Imagine a prison with a hundred inmates and one guard.
All the inmates want to escape. Of course the guard does not. He stands up on a wall with a rifle and fires at anyone trying to climb it to take him down.Â If one prisoner tries it, he fails and dies. If they all do, they win.
This is the essence of web businesses. Low startup costs increase reduce the cost of failure, break down barriers to entry and provide opportunity to many more people than previously possible. This reduction in friction leaves you more of a chance, with your stronger opponent being taken from all sides.
So, all that is required to destroy monopolies and hierarchy is for more people to allowed to try. That’s because it doesn’t matter if YOU succeed, as long as they do not.
You can apply this to any circumstance: social coercion, politics, writing, or art. In all cases low cost of failure reduces risk and makes trying plausible. This distributes success more widely across the population (though outliers will still exist).
Here’s what I’m thinking: the society (or individual) who makes the cost of failure the lowest, while retaining the ability to reap rewards, gets the greatest increase in productivity and living quality.Â In a sense, this increases the biodiversity of a society and therefore, its ability to survive disasters.
This quality could be defined, by your society or yourself, as a right to play, and it’s probably the most important thing you can allow yourself, as a creative person in the web age. Google does this with their 20% time, paying employees for what may result in nothing but could also result in huge hits. They make this viable by defending their cash cow (defense, or the game of the old) while embracing innovation (offense, or the game of the young).
Strategically, I think this means you’re supposed to look for a big hit, then move it into your portfolio when it’s maxed out and look for another blue ocean.
This is turning into one of those posts where I just seem to be rambling, so I’m just going to stop here. Hope this makes sense to you.
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