What about a "Valve Swarm Co-operative Story", rather than a "Dotcom Story"?

In this Twitterstream, https://twitter.com/leashless/status/525951988249657344 @Hexayurt and @Alberto discuss the story behind the idea’s of “Dotcom Story”

Alberto Cottica @alberto_cottica 18m18 minutes ago

@leashless @CommonFutrs whatever you think appropriate. There seems to be a need for more structure (like definitions) in #LOTE4

.@alberto_cottica @CommonFutrs For example a “dotcom” story is meet, idea, demo, invest, grow, invest, go public or bust. But for us? #lote4

But Vinay mentions Valve here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BORHRKg-VoI Around 14:14m in he starts talking about Valve. Where Valve is the most successful company in terms of Profit-Per-Employee. Everyone is paid a salary, but they only work on the projects that are interesting to them.

If we’re going to create a successful profit-making project, then we need to take a leaf from Valve’s book in terms of how it’s being run, but rather than using Valve’s ownership structure,  we need to make it employee-owned.

As long as you make the access to ownership as easy as possible, then everyone will prosper.

The idea of a “meet, idea, demo, invest, grow, invest, go public or bust” story is only one method of doing business. One of the alternatives is “meet, idea, self-invest, boot-strap to profitability, continue running as a stable profitable system” and it’s never discussed, as it’s difficult to sell this idea to a bunch of VC’s, who have promised a ridiculous rate of return to justify the massive salaries that they are charging their investors.

The ecological niche that this form of business would work effectively in is the supply and maintenance of infrastructure. https://edgeryders.eu/en/essential

The tools and skills necessary to make the things you need to survive in the medium-to-long-term is relatively simple, https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/London_Hackspace have built it for making things,   http://www.abbeygardens.org/ and http://wickcuriosityshop.net/collection/plant-regulated-growing-system have done it for food , http://hexayurt.com/ have done it for shelter, the same people who worked on http://wickcuriosityshop.net/collection/plant-regulated-growing-system have done it for greenhouses, http://wickcuriosityshop.net/collection/beyond-received-wisdom are doing it for fuel, Solar Panels/Wind Turbines for electricity, and http://opensourceecology.org/ and http://telaithrion.freeandreal.org/ are doing it for agriculture.

What’s next step?

Remember that Gabe owns > 50% of valve

Valve’s owned by a single man http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidewalt/2012/03/07/valve-gabe-newell-billionaire/ which is a hugely important - the price of their internal harmony is that Gabe uses his power to simply (autocratically!) make a stable open space.

If they all owned a chunk of Valve, there’d be huge fighting over the power structure internally - who’s in charge, what should they do, what are our priorities etc.


Why would we fight?

There’s a list of maintenance that has to be done. Everyone takes their fair turn at it. Unfairness problem avoided.

There’s a list of things we want built. Everyone chooses for themselves what to work on next. Organisational problem avoided.

All profits and costs are shared equally. Inequality problem avoided.

All hardware is open-source, and build-able by ourselves. So it’s easy to fork. Lock-in problem avoided.

I don’t see where the technical problems are.

So where do you see the problem’s cropping up?

I just listened to your presentation at #Lote4 https://soundcloud.com/vinay-gupta-17/vinay-gupta-unmonastry-2014-lote4-hexayurt and the problems with building codes is hack-aroundable.

I met someone from a commune in Galicia 7-8 years ago. They told me how they’d been taken to court under the Spanish building codes for not having planning permission. They successfully argued before the court that all of the buildings were temporary structures, that could be easily dismantled and moved, so they didn’t need planning permission.

Some research into the different legal definitions of temporary structure is needed.

In Scottish law, if you have a croft then you don’t need planning permission for a building that is for agricultural use. It means that with croft land, you can easily build all the green-housing you need to grow your food, the plant-regulated growing systems to grow food, hexayurts for the structures, and the workshop space you need to manufacture it all.

There are hacks that can be used to work around these legal issues.

I still don’t see what the major problems are.

Time and engagement

I think there is some difference to reflect on between where the results are about a number of people producing some artefact (hardware or software) which is sold and other activities where the value generated is not so clearly visible or tangible. E.g. placemaking.

Managing governance overheads is a real issue in coops, it is not always compatible with getting things done and being nimble/adaptive under conditions where you cannot pay people to take on the drudgery. E.g. in a starting phase of a new initiative.

It all comes down to time and engagement levels I guess…

my two cents.