The Aragon Mission

Empowering unstoppable organizations through freedom of collaboration

Picture by bhipes

Perspective

Understanding collaboration as the work of two or more people towards the achievement of a common goal, trade is one of the oldest forms of collaboration. The transfer of value between entities has for centuries motivated people to work together to fulfill a greater potential: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Bartering of goods and services happened in prehistoric times, before the invention of modern-day currency. Trade networks are known to have thrived as long as 3000BC in some Mediterranean routes. The Greek civilization and the Roman Empire flourished under the coordination of networks of value. Then came the Middle Ages, as banks were created and cargo ships helped establish more complex trade networks around Europe and Central Asia.

Humanity headed into the Industrial Revolution, where organizations started to evolve in ways not very different from the ones present in modern day companies. The latter organizations have succeeded mostly by centralizing assets to their own benefit. Talent, IP, energy, data… all under hierarchical organizational models imposed by the founding/ruling management team.

Recently born and constantly evolving DAOs bring a completely new game to the table, where participants in a network can decide on new forms of governance and structure. Voting rights are assigned and distributed meritocratically with a few clicks, activities and roles are being redefined and power is shifting from a top-down model to a contribution-based one.

Collaboration, as we’ve seen, has shaped the way societies progress for millennia. People have been making alliances and deals forever, and whether the motivation behind them was to do less work and pay others to do it through hiring or to do more of the work you like by specializing your skills, it has functioned well in growing the efficiency of collaboration systems, making them more productive over time and evolving the quality of working conditions into higher standards.

Market Scene by Peter “Tall Pete” Aertsen, 1550

Freedom

These are exciting times for freedom lovers. The organization of people around a common goal in free fashion is one of the key foundations for the achievement of success, whatever form success takes for a given group. Until now humans have been doing this as freely as the reigning organism above them wished. Whether a nation-state, a monarchy, or equivalent, the freedom of the individuals that took part in that system to organize around a shared objective was limited by how far the wish of the reigning organism went.

Current systems have also been very inefficient in harnessing the potential talent that might be able to help a mission achieve its goal in a free environment. In a world where information takes nanoseconds to go from one point of the globe to another, the coordination of talent still takes a geographical approach in most projects or companies being created. National regulation compliance (sometimes straight censorship) and a lack of trust are probably the most common reasons that lead to centralization not being so much a choice but a requirement for many organizations.

Regulation is different in every country, which makes it a nightmare for teams trying to enhance talent around the globe. There’s regulation in the organization side and regulation in the worker side. Of course, there’s taxation in both too. To be able to solve these troubles in many different jurisdictions simultaneously takes time and resources most starting organizations simply can’t afford. While the world has gone digital, jurisdictions are still handwritten. A digital jurisdiction is very much needed. To quote Luis’ words, “the things you can make shouldn’t be determined by your passport”.

Trust is the key to any efficient organism within an economy. Until someone under a Japanese pseudonym gifted us with a trustless mechanism for financial interactions in early 2009, we were deemed to believe in intermediaries to assure us some confidence about the terms we were under with whoever was on the other side of the deal. Trust can now be decentralized, allowing for an infinitely more efficient and transparent coordination of the parts.

Freedom of collaboration is just as important as the freedom of speech, choice or religion .Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are here to empower sovereign individuals who would rather spend their time doing useful things than asking for permission.

Aragon

Aragon is a way for people to collaborate around a mission without asking for permission. It’s not only a useful tool, but also a new approach to creating organizations. A different way to think about what you can do for the world. A limitless mindset. A choice. Aragon is a lifestyle.

Let’s face it, what you do for a living is a big part of your time. In a free environment, your life is a product of the choices you make about how to use your time. Until now, these choices were in many cases limited by geography, financial opportunity, and in the worst scenarios censorship, social stratification, gender or race. Aragon is not the magic wand that will solve all of these problems at once and forever, but it can be the foundation for many of them to be left behind and let anyone thrive; the foundation for anyone to make a living by contributing to the projects and missions that are most inspiring, motivating or challenging, regardless of physical location, financial opportunity or social status.

