ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP & DECENTRALIZATION


Friday evening we sat together with the almost grown-up children barbecuing, on this wonderful late summer evening. Only one year left until the graduation of my man's son. We asked him and his girlfriend: What are your plans? Do you know how things will continue for you after school?

It was through this topic that I came to my memories from my professional life. I said to the group:

"I was just thinking about what was probably the most impressive and exciting experience in my professional life and I would like to tell you the story."

So I did. It was nice to draw from memory, especially because this is a shared experience between my current partner and me. When we had the agency back then, we were just colleagues, but not a couple. As I had already told you in this Steemit article, "The Earth on sale!", it was he and I who motivated his idea and then the whole agency team started to work on it. It was "new business" and we were so inspired by our plan to put the world up for sale that we mobilized incredible energy and creativity. Every employee of our small agency was captured by it and everyone worked with enthusiasm and their ideas.

I remember that it was around this time that I got a facebook account, it was all quite new. The spirit of optimism of the new media continued despite the failures of Internet companies - they called it the "bursting Internet bubble" - and we were also infected by the fire of the pioneers.

Our idea to sell the earth in the form of advertising claims in the literal sense was as simple as it was good. If you imagine untouched land, but its value has already been measured and classified, you can perhaps imagine how quickly people understood the idea of securing a familiar street, a historical site, a modern building, or an impressive natural habitat. To claim the virtual ownership of Broadway, the Taj Mahal, the 17th of June Street, the Empire State Building, Mecca, Timbuktu, Lake Constance, etc. with a virtual claim, who would want to say "no"?

Advertising and trading, dialogues and friendships, all on one platform: A fantastic opportunity!

As we know, people always want to have what others already own and the idea of "owning" a city like Johannesburg, Los Angeles or Berlin before someone else snaps it away has been a bomb-proof affair for us. We live in a world of commerce and property is probably one of the most important aspects. We are obsessed with the question of ownership.

We were thinking of exploiting it. The gold digger's instinct, which we felt strongly ourselves, we would transfer to everyone we told about our idea. And it worked out very well!

What did we do? We brainstormed until our brains glowed, wrote storyboards and advertising slogans, painted collages, made little films that served as carriers for business meetings, including even a music clip with an indirect reference to our product. If you watch our works today, you'll smile about how clumsy they look and how much has changed technically since then! But let me tell you, we made a sales just with the idea without any existing real business behind it and sold a claim for 40.000 Euro in one meeting with a company.

In this film (which we made just for fun & to show amongst friends) here you can see our former co-workers who were supposed to perform that they were the owners of the sights shown and at the end you can see my then very young son and his kindergarten friend saying: "My dad bought a stadium!" You can imagine our joy in making that stuff.

Here is the more serious promotional film we made in cooperation with an audio/music studio to convince companies of our idea:

I'm sorry, it's all in German. We also had an English version, but it's not available. Note, that we put this videos online when the business already was over, or shortly before it was.

Here is the music video, in which our intern played the leading role.

The tile of that song is: "Everything you want" - Feinkost plays for globe-location.com. It merely says "I don't give a shit about plastic. I want gold." It does not necessarily represent my view today, but back then I found it great.

Losing everything

As you can read in said first article, we went down with man and mouse. The agency is long gone and my career has taken me somewhere else. Sometimes I get nostalgic and think that I had very exciting times in my life, which give me a rich memory.

Since I worked as a media professional for many years and always followed the latest trends, because this was my job, I experienced many things very closely and at the pulse of time.

If you ever had your own company and you put all your eggs in one basket, don't have a plan B,

... are convinced you're doing the right thing: that's probably the best feeling I've ever had (except, of course, falling in love with a man). It has to be something of its own, an idea you know no one has ever put into practice. It's exciting, inspiring, infectious and it has given me and everyone else involved such a good feeling about life for quite some time that I hardly find the bitter weeks and months afterwards worth talking about. If you have the right thought at the right time, it is incomparable.

The crypto currency founders and blockchain inventors will have had it that way. Everyone suspected that they had something wonderful at stake and that the whole thing could be very successful.

