If penguins could fly

The future of work is networked. Whether through leveraging your personal network as a founder, or cultivating a vibrant online community — successful entrepreneurs of the future will be those that figure out how to rally others around what they are doing.

In 1937, British economist Ronald Coase published “The Nature of the Firm” which outlined why companies exist and what limits their growth. Sixty five years later in 2002, Yale economist Yochai Benkler wrote “Coase’s Penguin” which noted that the web enables a new decentralized kind of firm, one that can be more efficient than traditional firms or markets at creating open projects like Wikipedia or Linux.

Benkler used the penguin in part because it was Linux’s mascot, but also because the waddling, flightless bird was representative of the mess and chaos he saw in digital networks, even the ones that could compete with traditional firms.

Now, those penguins are learning to fly. The companies of the future will be built by networks — from personal networks to communities and everything in between. That’s what I write about.

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Investigating how builders leverage digital networks and communities to build the future.


Joey DeBruin

Neuroscientist turned product builder - I care most about the small but powerful overlap of decentralized communities and public goods.