Victus Spiritus


Motivate the Mean, Empower the Peak, or Support a Social Shift

29 Mar 2010

In reading a number of excellent posts and comments covering a recently proposed bill to reduce the number of accredited early stage investors drastically, I considered the role of motivation and it's relation to performance. Certainly we want to create the widest funnel possible to empower early phase discovery of efficient and valuable startups and businesses. The advantage of a broad early investment pool is to allow concepts that are difficult to grasp at first glance a chance to mature into a real product or service. For much of the first part of any startup the founders and investors are unsure of the marketability and future interest of a service. It is only through implementation and feedback that a more productive path can be selected from the vast unknown technology surface of the future. In simpler terms, the uncertainty of successful startups is quite large at the initial investment phase, so enabling larger brute force searching is to our long term benefit as a society.

The key to cultivating homerun startups is accepting the grim truth that there will be hundreds or thousands of false starts. The experience of startup early employees and founders grows with each successful step. Changing direction rapidly is a job requirement for founders. But successfully building a community and service can only happen with substantial outside support and encouragement. To get to this point many startups require seed investments from friends, family and folks that buy in to the teams potential.

Focused Communities Distance themselves from Average Performance

The great strength of early startups is self selection, and tiny laser beam focus on specific utility now. Previous plans are folded into new prospects within an atmosphere of desperation. These teams sprint at full speed as long as their lives will let them, and just as importantly as long as they have faith in what they're building and the leadership. Over short time periods, weeks or months, startups can leap frog existing barriers by leveraging completely novel frameworks, unavailable to incumbent systems at their design phase. As large and functional as Facebook or Google is now, neither will be capable of completely reinventing themselves in a few months. Their size and momentum restricts their adaptive potential. I suspect spin off startups with key members of both corporations to be peak performers in the next generation of startups.

Localized Super Networks Will Become the Tails of a New World Tech Distribution

We expect markets to catch up in lower tech areas. But the opposite thesis is also possible. Advanced technology hubs may accelerate away from the mean global tech level, creating pockets or kingdoms of ultra tech. Think of Google's gigabit Internet project, and imagine it inspiring a fertile new startup hub. We shouldn't expect a clumping of future technology at the mean, but a wider diversity between interconnected early adoptive communities, and more classic cultures that choose to maintain their current way of life. Neither of these communities will be tied to specific locations, but instead coexist with overlapping social ties through friends, families, associates.

I interract with many people daily that I'm proud to call friends, that I've never met in person before. Society and technology are woven together through increasing threads.