Presidential Platform
🏰

Presidential Platform

🐉⚡️🐲⚡️🐉

"At the critical moment, the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand."
"He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance."
"To muster his host and bring it into danger: — this may be termed the business of the general."
Dear Partners, My platform as your President, and Chairman of the Board, for the next four to eight years, is as follows…
image
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1. Foundation: Two Viable Directions

The Choice Before You

This isn't urgent, but it is important. This is going to be a long essay, written late at night from a ski lodge on top of a blizzard-swept mountain far away to the north, in Norway.

But just in case you don't have time to read the rest of this, and are wondering what it all boils down to, it's just this: there is a choice we need to make, between two viable directions, and I am asking you to vote on it.

The choice before you is simple:

(A) is for Alpha: a courageous

full of leaders, led by a legendary
🥋
Leaders
hip team full of contrarians, led by their fellow contrarian (👋 Hi, that's me,
🧙🏼‍♂️
Francis
!), pursuing neither advisable nor inadvisable strategies, that may seem risky, but actually logically reduce risk, while empowering us to seek maximum Alpha, charting a course to a $1T Valuation!

(B) is for Beta: default consensus 🐑 playbooks that seem less risky and will probably still make you rich, as you chart a course to a $10B Valuation. Coasting off the Alpha of the past, but only seeking to deliver Beta follow-through from here on out…

Essentially, that’s the decision you need to make. The rest is important, but detail.

🩻 A Brief One Pager: The Skeletal Super-Summary

Ah I knew you’d ask me for this: a less over-simplified summary - fine! You don’t want to read the WHOLE thing but you do want to know more than two paragraphs. Got it, got it, I’ve heard your feedback. Here you go… 🧙🏽‍♂️🪄

So, as I was just saying…

(A) is for Alpha: a courageous

full of leaders, led by a legendary
🥋
Leaders
hip team full of contrarians, led by their fellow contrarian (👋 Hi, that's me,
🧙🏼‍♂️
Francis
!), pursuing neither advisable nor inadvisable strategies, that may seem risky, but actually logically reduce risk, while empowering us to seek maximum Alpha, charting a course to a $1T Valuation!

(B) is for Beta: default consensus 🐑 playbooks that seem less risky and will probably still make you rich, as you chart a course to a $10B Valuation. Coasting off the Alpha of the past, but only seeking to deliver Beta follow-through from here on out…

SUPER SUMMARY

  • This is my
    🏰
    Presidential Platform
    . I am running for President & Chairman of
    🐲
    Pendragon
    and
    ♾️
    Infinity
    . The election begins @December 30, 2022 and runs until @January 8, 2022 12:00 AM (GMT+2). The decision to have an election itself is an expression of my belief in the
    🌈
    Partnership
    and the direction I intend on taking us.
  1. There is a real choice to make because there are Two Viable Directions, which is the first of 3 points in this platform. If you choose A is for Alpha, you get me and $1T, if you choose B is for Beta, you vote for the Default Path and $10B. The $1T path is paradoxically less risky than the $10B path, because of details…
  2. The second point in my platform is to understand why The Devil Is In The Defaults, to first steel man it and give it a voice and respond to its criticisms of me and my platform, but also to help you understand how dangerous the Default Path (B is for Beta) really can be over time. Probably long after we’re all $10B rich, but $10B is no $1T!
  3. The third point in my platform is describes the general Direction I’m taking the company in…
    • My vision, which is very expansive and yet idiosyncratically bound to me, but which involes you really embracing your identity as one of the
      🀄
      Dragons
      of the
      🌈
      Partnership
      - get ready for costume parties!
    • My plan to execute on that bold vision, which has three phases: 1. Leviathan, in which we unite the Partnership, Specialists and Agents… 2. Constitution, in which we formalize
      📜
      Dragon Law
      as a governance system, to turn this into a fully legitimate and truly legendary institution, and 3. Renaissance, in which we go save the world while disrupting the entire establishment!
    • The two paradoxically de-risking super-structural moves I’m making which are:
      • 🐲
        Pendragon
        is on top to provide governance sytems, succession & estate planning, checks & balances and accountability to vision and values. In summary, to turn us into AN INSTITUTION.
      • ♾️
        Infinity
        is the wealth creation platform: it’s a holding company that follows the
        📈
        Outsiders
        playbook for capital allocation, while aligning incentives at both the global and local level, to give the most entrepreneurial partnership in the world endless opportunities to disrupt the establishment, while systematically building Network Effects and the other
        🏰
        7 Powers
        .
        • Inside, there are the Nine Realms that
          🌈
          Bifrost
          displays like a Table of Contents. In Plain English, there are Nine Companies underneath Infinity, and each one can have Business Units - although they are all so networed, thinking hierarchically isn’t the right way of conceptualizing it… it’s more like a brain, a network.

Essentially, that’s the decision you need to make. The rest is important, but detail.

📈 Definitions of ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’

If you’re not familiar with ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ as financial terms, let me briefly define them as follows:

  • Beta’ is the average of market performance over time, whereas…
  • Alpha’ is sustained & significant variance above or below that average.
    • Alpha’ thus, by definition, is achieved by pursuing a contrarian strategy, in other words, by fundamentally disagreeing with consensus…
      • How does one productively disagree with consensus? By developing a counter-thesis and executing on that counter-thesis - following through on a contrarian vision with contrarian strategy, contrarian execution and contrarian culture.
  • Thus both Alpha and Beta are fractal, that is, they exist at multiple dimensions: at the level of vision, strategy, execution and culture.

This can be visualized by this 2x2 graph:

Consensus (Beta)
Contrarian (Alpha)
Right / Outperform
Average Outperformance
Extraordinary Outperformance
Wrong / Underperform
Average Underperformance
Extraordinary Underperformance

Thus Alpha refers to relative returns not absolute returns. As long as our BPO competitors suck (ie. remain inferior on key dimensions), Alpha just means outperforming - so in that sense, I expect that even our Beta strategy from here on out will generate Alpha, because it is based on the foundation we’ve built for over 7 years by pursuing our initial thesis which was High Alpha. But the way I am using the term Alpha here is in reference to seeking Alpha relative to ourselves, not relative to others. In other words, over the last 7 years we’ve estabished a foundation for our culture, product and overall business model which has put us on a baseline trajectory. That trajectory is now our beta relative-to-ourselves, although it is high alpha relative-to-BPOs.

To seek alpha relative-to-ourselves, the primary leader of the organization (ie. the President & Chairman) needs to A) be capable of first principles thinking on Grand Strategy, and B) use such thinking to develop a clear thesis on how to increase trajectory over baseline with good risk-adjusted returns, and C) have, or be able to generate, the political will to follow through on that new strategy. This is precisely what I am attempting to do right now.

For further reading on this framework and its implied philosophy — which spans business, investing, technology, innovation, history, politics, culture and philosophy — can be found in Doug Clinton’s Contrarian Mindset. Doug is one of our early investors and allies. If you read the book, you are welcome to ask me for an introduction.

The Contrarian Mind.pdf426.2KB
Steelmanning Beta, Going Full Alpha, The Halfway Temptation

Because I am running unopposed, and wield rhetoric to my advantage, one of the dangers inherent in our situation is that I might ‘strawman’ Beta and skip over logical counter-arguments.

So I endeavor to ‘steelman’ Beta, both here and throughout - giving it a voice and due consideration. One can imagine a strong Beta voice making the following critiques of my plan:

$10B is a stepping stone to $1T.

Yes, but there are certain Windows of Opportunity that are open now that will close soon. For example, we have grown from 1000 people in September to about 1350 today, and by the end of next year we may be well over 3000. The cultural erosion involved in that movement will make it far harder, if not impossible, to unite the culture around this particular vision and set of values, principles and frameworks in 2024 or later.

If you go for one $1T and you get $0, $10B is infinitely superior.

Sure, but my moves are ironically de-risking to the $10B outcome. I am not claiming to add any structural risk. For example, checks & balances are de-risking, succession planning is de-risking, ROI-driven capital allocation is de-risking, Value Add Per Share shareholder accountability is de-risking, segmentation is de-risking, empowering individuals as leaders of business units and aligning their incentives with the performance of those business units is de-risking, etcetera, etcetera.

You claim that your strategy is de-risking relative to baseline, but if it truly is Neither Advisable Nor Inadvisable, you can’t be sure you’ll discover your mistakes before reality does!

True, which is why I am A) creating checks and balances, and B) upgrading decision-making processes and governance in general, and C) surrounding myself with advisors and partners within a culture where everyone is expected to be able to read, write, think and debate!

You claim to be creating checks & balances, but you are running unopposed and appointing allies to key positions, these are not real checks and balances.

Directionally, I am making a clear move towards a Constitutional framework - this is a Presidential Platform, NOT a Constitution. Our Constitution, Dragon Law, has yet to be written, and that is one of the primary agenda items of my first Administration. This is a Plan to have a Plan, and an elucidation of certain key principles which will inform whatever framework we come up with. As for the quality of those I am nominating, I will let their credentials speak for themselves. As for their intellectual independence and that of my management team, I can assure you that I receive constant feedback - as evinced by the following gesture: if you disagree, I welcome your feedback directly on Whatsapp or Email.

Your biggest risk is cultural. Nobody has ever heard of elections like this. The mythology and philosophy and strategy stuff is over people’s heads. You are attempting to make your partners Grand Strategists, when they really just need to focus on executing on the day-to-day. Everything you are doing is so distracting that you run a big risk of taking the company down with you on what seems increasingly like a cult of some kind!

Granted, however, mythology, philosophy, strategy - these are subjects because they contain insight, which is adaptive. Some of the most extraordinary advances in human history (uh-oh, another non-business subject!) have come from applying an insight from one subject to another. In this case, my critics are right, I am making an all-in bet on the ability of the Partnership to toggle between day-to-day execution and long-range strategic and conceptual thought. But I’ve been making that bet for seven years, so how is this different? This is a difference of degree: I’m doubling and tripling down on the strategy, because I perceive it to be working. It would be very ironic indeed to criticize me for betting on you. Make me right.

You’re taking a No Compromise approach, whereas wisdom often involves prudent compromises.

Keep reading…

These are excellent critiques, if I don’t say so myself! As are the responses hidden in the toggles.

As for the No Compromise approach vs. the Compromised approach, that gets at the essential question. It is my view that Vision-Strategy-Culture-Execution are all bound up in One Dynamic. And that is why you can’t achieve an extraordinary vision by ordinary means. An extraordinary vision is absurd and impossible but for an extraordinary strategy which is also absurd and impossible but for an extraordinary culture capable of extraordinary execution. It must be extraordinary all the way down: full-stack Alpha.

Going halfway is such a dangerous temptation, it is hard to overstate. Having spent my 20s and early 30s as a broke entrepreneur, to finally get paid off by reality - this is like receiving a bribe to stop being a rebel. Reality is bribing me because it is scared of what will happen if I keep doubling down on deconstructing and arbitraging reality. Conversely, if I accept the bribe, and attempt to preserve our Vision-Strategy-Culture-Execution dynamic, I will certainly fail. Because nothing is preserved without either erosion or reinvention. Cultures are dynamic. They are either evolving or devolving. They are either re-discovering their founding principles, “as if for the first time,” or they are forgetting them, even while honoring them with various forms of lipservice to a founding moment of the past.

