We live in a dynamic age. In the interest of avoiding snap judgements and sclerotic thinking, it’s worth remembering that big ideas, particularly the truly novel and disruptive ones, will rapidly evolve in predictable ways.
First, there is a Hypothesis, a supposition based on limited evidence. Then an idea becomes a Thesis, a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained. Then there’s the Antithesis, when people come to think in an opposite way about the original idea. And then there’s a Synthesis, when the idea outgrows its hypothesis and thesis, and makes a certain peace with its antithesis.
Here’s an example: The four theses of Crypto.
Hypothesis: Blockchain technology when applied to money will democratize finance.
Thesis: Financial democratization will come through widespread consumer participation in large exchanges like Coinbase and FTX.
Antithesis: Cryptocurrencies are dead, the provenance of swindlers and scofflaws, profoundly unreliable, risky, a terrible hedge against inflation and incapable of holding value.
Synthesis: Inefficient aspects of the traditional banking industry will be disrupted by digital currency transactions that can be reliably verified and maintained, while conforming to basic standards of compliance and accounting.
Consider Steamchain Corp. (Full disclosure, we’ve worked with Steamchain, but I didn’t wake up today planning to log-roll for them.) Steamchain Corp. created smart contract software using the Ethereum (ERC20) blockchain to facilitate currency conversion between trading partners. Traditional banks charge exorbitant hidden fees and can take days to process these transactions, which introduces uncertainty as currencies fluctuate. Steamchain processes transactions at a fraction of the cost, in minutes. That's good ol’ fashioned innovation.