This actually is a fascinating topic/concept for me, coming at it from
the overall context of information, information theory, human nature,
and psychology. We have two categories of people (in general). To list
them requires having an example incident.
A "joke" is a story or line of logic that concludes with an entirely
unexpected ending. However, that ending must also relate to the
original premises, only not in an obvious way.
One type of person has a natural sense of humor, grasps the concept
intuitively, and can either tell good jokes or make up original jokes.
The other type of person has no such intuition. Instead, they observe
the reactions of people to jokes.
The "observer" notes that telling a joke is a way for the speaker to
gain attention or popularity, develop a connection, and initiate all
sorts of communication. So they study the logic of jokes, the technical
structure of premises, and the timing for jokes.
Let`s say they notice (in their experience) that most jokes are told
after 7pm. Not only is that the best time for a joke, but it gets the
most laughter. Jokes told in the afternoon tend not to get as much
laughter. Ergo, the logic says, the time of day for a joke is a
critical aspect of a good joke.
There are a number of reasons Startup Nation works, is growing, and
succeeds. None of them are technical in any way whatsoever. All of it
has to do with human nature, empathy, *reality* and conservative
So if one were to start a "Startup Nation for Juniors," the first issue
would be how many young people, at what age "limit" have formed their
nature, understand empathy, have a grasp of reality, and understand the
different types of ideological values? In my opinion, none.
Here`s another pertinent example, though I won`t go into the analysis
completely. AOL originally had a very simple interface, loaded very
quickly, and offered simple user names, rather than complex numbers. It
used a basic editor to provide formatted text. AOL also charged per the
minute, in addition to whatever phone charges accrued to the user.
AOL exploded into activity, particularly in chat rooms. People spent
mucho dollars to stay involved, love affairs happened, and the "online
relationship" became a new thing. Then AOL went to flat rates. Within a
couple of years, AOL has become as faded as Compuserve. Why?
Because when people had to pay real money to be present in a chat room,
they also had to earn that money. To earn the money meant they were
actively interested in gaining money, doing things, promoting
themselves. As such, they were people with something to say, ideas, and
a willingness to invest that money in meeting like-minded people.
When they joined a chat room, there was high-speed discussion, it was
often interesting, people had lots of humor, or spoke of deep tragedy.
Nobody just sat around staring at the screen, jumping up to say
"hi...hi...hi" and offering bracketed "hugs" for hours on end. Only
when it went to a low flat rate could "the rest of the world" afford to
waste everyone`s time with meaningless nonsense.
When you pay money for something, you value it. Startup Nation may be
free, but the people who are members have paid with a lot more than
money to have something to say in forum posts! As they say, you can`t
sing the blues until you`ve paid your dues. Same thing that you can`t
be empathetic to the birth pains of a startup until you`ve tried to
start a business yourself.
SuN holds to a very specific and fundamental theme. Originally
it was somewhat enforced, if I understand it, and may still. I don`t
know. But now, with a growing community, that theme is "self-enforcing"
based on a majority disinterest in whatever doesn`t apply to that
theme. It`s the thematic concept of being an entrepreneur, taking
risks, being innovative, and sharing the fear of being outside the norm
and the mediocre.
There isn`t any way to replicate that with technology, mimicry,
copying, or anything else. It`s because the "engine" running Startup
Nation is a conceptual principle---the quest for freedom. And to really
value freedom, most people have to first experience it, then lose it.
Note how many community members here have worked for "the Man" first,
seeing that as a loss of freedom. That takes time and life, I think.