Letters to a Young VC: Letter Eighteen
April 24th, 2022

A collection of letters encompassing simple insights and recognition of foundational shifts that any bright minds trapped within the old norms of a VC mindset can use to break free, whether they are just starting their journey or reflecting back on what they wish someone had told them in their early days.

Imagine an alternative to the data surveillance economy.

It’s actually quite hard to do, given our experiences over the past two decades, where we’ve become conditioned to assuming a trade off between abstract information we don’t have the slightest clue of how to make use of, in exchange for seemingly free access to tools we can’t imagine living without, has become the norm.

It hasn’t always been quite as bad as this, in the early days the internet wasn’t nearly as controlled and centralised as it is now.

But while true, that fact doesn’t mean much in a practical sense. In those early days there were also very very few people online. As the vast majority of humanity has become hyper connected, there is a stronger truth to the belief that we simply need persistent access to the potent tools which we’ve come to depend on. And, if we can “pay” for that access with something we know instinctively has value but is too complex and far away from us to truly understand, then so be it.

But we also know in a creeping and creepy sense deep down that we’re being lied to, not so much intentionally maybe, but by countless numbers of ordinary people going about their work clocking in at big tech companies lying to themselves about this model being the only way to generate economic value and profit wildly.

There is no disagreement here about part of that.

Profit is good for the advancement of tech and humanity. As long as that profit is real.

The problem is, in our data surveillance economy, the vast majority of the externalities and costs associated with them are hidden.

This does untold amounts of damage.

Thankfully, there really is an alternative. And, as web3 proves, it is already here today.

So, what does a realistic start to a breakaway from abusive data manipulating systems and towards software oriented business models rooted in personal property, privacy, and self sovereignty look like?

  • Users are able to decide on a case by case basis whether and how much to make their personal activity data available for a range between open and token governed access.
  • This means software of all kinds becomes organised around social media identity and connectivity platforms (it doesn’t look all that different from today’s tech on the surface).
  • These are built on decentralised networks incentivised by dynamic NFTs generated on the fly by user activity or minted and curated intentionally by users (this part is radically different because of who gets to decide what happens to our data, how, and when).
  • Dynamic NFTs act as keys for aggregate voluntary user data packages that are themselves dynamically updated and secured behind ZK seals.
  • Interested 3rd party data prospectors can only gain access, or stay up to date, with collections of NFT keys with consumable features.
  • Web2 social media and big tech companies fade into obscurity as their business model collapses with no ability to transform themselves without taking years fighting against their legacy interests from within.
  • Web3 protocols as truly decentralised networks that enhance the self sovereign power of creators and users of all kinds replace the old decrepit data thievery addicted dinosaurs nearly overnight.

Interesting to note and ponder about what impact transforming the business model away from subservient ad targeting towards dynamic personal data sovereignty has on VC, as it too transitions away from an ad model addiction.

Any value brought in from sales of NFTs minted through this article will be used for building out the F₃M Realm treasury, which will eventually be governed and coordinated by the DAO, furthering to decentralise the web3 fashion capital stack.

F₃Manifesto (F₃M) is a rally flag for the entire web3 fashion movement. It’s a label and realm that is built for so much than just the digital and physical threads and collections that it will spin up and release.

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