This post was originally posted on The Startup Project Podcast blog.
The GameStop incident is an anecdote of a larger phenomenon that will be more common in the future. There have been events like GameStop before but not in the capital markets, not at the same scale. Although the short squeeze is a common phenomenon in capital markets, the cause and effect of this particular short squeeze are unique.
In a way, the tiff between PewDiePie and T-Series to become the largest YouTube channel was a predecessor to the GameStop event. Both events have a common throughline.
They are both driven by massive crowds rallying towards a single goal, motivated by few influencers, and are connected through the network called the Internet.
The phenomenon has been developing for a while and manifested in multiple ways on the internet in recent years.
Be it QAnon, GameStop, or T-Series the underlying forces are the same. They are driven by the followers of a belief, a belief initially led by a few with some reasoning, followed by the many. The phenomenon is common in religions but it took religions hundreds of years to spread the gospel, not 6–9 months. Religions didn’t have access to networks that enable the spread of data within seconds to every follower or future follower, and networks were not embedded with tools to vote for the beliefs of the gospel.
Patreon allows a YouTube channel follower to pay for their content creator, Robinhood allows one to vote with their dollars and choose their favorite SPAC salesman & twitter allows it with a heart-shaped button.
Connected networks with data reaching millions in seconds combined with tools to vote on the beliefs of these networks are giving rise to these “Egalitarian Forces”.
Almost all industries are going to see these forces in different forms
- Hollywood saw this in the form of YouTube stars $25 Million per year, and even starting their own restaurant chains overnight.
- Capital Markets saw this with Game stop, AMC, and even with Tesla. In Tesla’s case, the phenomenon played out over 5 years.
- Universities are facing this with the rise of Cohort based courses.
These new forces are not necessarily good or bad, they are not even about “sticking up to the man”. There will good, bad, and mostly gray movements. They will be about the profit of all kinds.
If this was Game of Thrones instead of 7 Kingdoms which have been holding the oligopoly on leverage and power for the longest, we will now have 1000 Kingdoms diluting the oligopoly power of the 7 Kingdoms.
It is a pivotal point in the journey to the future.