Removing rose-colored glasses for founders, and those on the political far right and far left
In this week’s episode of Ventures, we pull a clip from Episode 33 with Bill Murphy and Sol Cates to discuss how entrepreneurs should be aware of their rose-colored glasses when approaching a market. It’s not easy to face the brutal facts about what customers need and will pay money for, but the process of asking the right questions and making decisions with an appropriate amount of data is critical.
What should we do with the far right and the far left?
With some rare (but loud) exceptions, most people I come across in daily life fall somewhere in the moderate middle. Some are right-leaning, some are left-leaning, but most people out there - I believe - are actually quite near the center.
Now, obviously I’m not talking about the Internet. People who choose to tweet, write, comment, etc… on content around the Web tend to be further on the extreme right or left. Those people make a lot of noise and, by doing so, seemingly pull the moderate middle apart. However, I believe this is an illusion (and an opportunity).
I think the moderate middle is frustrated and easily led astray by “leaders” on the far left and far right. No one else is making as much noise. Afterall, almost by definition, being “moderate” means you embrace more nuance and understanding of the other side than people further on your side’s extreme.
So, what do we do?
A great mentor of mine once said that, essentially, everything rises or falls on leadership. I think this is more true now than ever, and what we need is strong leaders in the middle who are ready to make some noise that is louder than the noise on the extreme left or right.
Now, obviously this is much easier said than done. The Internet - at least Web 2.0 - has proven to be hostile to the middle. The far right and far left have gathered much more attention, clicks, and - frankly - power in the real world because of Web 2.0.
I wonder if Web 3.0, which I’ve written and spoken a lot about here, can produce platforms on which strong, sensible, and nuanced leadership can arise from the middle. I wonder if these platforms can reward nuanced discussion, fact checking, privacy, measured behavior, education, curiosity, and empathy.
For those old enough to remember, the idealism of early Web 2.0 promised us this, but unfortunately it failed miserably, mainly because of centralized economic forces. I wonder if decentralized economic forces can change things around? I’m optimistic.
I will look forward to writing about specific examples in future newsletters. (Founders, let’s make it happen!)
Have a great rest of your week,