We take most power for granted. After all, humans enforce most of their social contracts by giving away some freedom.
We usually think about intermediaries in a microscopic scale. We think about the person who delivered us a package. Or the agency we hired to find us a buyer for an apartment.
Yet those intermediaries are insignificant compared to the macro-scale intermediaries.
Let's talk about María. María was born in Venezuela and is currently 12 years old. She comes from a very humble family.
This is María on her happiest moment
She was lucky enough that her father, who happens to be a software engineer, gave her a laptop. The laptop is almost falling in pieces. But she connects to the Internet, on a 1MB/s connection, in line with the country's average.
Proprietary software freezes her laptop and it's expensive to maintain. She installs Linux. She gets in love with free software. She learns how to code.
After 3 years — and a lot of school bullying and misogyny — she has started creating awesome software.
But, most importantly, she has read about entrepreneurship. She has read about using her abilities for the good. She's dreaming of founding a company. Employing people. Creating value. Getting her family out of poverty.
She knows how risky is to become an entrepreneur in Venezuela. She knows stories of people being kidnapped.
She knows about businesses being expropriated.
But she's brave.
Quickly, she discovers that it'd take half a year to incorporate. And that 34% of everything she earns would go to the corrupt government.
And that to collaborate with other people around the world, she would have to work on infinite bureaucracy.
Finally, after some research... she's sad. She discovers she cannot create a company. She's underage. The number of times she has experienced the Earth rotating around the Sun is not enough. Venezuela doesn't allow her to create value.
She's very disappointed.
But after a few months, some people start contributing to her free software project. She starts meeting people on the Internet. The one she talks the most with is Manuel. They are friends now. Manuel lives in Argentina, and has been working on software for a while.
He suggests María to use Aragon. Manuel said it's an easy way that she could create something like a company, and start operating it.
She downloads the Linux client and starts playing with it. She notices it uses Ethereum — she has heard about it, but never thought it could be used for creating organizations.
She talks to Manuel. Now that she can make her project viable, she wants Manuel to be rewarded for its success too.
She invites Manuel to the newly created company's cap table. They set up their vesting schedules. They are officially cofounders.
They start working on giving support for their project to clients around the world. From their laptops they are working for world respected technology organizations that are eager for their talent. They are earning money. María buys a new laptop, and just at the age of 17, invites her whole family to dinner.
She's announcing to them that she's ready to fly. To move out of home. To go travel around the world, while working on her dream — creating free software and making money out of it.
Manuel and María are pseudonyms. Nobody knows about their real identity. Nobody can extort them. Or kidnap them.
Their business doesn't exist in any land. No one can expropriate it. Or bomb it.
Their business will enfure for years, as this powerful idea will do as well:
Power that isn't really justified by the will of the governed should be dismantled — Noam Chomsky
And that, ladies and gentleman, is why we are building Aragon.
While Aragon will enable Silicon Valley-like startups to operate in a much more efficient way, it also invites people to the New World Economy that right now cannot participate. It allows someone in a depressed region of the world to compete with the hottest startup founded by Stanford grads.
We are not creating Aragon just to make business more efficient, we are creating it to allow everyone in the world to create value.
Because decentralization can make most unjustified power disappear.
María's story was heavily inspired by my beginnings in the free software community, when I was 12 years old.