At Apple, for example, they almost certainly have a conflicted relationship with the historical reality of Steve Jobs. On the one hand, everyone must know, in their heart of hearts, in their gut of guts, in their mind of minds, that if he was resurrected and in charge, he would be absolutely furious that no fundamental innovation had occured since his death - that the company had basically followed through on his baseline Alpha with Beta Playbooks for TWELVE YEARS. He would also probably be amazed at the success of his original thinking, that this time, his departure did not result in an immediate collapse. Then he would give a big speech and remind everyone of Apple’s CERTAIN DOOM eventually - sooner or later - if it does not REINVENT itself. Then he would proceed to the reinvention. Tim Cook will never do that, which is why he should be fired. If I was on Apple’s board, that would be my position: but I would probably be fired first; unless I disguised my view and maneuvered stealthily, as all warriors often must.

Okay, I agree. I’m not being fair to poor (not very poor) old (well he’s not exactly young either…) Tim Cook - I am sure it is not easy to run such a gargantuan organization and generate such astonishing profits! And he seems like a nice guy, which is exactly the quality we should evaluate leaders by. So I’ve changed my mind, actually, while writing this. He’s not fired… He can join the

any time. But he shouldn’t be the CEO of Apple, in my opinion. Apple needs a
🚀
Visionary
.

Stealth, maneuverability & vigilance! I have been vigilant but disguised my view and maneuvered stealthily, for the views which I am now sharing openly have grown in my mind for a long time. But the time was not right to share them. Now the timing is right. Thus I have essentially sprung an ambush on my own company. Think of it as a Friendly Takeover, paradoxically executed by the person already in charge. This is the role of a leader. To not get captured. To not be blind to the unseen realm, and its chess board. To constantly realign everyone towards one’s sense for the ideal, and to dare everyone to re-invent the company. “Preserving” the culture sounds wise, but it is actually a losing battle. The only way to preserve the cutlure is to constantly return to values-principles-dynamics-archetypes, to vision-strategy-culture-execution, in a word, to fundamentals.

Risk-Perceptions vs. Risk-Actuals

In the world that we’re in, the riskiest thing that you can do is not to take risks. You don’t want to take stupid risks, but minimizing risk in all forms is foolish. Risk is the landscape. It must be skillfully navigated.

Essential to understanding my strategy is the recognition that perceived risk and actual risk are fundamentally different things.

My strategy may seem risky, but structurally it boils down to two moves: the creation of Pendragon, and the creation of Infinity. Pendragon reduces-risk through governance systems, succession patterns, checks & balances and estate planning. Infinity reduces-risk through incentive alignment, capital allocation, network effects, modularity, segmentation, opportunity creation, and its ability to attract and retain resources, especially talent.

So what’s the problem? Change is scary. Most of you were alarmed at one point or another this month. And that’s kind of the whole point of this section…

‘The Medium Is The Message’: This Month Exemplifies This Principle

When I announced the election at the start of this month, especially the way I announced it, alarmed most partners. Change is alarming, dramatic change is especially alarming, dramatic change done dramatically is extremely alarming. I alarmed you.

On one level I was doing my best to communicate, driven by the exigencies of the situation, especially its extreme time-compession, in the way that felt most authentic to me… But on another level I was definitely self-consciously punking you, and the negative feedback was hardly a surprise. Feedback well received.

Now it’s my turn to give you feedback! The medium is the message. Part of what I was doing was alerting you to just how scary it is that you all rely on me to be a benevolent dictator. What if I make a mistake? Yikes. Maybe checks and balances are an urgent and important priority after all! Better prioritize an election ASAP! Lol.

Pay attention to strategy, to history, to books. Don’t get caught in the trap of the day-to-day. Most of what you see around you is an illusion. I am now writing this from a coffee shop in Copenhagen. (Yes, the first draft was written from a ski lodge in Norway.) When the Romans legions first marched through these northern low countries, they did not see themselves as conquering equals. How ironic that Northern Europe is now dramatically wealthier and more powerful than Southern Europe. Sweeping macro explanations include Protestantism, Capitalism and Geography. Micro explanations may point to individuals and moments. But a psychological explanation is the illusion of time.

Humans struggle to conceive of the Time Dimension of Reality. The coffee shop I am sitting in is essentially identical in format and aesthetic to the coffee shops we’ve all sat in all around the world. Essentially identical to the coffee shops that Kamron and I sat in when we were laying the foundations of Invisible in San Francisco and San Diego. Essentially identical to the coffee shops I’ve met with countless names and faces in New York.

To the consciousness of the contemporary bourgeoise (read: you, me, us), this coffee shop is a symbol of permanence. Has there ever been a time before this coffee shop reigned supreme? Will there ever come a time after the fall of coffee shops? These are the whispers of the collective unconscious that it takes a trained ear to hear. We almost can’t conceive of a reality in which coffee shops are not as ubiquitous as the middle class itself.

Vision, strategy, culture, execution - these words involve seeing the coffee shop as an illusion of time, a historical phenomenon, a trick that has been made to appear, that can be made to disappear. Understand! Understand what Steve Jobs meant by this:

"Life can be so much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people who were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Entrepreneurs are not just doers, they are first and foremost thinkers, then they are communicators - they are doers last. To think-speak-do becomes of-one-motion, these distinctions blur, but what does not blur is the deconstruction of the world around you. The word ‘entrepreneur’ in French means ‘undertaker.’ To undertake the making of a new world, to undertake the making of anything, that is, any thing, in the world, is to alter one’s essential relationship to the world. Once you become an entrepreneur, you are no longer a participant in the world. You are a maker of the world. To re-make the world, to construct, you must first be able to un-make the world, that is, to de-construct it.

De-construction begins in the mind. Begin to disassemble everything around you. Question everything. Think-everything-through unceasingly and endlessly. Whirl in the mystery of the complexity of history’s interrelated dimensions and forces.

Be utterly humbled by your mortality and limits. The limits to your lifeforce energy, the limits to your waking hours and the remaining years of your productive life, the limits to your ability to think and perceive and gain insight, the limits to you ability to convey that insight to others, the limits to your ability to productively organize others around profitable activities that actually make the world a better place.

Entrepreneurship is, in a sense, the height of pride, and yet paradoxically humility is its basis. Undertaking change is the glory and courage of an individual daring to wrestle with history itself, instead of just being a passive participant or victim within it.

When I honor you with the titles entrepreneur, or cofounder, or dragon - I am not merely flattering you shamelessly as a cunning politician, nor am I merely observing you as a worthy peer, I am also daring you to make me right. Paradoxically, all three senses obtain.

Make me right! Make me so right. This is my biggest contrarian bet, and the source of much of the Alpha in our strategy. This is the criticism that a cynical yet sagacious Machiavellian makes of my Arthurian endeavor: it is essentially foolish to bet on a company culture successfully containing more than one dragon-entrepreneur, much less 100% dragon-entrepreneurs.

Yes, I am extremely idealistic. That’s a sort of contrarian risk you’re taking with me at the helm. But look, you are already a recipient of my idealism: economically, in the form of our distributed equity model and wealth-creation engine; creatively, in the form of our business model’s potential; but most importantly, culturally and philosophically - in that I deem you equals, fully capable of reading this, fully capable of internalizing an entrepreneurial identity, fully capable of not just analyzing, but generating, strategy. I do not treat you as soldiers, just here to take orders. I take you as generals and officers of rank, here to engage with me as your representative wielding the Executive Powers of the company’s Sovereign Will.

(Voices overheard in my head: Why does he write like this? ‘Sovereign Will,’ ‘Executive Powers’ - it all sounds so pompous. No silly! Ironically he’s being deferential, because he isn’t referring to himself as the Sovereign himself, but merely as Executive. He’s literally referring to concepts in Hobbes, Locke and other classics of political philosophy. Read classics voraciously and his writing will make so much more sense and more urgently & importantly, you will have a sustainable performance advantage relative to your peers who read less - because insight is adaptive.)

When I watch any impressive demonstration of skill, one of the signature illusions of mastery is the perception of risk: for example, watching a chef chop vegetables at an alarming rate… Aren’t they going to chop their fingers off?! Because that’s what would happen if you or I attempted to go that fast, without proper training. But in fact - no, they’re actually at less risk of that than we are when we are doing our ‘normal’ everyday chopping. They have a chopping technique which mechanically (ie. structurally), which involves curling their fingers, bent inversely to the knife, which makes it extremely unlikely that they will get hurt, even at high speed.

Imagine watching a big wave surfer. We would be terrified if we were them - look, they’re about to get crushed! But they sail through.

Imagine a gymnast doing some marvelous aerial feat - launching and flipping and spinning and landing perfectly. We would have no chance of executing the maneuver and would be lucky not to injure ourselves badly. But they move gracefully, the effortlessness itself beggars belief!

That. Focus on this dynamic. Do you get it?

This dynamic exists in corporate strategy, and in human culture and psychology generally. It seemed less risky to Neville Chamberlain to negotiate with Hitler, rather than confronting the looming travails and devastation of war head on. But by the time Churchill took over, it was almost too late. Almost.

What insights can we draw from this?

  • Beta can be far more dangerous than Alpha. If the Allied powers had rallied their political will, formed their alliance, mustered their Total War Industrial Complex and confronted Hitler far earlier, the war would have never reached its height.
    • This is what Luttwak calls the paradoxical logic of strategy. Read The Logic Of War & Peace. Sun Tzu gets at the same paradox: ‘thus the great warriors succeed in winning without fighting; their victories bringing them neither reputation for courage nor cunning…’ They see war coming so far off, that they make sure it never comes.
      • Paradoxically, this has the effect of steadily reducing vigilance and weakening political will until all the Luttwak’s and Sun Tzu’s and Churchill’s are driven out of office, and the Chaimberlains and Atlees are back in power, selling their Beta somnambulant song…
  • Alpha always provides the leadership that drives change in Beta. The Consensus in Britain shifted, partly through the failure of Chaimberlain, partly through the rhetoric of Churchill. The Consensus in Financial Markets shifted from Q1 2008 to Q4 2008, partly through the actions of leading market participants anticipating events. The average Beta participants in the market, say, investors in Vanguard, were shielded from both overperformance and underperformance - they just get the average. But when the average is terrible, they still take a terrible hit. The average was devastating in 2008, so they took a devastating hit. Whereas Alpha participants dramatically outperformed and underperformed. The underperformance of Alphas is what scares Betas. But the overperformance of Alphas mystifies Betas, and makes them jealous - but they eventually follow, because they have to follow, the performance does not lie - reality catches up to truth.
  • Until Beta demonstrably fails, it is almost usually more attractive than Alpha, politically. This is because it seems safe and comfortable and easy. There is safety in numbers and in averages. We always want to do be seen as consciencious ‘professionals’ doing the ‘right’ thing. We want to get a grade in the class, a tap on the hat, a gold star, a paycheck AND we want to think of ourselves as dragon-entrepreneurs, with a pot of golden equity waiting for us at the end of the rainbow.
    • In other words, it is human nature to want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to act like sheep but be rewarded like dragons. Ha! Hahahaha….
      • 🐲🔥🐑 Dragons eat sheep for breakfast. Decide which one you really are, and resolve yourself to the essential tradeoffs involved in your identity! I am a dragon, and I want to lead other dragons. No employees allowed!
  • There is an argument that the Beta archetype known as the Professional-Managerial-Class (PMC) is necessary for the proper functioning of society, whereas entrepreneurs are essentially chaos-dragons and cannot be trusted with the running of things. I am not sure if that common conception is valid or a misconception. But I am sure that we can BOTH run Advisable Beta Playbooks AND run Neither Advisable Nor Inadvisable Alpha Strategies on top. I am also sure that at this company, anyone who is not capable of following and generating Alpha should be a Specialist, not a Partner.
    • Which is NOT to make specialists less-than partners! Specialists are partners-in-training. Maybe they’re getting their first or second or third degree at
      🌌
      Galaxy University
      University and just haven’t heard about
      🏰
      Castælio
      yet!