We thought the same and we would certainly have made progress if the financial crisis hadn't shattered all our dreams that summer. Our financiers were suddenly no longer interested. We couldn't believe it for we were thousand percent positive that the thing would be a huge success.

I described how many of the acquaintances and business partners worked on the project on their own initiative, all without earning any money for it, all because they had the vision of this business model. We were the drivers, but without the others we wouldn't have been able to get it as far as we did.

There wasn't anyone in our immediate circle who would have found "Globe Location" bad or wanted to talk us out of the idea. The potential was really easy to understand.

Much more difficult do people do with a thing that does not work at such a rapid pace at first glance. Where you don't really see through the concept of a thing. The humans understand by crypto currency a chance to drive trade without having a middleman (the bank). Without the central banks who regulate the money market.

But trade for trade's sake? Who likes to do that? And is that something that survives a short kick? And does not require continuously those kicks?

How I understand decentralization

... is like, for example, a house that was put on an open square and now the passers-by, interested people can freely decide which extensions, improvements the house should receive. Everybody knows the building plan (or can find it) and can orientate himself by the architectural drawing. Everyone can decide for themselves whether to build a new entrance or not.

Whether people will use this access or not: nobody dictates it to them. There is only the information that an access has been built there. Depending on their habits, tastes and knowledge, visitors pick up the existing or a new tool or think that they could do even better. The whole thing is based on the open source idea, in which the many can and do participate and are not forced to do so. Who do they do it for? For themselves? For others? Certainly both. The currents decide what is used and what is unused. That is the technical side. One could say that technically everything is well solved or prepared. It simply depends on the creative will of the visitors whether they invest their own share. The reasons are manifold and often difficult to understand.

The technicians, programmers and inventors of new approaches and digital surfaces can prove their skills. Anyone can be an architect if they have the ability. In contrast to a real house, where an entrance was installed incorrectly or clumsily, nothing can happen with a digital house. It cannot collapse or mislead. If it is bad, or unknown or unpopular, it is simply not used.

As nice as this decentralization is, it also has its disadvantages.

It seems there is no one to talk to when I see a personal problem to be addressed. But is that true?

The technology is not always designed for the best, because many have been complaining for a long time that only the highest voted articles appear on the trend pages of Steemit, but are not at all representative. If it's just the numbers that determine a strong presence, you can question it. So how can we solve the problem - if it is defined as a problem - that on the trend pages that reflect the face of Steemit in the outside world there are other blog posts than the one with the most votes?

Some time ago I have briefly spoken to @bauloewe and find @trufflepig and other quality seekers who have automated their search and subjected it to a certain algorithm debatable. Sometimes @verifyme finds my blog and treats me. Perhaps a rotation among these solutions would be nice, why not? Is there a method to decide that? I'll come to that in a minute.

Who determines the exterior façade of Steemit?

Is this a question that the Witnesses can answer?

I am a little privy to the work of the witnesses, nor have I understood it in detail, although there was no lack of good will. Are the witnesses themselves able to explain their work in such a way that all participants understand it?

I, too, am nobody who actively pursues a kind of political work in the sense of contact with the representatives (on- and offline). But I know that there are people who do and love this. Also, I can try to get the witnesses attention when I put in there names in here. So, that is what I do. I call for those I voted for: @roelandp, @blocktrades, @timcliff, @ausbitbank, @curie, @pharesim, @reggaemuffin, @delegate.lafona, @stem.witness and @utopian.io (which is not on the list anymore). Some of those witnesses aren't active anymore, as it seems. So who is more in charge?

It looks like the crash course has caused many to leave the platform.

Those who blogged here without any risk and generated income only had to make the decision to cash out at the right moment. In a system that has enough other and diverse participants, that's no problem. Just as it is no problem that some behave abusively, because in fact there is no system and no organization made by people that does not also accommodate participants who behave antisocially and benefit from the activity and prosperity of others. But a system that is not large enough to cope with this can degenerate and come to a standstill.

It is as if people had gradually dismantled the bricks for the house and taken them with them. Passers-by then only see a building that seems to be half-finished and forgotten, while the neon sign still asks: "Say friend, and enter!"

