The First Post
Today is my first day as an entrepreneur. Everything that came before this was just practice. Even the 5 years running Nine Lines, although largely self-directed, was primarily a study in doing other people’s work. This time, the vision is completely my own. Now the difficult task of building begins.
My new endeavor is driven by 3 high-level ideas:
- Massive impact — Odds are this venture will fail. So if it’s risk you seek, might as well go for broke! I’m committed to contributing to society whatever skills and traits at my disposal to leave as large and positive an impact on the world as possible.
- Network effects — The majority of massive new ventures today are platforms, a trend that’s still greatly increasing. Network effects — systems where each additional user increases the value of the system for every other user — are the first competitive advantage that’s truly native to the Internet era. Because software is fungible and organizing people is cheaper and faster than ever, a great idea needs to grow as rapidly and sharply as possible. This meant for me personally that I was looking for a business concept to found that 1) had the technical features of a fast-growth platform with 2) the capacity to have a large and positive impact on society while 3) being centered around something I had a unique vision and perspective. Which brings me to…
- Journalism and democracy — I’ve always had a special, awestruck respect for journalism. It doesn’t have the credentialing systems like law and medicine, but like those professions, there’s an (often unwritten) code of conduct and oath of service that great journalists take seriously. The first amendment protects freedom of speech, granting journalists the right to watchdog the powerful and create safe spaces for people to voice their concerns, priorities, ideas and opinions. I believe a healthy news media strongly correlates with a healthy democracy, and the opposite is also true.
That’s why I’m starting a new social media company to fundamentally change the way we connect with each other.
We will champion honest reporting, inclusive perspectives and civil discourse. We will change how we stay informed, shape public opinion and take civic action as a society.
Interested? I’m looking to meet technologists, designers, civil servants, and anybody passionate about creating a more connected future. Get in touch.