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Living Will

by Michael @Mike-E-angelo DeMond 1/1/2022

The biggest risk with starbeam.one -- as is the case with any business -- is that the efforts here could fail and it goes out of business. When digital ownership is involved, this is a double-whammy, as all those assets are theoretically nullified. This is an identified risk and one I obsess over.

While I am fortunate enough to be the first centralized digital ownership offering to market, I do not expect to be the last. As such, my feeling is that every centralized digital ownership solution should offer a "living will" of sorts to inform its users what they can expect if the worst happens and a profitable business can not be achieved and/or maintained.

The Good

That stated, I have a few thoughts on the matter that we have going for the success of this project.

  1. First and foremost, know that in addition to being the creator of starbeam.one, I am also its first customer. I built this service as one that I myself would use. I am not collecting a salary and do not intend on doing so. All personal monies to me received by starbeam.one will be from works of art that I create and publish here on this platform. I say this as a way of noting that in addition to being mindful of company overhead and expenditures (which improves chances of success), that if this product fails I will be personally impacted as one of the customers of the system.
  2. Next, consider that the current venture/investing market is ridiculous, and has been for some time. In such a climate, it will be very very difficult to fail by way of not being funded. Somehow, someway, it is very likely that funding will be procured to ensure survival in some form (if needed).
  3. Thirdly, and related, since this application will be one of the first centralized offerings to market, the chances that it will be sufficiently funded and eventually profitable are higher than most (nothing is guaranteed, however).

The Bad

With the "good" parts out of the way, let's focus now on the negative. This is a difficult yet mature exercise as it explores what can occur if failure happens to the system. In this case, we did not reach our goals and expenses outweigh revenue and we cannot pay our bills.

To start, having a plan of failure is not unique to centralized ownership. In fact, I got my idea of a living will in part by reading this article regarding Fourth Wall.

From this article, along with general thinking, I have arrived at the considerations in the next section below if starbeam.one is faced with existential failure.

The Will

  1. Open Source All the Things. To start, Fourthwall mentions open sourcing their software and I am in total agreement. That's a great idea. In the case of failure, I will post all applicable software on starbeam.one's Github repository. At the very least, it will provide insight and transparency on how the code was produced. At most, it will allow others to create their own variants and enable their own go at it if they feel they have what it takes to do so.
  2. Create an Enshrining Event. This is a little more involved but something I am fully committed to. As I mentioned, I am also a customer of this system and will want to see my investments protected in some way. To me, this means producing a mechanism whereby all products are enshrined in a medium that live on after starbeam.one is dissolved. This very well could mean a blockchain. Which one? This will probably be decided by vote when dissolution is reached. I have friends that like the Hedera blockchain. I have others that like the Stellar blockchain. It may well be determined by whoever can assist me most to get the products to the enshrining event.
  3. Lament. Wailing and gnashing of teeth

To finish, summarize, and repeat myself: I am a customer as well as an owner, which means 100%+ investment. As such, I will do everything in my power to see this product succeed. However, in the event that it doesn't, there is some preparation and acknowledgement of a plan to ensure investment is protected. Know that I am on your side and I will do whatever it takes to make sure both your investment and mine lives on in some form going forward. This is a new and exciting time, and while I hope to never visit this scenario, it is one that is very much identified and hopefully one that we can tackle if necessary. ✌

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