We desperately need alternatives to big tech and vc funding.

Co-ops need to be easier to build and fund. We need to get more info out there about how they work. They're really not as inaccessible as you might think.

p.s. reply with "what about blockch*in" for a free block

Did you know that is currently accepting applications for their accelerator program? Think YC without the toxicity.

And is an amazing resource for anyone setting up worker co-ops.

There's also some misc. bits about platform co-ops that are more spread out.

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For those who are not familiar: a worker cooperative (or co-op) is a company that's majority-owned by the workers themselves.

A platform co-op, meanwhile, is kind of a hybrid where the co-op is owned by the workers that build it but also by the *customers* that use it.

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So, for example, one might build a ride share app where the software is built by worker-owners, but is also owned by the drivers themselves.

Everyone invests their time, money, and energy into the project.

And everyone gets a cut out the surplus as needed.

And everyone wins.

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Platform co-ops like even take it a step further and add representation for *consumers*, so now everyone involved has a say in the platform.

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But ultimately what I like about cooperatives the most is just that: that they're *cooperative*.

Everyone I've talked to has been incredibly helpful, going out of their way to watch out for each other. Even when resources might be tight and they can't give a lot, they still give

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Because contrinuing to build a world where we're just racing each other to the bottom is not sustainable. Because we can build better products, better services, if we support each other instead of treading on each other's efforts.

We can build it better when we do it together 💚

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Anyway that cool product/startup you're thinking of building?

Please consider making it a co-op. It'll be great.

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@zkat it seems "easy" for these cases, but the internet itself needs to be public infrastructure and all our recent models have undermined that

@meena what's public infrastructure if not a co-op owned by its consumers, in the end

@zkat the actual cables and satellites connecting us, which mostly belong to private carriers.

@zkat an illustrative example connecting the dots of how this plays out is cloud storage:

it costs practically nothing to store stuff in the cloud. The thing that costs so much is the transfer. that cost is set by carriers and ISPs and externalised by cloud providers to their customers, or more likely, to their customers' customers.

@meena @zkat Actually the transfer costs for cloud are mostly cloud profit margins. You can easily get much cheaper bandwidth when you don't use major cloud providers.

CloudFlare recently launched private beta of storage service without outgoing bandwidth costs.

So hopefully this stupidity will end.

@jacek @zkat sounds like a power grab; given that CloudFlare only has 10% marketshare.


conspiracy theory du jour: blockch*in is a big tech ploy to prevent (re)decentralized computing ever becoming a real thing 🤣

the idea being: you get all those well meaning people to buy into the hype, spend enormous energy and resources to "fix the world" using this great system that "keeps people honest", only to get dissapointed and conclude that indeed TINA to centralized panopticons

@zkat indeed and without the very real abuses you get when you are not wealthy and do not have a capitalist "owner". Forming worker co-ops and being excluded for doing so is why I stopped doing new things in the US; fuck that!

@zkat @technomancy my co-founder and I have been working on similar ideas for a while! Our current “what are we thinking” explainer is here:

@zkat there's Italy's marcora law, wee need it everywhere: you can get unemployment, or find some other unemployed people and we'll give you the lump sum of all of yours iff you build a coop. We need that the globe over.

Also the right to first rejection with guaranteed credit: you're selling company? Ok, first, workers get a decision, if they want to buy it as a coop, you can't sell to anyone but them, and if they need capital/credit, govt owes them that.

@zkat We really do. I'd love for one to be made for open source accessibility options, but shoot, how to get people onboard. How to fund it. How to make people give a damn.

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