, even a bit nervous, hoping that whatever they had in store, would be enough to keep believing in Steem, to keep committed to Steem, to not be obligated to step aside and stop believing on this Blockchain and to never again work to improve it.
This Steem Fest was set to be the defining point where, and I know this as a fact, several people who are very beneficial to the chain would decide if we stayed with a renewed 100% renewal of belief and committment or we began to drift away from the chain, beginning to look at other coins and blockchains.
Promises and half deliveries wouldn't be enough this time. Not after almost 2 years of waiting, not after everything that happened - and didn't happen - since Lisbon.
The good news is, Inc delivered and the better news is that they were realistic and down to earth while doing so. That along with a few incredible ideas presented by other people, got most of us in the mood we were hopping to be, the attitude we were so desperately looking to have but this time, with real basis and concrete reasons supporting it, not just plain belief in an idea and committment to what Steem represents.
There wasn't a lot of Dapp presentations this time, but that's completely fine. Now that we have several working dapps going strong every day, I'm convinced we didn't really need to have a lot of Dapp ideas presented to us this year, in fact, new ideas without proof of work and a achievable business plan was the least we needed.
SMTs and Communities are a reality, they are not just ideas or work in progress projects. They are here and people can't be more thrilled about it. For the first time in quite a while, and after having several conversations with people whose opinion I respect and I know were sceptical about this event going smooth, I can perceive a general positivity and I could dare say and attitude of real hype and back to believing.
For the first time in years, we actually have an MVP that is not a work in progress. The community builders like me actually have something to sell to potential adopters. We are finally in the correct path to mass adoption instead of just hanging out by the bus stop wondering where should we go.
The news that Steem Fest 4 brought to us are graspable, not just something that is yet to come. We are not ready for mass adoption yet, but for the first time since I've been on Steem, I actually know for sure - and not just believe - that we can realistically achieve it. The best part? I'm convinced we can begin working on mass adoption now, start little, begin testing ideas and tweak them as we advance, because now, we can actually test them on a working scenario and not just speculate of how would things play out.
As a closing statement: I'm glad I'm hyped with reasons and not just belief on ideas and ideals. This is mainly because of the community behind Steem and the projects unfolding, but I would be lying if I said that most of this recently acquired hype and positivity is not driven by the New Steemit Inc and them delivering the two most important features steem needs to take the next step on our way to mass adoption.
The future looks bright, happy days look close again.
Congratulations and thank you to the people behind Steemit Inc, good times ahead, I'm sure.