HIPS: Innovation Happens Best When It Is ‘Permissionless’
By Bryan Hyde
COMMENTARY -- The internet is easily the most disruptive technology that most of us have seen within our lifetimes. Few of us could have imagined how it would be put to use or the innovation it would inspire.
Just consider how much of our communications, our commerce, our record-keeping and information seeking are tied to the internet and how different our lives would be without it.
And can you believe it was allowed to develop without the micromanaging oversight of bureaucrats and politicians?
Sure, the temptation was there. But somehow, they resisted the urge to tell us the precise form it should take. The hands-off approach by lawmakers and regulators allowed for far greater innovation than is possible under rigorous central planning.
It’s a perfect example of what’s known as permissionless innovation.
Michael Munger puts it this way:
“Permissionless innovation allows us to create truly new things for each other to enjoy – things the experts may not understand or approve of, but that nonetheless hold the potential to transform the world.”
Sadly, this concept of solving problems or meeting one another’s needs without first seeking government permission isn’t exactly the norm.
Think about how many things require us to ask for government permission before we can safely act.
We’ve been trained to believe that bureaucratic permission is necessary in order to live self-governing and productive lives. But the freedom to create should be our default setting.
We’d likely surprise ourselves with how innovative we can be if we simply started believing this once again.