How Steemit technology and principles can (and will) become the foundation of the future of management in companies (Featuring new author @sebastien)

in #steemit4 years ago (edited)

I work in a 30 Billion dollar company and I am in charge of business innovation there.
It is a huge company, with 10th of thousands of employees, countless departments, millions of emails per day, and a lot...a freaking lot of things happening everyday.

One of the major challenges a company this size deals with is called “MANAGEMENT”, and Steemit technology can revolutionlize it

1/ Introduction to Management and Hierarchy concepts

I'll start with a very brief (1 min read) introduction of these concepts.

Management can simply be translated as:

How to recognize, promote and empower the best employees.

Managing a team of 3, 10 or 300 is quite a different exercise, but the fundamentals are the same:

  • figure out who is good (where good may have multiple definitions, but I will not discuss this today)
  • give them challenges, test their limits
  • reward the ones who deliver
  • empower the best, promote them to higher positions

It takes a lot of time. Therefore, to make sure every director or manager does not have to deal with 300 people, most companies have created something we call HIERARCHY.
Hierarchy is just a way to create layers of power inside the company, and to make sure that a director or a manager does not spend 99% of his time dealing with human resources. Giving him time and more focus allows him to concentrate his energy on defining or applying the strategy of the company.

It’s pretty much like Steemit's structure:

  • Whales, which would be the SVPs of the company
  • Dolphins, which could be the VPs
  • Bigger Minnows are the managers
  • Little Minnows are the employees

And if you cut into a more detailed structure, you can create as many layers as you want based on the steem power of each category.

This is the hierarchy of Steemit. And, as many users mentioned already, each user is important and has a role in the ecosystem.

2/ Steemit "topics" are the company "directions":

Every Whale, Dolphin or Minnow has his or her specialized or preferred set of topics.
Photography, Politics, Money, Food… you name it…

If we continue the parallel with a company, each topic would represent a field, a direction

  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • After-Sales
  • Engineering

Even if structure-wise, a company has a more limited amount of expertise fields than here on Steemit, in the end it’s the same logical structure.

For each topic you will find a Whale following specifically this topic, a dedicated group of Dolphins and lots of Minnows producing content.
For each Direction, you have a SVP, multiple VPs with sub-specializations, and employees that we call staff.

3/ Steemit "levels" are the company "positions":

Let’s have a look to these aforementioned positions and see in detail how they relate to a company structure:
As @dantheman mentioned here, the job of the Whales is NOT to CREATE content: most of their work should consist in CURATING content.

Curation is a game for whales and dolphins. Minnows should stick to posting and commenting

Same logic applies in a company, the job of a Financial Director is NOT to do or verify accounting. It is the job of the staff: Employees and managers are the Minnows.

1- Smaller Minnows: the employees

As @danthemnan said, their job is to CREATE content. To produce things, to write stuff. They (we) are the blue collars of Steemit, and their revenues are low. Employees do multiple things for the companies: accounting, production, sales...
These small bricks are like the blood-cells of a company: they work in numbers and are VITAL.
With experience, a specialization in a field (Politics), Employees will increase their expertise and will make them do a better job, increasing their revenues and potentially being promoted to managers.
On Steemit, specialized Minnows create better and better posts, and get more Steem Power and Steem Dollars.

2- Bigger Minnows: the Managers

One a employee becomes a manager, his revenues increase. He’s a specialized asset in the company, in charge of Marketing, Supply chain… you name it.
On steemit, the posts of this person became more precise, easier to read, providing more original content. The Minnow is often specialized in a specific type of post, or 2.
The Minnow also has a growing base of followers, generally 70% are smaller minnows and 10% are Dolphins.
This is the moment where he or she becomes to be more visible to the community, yielding more revenues.
And if the minnow stands out by the quality of his work, a Whale may promote him...
This is the upvote process.

3- Dolphins: the VPs (vice presidents)

Dolphins interact differently than Minnows. Their job is to promote the minnows by upvoting them.
By doing so, they generate massive curation rewards. Their salaries are therefore higher.
Going from the status of Dolphin to the status of Whale is like entering the board of a company.
You have a very limited amount of seats, and only a very few make it.

