This idea came to me last night after reading and participating in a few different posts about territory rent and ownership. I imagine there's a term for what I'm going to describe that I'm either unaware of or just isn't coming to me.
These recent posts have centered around the increasing cost (in purchasing power) of monthly territory rent, the potential long-term value of an outright purchase, and a desire to allow joint ownership. I believe we can address all of these issues simultaneously.

The Model

First off, participation in this model should be opt-in for the territory founders
  • Anyone can make payments on any participating territory
  • Territory revenues get paid out in proportion to what each stacker has paid in
  • Whoever has paid in the most assumes control over the territory
  • Once three million sats have been paid towards a territory it becomes owned outright
  • If less than 100k sats per month have been paid towards a territory it becomes archived
  • Archived territories can be resurrected by making up the back payments
  • Any rental payments already made towards a territory will be counted if and when a founder opts-in

Discussion

The logic here is pretty straightforward. Instead of one stacker being on the hook for a large monthly bill, the community is on the hook to keep the territories they care about alive. This gives everyone an opportunity to invest in the territories they value and make sure they don't become archived.
I'm also thinking that there's no reason investment has to stop once the territory hits 3 million sats. That threshold could just mean the territory will never be archived. Further investments could still impact revenue share and control. This would increase the revenue stream for Stacker News.
Founders can still protect their control in a few ways: never opt-in, out bid everyone else, build up a big cushion before opting in.
I'll be curious to hear what people think about this proposal.
@ek Where you at? I was hoping you'd have some thoughts about this suggestion.
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47 sats \ 1 reply \ @ek 8 Mar
Thanks for the ping btw, I saw this post showing up in hot in my RSS feed and wanted to read it but I feel asleep after I wrote this post and then forgot.
It's really getting very important but also harder to spend my time on SN wisely. Compared to 6 months ago, I feel like it has gotten a lot worse with trying to keep up with everything happening on SN. I am basically relying on good usage of mentions and the front page now.
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That's an epic post. It's amazing how much detail you remember the event in.
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323 sats \ 3 replies \ @ek 8 Mar
Mhh, interesting! This is inspired by public companies and their shareholders, right? But surely this wasn't the term you were looking for.
We have been talking more about territory donations recently internally ("wikipedia style donations" was how I described my idea for the first step in this direction). Territories are also supposed to have their own reward pools at some point, anyway. In the same discussion, roles were mentioned (owner, admin, moderator etc). It feels like you are proposing a more fluid model for such roles based solely on the amount of sat contributions. Very simple but I like simple but I guess the question is if it's "too simple" for some reason.
Once three million sats have been paid towards a territory it becomes owned outright
You mean within a month not in total over lifetime, right? Since then, you would essentially have no billing options anymore if I see that correctly. It's just pay as you go.1
The billing options are mainly there as an incentive for more commitment. It was mentioned that we like the Mullvad model (always $5 per month) but Mullvad is running a different business which doesn't care about or require the commitment of their users as much as SN does to succeed.
Any rental payments already made towards a territory will be counted if and when a founder opts-in
Maybe my confusion is related to the above point. I guess I am thinking too much about billing options here. I think what you're proposing is something that would replace the existing billing options on opt-in, right?
Have you thought about if and how it would be possible to reverse this decision? Would that even be important enough to have? I don't know much about going public (and certainly not how to go private again as Twitter did) so I am definitely out of my league here if this is even inspired by public companies.
Footnotes
  1. lol, seems like @siggy47 predicted this response in #454924
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I am talking about replacing the existing billing model, but the minimal payment is the same as the current monthly payment. That means SN revenue per territory will be at least as great as it currently is.
The big differences are
  1. Once three million sats are paid the owners no longer risk being archived.
  2. Revenue will continue to come in to SN even after a territory has been paid off, because people will keep investing to earn larger earnings shares (@jeff pointed out some concerns about this feature)
If there are going to be different territory roles, perhaps assigning them could be one of the perks of making the largest investment.
I did think briefly about whether this would be reversible and my first thought was that it probably shouldn't be reversible. However, maybe anyone holding a majority share could be able to revert back to the original billing model.
This is similar to public stock offerings, but it was inspired more by thinking about how to crowdfund territories. Equity shares seemed like the simplest incentive to offer contributors. It was only as I was writing this up that it occurred to me that capping investments at 3 million would be unnecessary.
Edit: I'm suggesting this as an optional billing model. The current options could still be available.
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89 sats \ 1 reply \ @ek 8 Mar
Mhh, I see. I think the biggest difference where applying existing models like crowdfunding or equity shares falls apart is that you can't sell shares like @jeff mentioned in
Imagine you could only buy stocks. And never sell them. And dividends were split amongst an infinite # of future holders. If "the market" thought your territory was the next NVDA, then the founder would get destroyed. instead of rewarded for being early and correct.
