They’re a blogging platform designed to replace WordPress (and disrupt Automattic, the company that created it). The idea is that they are dedicated to making the best possible blogging platform for USERS. And they’re going to do it by creating an open source platform, curating the best attributes, cutting the rest, and eventually creating an open source company out of it.
The developer is a world-class talent who could easily have done this as a start-up. Instead, he wanted to create the best possible blogging platform without regards to pleasing investors, etc. The point is that he wanted to make the best possible product, not to just make money (though he will make money), and he knew that if he did this as a start-up, he wouldn’t be able to do that. He knew that once he took money, he would be beholden to the money guys. What he cared about was the product, and he raised the money to do this because he shared his vision with the world, and the world agreed.
In case you are missing it, let me be clear: This is a new business model. This is a new business model, and it can’t exist without crowdfunding.
Its not pure altruism, it’s not pure profit motive, its not really a socially conscious business, it’s a combination of these things, and it focuses on the thing that actually matters: how the product actually benefits real people. It focuses on meaning first, profit second.
[Incidentally, I found out after the speech about something called a Benefit Corporation, so even the legal world is moving this way].
These are just a few hypotheticals and one specific example. I don’t want to get bogged down in them. But what I am telling you is that equity crowdfunding is not going to be what you expect. Its not just going to be Angel and VC investing, but more of it. It’s going to create new things, things we haven’t seen before.
What does this mean?
Plainly put: Equity crowdfunding will change the world because it puts any idea–no matter how difficult to implement or revolutionary or challenging to the protected powerful elite–into the realm of possibility.
How? Equity crowdfunding connects ideas with the money and people that can make them happen.
There is now a true path that enables anyone to do anything. You can already build companies cheaply, and you can already connect with people all over the world. The missing component was that you couldn’t effectively raise capital unless the idea appealed to institutional investors. This meant big companies had incredible advantages over everyone else.
But now anyone can do that. raise the money to directly compete with the biggest companies in the world. All you have to be have are three things:
1. An internet connection
2. A compelling idea
3. The ability to convince other people to commit money to your idea
Now, whether you can implement the idea is a different thing, that’s up to you. But the obstacles are now gone.
The dreamers can’t sit in cafes and sip their lattes and talk about what they’d do if the system was fair. It is fair now. It’s as fair as we’re ever going to get in this imperfect, shitstorm of a world we live in. You are free to come up with ideas, the means to connect to the world exists, and now you can raise the money for the company.
Equity crowdfunding + Bitcoin = Democracy
What happens when you add Bitcoin to this?
And add blockchain technology on top of this–like Bitcoin–and all of the sudden, not only can you finance any project, you can do it from anywhere, taking money from anyone.
This allows people to vote on the world they want to live in, WITH THEIR MONEY. This enables the poor and disenfranchised a chance to compete with the rich and powerful.
What equity crowdfunding does then, is that is basically enables the closest thing to a true democratic meritocracy ever. The closest the world has ever gotten is to this sort of freedom is probably America in the 20th century (pre-9/11), and even as free as we were, there were–and still are–so many barriers, not to success, but to competition.
This is actually my ultimate point:
Crowdfunding will be one of history’s great developments because it provides large masses of otherwise disenfranchised people to organize ideas and capital to compete against entrenched powers.
Equity crowdfunding + bitcoin, on top of the existing internet framework, creates the truest economic democracy the world has ever seen.
I think a mechanism for EQUITY crowdfunding was the last piece of the puzzle.
That’s as world changing as it gets.
Given these facts–that equity crowdfunding allows true competition of ideas in a free and fair market–implies that everyone should back it. Think about it; if you care about these things:
2. the American Dream
4. and human empowerment, and
How can you not be excited about the opportunity to create more of each of these things?
Equity crowdfunding creates true economic democracy. The only people who can reasonably be against crowdfunding are those who have a powerful position who don’t want competition.
Below is a link to the full slideshow presentation in PDF format.