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A BIG Start-up Opportunity in Politics?

March 10, 2017 - 06:32 -- Admin

The New York Times pointed out yesterday that Trump ran his candidacy like an Internet start-up.  His goal was to use Internet technology to disintermediate the established system (parties, media, etc.) of getting a President elected.  Bannon even brought into the team start-up culture mantras:

"move fast and break things"

“figure out what needs doing, and then just do it. Don’t wait for permission.”

I agree and I've been saying something similar for a year. 

However, I have one important caveat.  Unlike other wildly successful Internet start-ups, Trump didn't build a technological platform.  Instead, he ran an open source political insurgency using social networking.  

While open source insurgencies are extremely powerful (they have toppled governments and fought wars), they are very difficult to govern with.  For example, open source insurgencies dissolve into infighting without an active enemy to fight.  Trump's work around for this has been labelling the media as the opposition party and generating controversy. 

However, the biggest difference is that Trump's start-up didn't build anything.  They didn't build a social network to synergistically unite his political supporters and turn it into a potent political force.  It's still in open source insurgency mode.

This means there is still a massive opportunity available.  

An opportunity to build the first political social network that replaces a traditional party apparatus.  One that operates completely different than any political party we've had in this country.  

A political platform that provides direct participation (think apps) in the political process on a daily or hourly basis rather than once every two years.    

A platform that could grow to 60 m active participants in less than two years.  

A platform that establishes norms of conduct and expectations of the future rather than rips them down.  

A political network that allows us, as a country, to aspire to greatness again. 

Sincerely,

John Robb

PS:  This window of opportunity will close fast.  Anyone could launch the moonshot to get this done and before it even comes out of stealth alpha, the competition could be over.  

PPS:  This is likely to be a phase transition in our political system.  This means that any errors at the start are amplified manyfold downstream (think in terms of assumptions built into the US Constitution haunted us later in our history).