In conclusion, to achieve supreme arbitrage, begin by deconstructing Beta playbook reality until you understand it, develop an Alpha strategy that SEEMS risky and scary because it involves dramatic change, but is actually structurally de-risking, then build political will and process around that shared understanding and meta-understanding, so that you can continuously renew the vision, iterate on the strategy and follow through with aggressive, unified execution.

🌲🛤🌲🛤🌲
image

Midjourney, IMAGINE: “Two paths diverge in the Forest Sauvage of Camelot, a decisive moment, a choice to be made! Both trails are enchanted: one leads to a sorceress, a dragon, and darkness, the other leads to a unicorn, who grants the water of life, the light of inspiration, and is surrounded by fairies with blessings of true love and mighty destiny. To make the right decision, they must find the dragon within... What will Francis and his noble knights choose?”

🤸🏼‍♀️ Let’s jump to Q&A! Shall we?

Okay, let’s jump to Q&A. Any questions? Oh, you, over there:

🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏾🙋🏼‍♀️💁🏻‍♀️💁💁🏻‍♂️🤷🏼🙇🏻‍♂️🤦🏻🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻😱🙆🏿‍♀️🙆🏼‍♂️

🫵🏼 You first.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Um, hi, I was wondering - What’s in it for me?!

Geez, that didn’t take long. Well, I’m so glad you asked. Allow me to present my plan professionally, in bullet point format:

  • There’s going to be DJs, music, dancing and the best parties of your life (🪩🕺💃🏻🎹👩🏻‍🎤🍾🎉 yup, I’m bribing the voters… You didn’t read Cicero? VOTE FOR ME - BREAD & CIRCUSES BABY!… )
  • 🏟 (Is that a circus, a stadium, sports, contests, pageantry,
    🀄
    Games
    ?!) Yes, games. 🎪🤹‍♀️🤹🏻‍♂️
  • But what will I wear? Don’t worry, you’ll be an image of
    🟡
    Rad Studios
    itself!
  • Where will all of this happen, exactly? In all the realms of
    🌄
    Realm
    of course!
  • ‘Francis, this is amazing, you’re
    🦸🏾‍♀️
    Heroic
    !’ Aww, that’s too kind, so are you!
  • But wait, isn’t this too good to be true? No, it’s
    🧚🏼‍♀️
    Impossible
    !
  • How are you going to pay for all of it then? Oh, don’t worry, we’ve got
    🧧
    Unlimited
    !

I could keep going, all night long, and give you a personal tour of the Nine Realms of

… But because I know you’re impatient with my flamboyant communication style, I’ll be more direct…

  • It’s going to be less actually risky
  • You’re going to be happier and have way more fun
  • You’re going to be richer
  • You’re going to be more aligned with everyone and with performance
  • You’ll be more empowered
  • You’re going to work way less hard but way get more done
  • You’ll be free to innovate
  • You’ll be able to take more risks
  • You’re going to be less stressed
  • You’ll have more friends and allies and support

When? Hopefully before the ‘long run’!

🙋 How will
♾️
Infinity
affect my day-to-day?
  • It both WILL and WILL NOT affect your day-to-day dramatically
  • The rollout of business units will be sequenced
  • The rollout of alignment and succession plans will be sequenced
  • If any business unit succeeds, everyone benefits and the network effect builds.
    • If any business unit fails, it will not affect the rest (modularity, capital allocation, profit mandate)
🙋🏽‍♀️ How will
🐲
Pendragon
affect me? It sounds scary.
  • But it’s a friendly dragon!
  • You’ve heard of Patagonia, right? The warm winter clothing company where that founder guy dedicated all of his wealth to conservation and then he set up a family office to oversee the commercial company to make sure that Wall Street couldn’t take over and stuff? Yeah. Well we’re doing that, except way better. It’s called
    🐲
    Pendragon
    , and nobody else could’ve come up with it… except us.
    • It’s
      🦁
      My Family Office
      .
    • But wait! It’s more than a Family Office, it’s
      🐉
      Penteryn
      , Governance-As-A-Service, which you’re one of the
      🦄
      Partners
      of, remember? And that Partner Pay Model that you love so much because it creates so much trust, unity and Alignment-As-A-Service… Well, I’ll let you guess if that was a
      🐲
      Pendragon
      innovation or an
      ♾️
      Infinity
      one - pop quiz!
    • Anyways, talking super-serious power-politics here:
      🐲
      Pendragon
      is run by a document that is literally inspired by the U.S. Constitution, and it is called
      📜
      Dragon Law
      , and it sets up a
      The Round Table
      , which is literally a Board of Directors of 7, which oversees the
      📐
      Triumvirate
      , the Board of Directors of 3 which governs
      ♾️
      Infinity
      - the commercial Wealth-Creation-Engine.
    • So you see? It’s just like Patagonia.com, except, it’s not sweaters we’re selling, folks, it’s SERVICES - we’re disrupting the ENTIRE services industry AND the entire education industry AND basically the whole establishment, peacefully.
    • As I was saying, it’s like Patagonia + The U.S. Constitution + Estate-Planning-As-A-Service + Government-As-A-Service = Camelot-of-Awesomeness.
    • Does that answer your question?

💁🏻‍♂️ Can I see a picture please?

Sure! Here you go!

image

Gosh, feels like ages ago when Invisible was just one company and it was kind of above average and outperforming and I worked there and had a normal job as a knowledge worker except with more equity than most startup employees

Wait, what?! You’re telling me I’m not an employee, I’m one of the

of the
🌈
Partnership
? This
🏰
Presidential Platform
document is an appeal to the
🐉
Penteryn
to secure votes for the office of
🤴🏻
Pendragon
so that
🧙🏼‍♂️
Francis
can run
The Round Table
of
🐲
Pendragon
which will make sure that
♾️
Infinity
doesn’t become corrupt, and continues to seek an infinite valuation, and to be infinitely awesome, in a risk-reducing structure?

Yeah, exactly.

Okay, got it.

👌🏽

🙆🏼‍♂️ What questions should I be asking myself?

How far ahead are you thinking? Do you have a clear strategic view of the situation? Are your values and vision aligned with mine? Are you personally prepared for liquidity? Are you thinking about your long-term wealth? Would you like to write your Will and establish your Family Office? Are you prepared to be held to the highest standard as a leader? Are you prepared to be asked to lead on the management team of a business unit? Are you prepared to reconceptualize what this company is and does? Are you prepared to double and triple down on what makes this culture unique, on its vision and values? Are you ready to see past the day to day, learn to read the chess board and operate from an intuitive understanding of grand strategy?

🤦🏽‍♂️ How ON EARTH are we going to EXECUTE…

…on this INSANELY-AMBITIOUS plan?

Oh gosh, I hadn’t thought that far. I mostly just thought it was the most amazing idea ever and I got really excited and I decided to run a whole election about it and risk getting fired so that I could get your attention because I was wondering if you could help me out a bit with this one… because I need

, especially Cofounders.

But, I suppose, if you put me on the spot like that, Yes, why I DO have a plan! 💡

My plan is this:

  • Raise capital with an
    🧧
    Unlimited
    mindset on these
    🎻
    Instruments
    , because they don’t impair sovereignty and have capped upside built-in.
  • Even if we raise a limited amount, at first, that’s okay, because after all
    ♾️
    Infinity
    is a holding company, so all we have to do is Allocate Capital according to
    👨🏻‍🏫
    William Thorndike
    ’s framework, and we’ll be good, right?
That’s right, what were the 6 Capital Allocation options again? 🤔
  1. Build A Fortress Balance Sheet (oh yeah, he keeps talking about that)
  2. Finish Buying Back Investors (yup, so
    🐉
    Penteryn
    has Full Capture on the Cap Table, owns 100% of the equity, and has a call option on all shareholders so it can hold them accountable to Value Add Per Share). How is he going to pay for this?
  3. Oh yeah, he wants to Pay Down The Debt as soon as possible, so that we reduce risk! He’s going to pay for this with the Series S is for Sovereignty round, which is going to offer investors 20-30% IRR, without impairing sovereignty and with no Cash Interest Rate attached?
  4. Got it! The reason why he doesn’t want to get paid by
    Invisible
    Invisible
    anymore is that he doesn’t want to use
    Invisible
    Invisible
    money to pay for
    ♾️
    Infinity
    in 2023? He wants to keep growing the balance sheet or Reinvest it back into
    Invisible
    Invisible
    , based on the ROI Framework and Approval Decisions of the
    ✋🏻
    Pentagon
    ’s Allocation Committee?
  5. So he’s going to Start New Companies with the capital raised in the Series C is for Cofounders round, which won’t affect any liquidity events in the next 4 years?!
  6. Phew! At least he doesn’t plan to Buy Companies until 2025 2024, when we’ll do a couple test runs!
  • Then, if any of the companies succeeds, ALL of
    ♾️
    Infinity
    succeeds! But if any of the companies fails, the others aren’t affected, because it is Anti-Fragile, which is one of the
    🧱
    Principles
    of
    Celestial
    , but also the name of a book by Nassim Taleb, which will be added to
    📜
    Alexandria
    - hopefully, eventually.
  • But if there’s a new CEO coming, then there aren’t going to need to be tons of E.O.s (Executive Officers) running around building all of these business units - where is he going to find THAT MUCH TALENT?!
    • 🫵🏼 You. The
      🌈
      Partnership
      . Some of you 🤌🏼 will eventually join me… (on the DARK SIDE!!! (Luke! I AM YOUR… (No, Francis, you should edit that out… It’s funny but some people won’t get it or will get creepy Darth Vader vibes or… you just never know… better to be safe than to be funny) Dad-Jokes-As-A-Service.))
    • But just in case we don’t have enough
      🦄
      Partners
      already, that’s okay, because we’ve got
      🦸🏾‍♀️
      Heroic
      , which offers, among other services, Hiring-As-A-Service!
  • Okay, so you’ve got capped upside capital, you’re running the
    📈
    Outsiders
    playbook to allocate it… you’ve got a supply of entrepreneurial talent, and you’re systematically building the
    🏰
    7 Powers
    , is that it?
    • Oh, and you’re tax optimizing the
      🌈
      Partnership
      and helping us build our Family Offices with
      🐲
      Pendragon
      ?
      • Then, to really eliminate risk and strengthen the culture and innovate on The Corporation Itself you’re building all of these governance and succession planning?
🤷🏿‍♂️ What question have we not asked, that we should have asked first?

If

loses this election, don’t worry about him, he’ll be fine… but will you, will
Invisible
Invisible
? After all, the company is eventually going to lose
🧙🏼‍♂️
Francis
, even if he feels duty bound to stick around until the company is debt-free?

Wait, what? You thought he was a Cornered Resource? That’s

we’re talking about, the free market economy - not indentured servitude! Oh, you didn’t hear? He swore that after @January 1, 2023, he would not get paid by
Invisible
Invisible
anymore, but by
♾️
Infinity
, or bust!

I hope you’re not counting on him to keep getting paid $0 and working for free, just because he has less stock than he deserves?

Are we counting on him to just get paid $0 by

and working for free?

But if comp is what this is about, don’t we all want more stock? Oh yeah, those buybacks he keeps talking about… He was saying that the investors signed… So, we’re

now? Why does he want to help other people, don’t we have enough problems of our own? Now he wants to help other companies buy back their shares - when we’re not even done buying back ours? Oh, got it - he wants to help them, but only if they’re…
🚀
Visionary
, right…

But wait! What’s going to happen to the

and the
🦚
Syndicates
- will we still get access to all of those networks, and those candidates, and those clients?!

He wants to phase out the word ‘clients’? Instead,

has decided that all accounts should be Strategic accounts, and all Strategic accounts should align their incentives with us immediately!

So this guy, is he friend or foe? Definitely friend. Then is he crazy, or punking us, or right? Because this is crazy, right? No other company has ever done these things before!

