In 'A Biggish Idea' we walked through the expansion of a doesn't-need-to-be-fictional company from a few hundred people to a worldwide collection of civilizations within a single distributed nation within the abusively powerful legal shell of a corporation. (Yes, we really did. Verify away!)
But how do we get the whole thing started in the real world? How do we speed it along those first few steps?
Unless one is lucky enough to have a whole bunch of money and buildings ferreted away, we're going to have to get started working within the existing system, aren't we?
The good news is . . we have already laid the foundation for a very strong pitch, but we need to massage things a bit to really make it investor friendly. We'll tighten things up so that we have a strong conventional pitch. . and if you know me you can also expect some asynchronous warfare. (I'll try not to disappoint!)
To do this, I propose we create a corporation with two primary units.
- Worldminers: Our externally facing wing. Gatherers of resources and people and spreaders of the awesome beyond our boundaries.
- Peoplespheres: That's everybody else that we've been talking about in 'A Biggish Idea'. . . our new civilization/productivity engine.
So. . . what do Worldminers do? They . . .
- Start Peoplesheres
- Min/Max the planet
- Spread Awesomeness
- Collect resources from the top 1%. Also, the top 1%
Let's step through the bits!
1. Start Peoplespheres
Peoplesperes are our advantage. They are the engine that drives our expansion and pushes us to self sufficiency, sustainability, and beyond. They're designed to be impossible to compete with in whatever industry they're designed to compete in.
So getting them started is a pretty big part of the job. Once we've managed to connect an opportunity with a way to expand into it (probably a business venture from a sponsor at first but there are plenty of other ways) then it's time to get groups that specialize in doing just that focused on their creation. While the people within end up having most of the input and the final say on how they do things the Worldminers are responsible for the first couple of steps.
Coming at this as a business we've been hitting on the productivity advantages and using that to demonstrate why having an asshole-free and fun-person rich group is huge when it comes to getting things done and recruitment . . . now let's hit on another benefit they provide us.
We'll start with the four principles we came up with earlier to at least set the stage.
- Nobody has any power over anybody else without consent . . and that consent is immediately revokeable (everybody gets a 'safe word' for life)
- Use your mind responsibly . . . value logic and reason, think critically, and apply higher standards for evidence the more you may be influencing others (we want people who are totally cool believing in crazy things but are excited when the real world teaches them something new)
- Do useful things . . . sure, we all get our breaks and vacations . . . but everybody should have a purpose of some sort and be trying to do useful things (or be in discovery/training to do so)
- Be nice: Kindness is one of our greatest virtues . . . we're not hiring people who are okay with ruining other people's days.
So, let's get into the PURPOSE of those principles and what they give us.
Consent is something that you see a lot when researching cultures that DO get along (there are a bunch still, they're just generally pretty small). When there's no expectation that people will have power over anyone else the general environment changes a lot.
Responsible Thinking may seem like a catch-all, but I like to think of it as an arrow. It sets the bar so that we've exclusively got people who value logic and reason but also implies a much more analog scale. It's the finger pointing to the moon.
Doing Useful Things is really useful for productivity in general but it also shifts the focus away from 'working 40 hours'. People doing useful things is a contagion of sorts, and a good one. If I live to be 90 years old, I still want people to want me to do useful things if I come up with anything good and value my contribution . . . just so the expectations are reasonable (I'll be pretty old then!)
And last, but not least, by putting Kindness on top of the virtues when it comes to interacting with others we tie it all together so that these people can feel very safe when doing amazing things and where the few principles generally point in the direction of a specific sort of person that almost all of us can be.
That's who we're filling the Peoplespheres with. Kaylee, Wash, and those of us who want to be just as awesome.
The whole cast of Firefly was delightful, of course. . . but those two more than anybody else personify the sort of person we're looking for. They're masters of their domains and love what they do . . . they keep on trying and learning . . . they're the first to stand up and defend the bad guys when the hero is going to far . . . and we want to protect them.
They are Firefly's amazingly skillful muse puppies.
That's what the Peoplespheres are. They're filled with the people we want to protect from the crazy, the people who brighten up our days just by existing, the people who's eyes well up whenever they see somebody else fighting, the people who deserve something better. They're filled with those people and all the people who want nothing more than to be just like them . . . or more delightful.
And they give us a whole new level of power when we get to the next bit. . .
2. Min/Max the planet
Let's circle back a bit and discuss Intrinsic Motivation. Money is an embarrassingly bad motivator and the sort of people we want to hire aren't going to be the sort that are going to be able to be able to muster much enthusiasm if they're trying to (for example) game the financial markets.
Having the mission be 'create a safe place for all the Kaylees and Washes of the world' turns the whole thing into a mind hack . . . one designed to exploit an untapped pool of neurons and throw them at targets they've never been able to focus on before (not literally, that would be weird. . .and gross).
We want people to game the system. We don't just want your typical suite of expertise, we also want min/maxing rules lawyers who can dig into a game and find overpowered exploits to use those skills on the really big LARP that we're all born into. We want them to use those powers to spread as quickly as possible to all corners of the world so that everybody who wants to spend their lives being nice to everyone and doing amazing things has an option to do so.