These few not only stand out by curating, they also sometimes post outstanding stories. Their curating work made them experts in some fields, their sharp comments and the respect earned from their position generate even more followers.
Some may even convert their Steem Dollars into Steem Power, like a Manager would buy Stocks with is bonus, becoming what we call an Associate.
Ultimately, dolphins can use their power and their followers and try to become a Whale… but this can only happen if the Whales agree on it.

4- Whales: the SVPs (senior vice presidents)

They are at the top of the company. They do not produce content, or in a very limited way.
They CURATE. Upvoting and therefore promoting dolphins and sometime some minnows…

Like the SVP’s the Whales main job is to decide WHO will become a Dolphin, and ultimately who will seat at the board of Whales.
Like the SVP’s salaries, the Whales revenues are massive and their competencies are not only impacting their respective fields:
They have the mission to make this place a long-lasting and sustainable one.
They are the warrants of the company (or Steemit) values and strategy.

4/ How Steemit mechanics can be applied to a company governance

Imagine your current company, and give to each employee an equivalent of Steem Power and Steem Dollars.
Your SVP has a lot of this power, the VPs and managers a bit less, and the employees not much.

A- Steem Power = the level of responsibility.

Let’s call it CareerPower now. And let’s imagine you have a process that consists in upvoting for your colleages work on a monthly or yearly basis. It can be comparable to selecting the employee of the month for instance.

The employees’ work is now ALSO judged by their colleagues, and therefore the good work can be noticed by directors because the minnows made it “active”.
As said, these colleagues UPVOTE the work, and like on Steemit:

  • the more a colleague has power, the more his upvote counts.
  • upvoting GREAT WORK also provides him benefits on his Career Power.

An outstanding realization or continuous success in multiple missions will generate more CareerPower to the creator. Upvoting for the right realizations, like a great tool on Excel or a great Study on Powerpoint, will yield curation rewards too:

  • At the entry level, employees are more incentived to make good work (powerpoint, excel… ).
  • At a higher level, Dolphins will curate and upvote for such content too. At their level, they will promote the realizations that go in the direction of the company governance. Giving even more power to some minnows.
  • At the top, Whales will emphasis even more this selection, but they can also select an ignored realization in order to massively promote it.

B- Steem Dollars = the equivalent of the bonuses

Exactly like on Steemit, on top of the CareerPower, you have the equivalent of the SteemDollars: Pure financial recognition.
What today we call Bonuses. This is the immediate reward for the good job.

C- Climbing the corporate ladder with CareerPower.

After multiple upvote sessions, over the course of their career, some employees start to have more power, they can now become Managers, then VPs, and potentially SVPs. The same emplyees also have more bonuses, paid in $.

As you can easily understand, how long you have been working in the company also matters.
And for new entrants, depending on their former positions, they will start with a negotiated amount of CareerPower, depending on their position in the company.

5/ Conclusions:

The mechanics of Steemit, today applied to a social media and blogging Internet site, may become the foundation of a new way of managing a company.

  • Allowing the promotion of the work of employees with a Blockchain structure and creating a CareerPower metric will revolutionize how employees are promoted.
  • Networking will still be key, but ultimately, the quality of you work will prevail.
  • On a HR (Human Resources) point of view, the Blockchain will allow a total transparency for career related decisions.
  • Every employee will be able to compare himself with others, enabling a productive internal competition.

As per today, Hierarchy and Management concepts are obsolete. Steemit will optimize how we work together, bringing and organizing just the right level of #anarchy in the system.

It would not be surprising seeing companies like Facebook or Alphabet (Google) putting in place such solutions in the near future.

Follow me if you enjoyed.

@dragonslayer109 features authors to promote new authors and a diversity of content. ALL STEEM Dollars for this post go to the featured author

Don't just follow me, follow the author as well, if you like their post - @sebastien. Thank you


I have no issue considering myself a lower level employee here...but more like a freelance journalist that researches, writes and publishes content on the topic of choice.

There is no issue about it. My post's goal was to highlight the mechanics of Steemit and to show that they are quite classical regarding the management structure.
Nevertheless, where Steemit is truly revolutionary is in the way the management is done.
It can allow a better decision making structure (see @steempowerwhale remark) and may greatly improve promotion processes in a company.

