Shakespeare on the Blockchain, by Juraj Salapa
Thanks to the unicorns like AirBnB and Uber, business has become personal. Everyone can turn their car into a taxi, or their apartment into a hotel. Everyone’s a marketer of themselves. Peer-to-Peer economy is not a revolution of technology. It is much more a revolution in how much trust we have in the internet. Not that long ago, people were worried to make even a single purchase online. Now, they let strangers into their homes. The removal of institution brings a lot of good. The prices are lower for the buyers and the profits are higher for the sellers, because there is no middleman that would pocket the margin in the middle.
There is a trade-off, however, as this same sense of trust means that people are giving up their privacy altogether. We buy, learn, read, watch, interact and live through internet. Each one of us leaves a digital footprint in this world. It has never been easier to manipulate people on a mass scale. Media has always been burdened by the ownership. Newspapers and TV stations; they all have owners, who have a degree of control over what goes out. In recent years, Facebook, Twitter and the likes are becoming the aggregators of our internet activity. Internet services like Spotify and AirBnB recognize us through our Facebook identity. It is easier and more practical to use the Facebook log-ins to get into the other sites. Our sense of trust in the internet has reached such a level that we have stopped caring about this massive black digital footprint that each one of us leaves behind. Media companies have, however, tendency to be privately owned and Facebook is no exception. What we see and how we see it can be controlled.
The same phenomenon that is based on our trust in the internet can soon turn the media industry on its head. Peer-to-Peer applied to the world of media may sound clumsy at first. By definition, media is concerned with the mass communication of content. That each reader should pay an author of a book seems impractical at best. But just like with taxies, or hotels, the internet makes the disintermediation in the media industry possible by turning it into a true free market. There will be no need for a magazine, a book publisher, or a TV station, because the paying audience will dictate the survival rate of authors based on their quality. Curation without an institution in the middle.
Add the blockchain on top and you have a promise of a true free speech. For a first time in human history, the authentication of payment has been in the complete absence of central authority. Like a living organism independent of human race, blockchain is a publicly distributed ledger of transactions in the network. Blockchain processes transactions between two sides with no interference from a third party. Once set in motion, it is completely independent of human influence.
Decent.ch combines the blockchain technology with the Peer-to-Peer trend. A network of independent computers running the blockchain technology that will encrypt store and publish content of authors and process payments from the readers. The owners of the computers will get paid for letting their computers run independently. No human interference and no controlled curation. Just a perfectly free market. In most industries, the tendency for successful companies is to follow an S-curve. Companies that do very well tend to stand moments before a fall and vice versa. In technology, however, successful businesses usually outgrow everything around them. A combination of innovative brilliance and incumbent advantage has made the likes of Google rather invincible. It has turned the paradigm of searching on its head, at a time when we thought that surfing the web is as good as it gets. They have changed the method, not the medium. Internet was huge even before Google, but the company has made the right information accessible by organizing it based on the relevance. Decent.ch could be similarly profound by turning the publishing industry on its head.
Contributed post by Juraj Salapa – www.salapa.co:
- M&A Consultant, trend-seeker and freelance writer for a number of opinion-forming magazines, including local Forbes. He’s always on the lookout for the “new” cultural, social and technological changes that shape our world.
See related posts:
- Disruptive Innovation Festival: G.R.O.W. Presentation
- The Future of Platforms – Ethereum
- The Future of Work: The App and Sharing Revolution
- 2015 Predictions: The Year of Alternatives
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.