The pandemic catapulted tech giants to further heights of profit and control over the world. This past month we saw tax-evading billionaires using some of those profits to launch themselves into space. Amidst the backdrop of a new Guilded Age, how can technologists fund ethical platforms that avoid the trap VC funding sets of rapid growth and selling out to a larger company?
Drivers Coop is combining the platform model with ethical investment to bootstrap in way that retains worker power. We talked with Kaleidos CEO Pablo Ruiz-Muzquiz on how his company shifted from a digital agency building tech for clients to incubating their own open-source projects. They're using a combination of thoughtful VC funding and the power of the open-source community to build and sustain their products.
Groups like Zebras Unite!, the Ownership Matters newsletter, Exit to Community and OpenCollective are paving the way with new models of financing and ownership. In fact, OpenCollective just updated their mission to explicitly serve the solidarity economy.
And let's not forget the role government can play. The reality is that many startup founders take a chance on their dreams because they have the wealth to risk it. A universal basic income and/or jobs guarantee would help the rest of us do the same.
A future where technology is funded ethically and wealth is generative and distributed would dramatically shift its design and functionality. If we invest in these models now and help one another start new projects using a community model, we can make it so.