Decentralizing an organization


Companies are traditionally very centralized. A CEO sits atop the hierarchy and has the most decision making power. The further you go down the hierarchy, the less authority each member has.

Centralization imposes a variety of pros and cons onto an organization. I’d like to explore some of the pros and cons while talking about various decentralization options.


I’m always a fan of decentralization, so here’s my 2 cents:

One of my favorite companies is Valve Software, mostly because of their handbook. It promotes a flat hierarchy, choosing your own projects, open communication, and so on.

This might be a bit anarchistic for some people, and of course, there’s always an implicit hierarchy – I’d bet that Gabe has a much easier time bringing an idea to fruition than a new hire, for example.

Maybe that’s a good thing, in a way. Maybe we need to measure and use that level of influence in the decision making processes happening every day.


Having recently received a new copy of “Applied Cryptography”, I’ve been thinking about how to implement old world systems with crypto. Like communication systems, publication systems, and voting systems.

Voting systems in particular are interesting, because there’s an analogy in the business world: voting by shareholders. However, this system is cumbersome, time consuming, and expensive, at best. How will the employees get their say?

Crypto-based voting could solve this problem. As I mentioned before, you can measure influence within an organization (or you could apportion votes based on equity). Then, employees and stakeholders alike could cast their vote on any number of issues, many times a day.

This begs the question: how difficult is it to vote, and how exactly do you do it? In the first case I can say it can be made very easy to vote with such a system, with the crypto running smoothly behind the scenes. As for the second question, I leave that to my readers. How would you want to vote? Email? Slack? Something else?