But in reality everything is still exactly as it was at the beginning. The potential is there, the opportunity and the will of the few, to have a long view on the whole. If we don't act as if Steemit failed and don't hold back our own disappointment, we can't advertise it with a clear conscience.

However, the sense of ownership and habit of us modern people in civilizations is a completely different one.

Property means taking care of it and taking full responsibility for it. When I compare our former company with that of Steemit, I see huge differences. If I don't own a thing in the first place, if I don't consider it my own, how can I contribute my energy and my confidence with the same verve? Who do I go to, who do I talk to about the possibilities and my intentions?

But that is also what is exciting about Steemit and the Blockchain.

Not to call something "one's own", not to have a classical hierarchy and central control, is like a possibility to dissolve the traditional without having to fight or condemn it. Instead of being bitter and disappointed that everyone else behaves as usual (despotic owners), this is a chance to take a very close look at one's sense of ownership. With this, I do not mean not to own anything. Ownership is still required, otherwise there is no start.

If you are among those who express dissatisfaction and regularly complain that people simply don't have a plan, don't understand Steemit, and are short-sighted or pessimistic, I would ask: Maybe you haven't gotten used to this form of freedom yet either? To have the freedom to exert influence, to represent a thing of which a negative development can be seen and to remain calm, although many have left the ship: that is only remarkable and of goodness when you have something other than your own disappointment to offer.

Basically, you can say that you feel and act just as ordinary as everyone else.

Think: Where have you ever experienced that things are decided by consensus outside your personal circle of friends and family? And often, not even there. The ones who make this experience real and move outside the usual domains are the eco-villages on the one hand and the open source projects on the Internet on the other. These are very small minorities.

If you inform yourself about the structure and decision-making processes of eco-villages, you will see that the general public and the welfare of others are in the centre of attention, often even against your own first choice and preference.

The rest of us are used to thinking and deciding according to the majority principle.

Often, however, the most unusual things have found their way into life, not reflecting a majority opinion, but those of the three to five percent of a population who thought the unthinkable. That anything could come of it is only because people with influence could warm up to it and achieve implementation with their money and power. Not having in mind that this would make them even richer and more famous, but probably because they enjoyed doing something for the general public as well as the environment in terms of plants and animals. without being the focus of attention themselves. Simply because it is fun to serve.

None of us is a true servant. We are all corruptible and selfish in thought and action.

We live the hierarchy as we know it.

True consensus is tedious, difficult to achieve and a lot of work. It contradicts quick results and sometimes exactly contrary to what we determine for our first choice.

The fascination I felt when I first heard about systemic consensual voting was therefore great relief, a feeling of "Aha!"

A formal method of reaching consensus without the lengthy and exhausting debates until everyone is satisfied, how is that possible?

It's actually just a trick, an abbreviation, and yet one that's so effective and good that I was amazed that not all people want to take up this method because it's so much better than holding a central election according to the only preference and being able to vote for just one thing instead of voting for what triggers the least resistance (pain) in you personally; which includes more than one thing.

The method is so simple that it is quickly underestimated and dismissed as unimportant. The result is completely different. Where have you ever heard of all participants leaving the room after a vote and everyone, really everyone, experiencing the greatest possible degree of satisfaction? We like to talk about a win-win situation, but where and how does it come about?

I wrote here about this method and you should go there and see what is meant by the "least inner resistance" on decision making.

We could use this method here on Steemit.

To discuss the issues and to elect for solutions in that way. Why not?

Everyone likes to say that they want to do it differently, but if there are ways that make this other thing possible, you have to apply it. Otherwise, old wine will remain in new bottles.

Probably the most interesting question for me would be how a Hardfork according to this principle of the consensual method would turn out.

Those who put the lever for the changes in place, what did they orient themselves by? My attitude towards life and people is to give priority to resources and positive intentions. When people are encouraged rather than valued, they usually act more in solidarity. Only the environment needs to be changed, not the human being. The framework creates behavior and thinking, not the thinking and behavior that happens under the same conditions.

Therefore, my challenge would be to those who have influence here: Inform yourself about the method of consensual choice. See if you want to do it for yourself and do the trust experiment that tends to always assume human potential as given, always assuming the best.

