On Monday, Status announced to its staff that due to budget constraints brought on by crypto winter, it is laying off 25 percent of its staff. Remaining employees were asked to take a pay cut until the market recovers.
Addressing Status employees, co-founder Jarrad Hope claimed partial responsibility, along with co-founder Carl Bennetts, for underestimating Ether's price floor and failing to deliver on the promises made in the company's June 2017 white paper. Going forward, Hope stated Status' renewed commitment to delivering on its promises.
The layoffs reflect Status' narrowed focus. "I can't stress this enough, we have two priorities, first deliver the whitepaper promises. And second, get the app into a usable state so that means onboarding, reliability and ease of use so people can actually use SNT," said Hope. "Currently 25% of our roles are non-essential to those goals and our long-term growth projects, and regretfully we're forced to ask the contributors occupying them to leave today."
While the focus was on delivering on Status-specific products, he also stated the company's commitment to "continuing to build out Ethereum's core infrastructure and delivering Serenity."
Contributing to open-source projects and building core infrastructure is an important component of many companies building on Ethereum today. While not directly profitable for a company, contributing to the Ethereum ecosystem is seen as a core community value. Core to the Ethereum ethos is the self-motivated participation by, and cooperation between, free individuals.
Though, it's worth noting that, on some level, Status' conception of Ethereum differs from the commonly promoted idea of Ethereum as a movement, because Status claims a deep commitment to neutrality and apoliticism. However, in a November blog post, Hope described Ethereum as an "allegal" and neutral platform, just like Status, as well as Status' commitment to collaboration.
In any case, Status seems to be sticking to its values.