I’m not a fan of Elon Musk, but you can’t deny his tweets have real-world implications.
If you saw Musk’s tweet in 2020 and said to yourself, I’m going to gamble $100 on this Dogecoin thing, it would be $10,000 today! I’m not convinced that there is much room left for Doge to grow, but it certainly seems that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum will. In April 2012, Bitcoin had roughly 10,000 users. By the following year, it was up to 250,000 people. Now it’s around 30 million. In April 2012, one bitcoin was worth about $100 depending on the day. Just recently, it reached a high of $64,899. In the crypto world, they tell you to HODL, and those that did have seen their assets go “to the moon.”
Just 10,000 people kickstarted Bitcoin creating fantastic growth year after year. Less than 50,000 people believed in Bernie Sanders when he launched his campaign in 2015, and they paved the way for the most impactful losing presidential campaign in our history. This brings me to my point, which you probably already know but bears repeating — it doesn’t take that many people for a profound change. You only need a base of passionate supporters and time. This power can be used for disastrous consequences, as with the small group of swindlers who didn’t care that blatantly lying about election results had horrible consequences. Still, I believe the capacity for immense positive change is just around the corner. It’s just about how those with a large platform harness the power, and those who don’t have a platform can weave together a coalition.
It’s not just cults of personality that have this power either. There is real potential for writer collectives to have greater power than those who go solo. Whether individual or collective, these pockets of potential are the driving force in our society. Decentralized solutions such as crypto are well-positioned to take advantage of this. Still, I hope our imagination won’t be limited to how good our return on investment will be. Private, exclusive cities are becoming more and more popular, offering a place for the privileged to create the society they desire. However, is creating a real-life version of that Matt Damon movie Elysium the best solution? Maybe instead of going to the moon, we can build a better world???
Those of you who read this and have access to a platform, especially in politics, I hope you’ll consider new and different asks than just raising money. Or that a portion of the money raised goes to trying new tactics. On the left, we’ve gotten very good at raising large sums of money from individuals, but are we using that power and money to drive progress?