In fact, you could get as much free land as you wanted, but there was one minor catch.
You don’t own the land – but you can build any size community you want on it.
Sounds like a great deal you say!
So, you get to work.
First, you build your house where you’ll live in and then start work on building out the town.
Then you invite your closest friends and family to join your community.
Now it’s time to add new members to your community and grow your movement.
But there is a problem.
The landowner says you need to pay them first to get access to the new people that you want to invite into your community.
Because the landowner owns all the land, the usage rights, and controls every aspect of your community.
Since you got the land for free, you figure it’s still a good deal so you start paying the landowner to access new audiences and soon you start to grow.
“This is amazing!” you scream to yourself, “look at all these people following me!”
Before you know it your community of followers grows to over 1000 and you can’t believe how lucky you are to have found this company giving away free land.
Inspired, you focus all of your time, energy and focus on growing your community, In short order, you’ve grown your community to 10,000!
But then you notice something odd.
Every time you send out a new announcement to your community of 10,000 followers you notice that you have minuscule engagement.
Even worse, you start to wonder why only 300 people out of your community of 10,000 followers have even seen your announcement.
So, you ask the landowner about it.
“Oh, sorry, we forgot to mention, to gain access to all of your followers you’ll need to pay us again for that too.“
What the…you think to yourself.
Hmm – what’s going on here?
And then it hits you like a 2000-pound piano falling from the sky and landing on your head…
… the community that you built…
… with your time, energy, and constant attention…
… that you nurtured, hand-held, and cuddled like a newborn baby…
… is not your community at all…
… it’s the landowners!
Sad, depressed, dismayed, and dejected, you alert your community members to pack up their things and tell them…”we’re out of here, it’s time to go somewhere else!”
But the landowner has a different idea, and notifies you that…
… “you can leave, in fact, you need to leave because you have violated our rules, but the community and all its members stay here—remember, we own everything!“
Let this be a cautionary tale of the pits and perils of selling your soul and doing business with gatekeepers…
… for they giveth the land for free…
… and taketh away whenever they see fit.
Algorithm Arms Race
Technology, in similar ways, can become its own gatekeeper.
The digital highway is full of toll roads.
And the farther and faster you want to travel on these highways will increase your toll costs dramatically.
The algorithm controls everything.
It controls the search results for every travel destination you want directions to, it controls every transaction you make when you get off the highway and enter a town, and it controls access and rights to your own communities and personal network.
Forget about the end consumer, you need to focus on beating the algorithm to win today.
And just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they change the algorithm.
Let’s face it, there is no way to get off this hamster wheel…
… it’s been engineered for perpetual motion.
That is if you choose to play the game.
Your other option is to build your own community on land you own.
When you own the land, you own the harvest too.
Since AI gets exponentially smarter every year, the algorithm can never be beaten.
Is it time to buy some land?
To your unruliness ~