Benjamin Franklin Meets the Blockchain

Hello everybody. Another sad week. The truth is that we must stop selling weapons of war to random civilians.

The Flat View

In 1727, Benjamin Franklin, 21, invited, as he put it, “my most ingenious acquaintance.[s] in a club of mutual improvement “. He christened his new club as the Junto, after the Spanish word for” join “. On Friday evening, Franklin and the dozen members of Junto (all men, of course) they met in a Philadelphia tavern to discuss issues of morality, politics, or national philosophy, debating “with the sincere spirit of investigating the truth … without a fondness for dispute. or desire for victory ”.

Nearly 300 years later, I zoomed in on a study group inspired by the Franklin talks. It consisted of emerging technology founders discussing Web3. All the virtual assistants were young and super serious, and they all seemed to have completed the assigned technical readings on topics such as token speed and liquidity mining design space. Although the meeting took place just as Luna’s stable currency was imploding, seminarians dismissed this crisis in the crypto world as a passing distraction. The important thing, they agreed, was to create products that people want to use, not to play growth games with chips.

Long, sober visions like these could be the defining feature of South Park Commons, an ambitious incubator program that has been running this seminar for seven years and many others like it, including talks by the fire with technological luminaires. discussion tables and demonstration days. . SPC has had relatively little public exposure to date, although it has launched more than 150 startups and invested in companies with a total value of $ 35 billion. The low profile is in line with the high pitched tone of the project: in a technology ecosystem where ideas and initial funding are almost simultaneous, SPC focuses on giving its 450 members a reflective base in a specific domain, as well. as an understanding of the social impact long before the first camp with elevator. “People come to SPC because they want to take the time to be sure of what they will do next,” says Samantha Whitmore, a machine learning scientist who has been auditing the Web3 seminar and is about to use those learnings to launch your own business.

The creators of the program are Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi, who met and married as the first employees of Facebook (Sanghvi was the manager of the original News Feed program) and became executive in Dropbox. In 2015, after taking a breather, Sanghvi recognized a gap in the world of high-octane startups: a safe haven for talented tech entrepreneurs to gain deeper knowledge and experience in the field while contemplating their next venture. The couple decided to start this type of start-up incubator. They viewed the sessions of the Junto brewery as one of their role models, as well as Franklin’s admonition that “the big rush is a waste.” Other incubators bring the founders from zero to 60 in no time. SPC focuses on prequel territory, bringing members from -1 to zero, in due course. Along the way, the founders would gain knowledge to make them better leaders, perhaps even less obsessed with being the next Travis Kalanick or Adam Neumann. That’s what Franklin could have created if he were a venture capitalist.

“In the tech industry, basically, everyone jumps to the next company or starts a startup and makes it spin in three months,” Sanghvi says. “But deep technology takes some time. It seemed like no one was devoting that time and space to building that kind of business.”

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