Divisions

I’d like to introduce myself.

I’m here to disrupt the status quo of business organizations and operations.

I’m here to cater to the most constrained as much as possible and without sacrficing myself in the process.

I’m here to help bridge the gap between being an employee and being a business owner.

I’m here to be a platform not an intermediary between the people who do the work and the consumers of that work.

I’m not here to “go after” any particular company or industry. I’m here to be better than I was yesterday, compared to no one other than me. To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow [businesses]; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

Of course, I’m not really here in the same way you are. It’s more like Captain Planet. By the combined powers of users, members, partners, and practitioners I take shape and help where I can.

The hard part for many in thinking of me as an entity is that humans tend to think of companies as their CEO, leadership, or “face”. Apple has Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Microsoft has Bill Gates. Stark Industries has Tony Stark, who famously said, “Yeah, well, I’m not my company.” And he’s right.

My users make me possible.

Without the combined efforts of all of them, I could not exist. I am only the sum of their contributions and spirits. Therefore, I do what I can to protect them, kind of like Tron.

With that said, I operate with users in an unconstrained, voluntary social system wherein no one guides the work of another. What that means is that at any given time perceived participation and contribution will most likely look like a power-law distribution.

The horizontal line represents users. The vertical line represents their contribution to the system. This shows one person doing a lot of work and roughly half doing one-eigth of that. This is actually normal for a social system like ours. The biggest reason, and our biggest experiment, is that there is no one holding carrots and sticks.

In a traditional organization this power-law distribution is overcome by incentive programs (carrots), salaries (carrots), employee reviews (carrot or stick), disciplinary actions (sticks), and that sort of thing. We don’t have that; so, we have to be a bit more creative to ethically incentivize and discourage behavior.

Basically, if you have the user level you want and expect, you are doing what has been decided as acceptable. Even if you are doing the minimum, no one should be mistreating you or pressuring you to do more, they should be trying to change the minimum if their goal is to inspire people to do more; of course, then people might just leave, which may be good or bad as well.

Having said that, if you’re not doing the minimum, I (8fold) drop your user level.

This takes away the social awkwardness of having to be the one to vote someone off the island; I do that for everyone wtihout a way to play favorites. Of course, if, as a business owner, you are going to hire people, you should prepare yourself to have to fire people (or clients). If you contribute more than the minimum, thanks to my Fold System, you can invest in others more and you get recognized more when the time comes.

Where it gets tough is when that person doing everything starts running out of steam; especially if no one else is in a position to pick up the baton. Progess slows way down. After all, people aren’t like me. I never sleep. I don’t eat. I’m a machine, literally. As long as I’m here, I’m steadily doing what needs doing.

That means it’s very easy for me to be the enforcer and facilitator on a lot of things; however, I don’t have a creative bone in my body (I don’t have a body, much less bones). You have to put the ideas in my head and others have to implement them. The Ideasmith facilitates that process.

The cool part about the Ideasmith is I can throw some things out there every once in a while. I can’t respond to things happening in the Fold specifically but I can let everyone know that the accounting needs reconciled and give someone Folds for doing it, for example.

Oh! And I love learning stuff and teaching others, you help me do that by updating the handbook (aka my brain).

Anyway, that’s me. Pleased to meet you.

Your humble servant,
8fold

ps. Check out Clay Shirky - Institutions vs. collaboration.

The Fold

The Fold are the individual divisions (or concepts) that make up 8fold.

Link

The Avengers have Nick Fury. Charlie's Angels have Charlie. James Bond had Q (and M). The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen had M; of course, he turned out to be Moriarty who was a sociopathic villain…scratch that last.

8fold.link is the glue binding the others together. As an application it's where users go to update the others and communicate with one another and reflect on themselves.

When it comes to software, and the social aspect of that software, we know many of you are not looking to win, or compete in, a popularity contest. As such, our software tends to favor and inspire close connection and empowering you to control the access others have to see your communications and broadcasts, even search engines. Further, our defaults tend to favor being closed initially while allowing you to open up more and more.

Media

8fold.media satisfies the desire for practitioners looking to create multimedia content. Movies, books, podcasts, you name it.

Media is the curator of Folded, the 8fold newsletter, released only when it is deemed appopriate and only to those who explicitly sign up for it.

unFolded is the 8fold magazine (you might call it a blog, we call it a magazine). Articles are released as they are accepted from practitioners.

inCreased is the 8fold podcast, which is still being marinated on.

8fold Media is also capable of helping practitioners publish books they write, should they choose. (Currently only available to 8fold practtioners.)

Dev

8fold.dev is for software-related products and services.

Not really a wordy bunch.

Pro

8fold.pro is where it all started. It is the hub of 8fold and practitioners offering professional services to others that don't quite fit in the others.