"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Three Questions

Wonky post. Stuck in my head thanks to Sterling Newberry, the three dynamics to measure the potential of your project by:

  1. Accessability: is your project equitably available? Will it only work for a select "elite" few, or is it something that is open to any and all qualified participants?
  2. Sustainability: how dependent is your project on external sources of support? Can it operate under its own power?
  3. Scalability: can you scale? Can your idea go national or global and still be a great project?

This isn't a "check all that apply" type metric. More like axes to think along when evaluating what you're up to. Some things need to be closed and private. Some things only work when they're small. Some things are ephemeral.

That's all cool. When thinking about a project, these are just useful lines of evaluation to help entrepreneurs and instigators brainstorm effectively. However, Institutions, particularly public ones -- including State institutions, the Academy, the Press, and the Non-Profit Sector -- should almost always seek to maximize along all three vectors.

The Market -- as an Institution in its own right -- should also be judged on these criteria. How easy is it for new players to break in? How sustainable is the system? Can the it continue to scale (globalize) as is, or are different tactics necessary? These are hard questions which social scientists (economists, economic sociologists) are truly trying to engage. The finance, public policy and political communities are lagging pretty badly.