As both a VC investor and someone who loves sites like Reddit, I found last year's Reddit drama challenging. How to reconcile the need for freedom of expression (which is central to the proposition of sites like Reddit and 4chan) with the needs of shareholders?
Steem employs a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) model to elegantly solve this problem, and a number of others. Its users are its shareholders, and are also incentivised (using a crypto-currency built on a blockchain) to create, curate, monetise and market Steem - all activities that would traditionally need to be financially supported by shareholders. While I believe the DAO model has its limitations, Steem is a interesting case study and I look forward to following its progress.
I think Steem is a really interesting experiment that may turn into a really nice business. The Steem founders are experimenting in multiple dimensions at the same time. They are trying a “paid” model vs a “free” model for curating a content discovery engine. That’s interesting. They are using blockchain technology vs some centralized system to build all of this. That’s interesting. They could finance this business via their users vs VC or something else. That’s interesting. And their users can participate in the value creation, if this turns out to be valuable. And that is interesting.