Networks and technology can leverage the efforts of a few. This can create a lot of value. I’m not the first to say this, of course.
Wikipedia is created and maintained by a tiny fraction of the people who use it.
In freemium-supported websites, the whole site is supported by a tiny portion of users who pay.
Further, the people who create and maintain Wikipedia like doing it. And, the people who pay on a freemium site see the value of paying. In both cases, networks and technology leverage the efforts of a few, and create much value for other people in the process.
How many more things can we apply this approach to, in the process freeing up more time and resources, and improving the quality of life?
Part of the secret is technology allows people to leverage their time so much. Even among the small number of people contributing to Wikipedia and other group-created efforts, it usually doesn’t take all their time. It’s not like a full-time job.
Maybe networks and technology make, or can make, the notion of specialized work dominating your life less common. And being bored less common.
This is related to another thing about Wikipedia. How many worldwide, free, online encyclopedias do we need? One may be enough.
So what if we didn’t focus on making money so much as creating vibrant contexts, environments and proximities within which to live? Proximities in which the focus could be more on variety, vitality and liveliness? Isn’t that a big part of why people want money anyway? They want to be able to do a variety of different things. Maybe technology and networks offer new ways to create contexts and proximities within which people have that.
What is holding us back? Perhaps we need a new framework to think about this problem, and to structure new approaches. That’s what the ProxThink framework offers, I believe.