Startup Communism

Yahoo! 1999

I spent a weekend beta-testing security software for some startup company in Pasadena. In return, I was rewarded with a certificate deeming me the proud owner of 50 shares. It was 1999, and Yahoo! was trading at over $400 a share. Every company was the next Yahoo!, and I was gonna be rich.

The startup went out of business.

But hey, I had hope while it lasted.

Communist P2P

The more widely distributed the shares, the more people will be personally interested in seeing the company succeed. That’s why communism is such a raging success. Just kidding. Communism doesn’t work because the potential upside is only the expected GDP growth rate (2% if you’re Cuba, negative if you’re North Korea).

But in a situation where the potential upside is the growth rate of Google, hell yeah, equity for all.

One of the teams in this past session’s StartX MentorLabs said that they would not continue working with their mentor after the end of the program, because their mentor expected some equity in exchange for his time. The team decided to hoard their shares. Good idea, I thought. I turned around and offered equity to my own mentor.

Why would I want all the equity for myself? I can’t do everything alone. 100% of zero is zero. Peer-to-Peer Postal is about sharing, so I’ll happily give shares to everyone who uses P2P Postal Beta. Come and get it.

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