Wait, what if he loses - can we afford to lose him?!

💁🏻‍♀️ I’m not convinced. I want to see another picture…

You asked for it…

👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👦👩‍👩‍👦👩‍👩‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👦䷤ LOOK, THAT’S YOU KIDS - WE’RE FAMOUS!!!
👨‍👨‍👦‍👦👨‍👨‍👦👩‍👩‍👦👩‍👩‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👦䷤ LOOK, THAT’S YOU KIDS - WE’RE FAMOUS!!!

That. That is us. That is the frontispiece of Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century founding masterpiece of modern political philosophy, and it all boils down to this single image, which can be summarized in a single line of

, help me out over here!

(🐲) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.

Ah yes. That’s right. I remember now. Francis keeps saying that over and over again. But what does this have to do with his strategy?

He wants to ESTABLISH

over not just all of the other BPOs but over all of the other service companies, because he thinks that
🏦
Ultimate
Bank and
📈
Exponential
capital and other
♾️
Infinity
business units, will give him the Network Effects and more importantly the TRUE MYTH that he needs to UNITE all of the
🏟️
Classes & Chambers
of the Penteryn, and SUMMON a FORCE in the world, a company unlike any that has existed before - that will EAT SERVICE COMPANIES FOR BREAKFAST! 🍳☕️🥞🥣🧇🥚

  • And don’t forget, either acquire or dominate McKinsey & Harvard by 2050 (if not much sooner)!
🤷🏻‍♀️ Is this innovative? Can you link to prior examples?

This isn’t all new, right? Other people done this before? What’s so innovate about this exactly?

Good point. It’s NOT innovative. There’s been a successful holding company before…

So yeah,

is just Berkshire Hathaway for tech. You’re just running the
📈
Outsiders
playbook. Got it. NBD.

Except, Berkshire’s businesses do not systematically build the

and have no Network Effect, unlike…

Amazon.com - ever heard of it? Gosh, so it’s Berkshire Hathaway For Tech + Amazon.com for Services… But wait, there’s that Family Office part, where we’re making sure the Commercial Wealth-Creation Platform

, stays committed to
Celestial
values and principles? Well, I guess that’s not that unusual anymore, because there’s…

The most successful governance system in history, despite all its faults, because it recognizes that individuals have faults, so it built-in checks & balances, has been…

So

is just that, but for
🐲
Pendragon
’s self-governance and succession planning? But wait, I thought
🐉
Penteryn
also provides governance-as-a-service to
♾️
Infinity
and its business units and to any company that wants it?

There’s been…

McKinsey before, but even the combined might of…

… the entire PMC hasn’t been able to questingly answer:

What would McKinsey, the best strategy consulting firm in the world, tell McKinsey, if McKinsey hired McKinsey to give McKinsey advice? If McKinsey actually had the best overall grand strategy in the world, wouldn’t it long ago have surpassed all other companies? In other words, if McKinsey is really so good at strategy, why isn’t it more valuable than Apple?
💼
The McKinsey Kōan

The McKinsey Kōan. But we will, with

- our equity-only McKinsey competitor, with
Invisible
Invisible
’s twin-opposite business model, so that they go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly!

There’s been an…

Harvard before, which is a PMC-Factory, but Entrepreneurial Hope-Springs-Eternal at

, which is our WIZARD FACTORY! Compared to Harvard, it’s got every advantage: it’s

  • Remote first
  • Pays you cash
  • Pays you equity
  • Starts with skill training as part of your undergrad at
    🌌
    Galaxy University
  • Then someday you find yourself learning magical
    🪄
    Skills

Like how to understand

- like this one, the one that we’re in right now, reader and writer…

But you know what the most innovative thing of all is? It’s not just The Combination Of Ideas, it’s the Combination Of People & Ideas & A Historical Moment… It’s the overall

that counts.

💁 Is this a Constitution? If so, shouldn’t it be more fleshed out?

Great question! Short answer is ‘no’ - see here.

🙋🏼‍♀️ What if your plan changes? Anything can happen in the next 4 years!

This is a LIVING document. I plan on iterating on it as often as I can, based on your feedback and questions.

🤦🏻‍♂️ Arrogance kills companies. Do you realize the effort it will take to get to $10B?

Yes, it sure does. Yes, I have a sense for the amount of effort it will take. No, I am not trying to diminish the effort. Yes, I am inviting the Partnership into Grand Strategy, which is a specific type of thinking (normally reserved for the very top), that involves playing games with time, conditional logic, path dependencies, game theory, etcetera… So when I say, I don’t see any major blockers standing in our way, please don’t misinterpret that as me not saying Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t tall. It is very tall! It’s just not Everest. And we’re already here at basecamp with all the gear, in great shape, and we’re prepared to climb Kili - let’s go. Let’s climb Kili! Then let’s climb Everest! But guess what? Good news. In this world, they’re one and the same mountain.

👷🏽‍♀️ Shouldn’t we throw a party or something? Why the next mountain so soon?

I agree,

should throw a party! Let’s take a moment to appreciate how amazing getting to this point is. Let’s also think through the implications, as the chess board is changing rapidly. One of the implications is that our strategy needs to adjust to account for the new set of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that we’ve got in front of us.

🙋🏽‍♀️ How do you separate between your big picture, high-conviction views, and the specific implementation details, which will likely evolve lots?

That’s exactly right and they sure will. This document is Big Picture. I’m inviting the Partnership to escape the day-to-day for a minute, fly way up high and gaze into the future with me - your future… If you’re normally used to thinking in days, weeks, months and quarters, now look out farther: think in 2 years, 4 years, 8 years, 16 years, 32 years… Imagine what this could be. Think through the structural forces… Help me chart a path.

🤷🏼 To really believe that in checks and balances, I need to understand how they’ll work in practice, not just in theory. Are you able to share any examples already?

Yes! Over the last month I have received feedback at every level, including plenty of critical feedback, and I have done my best to integrate all of this feedback into a core direction that has only been strengthened as a result of the process. As a result of the engagement, the strategy has been clarified and buy-in has increased. This is healthy politics, and I want more of it. That is why we have such an abnormally large and engaged core group of Advisors (aka

). That is why we have the entire
🌈
Partnership
, not just the
📐
Triumvirate
and
✋🏻
Pentagon
. This isn’t a new decision, really, in essence we’re just doubling down on the whole spirit of partnership, which naturally involes Peer Review.

😱 What are the risks, as you seem them?
  1. Beta Traps. It is so easy to assume that consensus playbooks are less risky than thinking for yourself! Innovation should not be the enemy of scale, and it should not be synonymous with risk! For example, if we take a Narrow View of what Invisible is, then our tech platform will look a certain way in 5 years, whereas if we take an Epic View, our tech platform will look very different. I want to see the Epic version. I want the Tony Stark version.
  2. Internal Alignment. If our entire corporate strategy for over 7 years has been predicated on the ability of a partnership to achieve higher levels of alignment than a normal company, then certainly, one of our greatest risks is misalignment. That is why formalizing powers, creating checks & balances, building succession plans and the other steps I’m taking are massively de-risking.
    1. Yes, it is paradoxical to ask for a culture of Independent Thinkers to also give me their Unanimous Support. I am fully aware that this is ironic, and yet I am pretty sure we can transcend this apparent tradeoff - I’m pretty sure it is not a true tradeoff. How come? Easy - because of the actual conversations we’re having. You’re asking hard questions. I’m answering. You’re helping me answer them. You’re pushing my thinking farther. You’re helping me edit and tweak and iterate while still maintaining forward motion. So, we’re doing it. Independent Thinkers can be on the Same Team and still have Team Spirit and Unity. Why not?
  3. Understanding Grand Strategy. If people don’t understand a strategy, then they won’t be able to execute on it - certainly not well. It is incredibly NOT NORMAL to openly share and discuss Grand Strategy among a group of about 70 core
    🦄
    Partners
    and 30
    🧙🏽
    Masters
    . Is it reasonable to expect people to not get lost? To actually follow the thinking? To have valuable feedback? To be able to do this kind of thinking themselves? It’s probably not reasonable, but it’s the kind of unreasonable I’m willing to be stubborn about: because as long as the Partnership is willing to learn, and willing to be treated as peers by the “top” of the hierarchy, then I am willing to invest the communication energy, time and resources needed to teach, explain and bring Partners along…
  4. Social Contract. That we lose the magical social contract that we’ve had for over 7 years now, between Partners, which is built into the Reverse-Sell of our interview process. Basically, you don’t have to work here. You have options. There are lots of companies that optimize for stability. At this company, we’re optimizing for EPIC. That’s a radically different optimization function. It comes from a radically different approach to thinking about what a company is, it comes from a preoccupation with values, principles and other fundamentals. It isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve joined this partnership, you’ve “signed up” for Alpha already, even though it may not have been made sufficiently explicit. We need to reinforcee this Social Contract, otherwise the ‘Management’ at this company will be captured by ‘Labor’, and we’ll be in some silly Paternalistic PMC 20th century dynamic.
  5. Self-Deception. There are various forms of self-deception that one must alwasy be vigilant about, but one that I contemplate often is the Have-Your-Cake-And-Eat-It-Too variety. Like, sure, I’m a cofounder, sure I’m an entrepreneur, sure, let’s build an epic company and take this extraordinary opportunity to make history! But wait, where’s my 401K and dental plan? Also, I’m very worried/anxious/stressed about your plan to $1T, because that’s a much bigger number than $10B, etc… You get the caricature. Now, it’s funny because it’s true. You can’t be half-🐑 and half-🐲, right? Wrong. That’s literally human nature. We are all that way. So the danger is that our political system, our culture, ultimately pay lip-service to the epic, while actually being uncomfortable with any call to true greatness.
  6. A Positive, Can-Do Attitude. It is so easy to think of all the reasons why things won’t work. It is so hard to find the way to make them actually work. It is so easy to get down and drag others down with you. The entrepreneurial magic comes from having a group of people that reinforce positivity and keep finding amazing solutions and keep imagining possibilities and keep seeing opportunities and keep seeing how everything could be so amazing.
  7. Key Man Risk. That is why I’m obsessed with both Succession Planning, Incentive Alignment, Opportunity Creation, Culture, Network Effects. These are the mutually reinforcing dynamics that get people to stay at a company for many years and never leave because they’re having way too much fun and they’re way too invested and… what do you mean leave? It’s MY company, I’m a cofounder! Exactly.
  8. Time/Fate. Every successful year that goes by, existential risk is dramatically reduced.

Curiously absent from this list is any mention of technology roadmap, direct competitors, operational excellence, scale risks… That’s

What do you want to get out of the election process? Is this really going to achieve true alignment? What if it feels like a sham with no viable alternative?

Exactly. There is no viable alternative. What could possibly be more legitimizing than an election? Legitimacy, Governance Systems, Succession Patterns, Conversations - these are all positive outcomes of an election. In the event that I don’t rally 55% of the

, then I would either A) need to keep campaigning until I exceed the minimum threshold, or B) still preside over the process of finding a candidate that does express their views, if it became clear that alignment was not forthcoming. In the event that I do rally more than 55%, but less than 88%, I’m going to keep campaigning of my own volition, even though, technically, I’ll have already won. Why? Because alignment is critical to my strategy actually succeeding right now.

One of my top 3 risks is that people won’t be able to understand the Grand Strategy I’ve laid out, and thus, won’t be able to execute on it! That is why I view it as an amazing investment right now, at the start of the year, to ‘pay a premium’ by prioritizing in-sync-ness.

I don’t see a world in which Partners didn’t feel like there was a real choice to be made, didn’t feel empowered to make that choice, and didn’t ultimately have their will expressed in an aligned direction.

