Or How to Build a Liquid Super Team
Insights to words ratio is abysmal. Please express your ideas simply and keep them brief.
I can overlook the NBA superteam analogy, which I'd argue isn't close to anything that 99.9999% of the world experiences. And that DAOs are cheerlead by supporters where at least half believe that business would be so much better if only we got rid of all the messy people. And that NFTs haven't already flamed from their ICO moment.
What bothers me is the original sin behind all this Creator Economy thinking. There is a naïve presumption that we aren't already drowning in too much content ... and that its consumer prices aren't being driven ever more asymptotically towards zero.
Sorry, kiddies, but if you're selling Passion, I ain't buyin'. That's not a consumer-driven need as much of a producer-driven one. And given our content oversaturation, just as with the difference of sophistication of the human visual system and that of the house fly, there's more value in filtering things OUT than simply creating more stimulus we're forced to ignore at lightspeed.
Brilliant, mind-blowing, inspiring! Thanks for sharing your thoughts in a simple and smart way. You've got a new assiduous follower, Packy.
This is a really prescient post and I'm seeing some of these in my own circles. I think the biggest value of a liquid super team is in getting projects off the ground and picking up some momentum at which point you can decide whether to hire more people into more 'traditional' engagements.
I think there's a lot of interesting business ideas that could enable liquid super team projects/businesses as well. There's stuff like https://slicingpie.com/ that already exists, but the organization/contract/equity angles are pretty interesting. You can obviously just do it just on handshakes, texts, and slack messages, but there's probably a layer of formality above that that could really help this take off.
Hey Packy -- wondering if you have any insight on or can point to literature discussing best practices (to the extent there are any) when it comes to how liquid super teams structure compensation and ownership/upside in a given project.
A little late to the party here, thank you for sharing Packy. One follow up question- I get the sense that most people either don't what their unique skills and value-add(s) are, or don't know how to leverage their unique skills in a (likely digital) group setting. I get that Lebron can leverage his influence to create a super team, but I'm much more curious what you'd recommend to the short white kid that can't jump. When does his team get to not suck? To those lost or unsure, you might say start with finding people that are also passionate about whatever it is you are. But then what. I know that this topic/space is insanely broad, but insight into how to specifically acquire the skills to add value and become part of a semi-pro team would be dope. Keep doing what you're doing, and good luck to you.
Thanks for a great article, full of good ideas. I would add that these ideas are also reminiscent of the original anarchist ideas - basically, to align as much as possible those who take the decisions and those who bear the consequences, good or bad, of these decisions. You can find plenty of examples of these in co-operatives and employee-owned companies - plenty of them doing very well and quite high-profile (Zaha Hadid Architects would be one).
Great post! Re-reading again from my favourites last year.
Super curious about startup LST example (Maple).
1. What decision criteria were used (intentionally or retroactively) to filter for startup ideas that could work well via the LST model (e.g. all sweat equity, no outside funding, part-time)?
2. How is it working in practice? Translation: what can the rest of us learn about how to launch and operate a software startup well while everyone on the small elite team is largely working part-time and remotely? How is alignment and momentum managed, basically?
3. Packy, this would make a great post! A great way to also give kudos and visibility to other startups that are doing well under the Liquid Super Team model. Happy to help edit/proof-read if that is of help to you all :)
Take care and wishing you all a happy new trip around the Sun!
Lots of great insights in there, thanks for writing this, Packy!
Jeez, I had a company of 40 part-timers / sub-contractors in the early 80s. Only three FTEs, plus me. Sold it in 1987 for several million. The words are fancy and new and highly fashionable, but the ideas are ancient. I usually get so much more from your wonderful writing...
If Teams is the future - are we just going back to large organisations - as people will want to join the most powerful/exciting DAOs - is this a bear case for the creator economy?
Very solid read. Loving the concepts.
One small critique - the smiling curve for VC seems off to me. A smiling curve is how value added varies across the different stages of bringing a product on to the market. Do these different types of funds represent different stages or roles? If so, it would be interesting to add those roles to the x-axis (like Thompson has in his smiling curves)
Absolutely nailed it Packy. All the ways I’ve described the work I’ve put into the last three years developing my business is captured here. Group of Humans www.groupofhumans.com is that Liquid Super Team you describe, the best independent creatives in the world, I’ve used that avengers analogy many times. Would love to chat. Thanks for sharing
Thank you for this! Many years ago, when I was in the music biz, I encountered something similar to the Cooperation Economy that a bunch of managers and their bands were trying to do. Unfortunately, in the end, the labels got to them, but I always thought they were ahead of their time. So glad to see that we've reached a point where the culture, technology, and resources can make it possible for everyone.
Wow what an awesome read. Totally agree with your vision here. We are trying to enable this with contra.com
This was just excellent - perfectly gels something I noticed and couldn’t quite put my finger on. Thanks for making it legible!