Access to opportunity has for centuries been controlled by single entities, which would grant it to you based on whatever terms they decided: price, equity, or even bribery. The world has had enough. Aragon software lets anyone create and govern an organization on the Ethereum blockchain with transparency, simplicity and ease of use. Human interaction can take many forms, all of which can be coordinated with Aragon so that code is the only party to be trusted.

Organizations will find the cure for cancer. Organizations will search for life in outer space. Organizations will make products that make us laugh, think, love. Organizations drive the world forward. Let’s help them.

Action

Aragon 0.5 is about to be released, and it will go through a testing period before its mainnet launch some time in the near future. But how can those passionate about Aragon contribute?

To assess what we can do to contribute to Aragon, we must define who “we” are in simple terms:

  1. People who believe in the freedom to create organizations no matter who you are and where you are.
  2. People who believe in the freedom to collaborate with others no matter who you are and where you are.
  3. People who are willing to take action for the realization of these principles.

That’s all it takes. We don’t need permission from anyone to help Aragon achieve its mission. In fact, it’s unknown what Aragon will become in the future, but these principles will always make sense no matter what the direction, objectives or even name of the project is, and if we build the right community of people around them, we can make them a reality.

Thinking is positive, but action must accompany (Cartoon by Dan Reynolds)

The core team is quite brilliant. Pretty much anyone can directly or indirectly talk to any of them at any time, which helps understand their vision for the project. It is now focused heads down on the development of the platform, which makes sense looking at where the project and the ecosystem are in terms of maturity. It’s still a very developer-focused product, and so are the project’s communications.

They’re working hard to help decentralized organizations solve the world’s greatest challenges, but they’re a ~20 people team with the limitations that that implies. They understand decentralizing the project’s own development is a strength, and they’re encouraging others to help Aragon.

Aragon must be a limitless community of freedom fighters. The eagle is breaking out of the shell, and we can start to take action.

Actions that can help Aragon achieve short and long term goals can be generally divided into two fields: development and communication.

Development covers all actions regarding the technical build of the project. Right now, efforts are focused on Aragon Core, AragonOS and Aragon Apps. Collaboration mostly happens through the #dev channel in the community chat and through github. Lots of new initiatives are taking place now, like Aragon Nest and Aragon Labs. These and others will grow through time, so hackers must actively coordinate to keep up with the opportunities for contributions. Activity should keep growing — anyone can contribute by creating, fixing and improving.

Communication includes all efforts helping raise awareness and understanding of the power of Aragon. Contributions to this matter are currently somewhat more decentralized than development ones in the sense that no one has to merge your pull requests. That is, you can start communicating the value of Aragon right now. If you’ve read this far, you have probably been doing so inadvertently for months now. You are excited about the potential of the project and you talk about it to your friends, peers, people in your network… We can take that to the next level.

Now

Now that the 0.5 version is coming out and the project development is being gradually decentralized, the Aragon Network can work on incentives for activities regarding the growth of the project and its community. Real tokens, real voice. We must harness the power of decentralization at its finest.

In the medium run, the founding team is giving users and contributors as much power as they have. In the long term, the goal is for the community to have all the power. They are literally saying that the Aragon Network will start providing resources for those who are not part of the Core Developer Company but are willing to contribute to this amazing project. We could even start seeing healthy competition between groups for who’s doing better work for the network! If we can take a single lesson from these talented individuals it’s that Aragon is worth our time and effort.

What we can do is therefore an open issue. It’s Aragon’s turn to keep writing the history of human collaboration in a censorship-free manner that lets decentralized organizations succeed in antifragile style. This enormous potential should be fulfilled through the work of the community. We must empower a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Let’s keep asking the right questions. Let’s think, build, discuss and create!

🐜 Find me on Twitter and on aragon.chat @ joselfgaray 🐜