Addressing The
🌈
Partnership
, Confidentially

You are receiving this email In Confidence, because you are one of our external partners (aka 'advisors') or internal partners, and thus are a member of "The Partnership", which hopefully will soon be an actual legal entity, tax-optimized, in full control of the equity interests in the company, and thus, in full control of the company, as long as we continue to uphold our debt covenants. "The Partnership" itself will soon be governed by a new Board which itself will be led by its President & Chairman, which is the office I am running for, seeking your support.

To align The

and The Company (that is,
♾️
Infinity
), The Board (that is, the
📐
Triumvirate
of
♾️
Infinity
, accountable to
The Round Table
of
🐲
Pendragon
) intends to enforce the company's call option to buy out any of its members if their Value Add Per Share drops too low.

With Sovereignty comes our first moment of confrontation with The Blank Canvas that is this company's future. What decisions will we make? What course will we pursue? How bright is our future? What story do we tell ourselves?

In answering these and all questions, The President & Chairman will listen to all

and confide with the Leadership Team(which encompasses Board and Management), but ultimately will be responsible for setting direction and making final decisions - decisions which are ultimately subjective - as we chart our course into the future.

Seeking Your Unanimous Support, Appeal To Fiduciary Duty

I am writing to you, The Partnership, which has existed in theory for over seven years since the First Founding, now at the Second Founding, as that theory has become a de facto reality - it shall now soon become a de jure reality. In setting out to lead this organization, I am seeking your unanimous support.

In addressing you as Partners, not as employees and contractors, I am implying a radically different Social Contract than exists at most companies. You are not 'The Subjects' or even 'The Citizens' of this regime. In a sense, you are The House of Lords. As Lords, as

, we are peers, and this is a Peer Review. That is why, if I win, externally my title will be President & Chairman, but internally we shall call this office Pendragon, because that means 'Lead Dragon', primus-inter-pares, chosen from among you to lead as Commander-In-Chief.

Thus, my fellow Lords, let me review my understanding not just of my Fiduciary Duty, but of ours. Our Noblesse Oblige, if you will. Fiduciary Duty has a de jure meaning, which is narrower than its meaning in Natural Law - its fullest sense, which I now invoke. As I understand it, as partners, we have a Fiduciary Duty not just to ourselves, to pursue our personal best interests, but to the long-term best interests of the company, which must come first, before our individual selfish needs, or even before our collective needs, as a class. That phrase, "the long-term best interests of the company," encompasses all partners, clients, specialists, agents, the general public, society, the environment - all stakeholders. Not just now, in the short and medium term, but in the long term, and beyond that, far out, farther, far - unto the farthest future.

🧮 Ugh, too abstract! What are this company’s long-term best interests, exactly?

Good question. Is it to maximize profits, and thus valuations, and thus liquidity to Shareholders? Or is it to provide a world-class service to Clients? Or is it to give meaningful and well remunerating jobs to Agents, so that they can enter the global middle class? Or is it to give Partners something to do every day, build-a-company, because why not? All of the above?!

A different President & Chairman would answer this question in a different way, and that’s the point. This is a question that every organization answers, implicitly or explicitly, and the primary leader of the organization is usually the most influential in shaping the answer.

Oh, so you want to know what I think?!

Wow, I’m so glad you asked! Off the cuff, here are my top five long-term goals:

  1. The Fight For The Good
  2. The Creation Of The Beautiful
  3. Empowering Others To Be The Best Version Of Themselves
  4. To Come Together To Pursue The Ideal
  5. To Be Of Service. To Provide Leadership Through Services-AAS.

Now we say ‘goals,’ but there are more precise terms. For example, the Ancient Greeks had various words which were understood to be ‘long-term objectives’ aka ‘optimization functions’:

  • Telos, similar to ‘goals’ or ‘OKRs’
  • Ethos, which means ‘method,’ ‘way’ or ‘craft’ but also moral integrity
  • Mythos, which means ‘myth’ and ‘story’
  • Aristeia, which means the experience of ‘flow state’ which they understood to be divinely ‘inspired excellence.’

Of these, I value all of these, but Telos I value least. What goals I have are derivative of my general M.O. (method of operating, or Modus Operandi) and O.S. (Operating System). Even my

are basically an open-ended quest-ion into: What is valuable? That doesn’t make me impious, far from it, I’m just open to the Muses, or, if you prefer, ultimately I let my gut, my intuition, my sense for what’s right guide my decisionmaking process. I dislike making compromises, even or especially expedient ones, if it comes at the cost of Ethos. But I care about Ethos because I want to fully live out my Mythos, and I’m at least slightly superstitious that The Fates are always watching, and in control - and if they see me do the wrong thing, my, they might take away my Aristeia powers! And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

It is up to us how we define the game we are playing, and to assign a meaning to success. For me, given the amortal and essentially unlimited natural potential of a corporation, I view this, this company-building endeavor, as an opportunity to shoot an arrow into time. If we outlive the company, somehow that endeavor failed. If the company outlives us, and conveys our vision and values into unknown futures, then we succeeded.

🕰 Hold your horses cowboy! Just remember: History exists and you’re in it. 🤠

While none of us can even comprehend, let alone control, the total dynamic of history, let us remind ourselves of a little Stoic wisdom. History exists and we are in it. Inner peace arises from accepting that each one of us, individually, are just one historical agent of many - and thus, none of us bears ultimate responsibility for the flow of events. But we are historical agents, and we do each have influence. Therein lies our responsibility for doing our best to influence the entire dynamic towards the pursuit of the ideal, as we each understand the ideal.

This is also why it is so important to have a President, whose role is to harmonize the vision of The Ideal, so that our movements may be coordinated, gracefully moving, together, excellently as one body.

Collectively, we have extraordinary agency. A company like this has never existed before, and we're just getting started. If history is a form of music, we are musicians, on stage together, about to make music that's never been heard before, with magically novel instruments. If we can get in sync, our song will be played gloriously into time itself... Go, go my songs!

Why Now? A Decisive Moment, The Second Founding

Why is alignment so important right now? The primary forcing functions are A) the winning of sovereignty and B) the effects of scaling on the organization’s cultural and strategic landscape.

I have a strategy that I believe is excellent, and I’m confident it will work. But my strategy needs to become our strategy if it is going to work.

I’m open minded about it, I'm prepared to evolve it, but I've fully internalized it - it's a new mental model, a new operating system, and I think it's awesome. I've never been so excited about any strategy in my life. But that's not enough. You need to get it, you need to internalize it and you need to be excited about it - because you're the ones that are ultimately going to be shaping and executing it alongside me every day.

Since introducing this election at the start of this month, I have attempted to articulate and lay out the strategy, as best as I can, in various formats and forums. Throughout this essay, I am attempting to illustrate its key concepts, recapitulate its main points, and hopefully transmit essence.

I want to present this as a Decisive Moment, and bring it before you, as clearly as I can, and empower you to choose. For there is a choice to be made.

This is a Second Founding, and we have the agency to choose one of two viable directions. So while I am still running unopposed and while I do seek your unanimous support, I understand it as my duty to present the alternative regime, and to do a strong reverse-sell.

🗳 A Formal Election, Sovereignty Day 🎇

At the start of this month, December, in our 8th year as a company, I summoned the Penteryn (that august mystical corporate body which you now somehow find yourself a member of), and asked for, inaugurated and commissioned our first election, which shall officially commence at the end of this month, and run tally until midnight on January 7th, on the eve of January 8th, our first Sovereignty Day.

I am running for President & Chairman of Infinity, which is to be the name of Invisible's holding company. Infinity itself is to be governed by a Board of Directors (aka the

) with two others (Charlie Songhurst and Zohar Atkins) whom I have nominated and shall appoint, if duly elected.

A Test Disguised As An Election

Elections disguise their mutuality. It appears you are electing me, but really I am electing you.

This is a test. This is a test of your spirit, of your entrepreneurial spirit, of your bravery and ambition, of your values and principles. I am calling you to a higher standard than you have heretofore known. Will you choose $10B or $1T?

$1T sounds risky and impossible, $10B sounds like a low-risk massive payday.

Is this army united by the same spirit throughout all its ranks, does it have a common standard of courage? Have we grown too large and too fast to maintain our founding spirit, which the Ancient Greeks called 'The Musical Victory Of Inspired Excellence' (Aristeia) and what the Chinese called 'Dragon Energy' (Wu Wei, Deh)?

Am I worthy of you? I ask myself that. Am I worthy of this opportunity, this historical moment? Is this task beyond me? I stand before you humbled by the last eight years, humbled before the next eight years, wondering how our story will play out. But through the disguise of giving you choice, I am forcing you to think with me. Think uncomfortable thoughts, ask essential questions.

Are you ready? I am going to pursue excellence with maximum force. That is going to require all of us to perform at levels beyond which we have ever taken ourselves. Are you ready for the undertaking ahead, for how it will shape you? Do you want to slow down, grind it out and retire early? Or do you want to make an attempt at history?

Basic Powers, Checks & Balances

Constitutionally, The Board (aka

) will be empowered to fire me, if they deem me unfit for office, and that is why I have chosen them - they are independent and capable leaders in their own right, and in an extreme situation, I would I trust their united judgement, character and conduct on such a grave question - more than I would my own.

I am resolved against the default path, which would minimize formal consents on the executive, whom would essentially be a benevolent dictator, but a tame one - tamed by informal checks, implicit forms of capture, and various passive aggressive power dynamics which naturally form around an executive in any stable equilibrium. "Man is a political animal." Every organization has politics - politics is the water we are swimming in. Paradoxically, our strategy to date has been fairly decentralized, and if you vote for me, expect it to become extremely decentralized. However, I believe in a strong executive. A strong executive is a counterbalance to the hazards, and complement to the magic, of decentralization. As long as I'm in office, I won't let myself get captured, and I will continue to disrupt equilibriums to regain the initiative, set a clear direction, and shift dynamics in favor of that direction.

There is another path that I am rejecting. Although I could legally, and arguably, even ethically, use my influence at this decisive moment to eliminate all checks and balances, and set out to wield unrestricted maximum power, over all executive, legislative and judicial functions, within the broad limits of the law, I am adamantly resolved against this path. That would be a great and terrible path, for it would come with extraordinary power, which I might wield mightily and wisely, or not. Thankfully, I understand unrestricted power to be a dangerous & ancient temptation, so I want you to internalize this decision, and make it with me: wealth and power corrupt, let's not be foolish enough to believe that we are above corruption, or that our successors will be.

At best we are fallible mortals, pursuing noble quests, seeking heroic destinies - at best. At best, the best remember this, contemplate death and remain white belts.

In summary, I believe in checks and balances. And in well-defined powers, where possible. That is why I am running for the first of a maximum of two four year terms, as President & Chairman - I am subjecting myself and my successors to Term Limits.

Providing I conclude these terms in good standing, I will only be 41 years old, still young and capable of service. So I hope to stay on, but in some other yet-to-be-fully-defined oversight role, through which I would continue to add value.

Successful succession is the final form of success, so it is important that it is broadly understood within the Partnership that I intend to not only oversee succession planning for the entire Leadership Team, but to privately select, train, and eventually announce, a successor for myself, once I deem that person up to the task.

Once a successful transition has taken place, I intend to fully empower that person, and abide by whatever constitutional limits we design and set for these respective role.

Note: This Is Not A Constitution.

This is a

, not a Constitution. The Constitution does not exist yet! This document clarifies my intentions to build consensus around the direction I want to take the organization. The Constitution will be called
📜
Dragon Law
and getting it drafted and ratified will be one of the primary tasks of my first administration, if I am elected.

This is also a living document! I hope to revisit it and iterate on it with you over the next 4-8 years, based on your feedback.