Going further, we can even imagine applying it to a School, replacing grades (students = Minnows, good students = Power Minnows, Teacher = Whale).

As @dantheman mentionned in one of his previous posts, Mininnows are always the 1st to find great posts. The role of Whales is therefore mostly validation (even if some like @smooth also seem to try to give visibility to posts).

Btw, it is this post from @dantheman which gave me the idea for this story.


There are posts everyday where people are having an issue with fighting an upstream battle, trying to succeed in a system that's starting to seem impossible. The mechanics here are great if you're someone who's guaranteed to win. Your article is good because it points out the reality of position here on Steemit.

Someone at the bottom has every opportunity to advance up the ranks, they just need to meld their craft with the existing Steemit system. This post gives everyone a straightforward idea of where they probably are in the system. It's up to them to work at in their own way and hopefully succeed.

I love to write comedy. I want very much to make people laugh and encourage them on their efforts here at Steemit. I can spin the yarn no problem, I just need to figure out how to get it to the people who might benefit. There's money at stake, so passions are heightened, or maybe even altered somewhat.

I see management more from the perspective of decision making. With your steemit approach I would say you could enhance wise decision making (wisdom of crowds). If this is not the case then I would be looking for another blockchain approach....

The first business that implements this approach successfully and shows a marked improvement in their bottom line will probably go down as the most visionary business of the century, if that mantle hasn't already been taken by steemit.

Nice post @dragonslayer109! Nice comparison of Steem to an already large corporation! I hope Steemit is worth $30 billion or more that would be nice! What company do you work for may I ask? Didn't see what corporation.

Hello. I am the author. Sorry, I will not disclose the company.
I am based in the Silicon Valley at the moment, but I was in France and Eastern Europe the past 5 years. **If you PM me in the chat I will be happy to talk privately ** (we can then transfer to LinkedIn if we have common interest).

I will post a story about the benefits of living abroad soon. Follow me if you like such business+life stories.

"I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own efforts." John D. Rockefeller

I really can't stand Rockefeller for ethical reasons but also cannot disagree with his wisdom and business savvy.

I really enjoyed this, and will be following @sebastien!

I'm amused at your username, @dragonslayer109, since I am "TheDragonAnarchist" after all. Don't slay me, please? :P

Did you see my video about Steemit I made when I initially found out about Steemit and read TheWhitePaper? (

I see in it the potential @sebastien was mentioning here, and I think what is so great about it is that it will help to FILTER OUT the dishonest and parasitical aspects of corporate hierarchies (which a statist mentality reinforces) while still allowing the natural "law" flow of hierarchy based on free market decisions by individuals who decide what to promote based on the value they see in it, and the value in the people they appreciate.

Also, I love you sharing all the rewards of the post with @sebastien. The concept of promotion and value sharing on Steemit excites me very much.
Jeff Berwick, @thedollarvigilante, did something similar when he posted his Anarchast interview w/ @larkenrose and I, and did a split of the post rewards, where 50 percent went to him and 50 percent was then split evenly between myself and Larken. A fair split, with Anarchast being his baby, and him being kind enough to allow Larken and I a platform on it in the first place!

Steemians investing in one another on a PERSONAL contact level, beyond the up-voting, is what makes the decentralized aspect of Steemit and cryptocurrency SO fucking amazing.

I like the idea of having other employees vote on your work. You'd probably want to work harder because you wouldn't want to let down the people you are close with. It's easier to let down managment lol.

That is why I believe that the engine that runs Steemit can be successfully applied in a company.

It needs a bit of adaptation, but as said, I would not be surprised to see a Google or an Amazon experimenting such new way of managing their people.

That would be great.

you will not convince any board of directors to chose to hand over management of a company to a machine... probably not ever... ask @dantheman about his last machine based job, and why he doesn't have it now...

A great post and a great description of the power structure of companies as related to the steemit platform. The great thing which steemit has which I have found lacking in many companies is the ability to upvote/promote people financially. The last couple of companies I have worked for have been so desperate to cling to their purse strings the quality of their output has deteriorated and they have bled out their best staff to other companies. I don't see this happening to steemit thankfully.

