Before we begin

Clark Parsons, 14.04.2016

Having spent years running or now advising companies in the tech or apps space, I’ve grown completely accustomed to a state of counting up from 1.0, of agile evolution. What began a product philosophy in the software branch has now become a relatively well-known concept: a state of incremental, feedback-driven improvement. Just as we’re all accustomed to a new smartphone or operating system coming out all the time, we hope to look back in a few years at an IE.F that has been developed way beyond its initial 1.0 version.

And although we aren’t an app or a Software-as-a-Service, it’s important to say it explicitly when kicking off the Internet Economy Foundation: we’re in Version 1.0. We want to build a think tank for both the Internet Economy and the Internet Age, and that’s going to be a fascinating, perhaps even thrilling, and hopefully satisfying process. The encouragement we have received already is a great sign that the world needs something like the IE.F

You can already read about our ideas and values on our website, but besides what we think, it’s equally important to address how we plan to act. So here are 3 points on our mind as we get ready to introduce ourselves to the world with our kickoff event next week.

  • Our issues will change; our values should not. The Internet economy is developing so fast, and the controversies and issues that are debated today are being settled by the marketplace or legislation with increasing speed. But the underlying themes we want to stress should endure, like for example the abiding need to ensure fair competition, or the urgency of developing thriving digital economies that benefit everyone.
  • We can’t do this alone. We want to be a useful resource for the Internet Economy and give it a voice. That means understanding and speaking for the companies, large and small, that are often too focused on building their businesses to pay attention to economics or policy. That also means paying attention to societal effects of the Internet economy that go beyond just business. But this ambitious vision demands a collaborative effort. We don’t have all the answers, but working together, we can help everyone ask the right questions. So our success will be determined, in large part, by our ability to create community, network, obtain knowledge, and share it. Which leads to...
  • Yes, we are interested to hear your idea for collaboration. There is a growing number of like-minded, Internet-related events, movements, institutes, research centers, think-tanks, NGOs and others. We’re open to partnerships and joint activities that will help us meet our goals. That can take the form of studies, events, workshops, publications, speaking engagements, or other creative forms of thought leadership. Please note: we don’t make grants or donations, and collaboration with us will mean co-labor, not sponsorship.