The Utility Of Legitimacy: Influence vs. Power

Perhaps you’ve heard the Latin terms de facto and de jure used recently. De facto means in fact, whereas de jure means by law. These correspond to two very different forms of power: informal influence versus formally defined power. Legitimacy grants both influence and power to a leader, which makes it extraordinarily useful - that is, if you know what to do with it.

For example, me. I know what to do with it. I’m comfortable with beginning to define powers, instead of leaving them implicitly unlimited, because I am confident in my ability to use influence more often than power to get things done. Why am I so confident in that? Because, guys! Hello, it’s me, Mario Francis! 👋 I/we run a relatively decentralized organization and I’m a relatively empowering manager, in fact, as my team can attest, I already ‘manage’ very little in the traditional command-and-control sense. It is the norm but not the rule. By rule, I have much more de jure power than I deploy. By norm, I default to influence, using power as a last resort.

Wait, Francis, are you claiming to be a chill boss? 🥶😎

(I swear! I’m not just claiming to be a chill boss, I AM A CHILL BOSS, I’m totally chill, I’m the best, the raddest boss - I promise, my team loves me! ‘You want to ask my team’ - wait, what?! No! No, no, that’s unnecessary. Look into my eyes. 👀👁👁 Trust me. 🤥 Take my word for it! On my honor - if this is a lie, if I’m not a chill boss, fire me now! After all, it’s an election. You can call me a liar without shooting me. (You see? “The Exit Sign” actually starts to look attractive after a while. I want The Right To Exit (safely) that, for example, Mr. Putin does not enjoy.))

Thus, because I already default to influence, use power as a last resort, and still fully expect my team to accomplish everything, then I’m not losing any power by overseeing a Constitutional process that defines and limits the de jure powers of the executive. 🤫 I already have enough de jure and de facto power to get everything I want accomplished… 🤐 What I’m merely gaining is more legitimacy, which gives me even more of BOTH, in other words Governance & Elections will result in a Net Increase in my Overall Power, because even as my Power will be slightly limited by formal checks, my actual Influence will increase through the Legitimacy conferred.

Which is very desirable, because from now on I intend to lead MORE AGGRESSIVELY than ever before, because I want us to accomplish more than ever!

Oh, I get it - so from now on, you’re going to be a mean boss! Is this your No More Mr. Nice Guy moment? What happened to Mr. Chill Boss? 👹>🥶😎?

(No, this does not mean that I will stop being a chill boss! I will still be a chill boss that somewhat unreasonably expects the world from you, yesterday, just like I was before. This time, however, you’ll have upgraded incentives, a succession plan, and my management team will be reporting to a new CEO as an EO (Executive Officer, minus the C), while building their respective business units. Which sounds sweet, sweet like a plum, sweet like a plush job with all the perks, but, yes, absolutely, all of that comes with new expectations. So here’s what you should absolutely expect me to expect of you. Expect that I’ll actually expect the world from you, yesterday - because I want us to make history, like, tomorrow! But suspect nothing. Other than that I’m going to inspect everything! Okay, deal? But yeah, don’t worry… I’ll still be chill. Except for when I’m intensely nerdy & passionate and way over the top, like now. Because that’s what happens when you get me on a roll about decentralization and alignment and all that…)

How is legitimacy obtained? Legitimacy comes not just from having elections, but from those elections themselves being understood to be legitimate. “Being understood to be legitimate” hints at the nature of legitimacy: which has an objective and a subjective component.

Objectively, legitimacy comes from first principles - design, strategy, ethics. A system can also have an inherent structural integrity that gives it legitimacy. In this sense, The United States Constitution had a legitimacy as an abstract document even before it became the official document of a nation state and entered history as an ongoing experiment. Gravitas and charisma are terms used to describe a person with the inherent quality of legitimacy. In this sense, an archetypal martyr, unjustly condemned by a society’s institutions of power - like Jesus or Socrates - glows with sacred authority. Aquinas called this inherent, objective legitimacy Natural Law, and belived it to supercede Human Law in influence, and thus in importance.

But ultimately, legitimacy needs to be recognized for it to turn into action. Thus it must be “understood to be” legitimate, which is why there is always the subjective component of politics - and why not just Logic but Rhetoric is always involved.

Now beginning again from: “Legitimacy comes not just from having elections, but from those elections themselves being understood to be legitimate.” So, what makes an election legitimate again? A) 1. The inherent legitimacy of the people involved and 2. the inherent architectural quality of not just the election but the entire organization and its political process; AND also B) the subjective perception of such legitimacy by the governed.

Thus, a well-written and well-understood Constitution is essential to imparting legitimacy on an election. We do not yet have such a Constitution! So what makes this election legitimate? Because it’s an exception: the purpose of this election is to commit myself and us as an organization to a direction which requires the establishment of a Constitution, which will force us to spend lots of time thinking and communicating and integrating feedback and iterating.

The irony of this first election, is that it is a theoretical possibility that I may lose, but even if I lose, the legitimacy of whomever comes next is negatively impacted if it is not derived from the election. This is ironic because I’m the Election candidate! And the Candidate! I don’t belong to a party. Indeed, I’m not sure that parties need to exist in our system. What I am doing is inviting you into a process…

Into a process…

We’re a PROCESS COMPANY PEOPLE! So what is the most important process ever?! Evolution! Ha, yes. Life and even inanimate matter and energy, the universe itself is a process. But in human societies - what are the most important processes? Hiring, firing, logistics, corporate decision-making, mechanical operations - sure, yes, yes, yes… we already do all of that, in some way, form or shape. But what about human processes: mating, reproduction, education? Ah, we do that last one too, I guess - we just call it training. As for the first two, I hereby declare… No, just kidding - I’ll leave those up to your private lifes!

Now where were we? Oh yes, I was wondering… I’m stuck. Could you help me think of an example… of one of the most important processes in… society?

Election Processes

The Medium Is The Message, folks - the answer is elections! Introducing

, Elections-As-A-Service, a service of
🐉
Penteryn
, which you are a voting member of, but which is also an
♾️
Infinity
company! Because, elections are one of the most important processes in society. And
Invisible
Invisible
is a process company, after all.

CEO Election, Succession & Alignment Patterns

Exit Signs: Succession Planning & ‘Psychological Safety’

What if you fire me? Now while Freud speculated that all humans have a death-wish, I do not. Which is why, even though I don’t want to lose my job, I would far rather lose my job than lose my head! Which excessively morbid, but dramatically illustrates the utility of elections as part of our overall Succession Planning Mandate. Because, as the

, the Tibetan Book Of The Dead, states,

The possible circumstances of death are beyond imagination.

Proverbially and hopefully never actually, we never know when one of us might get hit by a 🚶🏻‍♂️🚷🚍🚌 . Establishing an Election Process is part of establishing a successful Succession Pattern. (I suppose now would be a good time to shamelessly plug my(/our? wanna cofound it with me?!) latest company,

, which not only does Elections-As-A-Service, it does Succession-As-A-Service- which there’s a huge market for, because I’ve heard that everyone wants to retire early in this century, lazy bums! No, not lazy, WISE, because…

Although thankfully Legitimacy might be only theoretically useful for my actual physical safety, elections are very useful for my psychological safety, that is, it is perfectly honorable to lose an election, and far better for the company, which I am a shareholder of, and whose long-term best interests I am sworn to uphold! Far better for the comany to have one person leave, than to risk many departures! I don’t want any key men (women or 🦄s) leaving - or at least, as few as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s an actual risk right now. But it does reduce that risk. Far better to air out all the dissent every once and a while - after all, look - you’re my friends! I don’t want you to be upset with me, holding grudges, or any passive aggressive stuff like that - this forces us to talk! A very benevolent forcing function, if I don’t say so myself.

To 'Pass The

' and thus establish our first successful succession, I have also nominated a candidate for Chief Executive Officer, to be announced next month, and elected by a similar process. As this CEO onboards, they will absorb most of my managerial responsibilities, reporting to me and the board. This will free me up to focus on leadership, writ-large, as opposed to management per se.

As the company scales from 1350 people now to 3000 or more by the end of next year, this is a separation of roles & responsibilities the company needs. If we are committed to an extraordinary company culture as an enduring performance advantage, the time is now for this role-shift.

Joseph Chittenden-Veal, in his role as Company Secretary, has provided an overview of election processes by email. 

This

Passing process is participatory, but I would not blithely call it 'democratic' - that would be mistaking its nature. Every style of constitution has a potentially fatal flaw: democracy has a weakness, as does monarchy, even in its benevolent variety. This constitution that we are setting out to establish is our best attempt at synthesis - to get the best of all political forms - to get the best of Athens and the best of Sparta, as it were.

Although a magical simple majority of 55% would suffice for a formal election, I intend to keep campaigning until we reach a magical super majority of 88%, because that's the extremely high level of alignment and commitment I believe we need to achieve right now to execute successfully - to take 2023 by storm.

So yes, I'm setting a high standard for alignment right now. This is a Second Founding. This is our First Succession.

Successful succession is the final form of success. I want to have successors. I want to be the first of many. I believe this institution should be bigger than any one individual. I want it to outlast us. I want it to be an arrow shot into time, advancing our values and vision long after we are gone.

2. Opposition: The Devil Is In The Defaults

Running Against The Default Strategy

Am I running unopposed? Perhaps you just can't see what I'm fighting against. Beware of Beta! Whispering everywhere, it belies a false sense of security, derived from the soothing clutches of the advisable and the normal! In my opinion, Beta leads straight to Omega, which is the end. Seek Alpha, with me, my fellow Dragons!

In Plain English, I am running against The Default Strategy. The devil is in the defaults! Our default strategy looks deceptively attractive right now. Do not be deceived - it is very attractive! As I will explain below, this company is A Freight Train Moving Through Time (the title of a section below), and there is nothing a priori that I perceive standing between us and a $10B valuation in the years to come, and more beyond that.

I perceive that this is already an above average company, scaling rapidly, with superior incentive alignment, the foundations of a powerful technology platform and a singular business model, squarely counterpositioned against gargantuan & antiquated industries, vulnerable for the taking. Yup, you basically don't need me for that story. Not for much longer, anyways...

Don't get me wrong, it's a good story - it's a great story! Everyone makes money at $10B. All fiduciary obligations, hopes and dreams are beyond repaid. Fortunes are made. Livelihoods upheld. What a relief. I feel karmically responsible for seeing this through to at least that conclusion. But logically speaking, if that is the extent of our ambitions as a company, I do not foresee that I will be necessary for that trajectory much longer, certainly not for the next four to eight years.

I will detail my reasoning below, but it all boils down to the essential choice I outlined in the introduction: this company is a freight train moving through time - if we pursue advisable Beta strategies excellently well, we will be rewarded for following through on the trajectory set by the Alpha strategies pursued to date.

Be careful when you let Defaults in…

image

They give you Bad advice…

image

Historical Forces, Hidden In Plain Sight

For those caught up in the day to day, historical forces are hidden in plain sight. The internet basically didn't exist when I was born. Neither did laptops, nor smartphones, social networks, digital marketplaces, software applications or video conferencing. All of this is new.

But all of this, essentially, already existed then, in the farseeing minds of a few, who held it as an idea and a vision. These things don't just happen. Ultimately, people do them.

Individuals form companies. Companies pursue strategies. Those strategies fail or succeed accordingly as they are well conceived and well executed. To execute well, a company must be of one mind.

Everything is changing all around us, all the time, right under our noses. The future will not be like the present. It will be shockingly different, and yet almost nobody will notice. Because by the time it arrives, it will be tomorrow. The day after today. One day is rarely so different from another. And yet the years pass, and we are amazed. How did we get here, again?

