Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Markets Should Be At The Helm

Citizinvestor bit the dust... Learning From the Civic Tech Graveyard.  I found that article because I subscribe to Google alerts for "civic crowdfunding".

Here's the feedback that I shared with the website...

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Hi,

I just finished reading your interesting article "LEARNING FROM THE CIVIC TECH GRAVEYARD" and wanted to share my thoughts. 

Here's a relevant quote from Peter Thiel...

"We are biased toward the democratic/republican side of the spectrum. That’s what we’re used to from civics classes. But the truth is that startups and founders lean toward the dictatorial side because that structure works better for startups. It is more tyrant than mob because it should be. In some sense, startups can’t be democracies because none are. None are because it doesn’t work. If you try to submit everything to voting processes when you’re trying to do something new, you end up with bad, lowest common denominator type results."

From his perspective, a dictator rather than a mob should be at the helm of a company.   But then what's the issue with a dictator being at the helm of an entire country?  It's not like any given individual is wiser when they are in charge of a company.   The difference is that it's easier for people to leave a company than it is to leave a country.   Abandoning a sinking company is easier than abandoning a sinking country. 

I agree with Thiel that democracy is worse than dictatorships for companies.   Yet... our country uses democracy to choose who should be at our country's helm.   The result is lowest common denominator leadership.   Basically, we end up with idiots at the helm. 

So Thiel considers dictatorships to be better than democracy for companies.... but there's one alternative that he didn't even consider... the market. 

After reading your article I was disappointed that there wasn't a comment section.   I like the topic so I enjoyed reading your thoughts on it, and would have also enjoyed reading other people's thoughts on the topic.  Obviously I would have also enjoyed the opportunity to publicly share my own thoughts with other people interested in the topic. 

With your organization's current system a dictator decides whether to facilitate comments.   Obviously your dictator has decided against comments.  What are the chances though that this is the best decision?  If the chances were good, then it wouldn't be an issue for countries to have dictators.   It stands to reason that an even poorer decision would be made by allowing everybody to vote for or against comments.   My best guess is that the best decision would be made by donations.   Whichever option received the most donations would be implemented. 

Every significant decision could, and should be, a fundraiser for your organization.   The market would steer your organization in the most valuable direction.   If not, then we shouldn't allow the market to steer the entire private sector. 

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