This post is to share feedback I received in person on 10/18/18 by @natesavery about Cosmos. I was attempting to give an “elevator pitch” about Cosmos (which is still quite challenging to do, IMO), and Nate responded.
There are two main parts to the dialogue:
- Cosmos’ identity & core value proposition as a company, to its members but also to the outside world… what are its distinguishing, marketable characteristics? (Some innovative, radical thoughts here!)
- Function of Litcoin as an “attractor,” that draws people into the orbit of membership/gamified platform
This could support a conversation about developing pitch language, it could support revising specific Key Docs (e.g. Business Strategy, Litcoin)… wasn’t sure where to put it, but want to share and talk about it ASAP, so here it is.
Cosmos as sociocultural - ethical - design - structural “front” — representing in our presence in outward conversations certain “potentials we want to see realized.”
Cosmos is process not product oriented. At the level where: we put all of our energies into improving resource flows and processes for __________________ [fill in the blank] — so long as it is in line with our principles/ethics.
Principles become the product. Cosmos as a laboratory for the realization of principles, aka patterns & potentials currently under-realized, marginalized, or unmanifest/implicit in the status quo way-of-things.
“We want to build the future system, which will be a system that human beings WANT to play, because it is designed to structurally, actually serve their interests, where their ‘play’ or engagement feeds back into enriching their lives.” Discourse/conversation functions as the web bonding together equal/equitable/sovereign agents.
Cosmos maybe won’t be competitive in letting people define the tools they need [this is in reference to the notion that communities with shared demand would identify and clarify their own needs – there are product innovators and r&d methods that will always be ahead of the curve, more efficient and effective compared to self-organizing groups talking about their desires] BUT how this community interfaces and has a governance role, even, in influencing a product’s direction… Cosmos can be a hub of innovators focusing on solutions “across products”–moreso being processes/process improvements: “How can we as a community integrate these tools in an optimal way that serves our purposes?” THIS is where Cosmos can distinguish what it is doing and become leaders… even selling market research services to outside groups. I.e. “We’re a self-refining cohort of experts in integrative, creative and contemplative processes… let us test & give feedback to your product, for a price.” Generating income this way infuses Cosmos with viability, even profitability–backs Litcoin. Market ux.ui. We could be a thinktank of solutions with an R&D niche being these conversations/lines of inquiry/ethics as base/frame.
Self-awareness practice as early “skin” layer to interfacing with Cosmos. Self-cognizance of one’s goals and collective self-cognizance through studying patterns and data emergent from the system.
Not seeking “to build” the next system, so much as integrate with other people’s genius products/work for “collective genius,” with partnerships/weaving being the means. We are, in theory, the integrative, facilitative, conversational cultural “front” after all, so this is our role to play perhaps. Conversation-facilitation specialty.
2 discrete paths, we have to choose:
- Products v.
What does Cosmos DO? If processes, then it can facilitate the creation of products, but “creating products” is not Cosmos’ business. (Yes, this seems/feels right… we’re focused on member self-actualization, and our role would be to serve that through conversation, including aggregating feedback on what’s desired and going out and seeking an allied product to match/meet those needs, integrating through smart contracts. Right?)
Smart contracts might be the way to go there, merging good conversations/ethics frame with resulting products & product iterations/innovations to better serve this ethically-bounded community. We could work on & be compensated for contributing to improvements of products, these ethically-effectuated improvements that serve Cosmos’ community and beyond. Committing to relationship with products as a direct result of member demand. Litcoin as hook to product-developers and members.
To a random podcaster out there: “You could use these tools and interact with this community, and that’d be valuable, sure. AND… anywhere in the world where you notice processes that could be improved in line with these values, you can find process collaborators (to help you DO the thing better) and be compensated ($$$).” This is a double whammy! It’s intrinsically rewarding to participate in changing processes that affect them. Yes, just DOing the thing you need to do, or doing it better, is a perk. Getting paid is an additional, layered perk!
The focus on Cosmos as a firm for “process improvement through this ethical/principled frame” is relevant to Fortune 500 companies and small tomato growers alike. Process improvement & publicity/storytelling firm–Cosmos’ core competency being innovation in the direction of the future we want to see happen.
We’re creators–we need to create products. Yet Cosmos fosters the dissemination of helpful explicit process-orders and structural frames (i.e., process templates) to enhance product outcomes. Cosmos is NOT the products, though. Cosmovision 2020 is not Cosmos. Metapsychosis is not Cosmos. Products are affiliated with but not constituting Cosmos. These are outcomes of member engagement with Cosmos, and in return, Cosmos gleans their templates. This distinction will need to be made more clear/refined with time!
Integrations & products are different things. And process incubation, production, refinement and dissemination is different from products. It’s like the difference between creating avenues and creating houses–different modes. One is about embodied energy in an artifact that can be repeatedly used until it is used up (and yes, Cosmos may foster its artists’ production, less so products.) The other is about ways & flows–how resources (capital, talent, people) FLOW from one place to another.
Need to validate/demonstrate demand for “playing _______ game.” If we’re going to attain the potential that’s described here, we’re going to need to get really robust in how we survey and gauge whether members in the system actually want to play any given game, and their willingness to contribute resources toward that. Games being e.g. Litcoin, Metapsychosis, blog platform (ToE), etc. … or eventually, games specific to creation, work, or sponsoring processes (e.g. using an outside product that enables efficient podcast distribution/sales.) Praxis Process is trying to get towards that point in the resource allocation aspects of the process, but this is far from implemented, and in general, surveying/gauging/FEEDBACK-GLEANING capacity is really lacking/far from robust in Cosmos.
Having members pledge to use their Litcoin on projects/potentials that reflect their values… this should be agnostic to whether the recipient is a Cosmos member or not. (Nate’s idea!) What if Cosmos issued Litcoin and got a cut when it was converted into $$. Members buying LC are pledging LC to “parts of the future system that the world needs.” A developer who’s never heard of Cosmos could receive LC, and then to redeem it, they have to somehow engage with Cosmos. Cosmos is the identity of the currency. LC as a product that, as a currency, comes to represent (embedded value [ethical] in the value [economical]) of “the world we want to see happen.”
- Giver of LC is a member who is identified/affiliated with what Cosmos is all about–shares Cosmos values and direction, etc.
- Finds rural, socially isolated woodworker who does amazing work. Gets their name and email address–sends them Litcoin.
- Woodworker gets notification that someone wants to give them $. Goes to Cosmos.coop, sets up barebones user account which generates a LC wallet that is intact perpetually.
- User interface coaches them that they can withdraw the cash–and if they do, it’ll be worth this much (e.g. x0.9) but if they leave it in the system, and essentially “play” it as Litcoin, it could be worth this much (e.g. x1.1). This informs and encourages them to stay in Cosmos, but they have options.
Givers have to have a full-fledged Cosmos membership, but recipients don’t. Thus, the sending of LC becomes an invitation to membership, intrinsically.