The Category: Core Values

The following is borrowed, with permission, from Michael O. Church’s blog “Silicon Valley Can Be Beaten” (the following section is written by Michael O. Church. The authors of SourceContribute blog may or may not agree with some of the words written and opinions expressed by Michael O. Church):

Core Values

Having finished the first (and, one hopes, not the last) bit of work on this concept, I’ll state some values that I think should be core to any category that is formed.

  1. The most important goal of technology is to eliminate scarcity. Whether through socialistic or capitalistic means, technology’s long-term job is to eliminate economic scarcity from the human experience. The people of the future should work (or not) because of desire rather than need. This may take 25 years or it may (more likely) take 200 years but working toward such a state ought to be everyone’s goal. Those who do not share such a goal should be removed from power immediately. Humanity can no longer afford to have them in important positions.
  2. Sexism, racism, ageism, classism and religious bigotry have no place. This will be seen in the category’s membership as well as its practices. It must be open to people from all backgrounds. Additionally, a category should avoid investing in companies with the exclusionary, macho-subordinate cultures for which Silicon Valley is known.
  3. Only people who are intellectually curious and cultured are eligible for leadership in human society. Of course, it is important to define cultured in a way that is fair. English literature should not be favored over Chinese or African-American literature. What is important is not the person’s present level or kind of exposure (which will change over time) but the intellectual curiosity shown in attaining that knowledge and experience. It’s not that one necessarily needs to know Shakespeare’s plays, or functional programming, or any other specific piece of knowledge. It’s that the anti-intellectualism of the world’s current, wealthy but severely uncultured leadership, must be driven out.
  4. To abandon or betray someone because of rough times is unacceptable. People whose alliance or support are contingent upon the opinions of others (cf. the social-proof-powered culture of venture capital) should be driven from power and influence, because their redundancy and their lack of independent thought represents a danger– such people tend to amplify humanity’s worst impulses, and mute its best ones– that must be mitigated.
  5. Self-improvement and education are lifelong processes. One does not join a category to participate in a community of learning for a few years, and then go off and get a job. In a category, there is an expectation of continual learning, curiosity, and self-improvement.