tl;dr: New tech brings new efficiencies, but the long-lasting impact of the new tech on the organizations in our lives is far greater.
When a new technology comes on the scene, some of the impacts are evident.
Email evidently made global communications faster and cheaper. What was less evident when it first came out was that a wave of outsourcing would hollow out middle America.
We talked about this recently in a previous post, The Obvious and Non-Obvious Future of Crypto, but I am coming back to it again because I rediscovered this chart.
Given how much effort I put into my own creative efforts, I am embarrassed to admit that I can’t remember where I clipped this from and, for some reason, I didn’t note it.
5 Real World Blockchain Applications That Are Transforming Industries – Data Driven Investor
I suspect it is the work of Simon Wardley and if it is, to him the credit is due. If not, my apologies to the creator.
I bring this chart up because it made me think about how the next line, might look:
Point of ChangeTime“Age“Organizational ChangeBlockchains/
The impact of blockchains will extend well beyond organizations, of course, but for the sake of this chart, we’ll limit to that.
One possible answer is Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, DAOs, that have no “owner” or hierarchy of command-and-control.
This is one of the reasons why I am so excited about DAOstack (discl: advisor), which is creating a plug-and-play set of governance modules for organizations.
In fact, they recently launched the dxdao, in partnership with Gnosis to create a decentralized trading protocol. Think Nasdaq, but managed by the traders, not the brokers.
In the past, I’ve called DAOs, “decentralized ERP”, a $42 billion industry.
Blockchains lower the coordination costs for larger groups and basically drive Coase’s Theorem to a much lower band.
There’s already a larger zeitgeist that is challenging how governance decisions are made in corporations.
Whether it is California mandating women on corporate boards or Elizabeth Warren’s desire to have more employees on corporate boards which will either work…or won’t work, depending on whom you ask, it is clear that many people are questioning the fundamentals of large organizational decision-making.
So these two waves, the tech and the emerging market need (for better governance) may crash into each other.
It goes beyond corporations, of course, into governments, non-profits, and more, but you get the idea.
In 1712, Thomas Newcomen created the first working steam engine. On the surface, it led to more power and fewer horses, but it ultimately led to industrial scale organizations and the joint stock company. Today, corporations have rights.
Three hundred years later, Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention unleashed censorship-resistant, intermediary-free, digitally-native money.
It will be fascinating to see how it affects the organizations that govern our lives in ways we don’t yet anticipate.
Anticipating the Impact of Crypto on Organizations was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.