Thank you for your attention.


Comments 6


To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

26.08.2019 08:21
1

Thanks, that was almost good enough to listen to. Interesting. Did the AI meanwhile improve? I was trying it a while ago and it was no pleasure to listen. I guess it also depends on the correct interpunction, but even than the AI voice makes some funny mistakes :-D Are you working on it or does it learn automatically?

26.08.2019 14:30
0

I can't believe I can vote. I can read your post. I can comment. We have survived Hardfok21!
Now, to your comments. It's really wrong of me to offer a suggestion about your perspective. I've never owned a business...would be the worst entrepreneur. But my brothers have, so I understand the risk, the upside and downside. Eventually, they both found success, mostly through hard work and ingenuity.

As for Steemit: I'm amazed as I write this at the cleverness of people who can make this thing work.

I don't resent the uneven distribution of rewards. I remember @abigail-dantes' blog about jealousy, and the way our brains are primed to compare. Resentment arises not from what we have, or don't have, but from what others have.

Although I'm not religious I remember a gospel that used to be read on Sundays (my mother took us every week). It told of people hired to sheer sheep. Those who came at the end of the day got paid as much as those who worked all day. The 'unfairness' of it rankled. But the lesson was, as long as you get what you are promised, why do you care what someone else gets. I think the lesson is kind of the same as @abigail-dantes blog. If we don't compare to others, but just consider what we have, we'll save ourselves a lot of grief.

So, here on Steemit, I think of what I want. As long as I'm getting that....the trending page, the whales, the bots...none of it matters. I stop looking over my shoulder and decide if I'm getting what I want out of the platform. If the time ever comes when the answer to that is, "no", then I'll go away.

As entrepreneurs, I believe those who own and run the platform should try to make sure that I, and others like me, continue to have a positive experience.

As usual, Erika, a provocative, thoughtful blog. I loved the the video with the kids. Your son is adorable. (I think I'll watch that video again 😇)

Warm regards and happy Hardfork21,
AG

28.08.2019 00:12
2

Hey dear, I was hoping for your visit :)

I am a bit more critical when it comes to the mechanics and decision making processes of this platform. Once in a while I get into confrontation and debates about the matters of voting.

While someone like you and me could say that as long as this serves the purposes of blogging and publishing articles, everything is fine. We do not depend on this thing to be successful in the way it's mostly defined.

So, my answer will be a long one and I hope, you don't mind.

Since the intention and the long-term vision of Steemit wants to be carried by someone, one may well ask oneself whether this thought still counts at all.

I suspect that right from the start there was a worm in Steemit's system and that this worm was digging its way through the whole thing and is now forcing to take measures that, if the design had been a different one at the beginning, wouldn't have started digging at all.

First: The downvote function.

From my point of view, it is completely superfluous and counterproductive. Punishment in a long-term system contradicts the idea of something new and decentralized, the very original idea of democracy and autonomy. Those who hold back content for fear of punishment, who do not dare to stand up for their position, lose their authenticity. If fear dominates my action, what is a system good for? How quickly the downvote button can be pressed: such a design I call bad.

At least you should build in some security hurdles and ask the questions as soon as you press the downvote button: "Are you sure you want to do this? What are the reasons for your action? And do you think that it will encourage the person it's meant to meet to make their actions positive? Or could perhaps the opposite of what you are hoping for occur?"

But not even with this hurdle would I advocate this function. I would want to abolish it completely. Well, that's an interesting question, isn't it? If I operate in a decentralized system where such questions seem to play a really big role, then there should be a means by which all participants can vote. If, in the end, it turns out that the button is desired according to my principle of consensual voting, that would be a point of reference for many of us. But to distribute this idea it needs attention and to be pushed to those, who influence this platform. So far, nobody has bothered to take a closer look and therefore this method doesn't take up speed. I see the limits of my influence to push it.

Secondly, the distribution of payouts.

Whether 50/50 or 72/25: I would like to decide for myself how high the share of distribution should be. Why not introduce several options where I can freely choose the ratio and check every single contribution to be published. It would certainly make a difference and train accountability if I always had a final thought about distribution.

