Since the sunsetting news, I've emailed a few times with @MOLLY O to suggest this as the best way forward for Narrative, but I realised this conversation needs to take place in the open.
Long before Beta launch, we discussed in the Community the downside of Narrative not being open source. At the time, we discussed it in terms of slower growth: the fastest way for a small project to grow rapidly is for it to be developed collaboratively, and a vibrant ecosystem of new angles on the Content Economy would need that sort of environment.
Now, of course, we find ourselves in the most extreme case highlighting what was previously discussed: the original core development Team no longer has the means to do any development, so the speed of growth is now zero.
If a traditional Board approach to management of the platform is taken, with perhaps 4 members from the Narrative Company and seven, nine or eleven members from the Community, votes could settle development decisions.
If the Company does not wish to develop the infrastructure for Community elections to this Board, it could initially receive selected Community members, and elections could be held further down the line, once the project is back on its feet and ticking along healthily.
@Brian Lenz would no doubt be a central determinant in whether this way forward is possible. Brian, this would no doubt require that you remain minimally active at least until the project has attracted open source developers that you can perform a hand over to. But perhaps, if this is something you want, you could remain a core member of the development team if you can sustainably participate as an open source developer yourself. Being the architect of the current code base, any on-going relationship you might choose to have with the development would probably be beneficial.
Why Open Source
1) This point in time does not have to be a dead end: in fact it can be the beginning of what Narrative may have needed all along, in order to thrive.
2) Narrative, with its tenets of transparency and Community Governance, was at odds with itself in having a unilateral approach to development decisions, as many Community members noted. In this sense, this new approach can be considered a purer, more internally consistent incarnation of the initial vision.
3) The influx of new developers could see the project acquiring new functionality at a faster pace than was possible previously, after an initial adjustment phase.
4) The token would almost certainly rally at the news that Narrative is being reborn as an open source project, injecting new vitality into the platform's ecosystem. As long as it is clearly communicated that creating demand for NRVE will be the first pragmatic orders of business for the new dev Team, confidence would probably reach heights not yet seen. We must remember that this has previously never been clearly emphasised. As long as Narrative 2.0 is perceived as now squarely tackling sustainability, we'd already be ahead. Items to focus on tackling first could be tipping, post boosting for a fee, a small immediate signup fee (or wait a couple of weeks), and fees for Publications to feature their content within the Publication, and feature the Publication more prominently on the 'News Rack' where all Publications would be browsable. I'm sure there are more.
5) There have been signs of anger from some Narrators over the sunsetting news, understandably, and some folks seem to be gearing up to seek redress. The situation could become very unpleasant quite quickly if complaints are filed with various agencies. This may seem like justice to the plaintiffs, but it would effectively put the final nail in the coffin of a project that can otherwise live on. Taking the first steps towards Open Source Narrative would completely diffuse this negative spiral. And the first step could be as simple as convening a CAG call.
Open source provides the Narrative Company with a means of fulfilling their fiduciary duty to give their utility token a utility. I think this question, of 'how much did the Company do that was within its power to give its claimed utility token a real utility', would be central to any procedure against the Company. As such, I think this avenue needs to be earnestly explored.