While the Web 2.0 democratized many power structures and created new opportunities, the economic engine is largely privatized and monopolized. Facebook, Uber and AirBnB have created private networks for public infrastructure which they dominate. The Web 3.0 is the antithesis of this, it’s about multiple profit centers sharing value across an open network.
A startup is a shared, constructive delusion. Off in a well-guarded cave, you and your team believe, against dismal odds, that some piece of reality is on the cusp of massive change. You’re the only ones who can make that better reality possible, and you can do it in just a matter of years.
This is not the story of the aging conglomerate that couldn’t innovate and rejected the young startup blood. CNN left us genuinely independent post-acquisition, with a financial, editorial, and technological leash as long as we could wish for. Andrew, Chris, Jeff and everyone else we encountered at CNN was supportive in a way that defies the typical acquisition narrative.
I hid my cowardice behind a screen of “free speech!” I didn’t realize that hate speech, when left unchecked, only serves to imprison valuable and diverse voices that need to be heard. I was blinded by libertarian ideals because it was the libertarian ideals of Silicon Valley that allowed someone as mediocre as me to rise as high as I did. I now realize that if marginalized voices aren’t free, no voices are. I wish I’d read Baldwin instead of Rand. I renounce Ayn Rand as a farce.
I am sorry I’ve let everyone down. I’ve let down the people who put me in this position, believing that I had the leadership qualities to do the job. Obviously, I didn’t. I’ve let down the employees who trusted me with their careers. Because of me, your time here will always be a black mark on your résumés. I’ve let down the people who connect to the world through our platform. Because of me, the most fragile of those voices, the ones that needed the most amplification and protection, have been silenced. The only people I haven’t let down is the fascists. They’re pretty happy.