But if you now have a bot that has simply saved the most advantageous default settings for the recipient, and who basically has no special interest in the developments and debates at Steemit, and maybe doesn't even stay here actively any more, you won't care as long as you can generate your passive income with it. On the other hand, there are also bots that have a built-in altruism and scan for contributions that they classify as "quality".

I really don't have an overview of what the ratio is in numbers and effects of these two.

All in all, however, I would say that Steemit does have a design that makes abuse possible and even attractive. This mistake in the basic design is, in my opinion, due to the beginnings where the mining of crypto currency and the transfer into the functioning of the media distribution of content took place.

As you say, sometimes it has to do with envy and I agree with you. Where it's not about envy, but about the refreshing prospect of a platform that has a complementary currency to the vision of dealing with material things, such as the art being exhibited here, it's different. These people would like to trade with the Steem and exchange products and services on the basis of Steem and not the national currency. They want cryptocurrency to be legalized. That's a long way and people forget about this vision in the conflicts occurring.

At the time of the Steemit honeymoon this was possible. I bought my first artwork ever directly from an artist through SBD! I wonder which of the remaining artists would engage in such a trade during this time and exchange my SBD for his artwork. This can now be extended to other areas like fashion, furniture and all kinds of services.

I must leave now. Feel hugged and greeted warmly!
Yours Erika

28.08.2019 07:15
3

My Dear Erika,

Your points are valid. There is a vision (was a vision) that is larger than blogging. This could be so big. It could change people's lives. I think the conflict is between those who believe they have a right to profit off investment (of time, creativity and money) and those who would like to transform the relationship between money and society.

I remember a quote from Rousseau: "Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains". The chains today are imposed by an global cooperation between government and business. Order is imposed through fiat. Crypto is a threat because it operates outside the system. That's why the banks won't accept crypto. That's why governments won't acknowledge it. They can't control it.

Perhaps the people who have power here might consider Henry Ford's business model. He said he wanted to build a car everyone could afford. He recognized that by making his car accessible, he would make himself rich. The changes in Hardfork21 do seem to make the blockchain less accessible. Participation by greater numbers of people does not seem to be the goal.

But I'm not sophisticated about money. I can't make a detailed analysis, as you have. This may all work out. Maybe clever people can see virtue I miss. I hope so. Because I really would love to see Steemit (Steem) grow.

I appreciate your detailed answer. I actually understand more now than I did 24 hours ago.

Here's hoping we're both here in a year, and that the platform has blossomed by then.

With Respect, Affection and Regard,
AG

28.08.2019 18:09
2

Thank you, I'm glad you're taking part in this reflection.

The vision is a much more long-term one. Yes, it is about governments and companies having it too. Series like Startrek set the example. They move in a world that already lives what many would like. The negative headlines and pessimistic views always say that something like this would not work and also not that this many people can be satisfied. Firstly, this is not proven and secondly, you simply don't have to believe it, even if it could be true (future isn't set yet). One only has to classify this ideology as beneficial for oneself. There is no leap into the future, there are long stretches where you threaten to forget where you are going because there are so many twists and turns that you sometimes have to take.

The decision-makers and the so-called powerful are ultimately only people who have the same fears and hopes as everyone else. But insofar as they are attacked, defamed or badmouthed in public, they become stubborn, sad or even vindictive. Everything that circulates in this world of communication ultimately reaches each one of us.

Those who take this wailing all too seriously from the higher hierarchies will think that this is exactly what is required of them: To divide and rule. Whether above or below: One overhears pragmatic proposals like mine of systemic consensus.

This is exactly what happens here on Steemit. Those who can make a difference believe that they are called upon to divide and rule. They are too impressed. As a result, they make central decisions and believe they have to adapt the same shoe size to everyone. But we know that you can't satisfy everyone, no matter what you decide. The decision about satisfaction has to be made by each individual, but it needs access and the framework conditions. Trust the individual and see what happens collectively.

Didn't another philosopher say that we hold the key to our chain in our own hands? :-D

I so much appreciate talking to you. I know it sometimes can be really bothersome.
You and I are at least making a difference, too.

29.08.2019 06:29
0