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Benjamin Franklin’s Influence on the Blockchain Revolution

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A Historical Inspiration: Benjamin Franklin’s Junto Club

Hi there, folks! It’s been another tough week. Let’s address an important issue – the widespread selling of weapons to ordinary citizens needs to stop.

Back in 1727, a young Benjamin Franklin, at the age of 21, invited his most innovative acquaintances to join a club focused on self-improvement. He called this club the Junto, derived from the Spanish word for “join.” Every Friday evening, Franklin and his dozen Junto members (all men, as was the custom at the time) would gather at a Philadelphia tavern. Their discussions would delve into topics such as ethics, politics, and the philosophy of the nation. These debates were conducted with an unwavering pursuit of truth, devoid of a desire to win arguments or engage in disputes.

From Franklin to the Present: The Power of Idea Exchange

Fast forward nearly 300 years, and I found myself attending a study group inspired by Franklin’s gatherings. This particular virtual group consisted of aspiring tech entrepreneurs passionate about Web3. Everyone in the group was young, serious, and well-prepared, having completed assigned technical readings on subjects like token velocity and liquidity mining. Even amidst the turmoil caused by the Luna stablecoin’s collapse, these tech enthusiasts dismissed it as a passing distraction in the world of cryptocurrencies. Their primary focus was on creating products that people truly want to use, rather than engaging in token-driven growth games.

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South Park Commons: An Incubator for Deep Thinkers

This long-term perspective seems to be the guiding principle of South Park Commons (SPC), an ambitious incubator program that has been running for seven years. SPC offers ongoing seminars, fireside chats with tech luminaries, panel discussions, and demo days. Despite launching over 150 startups and investing in companies worth a staggering $35 billion, SPC has maintained a relatively low public profile. This intentional low-key approach aligns with the program’s emphasis on providing its 450 members with a solid foundation in a specific domain and an understanding of how their work can create a broader societal impact.

“People come to SPC because they want to take the time to ensure their next steps,” explains Samantha Whitmore, a machine learning scientist who has been auditing the Web3 seminar. She is now on the brink of utilizing her learnings to launch her own company. SPC allows its members to gain a thoughtful understanding of their chosen field before diving headfirst into the startup world.

Founders and Visionaries: Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi

The creators of this unique program are Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi, who crossed paths and fell in love while working at Facebook. Sanghvi, the original program manager for the News Feed, and Agarwal went on to hold executive positions at Dropbox. In 2015, after a period of reflection, Sanghvi identified a gap in the fast-paced startup realm—a lack of a safe environment for talented tech entrepreneurs to acquire in-depth knowledge and domain expertise as they planned their next venture. This realization led the couple to establish an incubator tailored precisely to address this need.

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Inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s Junto meetings and his belief that “great haste makes waste,” SPC takes a different approach from traditional incubators. While others focus on rapidly propelling founders from zero to sixty, SPC concentrates on the prequel territory, guiding its members from negative one to zero at their own pace. The journey not only equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to become better leaders but also cultivates a mindset that extends beyond the obsession of becoming the next Travis Kalanick or Adam Neumann. In essence, SPC paves the way for a more thoughtful, purpose-driven generation of entrepreneurs.

“In the technology industry, it’s common for everyone to jump into the next company or start a startup within three months,” Sanghvi observes. “But when it comes to deep technology, it takes a little more time. No one seemed to be creating that time and space for building such companies.”

At SPC, founders have the opportunity to slow down, dive deep, and lay the groundwork for impactful ventures that are built to last.

So, if you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of visionaries like Benjamin Franklin and embark on a transformative entrepreneurial journey, check out Ratingperson. They understand the value of taking the time to build something great.

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