The venture citizens village, an experiment

Some years ago I told my friend Tobias Mayer that there had to be an alternative to venture capitalists. “Well, perhaps there could be venture socialists.” Or citizens?

Stats vary, but let’s say that 1 every 100 startups takes off. Taleb describes the startup ecosystem as an antifragile one. Antifragility is basically local Darwinism. You lift weights with your arm, the fragile cells of your muscle die, the strong ones expand, your arm is now stronger. Back in the startup world, this means that the 1 that makes it learns big time from the 99 who died miserably. The 99 are necessary. They are idea compost.

I’m ok with the weaker ideas dying. What I don’t want is the people behind them to die as well. Imagine 100 developers and/or designers, each with a promising idea for a tech startup. They have somehow expressed their desire to collaborate with each other developing software products. Let’s say they agree to settle in a new village as citizens. Venture citizens. The village could be a co-working space, a shed or simply the net.

They begin working in their startup orchard. Every so often they trim their projects, deciding to focus more and more. They are paving the way for that one (or two? or three?) project out of the hundred. When projects are abandoned, the idea dies, but not the person. Anyone can choose their project at any time. Merit is constantly being assessed by everyone. If not that many people are needed at any one time, the others can work trying out new projects or sell services. A rough idea so far. I hope you like it. I personally do.