So as described, people would buy shares to get a share of the future revenue of the territory and not because they think the future price at which they could sell their share increases. I still think this is a great idea, it just depends on complexity, all the (known and unknown) corner cases, if there isn't a better idea and how something like this could gradually be added so we don't commit a lot of time and effort into something that turns out to be a wrong decision on first contact with users.
I keep trying to compare this to something so it's easier to reason about it. It might be closer to stock options without an obvious exercise option or not, I don't know. But I guess I am making this more complicated as it is. I feel I understand what you're suggesting now but I always feel like I never fully understand something until I "touched" it.
It's definitely interesting to think about and thanks for writing down the current problems:
These recent posts have centered around the increasing cost (in purchasing power) of monthly territory rent, the potential long-term value of an outright purchase, and a desire to allow joint ownership. I believe we can address all of these issues simultaneously.
What problem we are trying to solve is what I often have to remind myself about. I would still say I am pretty bullish on prediction markets but I know that at some point, I just wanted to apply prediction markets to everything.
I even mentioned to @siggy47 that we could have assassination markets for territories as a funding source. Still not sure how serious I was.
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people would buy shares to get a share of the future revenue of the territory and not because they think the future price at which they could sell their share increases
That's correct, as far as it goes. However, people are also funding the territory so that it doesn't get archived (until 3 mil) and an incentive to do so is receiving a larger share of territory revenues.
One other point I was thinking about is that you could make the current rent something like the interest on an amortized loan repayment. That would mean only monthly revenue beyond 100k would count towards the 3 million, which we could now think of as the principal.
The core of the idea to me is the crowdfunding and revenue sharing combination. The other elements are peripheral details that could easily be tweaked.
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Really interesting ideas here and well articulated. Would certainly help out some territory founders
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Thanks, I hope so. It will also give people like me, who don't really want to be sole proprietors, a way to get in on the territory action.
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Very good idea.
I think multiple people should be able to own territories with maybe one principal owner on the hook if the others don’t pay their share.
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I'm imagining that the principal would receive the notification about payment being due soon, but there's no particular reason it couldn't go out to all the owners.
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I think it's a brilliant idea that promotes inclusion, sharing, cooperation, and commitment from more stackers.
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Thanks! I'm hoping some of the SN team will weigh in.
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Fascinating idea! Do you think this more public model could run in parallel with the existing private territory model?
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Feels backwards compatible.
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Yes. If founders want to retain private ownership they can just continue along with the current terms.
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I like it. I would think SN would balk at bullet point 4, given the whole time value of money thing, but with the threshold allowed to go beyond 3 mil sats, they will be compensated.
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I mean it in the sense of the owners no longer having to worry about rent. SN will keep getting revenue as people continue investing.
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I see.
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I like it.
Edit: There may be a flaw in the no-cap model. Ownership should be scarce.
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The alternative is allowing share transfers amongst stackers, but that doesn't generate revenue for the site.
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The irony is that everybody will likely put in less money if its uncapped.
I say, let SN find other revenue streams.
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I might be missing the reasoning here. One cannot raise more than three million and the other can.
Are you saying that from an individual standpoint there's less incentive to make an investment of any particular size in the uncapped model because ultimately it will amount to a smaller share than it would in the capped model?
I can see that, but why should that be a concern?
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26 sats \ 1 reply \ @jeff fwd 7 Mar
Re: correct on lower incentive
If the founder opts into uncapped, they could be diluted by the irrational crowd. With no way to get their asset back.
Imagine you could only buy stocks. And never sell them. And dividends were split amongst an infinite # of future holders. If "the market" thought your territory was the next NVDA, then the founder would get destroyed. instead of rewarded for being early and correct.
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Ok, I see your point. Maybe there's a way to weight shares by how long they've been held that would work for everyone.
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They could take a rake.
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Interesting
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I thought this was about property ownership.
I'm disappointed.
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It's digital property.
Also, feel free to apply the idea to physical property.
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stacker.news territories are not your physical property unless you have the domain registrar login & password.
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