Tools for a Direct Democracy Company

New RCea03
Oct 18, 2017 11 Comments

I'm a web-tech startup of one person, but I'd like to create my organization as a direct democracy, (all employees having equal, voluntary votership unless they collectively vote otherwise). What kinds of internal technology systems would you recommend that I look to implement to best enable operational transparency and vote functions?

The system will necessarily evolve such that all employees aren't bothered by every decision, but I'd like to always include these features of the Swiss system:

Referendum (all-employee votes)
Citizen initiatives (anyone may propose a ballot measure)
Recall (ballot measures to remove an officers or manager)

I'm also interested in arguments for/against managerial salaries established by subordinate voting.

Thank you!

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TOP 11 Comments
  • Oracle EFmo71
    Sounds like an awesome way to be bankrupt fast.
    Oct 18, 2017 5
    • New RCea03
      OP
      Thanks for responding! How so?
      Oct 18, 2017
    • Oracle EFmo71
      You started the company now you employ 1 admin, 8 developers, 2 sales people, 1 marketing person and 2 managers. The developers pull an all nighter to get a release done and win a big contract. Now they propose a bonus for all developers who pulled the all nighter. It wins because they have majority control. The big win turns into a loss due to the bonus payouts.
      Oct 18, 2017
    • New RCea03
      OP
      Hmm. I'm not sure my organization could develop to have even more than 1 person and allow any sort of vote that would sink the company...but I love your critique! What else you got?
      Oct 18, 2017
    • eBay / Product oxed25
      Not sure why u need direct democracy if you don’t anticipate growing. But if you do grow to add more people, you will come across times when you have to make some tough calls. They may not be the popular choice but you will know that is the right thing to do. Not sure how direct democracy can help at that time.
      Oct 18, 2017
    • New RCea03
      OP
      I certainly anticipate growing. Absolutely. As big as we want. :)

      I also imagine role "sovereignty" or delegation would necessarily form.

      But I greatly appreciate your critique, what example do you see of the kind of tough calls you mention?
      Oct 18, 2017
  • Gen!x / Eng
    XPbr65

    Gen!x Eng

    PRE
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HPE, Northrop Grumman
    BIO
    mehy
    XPbr65more
    J(M)FC, this sounds like an unnecessarily complicated mess.

    Despite what you may hear, most people just want to do their freaking job and go home. Everyone is not ready for the heavy lift of long-term decision making.

    Shite like this sounds great (and egalitarian) over pot/coke/beers/acid. The implementation is a nightmare to say the least.

    Ask yourself. What is job 1? Building a profitable company or conducting a business management experiment?
    Oct 18, 2017 2
    • New RCea03
      OP
      What kind of implementations have you seen?
      Oct 18, 2017
    • Gen!x / Eng
      XPbr65

      Gen!x Eng

      PRE
      Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HPE, Northrop Grumman
      BIO
      mehy
      XPbr65more
      Enough to write a book on it.

      I’ve seen many up-close (used to be the IT guy for a small management consulting outfit).

      Built 3 companies out of years of hustle. When you start dealing with bootstrapping and unsecured debt, the reality hits home. These ideas often come from a good place but more fail than work. Especially as employees that don’t share the founders visions come on.

      I’ve kept a good eye on what Tony Hsieh is doing. Timothy Ferriss has also caught my eye.

      I am in the process of studying B-Corps so I could set one up (maybe) but here’s the difference goal 1 is not to make gobs of money because I personally am in a place where that’s not the most critical item.

      That’s not correct for every firm. And it shouldn’t be.
      Oct 18, 2017
  • HealthTap DYWq41
    Dm me to discuss.
    Oct 23, 2017 0
  • New RCea03
    OP
    The goal of my company is to create tools that can help restore a citizen voice to the internet. Currently almost all content on the internet is subject to algorithmic approaches, scraping for metatags, SEO optimization tricks. We believe scraping and AI is going to help us create a semantic web, and we're upset with the results that Facebook and fake news has had on our democracy.

    More companies have failed trying to create Marc Andreessen's vision of open annotation to a place where people can have real discussions.

    Journalistic quality has been an absolute waterfall for more than 10 years, the Society for Concerned Journalists has formed and already dissolved.

    If we think AI and algorithms are going to take us forward in determining what web content has value, we're dead wrong.

    I believe strongly that our democracy has greatly suffered from the decline in journalism. I want to create tools that bring democracy forward.

    Half of our country believes the other half is completely effed in the head. We've stopped having a conversation, we've stopped listing.

    My goal is to create tools that move against this trend. I am not a programmer, I'm a web sociologist with business background, but I'm intensely interested in what people have to say.

    I believe a democratic company would draw people interested in human systems, and I could utilizes their collective intelligence. I want an organization of thinking people, not as a way to do something good, the product I want to build needs diversity of human input.
    Oct 19, 2017 0

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