The Startup Society is a new concept that offers the potential for rapid social innovation. To fully grasp the significance of the Startup Society concept, it’s helpful to consider the context.
Technology and Social Change
Social change and technological change are intertwined. Tools and techniques for agriculture changed society. Social organization allowed specialization and new technology. The printing press made the mass spread of facts and ideas possible, allowing the creation of a new type of social organization, democratic nation-state republics, which replaced feudal monarchies. Today, distributed ledger technology is making new models of social organization possible.
The Nation State System Works…Slowly
Society and economic activity are currently organized under the nation-state system. Old European cities evolved gradually over time and today are a maze of curving streets, fascinating but not efficient. Analogously, nation-state governments have a complex legacy of existing rules. The processes for creating new rules necessarily balance the interests of divergent factions in the population. The result is often a pluralist deadlock. It can be difficult to test new ideas.
Software Startups – Designed For Rapid Evolution
Software startups know they have to deliver fast; after all, runways don’t last forever. But you can’t just deliver fast. You have to deliver what is needed, and it has to work and please users. Many startups don’t get it right. Failure is common. But the software startup paradigm allows Founders who have a vision to test their idea, focusing on delivering a valuable service with a fast, lean approach in order to discover what works and what doesn’t as quickly as possible. Startup companies move faster than larger companies to test and prove the viability of new ideas, then scale.
Extending the Startup Paradigm to Social Organization
People who have great ideas about society can get frustrated working in the confines of the glacially slow system of existing institutions. The startup model offers an alternative. Founders can establish a set of values as a starting point to rally other people who are closely aligned. People who agree with the values can apply to become members of a Startup Society. Founders can establish criteria for admission to ensure members will find each other to be respectable and desirable colleagues. Founders may also choose to create social cohesion by proposing norms of communication and new traditions to encourage members to bond. The Startup Society can adopt mechanisms for proposing and voting on policies and actions.
What Is A Startup Society?
A Startup Society is a social group that uses a model that is analogous to the lean software startup model to evolve rapidly. While Startup Societies could take many forms, Jur focuses on facilitating startup Societies with the following properties.
Led by a Founder
Software startups are initially animated by the passion of a Founder. Jur believes the same will be true of most successful Startup Societies.
Online / Location Indepedent
Some Startup Societies exist in a particular place in the physical world, but location-independent Startup Societies can offer membership to anyone in the world, offering the potential for more rapid growth.
Closely Aligned & Fast Moving
Startup Societies with clear and specific values are more likely to attract members and thrive. Societies unified by shared values can come to a consensus quickly, test new ideas, assess results, and implement policies that work in a rapid cycle of lean innovation.
Web3 – Trustless & Censorship Resistant
Existing social institutions have established (albeit sometimes somewhat tarnished) long-standing and valuable reputations at stake, so people have expectations about how they can trust them. New societies that arise overnight can’t rely on reputation and history. But they can use Web3 to ensure transparency and reliability, providing inviolable trust with distributed ledger technology. Startup Societies can use simple sets of Web3 tools designed to propose, test, vote on, and adopt policies, values, norms, and traditions.
How To Build A Startup Society
Broadly speaking, in order to succeed a Startup Society will need to have three properties. It must be desirable; there must be some group of people that wants want the Founder is planning to offer. It must be feasible; there must be some practical way to deliver what the Founder is planning to offer. And finally it must be viable; the benefits that the Society creates must be sufficiently significant to inspire continuing participation so that the society will endure.
So the first step in building a Startup Society is to think of why a group of people would want to join together and what they could create that would be meaningful for them. Once you come up with your concept, apply in under two minutes and your proposal will be added to the Society Lab in Jur’s Discord community. The community, including high-profile advisors like Zane Austen from TheNetworkState.com, will help you refine your idea. But hurry, proposals will be evaluated on March 31 so time is limited to participate.
Watch the below video to help you put together your proposal for the Startup Society Founders’ Awards.