The “third wave” of the sharing economy seems to be underway thanks to the advent of the blockchain, which enables asset sharing and verification with limited intermediary involvement. While the salvific potential some ascribe to the blockchain is exaggerated, we do believe it will reshape many institutional structures, redemptively or otherwise. However, if the promises of the internet (and now Web3) are ever to be realized, privacy and trust must be addressed in more profound ways, by building truly decentralized models instead of simply Web2 companies masked in Web3 nomenclature. Opportunities abound to create broad models of collaboration, membership groups, and portable identity, not to mention using the public ledger to verify property rights.
We’re interested in ventures like these where new economic software can exchange or pool talent, capital, assets, ownership, and voting rights to offer new forms of freedom and opportunity to often exploited groups—including artists and gig workers as well as those exposed to currency and power risks of authoritarian regimes.
In today’s commercially-driven world people are more likely to be seen and referred to as 'consumers' than anything else. Instead of being met with resistance, this shift has often meant that individuals have formed their identity through a composite of brands, and product purchasing can be guided more by the desire to make a statement about one’s identity and values than strict utility. As a result, the lines between social movement, capitalism, and community are increasingly blurry (see: Nike, Whole Foods, and Patagonia).
Given this reality (which is with us for both better and worse), we’d like to support entrepreneurs with a vision for building brands with a counter-culturally virtuous and optimistic view of the world, spreading hope and beauty, eliminating stigma, and most fundamentally, redirecting our identity away from materialistic consumption and toward lasting contentment.