About the vision
A decade ago, it was hard to imagine that,
today, three times more children aspire to host a YouTube
channel than become a doctor or nurse; that there would
be a taxi company employing no drivers worth $82bn, or;
software, owned by no-one, printing $millions every day
to pay people to work for it.
The world got weird.
Ideas about work, occupation, and even companies are changing. But then, to paraphrase a wise man: "Companies? Where we're going, we don't need companies."
"In the past there were big and complex tasks that
required many people working on them. The 'transaction costs' involved
to get coordination between people was high, so the concept of a Manager
was introduced. As the number of Managers increased, a Manager of the
Managers was created... and hierarchies formed.
This resulted in order, clarity of authority, rank, and power. They reinforced a single primary connection: manager to worker, and enabled a command and control style of leadership that was terrifically successful during the industrial era.
Today, technology and connectivity has increased our
ability to self-organize, collaborating more easily across internal and
external organizational boundaries. It is no longer necessarily true
that coordinating through a Manager is more effective than people
self-organizing. Working as a network allows us to organize with many
different kinds of connections, and increased autonomy."
Software is good at enforcing rules. That’s why
video games are so much easier to play than board games. Companies
are basically just rules for managing resources and distributing
Most companies today define company rules in documents and legal contracts. Financial transactions, even trivial expenses, require admin and intermediaries. Employment is inflexible, roles are rigid, and promotion is opaque.
Colony helps you define and enforce business rules. That makes the rules easier to create and easier to follow, with way less admin, and in places they couldn’t before. Like between strangers on the internet.
In some cases, these will look similar to teams, projects, and companies as we know them today. In others, it might look more like a community than a company. With thousands of people making small independent contributions—like Wikipedia.
In others, you may not even think of what
you're doing as "work". You will just be using an app you
enjoy, or playing a game. It will just be that the better
you play this game, or use this app, the more you earn.
And maybe even, the more of a say you have in how the
What will you build?
Colony is inspired by complex adaptive systems like
ant colonies: dynamic networks of agents which react and adapt to
stimuli from each other and their environment. From simple rules
emerges collective behaviour and self-organization of the system
as a whole.
Colony applies these principles to human organizations—effecting simple rules between people to help them self-organize by aligning incentives around a shared goal.