2 min read

Cruel Incentives

Cruel Incentives

A drug dealer has no incentive to help their customers get clean. A government has no incentive to help citizens become sovereign.

An extreme comparison? Maybe. But, it's not incorrect.

This is the Shirky Principle and it's worth taking note of in a world ruled by incentives.

“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” — CLAY SHIRKY

The more destructive the problem, the greater the willingness-to-pay, the more profitable the enterprise, the greater the lengths a provider will go to in ensuring the problem's persistence (war:defence contractors, pests:exterminators, lonliness:dating apps, diabetes:pharmaceuticals).

We all know how valuable repeat customers are- measuring their worth in lifetime value. Few existing business models can survive on a one-and-done strategy.

The only reason to solve your customers problem entirely, and have them exit your funnel, is if you then benefit from having them (now fitter, happier, healthier, smarter, or more principled) in your tribe.

I think about this a lot in terms of bitcoin education.

Most of my work is targeted at introducing people to bitcoin and the flaws in fiat currency. Once they're convinced, they no longer need any of my educational resources. They move on to more complex topics.

But, in the process, I (and all bitcoiners) benefit from having another participant in the bitcoin economy. Someone incentivized to create value vs. extract value. As the saying goes: bitcoin aligns incentives.

▶️New Video Lecture

Last week I ran a poll to ask followers what I should work on next. The winner was an online course.

While most of my work will always be free, this project will take a significant amount of time and resources. Hence I hope to offer a full-length version (paid) and a much shorter version (free).

I've already begun work on it. Here's a sample adapted from one of my most-downloaded presentations.

📕Premium Version of The Bitcoin Handbook

My publisher (Konsensus Network) has just released a premium matte version of The Bitcoin Handbook (initial print run = 100 copies). It is only available to 🇪🇺EU customers via their store.

I do have a handful of copies that I will personally sign and ship within the 🇺🇸US and 🇨🇦Canada (first-come, first-served).