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Startup: tribes against the empire

2017-07-26 00:00

We see more and more can create billions and billions of even the value of small groups, such as Mojang (40's), Whatsapp (35), the startup is like a small world of tribal (small worlds), but the giant Mojang and Whatsapp were acquired. Geoffrey Woo believes this is the form for a long time for the future of the world, he himself has founded by YC incubation Glassmap, less than two years is acquired by the company, now he is in the Capital as a business partner. A few months ago, we also reported him to write three beautiful business model.

  First, on the investigation to the human society

  The earliest human tribes of functional organization is the hunter and pickers, in 100-100 or so, tribal usually consists of a few big family. Its core is characterized by:

    1. The combination of small and compact

  In the tribe, each individual to understand relationship between any two people and political Dunbar number (reference).

  2. The relative equality

  Everyone hopes to contribute to obtain basic food, whether by means of hunting or gathering food. No individual efficiency will be several orders of magnitude higher than others, for example, a more efficient people pick strawberries to quantity will not more than ten times higher than a person with low efficiency.

  3. The information symmetry

  Information rapidly spread out in a tribe, for every person who know the new information with others can connect within a step or two.

  4. The group internal direct emotional communication

  Everyone wants to help other members out of the woods, because there is a group: they are in trouble others to help themselves. Just like in today's circle of friends and family, each person can approximate arbitrary write down those costs and benefits.

  About 10000-12000 years ago, living in the fertile crescent (now in Iraq, Kuwait and other zones) surrounding the human, found that the land has eight kinds of cereals and four important animal (namely after livestock). This came across let them settle down, and the advantage of biodiversity, here is better than hunting - picking type. Thus laid the foundation of modern human civilization - agriculture.

  Because agriculture provides a more stable food base, land output is higher, humans don't have to go around for food, the population density is increasing rapidly. Because more and more people are increasingly closely together to survive, and does not require everyone to food production, so professional management personnel and the specialized talents will emerge out of him.

  More and more technological process and organization, making farming more mature than hunting society, the function of the agricultural society increasingly turned into towns and cities, neighbors strangers, the officials and professionals in the hierarchy of social role is different, different departments and the degree of information asymmetry of the crowd surging, trading becomes market activity, rather than informal mutual benefits.

  From hunting to farming, society has undergone a great change, but the per capita productivity is not very big promotion. For most of human society, the influence of a single person or small, physical strength is proportional to the number of thought leaders also are mostly local. In order to expand the scale, the social and organizational increased number of people only know simply. Although the measures can promote the development of the society as a whole, but individual does not necessarily can get the benefits of these developments.

  For most of the people in the society (farmers and slaves), with food diversity, average height to measure quality of life, they have a still more primitive than hunters. But the individual can do little about, because large hierarchical society determines the social form, it erodes the original loose hunting society. In other words, only the volume (not to consider the declining ability of the individual) beat small compact society. Typical company is so large, but look at the art, film, and literature reviews, they put the company office work described as "soul mill", compared to the middle ages of slaves.

  Second, the modern startup

  Over the past few centuries of technological development, has increased the influence of a single person. Over the past few decades, with the rise of free instant messaging, and people can read the entire human thought and knowledge, and the entire production process (manufacturing), booking, distribution and marketing of increasing automation and abstraction, this kind of influence is growing exponentially. This creates fewer and fewer people can create more value.

  Man of great ability of small and exquisite organization retains the tribe that advantage: close, information symmetry, have spirit of a social contract, put a few people with unique skills and expertise to integrate show the scale of the traditional big companies.

  On the surface, this is the trend of small groups play a great energy, now is not. Real power forever together at the top of the small tribes. Now countries and corporations, the highest level of management is the real leading role (first level), ordinary workers and experts just bosses trust tool. With the increase of personal influence, 2 other functions will be replaced by technology, automation and contract.

  Can say, less demand for people just reflects the real how many people are at work. But the change is that low barriers to entry become strong. Only from the government and the nobility of thinking problem, now only have small initial strength of the individual also can be to think, you no longer need the power of the 10000 people to solve practical problems, such as exploring space, development of clean energy, health care and mass media, and so on.

  Three, in the future:

  I predict a the size of the organization a turning point in the future. The leaders of the top companies are faster and more urgent to understand the meaning of "innovator's dilemma" (or at least understand its academic meaning), especially in circulation faster silicon valley innovation and destruction. There will be a heap of the creator of the ecological system, but only a few lucky company and the government would be rules, they will remain strong, because they will purchase a threat to its status as a tribe. More and more leaders to follow Mr Zuckerberg, his aggressive bought those destructive threat: sets, Whatsapp and Oculus. Other players are those astute small tribes, they go to seize those not occupied. However, from the tribe into empire will become more and more difficult, but not impossible.

  I expect, in the long run, this world will be a few super enterprises, they have maintained their leadership team, will also have small tribes and astute trying to create your own empire, while others are consumers.