The Global Tragedy of the Commons.

A conversation on Oceans.

In any shared office space, the kitchen is gross. People leave tons of gross stuff in it. I don’t even notice messes, and sometimes I notice. If you don’t have cleaners, this can become a problem, because there’s normally one person who can’t stand it, and gets mad at everyone else with passive aggressive notes and signage. Even though everyone shares the kitchen, no one cares enough to own the responsibility, so it gets pretty “Yuck”. This is the “Tragedy of the Commons” in a nut shell. People work out of their own self ownership, not out of the collective shared space. And even though this is normal, people still get upset, at the group for not washing their own dishes. Side note: Sorry I’m not sorry that I’m one of those people who leaves dishes.


The tragedy of the commons is a term used in social science to describe a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action.


Recently I’ve been diving (no pun intended) deep into OceanTech. I’m a little obsessed, have read a bunch of books, and feel that what we have built at Boost VC can make a real impact on the over arching Ocean sector. One of the core topics that is brought up whenever I actively discuss the ocean… which is a lot now. Is that there is a trash pile the size of Texas in the middle of the Ocean. If you think about it, the ocean is the office kitchen of the globe. Every country uses the Ocean as a dividing line, but no one controls it. Everyone literally accepts that it’s shared space. So it makes complete sense to me that no one feels ownership. Everyone points blame, but no one puts it on their priorities because it’s the shared space, not the owned space.


I think that the Ocean needs a new business model. One based on ownership and assets, not built on “for the good of humanity.” Because generally ownership brings incentives. Incentives brings people. People bring brains who can solve problems.


So Boost VC is going to change the oceans business model and invest heavily into problem solvers in OceanTech. If you know anyone building for the ocean, please send them my way.

By Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

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