Trips Community Amongst the Silicon Valley Legends!
I have never been in the Silicon Valley.
I was in United States only once: in Chicago at a business show and then in New York where I didn’t climb the twin towers.
I said to my colleague: “I don’t feel like it, I’ll do it next time”.
It was 1998.
Silicon Valley took the ground from under my feet when in 2008 Airbnb got an investment here.
The idea was so absurd (in theory) that Silicon Valley was probably the only place in the world where they could get funding.
But I told this story many times already, so let’s skip it.
Silicon Valley for me today is most of all Hacker News, a forum which is completely different from all the rest of social media: great content, zero images, an algorithm that tries to prioritize quality and not keep you glued to the screen to extract data from you.
It even has a feature that allows you to limit procrastination.
Silicon Valley is also that mythological place where the companies that control the internet are located.
I say “control”, because the internet was not meant to be an oligopoly of a few mega companies that discovered 20 years before governments how to take control of everything, through data.
The Internet was supposed to be a place where people came into contact with each other (“peer to peer”), through protocols (read: “free and open software that does things automatically without harming you”).
Those were the times when people still believed in democracy, perhaps because they remembered how bad the alternatives were.
Now more and more people who have never experienced non-freedom, only see the flaws in Democracy and think a more authoritarian approach would be more efficient.
Of course it is, freedom has a cost. It always had.
Andreas Antonopolous says this very well “if the biggest criticism you can make for these decentralized systems is that trains don’t run on time,then you are missing the point: sometimes the trains run in time but their destination is a death camp”.
I prefer trains running late, thank you.
Freedom has a cost and we should be happy to pay for it.
In the blockchain world we are paying this cost in Gas and high friction.
We can solve this by centralizing, with all its implicit dangers, or by improving the technology, with all its delays and the enormous effort required.
I vote for the latter.
Freedom you didn’t had to fight for, has no value to you.
Just as that Lambo papa gave you for you 18 years old birthday.
Back to the internet: it has become a place where people come into contact with each other through corporations, with “free and obscure software that does things automatically in exchange for data that you think is worth nothing but they know it’s actually valuable, and you will realize but it’s going to be too late “.
Today, on the other hand, even the people who are most overwhelmed by technology (those who say “oh my God, everything changes so fast, slow down”) are playing all day with Facebook and Whatsapp, feeding the servers of the New Masters with information which is the fuel for countless algorithms that will decide everything about our lives.
If all goes well: how much you will pay for that insurance, if your child will be able to attend that school, how much you will have to wait for that exam.
If all goes to hell: if you can get on that train or that plane, get that government job or use a credit card.
The fact is that technology is an emergent phenomena of the human brain, since the day we invented the wheel.
It’s not a choice, it just happens.
We can’t stop it from happening, we can only try to influence its direction.
Today technology today is pervasive: our choice is between a cave in the mountain or learning to manage it.
If we just express the frustration in keeping up (“oh my God, artificial intelligence will steal our jobs”) we won’t solve anything.
It will keep happening and we will have given up on the chance to give it a direction.
On the other hand, unfortunately, it is also true that the individual alone can’t accomplish much. At most one can limit the damage.
I for instance personally try to avoid Whatsapp and use Signal.
But I’m aware that with the smartphone in my pocket, I’m releasing a terrifying data stream all day long.
The fact that I use Signal probably even generates a lot of red flags about me (because I probably have something to hide) so I am even more tracked than others.
The best way would to fix this is probably via legislation, but I have very little hope that governments can protect their citizens in this new world.
The solution can only be collective. And it can only be technological.
And therefore, the solution will have to come from code, just as the problem came from code.
You don’t fight fire going back to the good old pre-fire days when everything was simpler and we were younger. You learn to master the fire.
Code is the new English: it’s the language in which all the important decisions are going to be made.
Perhaps the solution will come from Silicon Valley, or maybe not, but it is certainly an excellent candidate.
When we settled for Origin Protocol as a partner, the bet was based on the fact that the internet as we experience it today was born there.
The people who created it are still there.
So the people who can fix it are maybe there too.
Those who have invented and created Paypal, Youtube, Google and Dropbox for example:
People who want to try to bring back some balance or simply cannot resist working on exciting and world changing technology.
People who worked alongside legends like Steve Chan, founder of Youtube:
Or Yu Pan, co-founder of Paypal:
It doesn’t hurt that they are backed by an impressive number of great investors.
And above all they have exceptional Partners, like Trips Community:
OK, I admit it, the sole purpose of this article was to brag: we ended up in the home page of Origin Protocol, amongst the legends of Silicon Valley.
I’m still trying to understand what it could mean for Trips.
What does it mean for the credibility of the Trips Community project?
Will it attract new people? Investors? Will it make access to capital easier?
I’ve been asking it for a week and I have no answers.
I guess we’ll see.
In the meanwhile we probably should double our efforts to help them, with testing, feedback, translations and whatever comes to mind.
And let’s also celebrate!
We arrived in this position with a collective effort, with voluntary work, with money raised within the Community, without going through incubators or VCs.
And therefore with our independence still completely preserved.
We are a something new, not a start-up, not a company, not yet a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).
And this being “Uncategorizable” is a condemnation and a blessing at the same time.
I’ve been experiencing it for twenty years on my skin, trust me, I know.
Let’s end up on a happy note and see a video designed to please even the most traditional tastes. To me it says: “mainstream, we’re coming!”