Similarly, it'll be the Worldminers' job to be looking at all the other amazing things the Peoplespheres are creating and find ways to monetize them. We're generally better off if the other guys are focused more on creating amazing things (unless they dig that sort of thing, in which case they'd be excellent Worldminers!)
Of course, we're going to be risking upsetting some people ... but at the least our Worldminers are already exactly the sort of person who would dedicate some resources to spilling out benefits that enrich the lives any groups they might negatively impact and come up with generally creative solutions to keep from ruining anybody else's lives. And yes, we're totally going to ask them to do that.
3. Spread Awesomeness
There's no way to make everyone happy, but there are certainly ways that we can help.
One way is by focusing on industries that serve a public good, since it also really feeds off of the psychology we're hiring for. We'd want to start right off by focusing on industries that a large number of people can get behind and benefit from. Health care should always be a target, as should any overpriced service that people really benefit from. . . but we'll probably also want to look into ways to just spill out benefits, especially to any communities we might have impacted by outcompeting them.
We want to hire people first and foremost. . . that whole 'teach a man that he shouldn't need to fish to feed himself' bit . .something like that. (I don't think I got that one right), but we certainly don't want to become a tyranny of the majority (eeeewww). . . so we'll be asking the Worldminers to get creative.
But how do we pick where to start? 'We're good at all kinds of things' is a bit too amorphous to make into a proper business plan.
That's where the much maligned top percent come in.
4. Collect resources from the top 1%. Also, the top 1%
Let's pull off the band-aid and dive into the world of Venture Capitalism.
(Hey... at least I gave you a TED talk to make it a smidge more palatable!)
Mr. Rose does a good job of running down the whole Venture Capitalist/Money-asking-person interaction. . . and you can see how once we pick something to do that we think we can do well we've got a really good pitch. But I've definitely been almost frustratingly vague up to this point, haven't I?
Remember how we hit on the fact that rich people are, in fact, human beings?
They also happen to be human beings who, due to the fact that they're often sitting on top of figurative (and occasionally literal) gold mines, are treated really . . . really weirdly a of the time. Their struggle isn't in getting resources, it's in finding trustworthy people to help make good use of them.
Meanwhile, we've established a group of people who can give them a combination that nobody else can . . . genuine sincerity, the drive to do things we all agree are amazing, and a way to make them dangerously effective in part by exploiting their happiness.
I say we set up a group within the Worldminers. . a group of people who don't act weird around rich people and who really exemplify our principles. I propose we have them meet them and research them. . . find out what they like . . . and use that and their knowledge of what we can do to guide them from there.
We can bargain from a position of strength and demonstrate trustworthiness by actually being worthy of that trust. They don't get any real control over internal operations (unless they join, of course) but the fact that we apply that logic openly to everyone will be perceived by some as a positive that.
From there it's a matter of finding out what their passions are bouncing around ideas. If we come up with a strong solution that we're uniquely designed to exploit we hit that right off and create a nice, tight proposal to start of the relationship.
We make sure the first one plays to our strengths and enhances the relationship in general, and then we want to use the relationship to find more better-than-win-win scenarios.
We're start by making them very rich and look very good for selecting us. . and then we go all asynchronously awesome on them.
- We target professional sports players and offer them schools and places to live, learn, and work for their families and communities that take the good people places the bad people don't get to go.
- We create entire teams of people dedicated to random acts of senseless kindness. . . and have them spend a bit of their time spoiling our sponsors and those they love. (How do we NOT appreciate lots of money and ideas?)
- We appeal to the fanboy in everybody by using DIY culture to create amazing things that money can't buy for the rich kid with everything. . . like a so-close-to-real Enterprise bridge for an office.
- We offer celebrities weird-people free zones where they can walk around and go to the store like normal people.
- We target people who support causes creatively. . . like setting up a battered woman's shelter that's a vibrant city filled with delightful healers, support, and opportunities to thrive.
- We target foundations who support feeding third world orphans and create the most awesome orphanage ever where they learn in ways we never could have and eventually teach us things we'd never have come up with on our own.
And every step of the way we're straight up and honest about our true goal. . . which is to create something so awesome that they can't resist becoming one of us.
We're going to mean it, too. . . and that's going to be really hard to compete with.
Even if one big opportunity leads to a few little ones that's a win. That's classic account management. . . but we'd have a better-than-normal chance of increasing the strength of the relationship and getting more projects rolling.
At this point, I think I've got enough out there that in a few pages you can see what we've got.
We'll move on in two different directions from here.
In one direction we'll hit on some specific products, starting with the wearable holodeck and ending with chaingunning dead trees for nature.
And in another, we'll illustrating and demonstrating things with the help of favorite time traveler in
In the meantime . . . I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've put all the pieces to this anywhere where it's easyish to digest so any help in refining things or tuning things would be great. . . this whole exercise has been to stage this out before consolidating it and gathering fellow minions!
So, what'd I miss? Did I leave anything out that I should've left in? Did I skip by something important?
What can you add to make this better? What would you do if you got to design this?
Oh, and since there's no real profiles here. . if anybody wants to hit me up directly the addie is firstname.lastname@example.org.