A year ago, this company was not this company. That company was at a $10M run rate and had less than forty partners. This company is at a $25M run rate and is at nearly seventy partners. Six months from now, this company will not be this company. What will our run rate be: 60, 70, 80, 90, 100? How many partners will we have: 75, 80, 85, 90? What will our customer concentration look like? And what will that mean for our commercialization tactics and product roadmap? And our culture - what will become of that as we grow from a Legion of 1,000 to a Leviathan of 10,000?

Sometimes it may seem like we are at the whim of The Fates, and have no agency over the course of events. But individuals have, and still do, and shall continue to self-consciously shape history.

They do this by seeking understanding, especially historical understanding: by using any insights they gain as a guide to their actions.

The modern venture capital industry formed in the 1950s and '60s, began to industrialize in the '70s and '80s, boomed in the '90s, crashed in the '00s, boomed again in the '10s through to 2022, and then crashed this year. To answer the impatient question, “What comes next?” You have to patiently inquire. What existed before the venture capital industry: how were companies financed?

How did I get dumplings at midnight before DoorDash? Is the Pope Catholic?

Leadership Demands Grand Strategy

Esteemed fellow Ladies, Lords and Unicorns... I have been studying time, I have been making calculations in my temple, I have been contemplating our past, present and future, and musing on how our story fits into the world story.

Because I have been doing my job, as I understand it, which has been to advance the long-term best interests of this company. But what is ‘this company’? And what are its ‘long-term interests’? And by what strategy and with what leadership am I to advance it?

What is the job of the ‘Chief Executive Officer’ of a ‘company’ -- and for that matter, not just of any company, but specifically of this company? What is the true job?

Is it to show up at Offsites and give feel-good speeches? Is it to communicate in a certain style and to be well understood and liked by everyone? Is it to produce 10 page Professional Slide Decks with our top 10 advisable steps to achieve an above average outcome? Is it to pore over financial models and tinker with spreadsheets? Is it to fundraise and make sure we don't run out of money? Is it to hire people? Is it to sell and expand clients?

Before I seek higher office, I would like to merely point out that the REAL job I have been doing, for over seven years now, is essentially undefined, and thus unfinished. The canvas is always blank. The first day is always today. The founding moment is always now. "The way that can be told is not the True Way." It should not be finally defined, it should never be finished. And that is why, the job of President & Chairman is merely just my way of continuing to do the same job, which is 'Leadership' itself.

Leadership, which is a mysterious word that is a question-in-disguise, means what you make it mean. And I hope my successors hold the mysterious responsibility of leadership the same way: Leadership demands Grand Strategy. Grand Strategy, in turn, demands the pursuit of Mastery.

True black belts are white belts: if mastery can be pursued, it cannot be attained by prescription.

Grand Strategy is all encompassing. It contains all dynamics, integrates all dimensions of the situation, and commands the commander to command - for not to act, is to act.

A Freight Train Moving Through Time

'The Business Process Outsourcing Industry' means nothing to me. Disrupting it was not my aim. It has merely been my means.

This company is a freight train moving through time. There is nothing standing between it and $1B fair market enterprise valuation in the next six to eighteen months. There is also nothing standing between it and a $10B fair market enterprise valuation in the coming years.

There are reasons for this, from well-laid plans, long ago. It is an asteroid set to land amidst a land filled with dinosaurs. 'The BPO Industry' is a $70B annual revenue industry in the United States alone, and growing fast.

  • BPOs are not technology companies.
    • They bill by the hour.
      • Their business model misaligns incentives.
        • Their cultures, at best, represent a Professional Managerial Class stuck in a 20th century mindset.

In contrast,

  • We are a tech-enabled services company.
    • We bill by the unit.
      • Our business model aligns incentives, resulting in a significant performance advantage.
        • We're profitable and scaling.
          • And we’re sovereign.

These advantages combine as decisive. In Helmer's terms, we are 1) effectively Counterpositioned ; 2) we have at least two firmly Cornered Resources - The Partnership & through that, control of The Company; and 3) we are rapidly amassing Process Power, Scale Economies and Network Effects, which will enable us to overcome the high Switching Costs that protect incumbents.

Our existing decisive advantage is sufficient for the $10B victory.

I want to turn our decisive advantage into an overwhelming advantage.

Vote for me and I will systematically acquire and reinforce Helmer’s 7 Powers, until we securely have all 7 in a mutually reinforcing & overlapping defense-in-depth. Vote for me and I will build you an architecture that can scale to $1T and beyond.

In parallel, I already have the 8th power, but I want to give it to you, so that you, and the whole company, can learn Kung Fu too - so that we achieve something truly extraordinary together. But I’ll save that for later. Keep reading…

Storytelling As Organizational Memory

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I began to neglect one of the most important aspects of my job: storytelling. I told myself that normalization was good. We became increasingly less visionary, less entrepreneurial, more professional, more managerial. I, too, was lost, and not immune to the same amnesia. Only recently did the amnesia wear off, and did I remember myself, and what this company is. What this company was supposed to be, from the beginning. Memory brought back to me my own story, and this company's story, and the deep magic with which it has been founded. I am including this here as a record of a profound lesson learned. We cannot neglect the foundamentals. We cannot stop telling the story. We will forget. It will fade from view. The urgent will crowd out the important. Defaults, alluring with illusory comfort and safety, will deceive.

3. Direction: Vision, Phases, Structure

Vision: ⭕️ All Points Are Center ☸️

Remember

? I have tested you with this one before. It goes like this:

Q: What is the shape of that polygon where all points are center? A: …
🌫️
The Formlessness Koan

Let’s see. Do you remember the lesson?

If you think you’ve got the answer, then
🥋
Master Miyagi
has a test for you:
How many
🀄
Dragons
are in
🐲
Pendragon
, and there are so many dragons, why do we need a
🤴🏻
Pendragon
?
Very good Daniel-san. Which is another way of asking this question:
How many Polestars are there in the Ideal Organization?
Which is another way of asking this question:
How many true leaders should there be in the Ideal Organization?
Which is another way of asking this question:
Okay, so there’s your title on LinkedIn. But… What is your real job?

The Role Of A Polestar In An Organization

I trust you to judge my ideas, motives, temperament & fitness fairly, so I will be frank about what I am and what I am not.

After all, I am not speaking to a big room right now - there are less than 70 partners and less than 30 advisors - this is a small room of intimate friends, most of whom have given me direct one-on-one critical feedback at one point or another. Most of you know me well, or fairly well. Well enough to have observed, on at least one momentous occasion, that I am constitutionally incapable of sustained normality. In strategic terms, I just can’t abandon Alpha to secure Beta - it’s just not in my nature.

To the extent to which Beta is perceived to be lower risk than Alpha, then what can I say, I'm not Neville Chamberlain, Clement Atlee or Tim Cook - but you can find a leader like that, if you want. Just hire Korn Ferry, an executive recruiting firm, worth about $3B - they'll find you plenty of Harvard graduates who worked at McKinsey to be your John Sculley.

In the metaphorical language of the Ancient Chinese, The Emperor was represented by a "Pole-star", because when the realm was united and at peace, it was harmonized in his person. But every Polestar has their own vision and persona. I may be fit, but not suited to lead an organization whose values and preferences I no longer reflect. You have a sense for mine. A strong executive may have neutral policies on certain matters, but a strong executive is always a forceful presence, with a particular personality, and thus, is never neutral, but influential - polarizing by design. This is not only not avoidable, it is desirable - and well within the bounds of fairness.

Again, I am who I am. But who is that? I don't know, but I'm questing to find out, and fully intend to become more, not less, of who I am. I am already polarizing, I am already not neutral. I will not let myself be captured - I would rather leave honorably and on good terms. I will lead aggressively in the direction I understand to be in the company's long-term best interests. In other words, you're getting me, Francis - not an abstract 'leader' but a particular person, with a unique history and psychology, with a specific sense of identity and purpose, operating from a certain set of ideas and beliefs, conftonting this singular opportunity, situated within place, time and circumstances. So choose wisely.

Once again, you HAVE a choice! Choose wisely. Beta. A seemingly low-risk Beta path to $10B, not led by me. Alpha. Or a seemingly high-risk but actually far lower-risk Alpha path to $1T, led by me.

In further defense of the Beta path, I can guarantee you that whoever you choose will not use koans as a management tool, will not constantly pellet you with quotes from the ancients, and will not singlehandedly resurrect rhetoric from the grave. After all, in Outsiders, Thorndike says that none of his favorite CEOs were charismatic - so maybe it is red flag and a huge weakness!?

Worthy Opponents, Watch Out! 🌍 ☄️ 🦖🦕

Korn Ferry, McKinsey, Harvard, Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, Infosys, Capgemini - these are a few of the 20th century dinosaur institutions we are poised to overthrow.

If it's me you're hiring, you're going to get my best attempt to dominate and acquire not just the entire BPO industry, but the entire services industry - I want us to achieve a total industrialization of all knowledge work!

In the process, pun intended, I want to disrupt the entire education industry too - to make education not only free, but incredibly well paid. Not just because that would be nice, but because that would be logical: the best automation firm should be the best training firm, capable of containing entire cycles of economic disruption inside of itself, which should put Harvard and the lot to shame, if we do it right.

(Coase didn't have wet dreams, he had frictionless ones. (Yes, that’s Ronald Coase, the economist of Friction and Coordination Costs, one of our True Founders, and yes, that was a ribald econ joke. (Yes maybe I should cut this joke, but! THIS is the ORIGINAL 2015

THESIS! I discoveered Coase shortly afterwards…))

Now you’ll never forget him! He’s Mr. Friction, all he saw was Friction between Supply & Demand, and he was obsessed with Frictionlessness Companies!

In other words, if you elect me as your leader… you're shooting for the stars, folks. That's what I'm all about. That's who I am. I cannot abide by the average, on almost any matter, great or small. I set a high standard for myself and challenge myself to constantly raise it, and I challenge my team in the same way, as I hope they do for you too. I am in a single-minded and absolute pursuit of the ideal. I am not normal, and thus, I am not reasonable by normal standards; I approach life as a warrior, and this as my life's quest: I am out to slay the Chaos Dragon, which can't be slain. That’s what I've trained for my whole life.

(Yes, this is self-parody - roast me later.)

If you want to join me in the arena, join me. But I am fully living my myth, and am firmly resolved not to abandon a quest I set out for long ago, and have already given everything to, time and again!

Are you sure you want to not just watch, but to enter the arena yourselves, to be my fellow men, women and unicorns on this quest?! Feel free to set me free to pursue my destiny independently!

Phases: 1. 🐲 Leviathan, 2. 📜 Constitution, 3. 👩🏾‍🎨Renaissance

I view it as a reasonable choice to vote against me, for many reasons. That is why this is a secret ballot. But I will not proceed to execute on Phase Two of my strategy until Phase One is complete: which is achieving maximum alignment internally, moving from chamber to chamber, through the Penteryn: from The Board to the Core Advisors and Management Team, which together, is the Council, to the Core Partners and Advisors, which together, are The Partnership, and then lastly, to the Specialists and Agents, which together are 'Leviathan' - a Unity, a True Company... A Dragon Full Of Dragons.

So, Phase One of my strategy is called Leviathan, for that reason, named after a 17th century book which you can judge by its cover, because it is an iconic piece of art which symbolizes the power of a collective organization made up of individuals, united by one myth, story, moving towards a shared mission, with aligned incentives. Although it is amazingly insightful, Sun Tzu summarized it in a single line without reading it: "That army will win which is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks."

🐉  Leviathan. An Unforgettable Image 🐲

image

Leviathan. Remember that icon, remember that mantra, remember that word. It contains the logic of Phase One: unite the company first, because true unity is a rare achievement, a form of overwhelming power, a performance advantage.

