Babbitt Column | The Struggle of Organizational Form: Comparison of Corporate System and Blockchain Self-Organization

I. Introduction

The concept of blockchain has been very hot in recent years, and there is a concept that follows the blockchain and is called self-organization. Regarding self-organization, the time-stamp capital research report is defined as follows:

Self-organization is an organizational form that operates with self-will. It pursues bottom-up power logic and can stimulate the enthusiasm of individuals within the organization. Self-organization of human society is the third organizational form outside the hierarchical system and market. It is based on trust and can reduce the management costs and transaction costs within the organization, which is sufficient for cost advantage. Blockchain self-organization is an innovative form of organization that breaks through the physical world's self-organizing space and population size constraints and mobilizes greater human collaboration.

This is a relatively written definition. In general, people's understanding of self-organization is: a distributed collaborative project, no clear employees, no clear offline office, or even clear leadership, relying on Token's incentives to achieve Strong collaboration to promote the development of the project.

But in fact, I personally use the concept of self-organization less, because whenever I think of the word self-organization, I always think of the self-organization in biology, one without center, no clue, no direction, all depends on stress. The biological organization that responds to survival, and self-organization in real life is certainly not the case.

In reality, the closest thing to self-organization is the system behind Bitcoin and the system of Ethereum, but even the system of Bitcoin, the earliest of which was hosted by Nakamoto, and there is a core development team in the latter; even if it is The system of the square, there are also V gods in the host, there are co-founders, there are also core development teams are paying.

Compared with self-organization, I prefer to use the concept of "open organization". I think that the so-called self-organization and traditional corporate system, the biggest feature is that traditional companies are closed, and self-organization is open.

Second, the company is closed, self-organization is open

The company is a closed organization, although there are occasional staff movements, but within a certain period of time, the company is a closed team. For example, there is a lot of information that can only be circulated inside the company and cannot be viewed by outsiders; the interests of the company are generally only distributed internally and will not be distributed to people outside the company.

However, self-organization is an open organization. Its opening is basically open to all sides. Anyone can become a part of self-organization, and anyone can leave at any time. For example, if you want to be a miner, you can go directly to buy a machine to mine, you don't need anyone's permission; if you want to be part of the ecology, then you can start building directly, for example, to do a data browser. As a wallet, as long as there are enough users to use it, then you have become part of the ecology;

Moreover, these roles are mobile, you can be a developer today, and you will be a miner tomorrow; you can also be an ecological side, a miner, and a developer. There is only a difference in the division of labor between different positions, and there is no distinction between high and low.

The emergence of self-organization does not mean the demise of traditional organizations, but greatly expands the connotation of the organization. It can effectively expand the stakeholders of the project and turn the original closed economy into an open economic system. Advancing the company's evolution to the next level has enabled a new business paradigm to emerge.

Third, the company's rules are online, self-organizing rules online

In traditional companies, rules are mainly in the hearts of everyone, although some companies may have something like the Code of Conduct for employees, or when it comes to corporate governance, there are the Articles of Association, the Company Law, and the Securities. These things are stipulated in the Law, but these things are all offline and require human resources to perform.

However, the rules of self-organization are mainly online. The meaning on the line is that everything exists in the form of code. The rules are set in advance. They are built by default in the form of algorithms, not by anyone. Will is transferred. When you run the client, you have accepted its rules.

Although we usually use the Internet app when we use the Internet app, we also need to comply with the user agreement built into the app, but these are only specific usage rules, but at the specific product level, not at the corporate governance level.

But self-organization like Bitcoin is different. When Li Xiaolai described bitcoin, he said that Bitcoin is both a product, a company, a World Bank stock, a currency, and a product. , company and other attributes.

That is to say, when you just use Bitcoin, it is a product, you follow the use agreement of Bitcoin products; when you are deeply involved in the ecology of Bitcoin, it is a company, you are obeying Bitcoin's governance agreement, the company's governance rules have been internalized into the Bitcoin code and client.

In fact, you can understand this: the company's rules are expressed in words, and the self-organizing rules are represented by code.

Fourth, the company's revised rules rely on leadership, self-organization to modify the rules by consensus

For a traditional company, if it is a small company, the revision of the company's rules is basically the leader's decision. The leader said today that this rule is not acceptable. Today, this rule can be changed; if it is a large company, such as a listed company. The modification of its rules has a complete process, either through the company's management, or through the board of directors, the shareholders' meeting, as long as the rules are executed according to this process can be modified.

For self-organization, the modification of the rules is much more complicated. Different projects have different means of modifying the rules. For example, projects such as Bitcoin that use the workload proof mechanism mainly rely on the power of voting and bifurcation; for example, the project using the POS mechanism, the number of votes you hold is You modify the power of the rule. Self-organization relies on distributed collaboration. The participants are not in one country, the language is unreasonable, and the values ​​are not the same. It is very difficult to reach a consensus.

