Startup Societies – Faster Evolution
Our current forms of social organisation and governance have evolved over centuries, along with mechanisms for agreeing on and implementing new ideas. But the pluralist societies we live in and the complex systems that govern them have become more resistant to change while at the same time, technological change has accelerated. Our current organisational paradigms can’t keep up. The Startup Society concept addresses this problem.
Startup Societies apply the lean development principle of the tech startup paradigm to creating new, closely aligned digital-first communities. In contrast to pluralist systems that have evolved over centuries through adversarial processes of compromise, closely aligned startup societies can adopt relatively simple, faster-moving models for agreeing on new policies and move swiftly to try new ideas.
The Problem of Trust
When someone is starting a society nothing, they don’t have anything to lose. People may be reluctant to join a group if they perceive there is not a strong incentive for the founder to behave in a trustworthy way. Almost everyone who follows Web3 has heard of “Rug Pulls” where someone raises money for a crypto project off-chain and absconds with the funds.
But when used carefully, a blockchain can create instant and inviolable trust. We can’t know the intentions of a Founder or the members of a society. The founder may not have a reputation we could use as a basis for some degree of trust. But if they use a blockchain to publish and store their initial set of rules and establish a blockchain process for making new rules and spending money, we can completely trust that “what we see is what we get”. A promise encoded as a smart contract on the blockchain is a promise that will not be broken.
Blockchains can provide transparent and incorruptible procedures and records for the governance of a society, creating instant trust at a level of confidence that non-blockchain institutions, even ones with centuries of reputation, cannot rival.
Even A Simple Startup Society Benefits from Blockchain
Startup Societies may be rather “low-stakes” propositions in their early phases. Still, people will have to decide if they want to sacrifice their time to participate in these experiments. Knowing the system is certain to be trustworthy can help inspire the confidence to participate. And while Startup Societies may start out with small steps and relatively low-impact activities, eventually they can evolve into Network States that are peers to Nation States. Those that use blockchains can point to a knowable transparent history to justify and explain every aspect of their evolution in the future when the stakes are higher.
Proving Impact to Gain Recognition
Some Startup Societies may eventually want to crowd-fund territory and even seek special economic zone status and then, in the final step to becoming a true Network State, diplomatic recognition. In order to gain recognition and negotiate for some limited autonomy from Nation States, a Startup Society can demonstrate its significance by proving population growth and increasing economic impact with indisputable blockchain data.