Leviathan was Hobbes' book on political philosophy, and intimately well known to The Founding Fathers of the United States when they spelled the phrase "In Order To Form A More Perfect Union" in the Preamble to The Constitution. After Phase 1 of my Plan is complete, I will move on to Phase 2: "A More Perfect Union", summarized by the word 'Constitution.'

Phase 1 is vision alignment: to explain my plan, and achieve maximum alignment, internally, through the mechanism of this election.

Phase 2 is establishing structure: to restructure the company so as to maintain maximum alignment moving forward. Phase 2 involves the full implementation of Pendragon, for governance systems and maximum alignment of culture, vision and incentives from the top down, and Infinity, for capital allocation, modular structuring, tax optimization - a fully optimized wealth-creation platform.

Phase 3 is strategic execution: battle after battle unto dominion and Renaissance. To be an entrepreneur is to be an undertaker - that is what the word itself means. By undertaking to disrupt not only the BPO industry, but the entire services industry, and education itself, we are poised to challenge civilization itself into new modes, not just of commerce, but of culture and of being.

That last sentence is what excites me, personally, so I have highlighted it. Having broken out of VC Jail, The Cave Of Shadows, we set foot now in a bigger world, staring at the Blinding Light & Blank Canvas of Sovereignty. Now we have a truly unique opportunity to make history and reinvent The Corporation itself. This is a far higher level of game than the 'Disrupting The BPO Industry' game. That game is just a small battle in a big war, or a never-ending dance, depending on how you understand history itself. That's the level of game I want to attempt to play: the game of games.

So, as I was saying, if you vote for me, you're voting for me.

Super-Structure: 🏗 2 Paradoxically De-risking Moves 

Hopefully -- and if you're able to follow and check my logic, you'll think and agree for yourself -- hopefully my strategy, which is definitely not advisable, because nobody would ever have prescribed it in a Top 10 Steps manual, is also not inadvisable, that is, will stand up to the test of history, which is the test of 

. Principles, when well understood - theoretically, historically and experientially - then applied carefully, bear out in success. This is how we landed a man on the moon, land re-usable rockets, invent the iPhone 1 -- this is how we achieve anything great for the first time.

Now it would not be entirely true to say that my Alpha strategy does not add risk - it does, in the short term. The greatest risk with my strategy, in my opinion, is that people will not understand it - by its very nature, excellent understanding is required for excellent execution. In other words, there is execution risk.

But while there is less apparent execution risk with the default Beta strategy, there is severe long-term strategic risk. Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma makes that point in full length. Briefly, the moves are:

  1. Establishing
    🐲
    Pendragon
    . Governance Systems. Family Offices. Succession Planning. Vision, Values.
  2. Establishing
    ♾️
    Infinity
    . Decisive Leadership. Aligned Incentives. Capital Allocation. Network Effects. Incentive Alignment. Modular Architecture. Tax Optimization.

These seem risky but they are NOT.

☸️ A New O.S. (Operating System) - Empowered, Decentralized

For a Product Demo explore

. Although this is obviously still Under Construction, just imagine what it will look like at scale, in 8 years.

Infinity’s corporate architecture will be fractal. There will be nine primary business units, referred to mythically as The Nine Realms, and each realm will have further business units inside of itself. This allows us to fully segment, to build network effects, leverage decisive advantages, and to systematically disrupt every major digital, service-based industry.

This new corporate structure is essentially a new operating system, and thus it requires a shift in operating and mental models, which is why its success depends on alignment.

Creating business units means that every business unit can have its own local incentives, and can operate (paradoxically) more autonomously, yet with clearer accountability, cleaner investment decisionmaking, and more engaged board and managerial oversight.

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∞. 🐉Dragons⚡️Electing⚡️Pendragon 🐉

This election is a test, at many levels. It has been a test of me, as a leader. It has been a test of my leadership team, as a team. It has been a test of you, of our culture. It is a test that clarifies and questions our strategy and business model. These four tests blend into one test: our cultural dynamic is undergoing a test - is it capable of transformation?

Dragons, by their symbols and mythology, invoke transformation. Primordial beings, cataracts of energy, time, and ontological wisdom, forces of change, drama-weavers, destiny-writers, dynamic-dancers.

I have called you by many names: my advisors, my partners, shareholders, owners, entrepreneurs, cofounders. But dragons - what is that about? Well, if you were here on @January 1, 2022, you received this New Year's address: which invoked the first character of the I Ching, the Mandate of Heaven, Dragon Energy. Intuitively, I foreknew that if I could summon forth the individual greatness of each individual partner, then the collective would wield lightning, breathe fire and accomplish all. This 'magic,' this cultural strength that we wield is a greater force multiplier than any technology. Cynically and romantically spoken: this is the magic of alignment.

Thanks for reading. I await your decision. 🐲-ly yours, Francis

🎻 Musical Victory 📯

Echo Chamber

Echo Chamber for
🏰
Presidential Platform

A carefully curated collection of feedback I’ve received:

I was on board for alpha before alpha 😊. You have my vote, I decided to not touch my equity until 2029+.
The etymology of entrepreneur at its Latin root starts with to seize, to take in hand.
First, I don’t work for money or dream of wealth. I expect to earn enough to live an interesting life and be generous. My professional aim is maximize ideal outcomes, never just hit targets or secure an elevated title.
All walls between different parts of the organization are being torn down to create a much bigger conception. No, each process and element has inherent limits and focus. That is a law of nature. And obviously, will continue. The difference is that these sub-elements are harmonizing in a much larger campaign, and this can make them much more effective in time.
I expect change and feel comfortable with ambiguity. Most ambitious people want the above and actually crave order and truly believe in forecasts (control/order).
I think to get the more human humans lower on fear, higher on confidence, your material would benefit from public policy best practices.

I recently learned that I need to adjust my comms to a 7th grade level for maximum impact.

This may be helpful ✅

The substance here is excellent. Deep, thorough , complete and meaningful. And most importantly not overwhelming.
We can only succeed in making history together if we are IN IT together. Everyone (100%, not 55%, not 88%) has to be bought into the plan of operating at a higher level over the next 4-8 years as we go for world domination in the BPO industry and beyond. By opting to elect Francis and going for the Alpha, we are pledging our commitment to this goal.
I will admit I was really confused by the entire plan to diversify and restructure, but it all makes sense now.
I like your vision and believe in its ultimate business conservatism (which in our current world is radical (see original meaning of word) in its nature).
The thing about risks is people's appetite for risks changes with their circumstances. So what we need is to help people understand why this is a better bet instead of status quo.
Anyway — It was a good read. I didn't find it heavy.
You have my support. And the text is inspiringly and romantically written.
You are but a servant unleashing huge forces. It's about immense things. Including especially the Partnership –– their dreams, abilities, and aspirations. And also the moment in time, and the latent need of huge, esurient markets.
New markets are hungry for the valuable capabilities your team has developed in its existing markets.
Your role as Strategos is to marshall individuals, each with inner powers, to act in unison as an exponential force across an expanding frontier. With each new conquest, the risk goes down and momentum goes up
The resources you start with (technologies, models, culture, experience, leadership) are unique, valuable, and extremely hard to imitate. They are applicable across a much broader front than currently. They work, they're powerful, they are the future synthesis of human and machine intelligence in the service of human needs and desires. Now is the time to reduce risk by taking risk, to consolidate by expanding, to achieve new stability through scale and momentum.
It's Magic... I am swept away already.
Love the simplicity and complexity as a start. Love the stunning visuals!
Great summaries for clarity, Francis!
The markets are waiting.
Overall; impressed by the depth and range of your thinking. And the speed and clarity. I think you can be a bit nicer to Tim Cook; after all, executing well is still impressive. He’s operating a juggernaut — hard to be a dragon at that scale. Though the counter example is Amazon.
Invisible is a Trojan horse for Infinity which is a Trojan horse for pendragon itself a Trojan horse for Aristocracy of spirit—it’s ciphers all the way down and back to Infinity back to Invisible.
You’ve turned corporate architecture into a mystical poem koan. And the joke is that it’s going to be worth more than Apple.
Overheard in Silicon Valley: “neo-feudalism is hot right now.”
This is insanely well organized. And fun! Honored to be a part of it.
It occurs to me that as you scale to $1T, you'll need a talent pipeline for finding and cultivating the kinds of people who are both magical and capable and who would prefer our team to team Beta.
I have now read the whole thing, and find it super fun, super authentic, neither advisable nor inadvisable, and yet quite sound, I think it meets the objective of sharing how you think about it all…
EXCITED FOR "the game of games.”
It reads as both clear and magical… my meta question is how many will read this whole thing AND follow it AND love it… I am personally loving it.
Say what you want about Francis but he well understands the opposition…
I WOULD LOVE TO WRITE DRAGON LAWWWWWW WITH YOU
“Vision-Strategy-Culture-Execution dynamic”... I like that. It's important for the warriors to understand that Strategy does not substitute for Execution, but makes Execution more consequential.
I'll read this in the morning… But from the looks of it, seems like another epic piece of writing… I couldn't stop reading yet… I feel bad for only pointing out good things about it… This is gold… Seriously. This is simply amazing. I'm really thinking of sending this to a couple of mildly successful entrepreneurs friends of mine. Except it’s a State Secret, I know, I know.
Here’s to the crazy ones!
Epic. I love the story telling and the romanticism and the humor and the courage. This is going to be hard - very hard - but it will also be a trip like most have never experienced before. I am not driven by money or titles - I want to make a positive, meaningful impact. To borrow a quote from Nassim- “I want to live happily in a world I don’t understand” because that is the world you grow and change in which in turn allows you to change the world.
It is a big exciting plan very romantically explained, which shows you and your heart a lot, and by default is very compelling and inspiring. Regardless of what the words are saying, to me, it seems that it's truly trying to change our mind and expand it, by making us dive into your mind and fall deeply in love with the plan. Which is the place it looks like you want people to be in with the 88% alignment goal. Excellent!!! (*And this is coming from a none native speaker of the dragon and myth language 🫣🐉)

Alpha is the way to create infinite success for everyone involved, not only for you and that's what I call magic. 🪄

I like it ! Clear and transparent; serious yet engaging
Great choice on the color variety
It’s awesome. Props to you on the clarity of the message(s) while also keeping your style and voice.
Emphasis on checks and balances is key to our platform and the company/Partnerhship’s long term success. So thank you for providing a focus on that.
It’s still A LOT to take in… because we are thinking BIG
I am very, very excited about the Alpha path… while also feeling appropriately anxious about the inherent risk and tenacity required.
Strikes the right balance here between the concrete and the abstract, it both tells story and lands strategy, and above all is an exciting and inspiring read
We have built the best digital assembly line ever built, but is it good enough? Beta isn’t even an option yet. We must continue doing things our way, the Invisible way, and though it may fail, at least it will be bold and in the spirit of the dragon, and fortune favors the dragon.
It’s a clear, thorough, well structured and AUTHENTICALLY written prophetic tale of magic, romanticism, and success. The game if games has begun. I applaud you for the clarity of thought without sacrificing our authentic self in the telling of your vision and strategy and and and…
You already know where I stand. My mind and heart and soul are 1000% in. Honored, humbled, and inspired to be on this journey with you and blessed to be a witness to your hero’s journey and that of us all.
It's about the idea, and it's about building something never built before. And if we all get insanely rich doing so, it's an incredible bonus.

So, very humbly, you have my complete backing, and as much as I know my peers in the partnership, I'm sure you'll have theirs too. Lead the way and we'll go get it all. Onwards!

This is stunning. I love the visuals — art is, and should be, everywhere.

Keep flooding it with art. Magic is real.

Simplified and normalized, yet massive ambition.

🦋 Return