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The untold story behind the #ethereum #blockchain and the rise of DANOs

By Michael J. Trout

· Foundups ecosystem,EThereum,Smart DAO,Blockchain,Vitalik

Part 1 (Part 2)

In 2006, 2 years after moving to rural Japan, I started working on the idea of decentralized education framework called EDUIT. My goal was simply to remove the teacher and school as barriers to learning and replace them with multi-touch teaching tablets that autonomously could push small concise learning objects (modules) in the form of videos to end users and then used simple games anyone would make to test outcomes and learning. The IA would be the same as the one you use every day "Siri." Back then it was its own entity built out of DARPA. In 2007 my friend Joel Gascoigne (co-founder of Buffer) said to me:

"Mike your idea is amazing. But it is too huge for anyone to grasp. You need to boil it down into one thing specific and make this first."

"Ok, I'll try," I said. So after some thought, I realized what "that thing" was -- the delivery of video autonomously and the ability for users to group and add annotations and games modules to them (sound familiar?)

So In mid-2008 we started working on Wikitube and launched Wikitube.TV in early 2009 thanks to a talented team of developers led by Kinshuk Adhikary. Wikitube was a simple idea. It took Youtube videos and allowed users do a search that then would auto-play them one after another based on their search request. Users could also create playlists. Future iterations would allow for annotations and creation and tagging of content testing games etc... At the time Wikitube prototype launched in mid 2009. Youtube had none of these functions at the time and I wanted to make Wikitube part of Google.

I flew Florida to pitch the idea to investors and then to New York to hang out with my friend Chris. While there I bumped into a YouTube executive on the metro. I enthusiastically shared Wikitube and my hopes to be part of Google. He said he'd take a look and be in touch. But in my excitement, I forgot to get his business card. But I was sooo sure he would contact me, after all, Google's motto, at the time, was "Don't Be Evil" -- they don't steal others ideas... right? Wrong. Within 8 months everything I had on Wikitube was on Youtube. In 2010 they decided to just rip the entire idea... Some of it still lingers today.

How could "Don't be Evil" Google do this?! I wanted revenge and was angry (as you can see in the video above). I wanted to disrupt and end the entire Silicon Valley controlled startup culture. But before moving forward I needed to understand the startup. From how it works and where it fails and then create a pivot for it that ultimately became called the foundup. I started this crazy idea by asking a very simple question. A question that would change EVERYTHING!

Is the startup broken and if so how would I fix it? What I discovered about startups shocked me:

What I discovered is no one could define what a startup is. And depending on who you were talking too they defined it differently. The college kid coding his idea, the seed investor and the VC all define them differently.

  1. over 99% of pre-seed startups "fail to fund."
  2. 90% of those that do get become seed angle backed "fail to scale";
  3. and finally, the few that become seeded VC backed ventures - 70% of those also fail to jump the chasm or "The Tipping point."

I also discovered something even more shocking! The startup was the engine fuelling the one global economy and that economy was endemically flawed.

The closed capitalist market, built on the compounded annual growth, assumes that:

  1. Our planet is an infinite object,
  2. the harm corporations cause our planet living system are mere externalities to the cost of doing business.

In 2012 I met with Vitalik's team lead developer Mihai Alisie. They were working on a project called and Bitcoin Magazine. I and Alisie clicked and I gave him, and the future ethereum founders, access to all my foundups IP in the hopes they would help me build what I called the O!F or at the Open Startup !nnovation framework (OS!). I knew of bitcoin but had no idea how it worked or the underlying framework called the blockchain. Without knowing the technical details, I could, however, describe how things would work on it.

I used different words back then: Like Open (decentralized) Corp Cloud for the Blockchain and Open Startup !nnovation framework for building and launching decentralized foundups -- what we call the DAO+Ethereum ecosystem. I even had developed, what I called a soft prototype of a DApp. I explain how foundups would launch with their own currency or what we are calling a token today. I referred to what is an ICO as an Open Public Offering. So what stopped me? I lacked the three things...

  1. Money or access to closed capital funding networks,
  2. How the bitcoin blockchain worked and
  3. An inability to code. 

But I knew what the Open !nnovation Framework needed to be able to do. And that this new (blockchain) paradigm would allow for us to replace the endemically flawed business model by launching the solution in parallel with our current model, allowing individuals and corporations to transfer over to the new ecosystem.

There is a much deeper and important purpose for the blockchain ecosystem and that is to replace our current economic system with a new one.

The punctured sidewall of your tire is an endemic problem (it can't be fixed). The nail in the tire is a systemic one (it can be fixed). Our one planet global economy, built on CAGR, is endemically flawed and all the crisis, barring pandemics and natural disasters, can be directly or indirectly linked to it.

The blockchain exist for one purpose and that is to replace the insane one we currently have with a new one.

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