Seth Godin wants us all to embrace our inner elitist. Rightly he notes that when you do it right, superior and remarkable things happen. In his quest to expose essential truths though, he’s eliding some important differences. I’m skipping the several items where I’d just be a fanboy nodding like a bobblehead doll. The full list is 11 items.
The market isn’t always right. It’s merely the market.
The market is the collective opinion of those who care. Those opinions turn on a dime because very often they are not deeply felt by the vast majority of the participants. You can change the world while satisfying only a small slice of the market. Every price is the judgment of the market but it’s a time slice whose thinness is its own judgement. The more time slices per day, the more people collectively think the problem is important. As part of the design, market judgments are contingent. They can change. They are expected to change. That doesn’t mean that they are wrong. Wrong would be a market price that didn’t reflect sentiment of market participants at that particular time slice. Mostly that’s illegal.
Increasing shareholder value is not the primary purpose of a corporation.
The actual process of incorporating has you pick the primary purpose of your corporation. For profit corporations actually do have their primary purpose to increase their shareholder value. It’s embedded in the law. That’s the standard by which you are judged. Other purposes exist and you pick them at time of incorporation. Citizen Intelligence will end up as three corporations specifically because the project concept sprawls across these legal boundaries. This triples incorporation overhead but provides clarity. When the for profit hat is on, increasing shareholder value is the primary purpose. When the 501(c)3 hat is on, that’s a very different story.
And I’m going to indulge myself here with one fanboy section
Curators create value. We need more curators, and not from the usual places
The heart of the process at Citizen Intelligence is to create reports built to the demand of people who care. These report creators are part time patrons curating the political oversight of our civic life. It is an indictment of our present political class who have failed to be a successful elite, have failed to keep things under control. So now we need to reach deep for additional resources to curate something better.