Athens — A Collective Brain

Last Week Athens announced the change of vision.

This is really cool since their new vision is very close to Fibery. They formulate it as

Building a Collective Brain

I think it is broader than what we are targeting with Fibery. We formulate it as

Building a Second Brain for Teams

Overall Athens wording is more elegant, but it seems they are thinking about the second internet, social networks, and this kind of stuff, while Fibery is more humble and targets teams and organizations.

Athens use cases and features are not very clear so far, here is what they wrote:

What about comments and suggestions like in Google Docs, but addressable and referenceable? What about forking, branching, and merging like in GitHub, but with your documents and conversations? What about cross-graph references ?!? There is so much design and engineering we can do to make collaborative knowledge graphs possible and powerful.

Interestingly, they are thinking about structured info as well:

to bring structured data and ontologies to Athens.

In Fibery we have another problem, work with unstructured info better. So we are moving into the same direction using different roads.

I can’t say they are pioneering the CKM (Collective Knowledge Management) space, since there are many established products like Confluence and Notion. But they don’t focus on knowledge graphs, while Athens will.

This direction is new and I am really curious to see how they will move forward. It’s always great to have a competition in the new space, it somewhat validates the existence of this niche at least :slight_smile:

I think they did the right thing, since personal KM space is overcrowded already, while teams don’t have good tools at this moment. However, KM for teams is much harder to build.


For the Athens, the interesting question is “Did they themselves write this Vision?” Considering who they received the investment from: 0)

In fact, the same Roam Research was originally created with an eye on CKM. Already in the current implementation, it has tools for collective work on documents.

The founder of Roam is a rather odious person (which he himself ironically mentions: 0), does not disclose detailed plans. But three weeks ago, he gave extended answers to questions. And there he said that they continue to work hard on this.

RemNote and Logseq also explicitly state that teamwork is one of their priorities. Remnote, by the way, also recently published its new vision - RemNote Logseq is currently actively developing a Pro version with cloud and collaboration support.

Another interesting fact about Roam, I will quote:

That’s the mission

You need to co-evolve the human and tool systems. 4 of 6 most recent hires were non-technical roles with folks who have been more or less exclusively focused on psychology / social psychology of human coordination and collective intelligence augmentation.

Human part can’t be overstated - hoping to build tools that make sensemaking easier, but you’re only as strong as group you’re thinking with and dynamics particular to that group.

That is, they are now investing in the study and development of “new workflows for teamwork.” And then they will be transferred as functions in the program.

Тяжеловато с моим техническим английским такие длинные тексты формировать :0)


Thank you for the insightful comment!

I checked RemNote vision and don’t see many overlaps with Fibery. They are focusing on learning more, while we focusing on groups intelligence augmentation. There are overlaps in Thinking Medium for sure though.

While I do like fundamental approaches, I don’t really believe in fast results here :slight_smile: Roam can easily get lost in the enormous amount of directions from psychology researchers. It demands very talented leader with a strong vision, intuition and luck. It’s a rare mix, so I have some fears that they will succeed… Let’s see how fast they will deliver something new.