If you use a formula to describe the concept of self-organization, I think that "self-organization = automatic execution rules + artificial modification rights" can of course be understood as "self-organization = automatic execution rules + consensus mechanism", but I still like to use The term "man-made rule modification rights" is more abstract because the consensus is more abstract.

Many people think that there is no human factor in the decentralized project. In the end, no one has the final say, but in fact this is a misunderstanding. This formula can break this misunderstanding. All blockchain projects are both coded, automated, and participatory. Some projects are more automated, such as Bitcoin; some projects are more engaged, such as many content platforms.

The more decentralized a project is, the stronger the degree of automation is, and the less the degree of human participation is. On the contrary, the more centralized a project is, the stronger the degree of human involvement. But in any case, completely removing human factors is impossible in any project.

No initial rule is perfect. No initial rule is enough for any scenario, just as there is no code to do all the requirements. The society continues to move forward, consumer preferences are constantly changing, the business environment is changing rapidly, and competitors are constantly improving, all of which require our rules to keep pace with the times.

Nakamoto's bitcoin rules have been designed to be as perfect as many people think, and the most valuable thing is that his design is as simple as possible. The white paper is only 8 pages, and the structure logic is very clear. Even such a perfect and so simple rule, in the subsequent development and high-speed changes in the business competition environment, has also shown that it is not suitable, but also created a series of problems such as expansion, hard fork, lightning network, etc., must also continue Adjust optimization.

No matter what rules are adopted, no matter what mode is adopted, no matter what governance mechanism is used, no matter how they are mutually restrained, as long as the involvement of human factors is involved, it is the competition of strength between people and people, and the competition of influence. The influence between people is different. In the end, the most influential person has the final say. This is the true lowest level of governance.

Therefore, although self-organization has a large number of automated components, although it can be automatically run without modification rules for a long time, once the rules are modified, there will still be decision makers, and eventually still follow the "minority obeying majority, weak Obeying the powerful laws of nature , who is still influential, whoever has the final say.

Fifth, the company's incentives rely on bonuses, self-organization incentives rely on the certificate

The traditional company is an interest-oriented organization. The purpose of the company's existence is to obtain profits. The main purpose of the employees in the company is to maximize their own interests. In short, the more wages, the better. The higher the bonus, the higher the value. it is good. Moreover, the society still has a lot of hard requirements for the company. For example, it is necessary to give social security to each employee, pay five insurances and one gold, and have various welfare measures. The company and employees are bundled in various ways. Together.

However, the relationship in the organization is not tied. The participation of all people in the organization is voluntary. You can participate voluntarily or voluntarily.

Self-organization does not have so many "strange" benefits, all incentives in the organization are solely dependent on the pass, and the pass is distributed to each participant in various ways. Moreover, self-organization is not like traditional companies. There are income, profits, cash flow, and everything that is self-organized is reflected in the price of the currency. The income of all people depends entirely on the price of the certificate.

The wider the scope of use of the certificate, the more people are accepted, the higher the market demand, the higher the price of the certificate, the greater the incentive each participant receives, and the interests of all people are the same.

Sixth, the company's focus is cooperation, the focus of self-organization is competition

Traditional companies rely on cooperation for business, not only for external cooperation, but also for cooperation within. Foreign cooperation is well understood. No cooperation does not give you the business. The internal cooperation also means that for a business development, you need management to allocate resources to you. You need technical support to provide technical support. The product department needs to continually modify the functions of the products, and the financial department needs to timely invoice and invoice. Finally, the people of the whole company work together and the business can be completed.

However, self-organization is slightly different. Self-organization relies mainly on competition. Self-organization does not belong to an individual. No one needs to be responsible for self-organization. How can self-organization maintain vitality and maintain competitiveness?

It depends on competition!

Self-organization is an open system, so anyone can participate, you don't need HR's consent, and you don't need the general manager's consent, as long as you are strong enough, as long as you can win in the open competition, you You can get involved. The number of people involved is much greater. The fierce competition guarantees that only outstanding people can stand out, thus ensuring the vitality and competitiveness of the self-organizing system.

As long as there is enough openness and competition, self-organization can maintain vitality and ensure sufficient competitiveness.


1. A more appropriate statement may be an “open organization” compared to self-organization;

2. The company is closed and self-organized is open.

3. The rules of the company are online, and the rules of self-organization are online;

4. The company revise the rules by leadership, and the self-organized revision rules rely on consensus;

5, the company incentives rely on bonuses, self-organization incentives rely on the pass;

6. The company's focus is cooperation, and the focus of self-organization is competition.