Thanks. I think steemit will succeed ecause it relies on known mechanics in terms of rewards and salaries.
Complains of the minnows are the same as the complains of some employees about their company.

I think that at least some of the guys at the top who got there in the last 4 months have no idea how to move things forward, and minnows and dolphins are moving up to fill the gap. In fact, this is something of a weakness, but I also think that as the number of users increases, the mobility of the network patterns will increase.

Thanks for the publishing @dragonslayer109

If readers have questions, write them in the comments and I will try to answer to them.

I hope you enjoy the article
@sebastien (author)

An excellent and informative post. Kudos to both the author @sebastien and gatekeeper/curator @dragonslayer109
Two other hopefully useful comparisons I would add are (1) the role of those who 'buy in' or heavily invest in the company, thereby becoming instant 'Whales', and imo even more importantly; (2) the function of "Witnesses" who I would compare to a Board of Governors or Trustees.

Chapeau.... fantastic article... just one comment ... management isn't just
"How to recognize, promote and empower the best employees." they all need to have a common goal... in a company its generating a profit for shareholders... What should it be in Steemit? without a common goal there's no sense of direction, thus, momentum is partially dispersed "laterally"

I would agree on the "goal". But for me it is more what I would call leadership: how to motivate your people, and how to make sure that they all work in the same direction.
You may consider it as a sub-branch of management if you want. My personal position is to consider management separately.
(The lines are blurred between these concepts, both approaches would work).

Thank you for your reply... I think I'll write something on this... Great article BTW I up voted it... following you now... Maybe your like the last one I wrote... I'd love to have your opinion!

Multilingual is not really an issue. If you want an audience, better write in the most common language: English (note: I am French)
I think the issue is more to get different cultures than the US-Canadian ones. To do so, I believe that the only option is to promote more African, Asian or European people to the Whale status.

There is a great post about the evolution of whales and how Steemit should broaden its trending topics (currently: Bictoin, Anarchy, Weed, Photography).

The issue precisely is that someone should be able to build an audience besides English. In fact, if we think that only English speaking people are able to produce relevant high quality content we're making a big mistake.

Very good article that clearly explains a structure we can all understand .

Good job @dragonslayer109. It is clear to put people in charge and position. My question is that we have all kind of people who surf on the net, there are few that are not good for the environment. How do you get rid of such or they still continue to be around and cause issues for other minor employees that are trying to work well with their work? When an employee is not to the company standard we usually get rid of them. How does it work with Steemit system? And the higher authority position personality remain the same or it can vary on their execution level?

yes.. it is possible :)

@dragonslayer109 can u guide me how to feature in one of your posts? many here would be willing to know that , UP vote will be much appreciated

From your table I desume that legends are 34 people, or 0.5% of total users and own 90% of market value. If we add to legends the superheroes we have 125 people, or 1.9% of the community owning 99% of steemit market value. That sounds a bit unequal to me and I hope that wealth will get redistributed a bit more in a short amount of time.

Interesting analogies between corporate structure and Steemit. Makes a lot of sense.

Lots of people complain about the mechanics of steemit, but when you realize thet they are actually almost identical to the corporate rules you understand a bit better how the site works.

Nice guidance @dragonslayer109, its clear that we (I mean me) minnows has all the chances to grow in steemit as long as we continue to provide good quality content.

So, a CURRENCY that you want others to BUY... Will be distributed by few, down to a few more, in some arbitrary fashion. (See the trickle down here) Managed by a hierarchy with skill sets unrelated and rather set by possibly purchased "Power" - Seemingly either based on "Good Content" or preferences of the reader. Umm -

From the Platform/Social Media side - You have a bunch of like minded people decided what to vote up, and managing the Minnow work. Now from the minnow point of view all writing will now be directed at pleasing the powerful Minnows and Dolphins, rather than writing about what they love. This will attract a lot of people on "Social Media".

I wonder if they will use this on in their marketing on Twitter, and when they speak to the press. ;) Sorry to be snarky it is late.

It's a first reaction, but... No

Pretty cool idea man @dragonslayer. I like the idea of creating hierarchies based on different levels and based on their work they would get level increment. You have some very creative mind. Thanks for sharing with us.

@sebastien Excellent Post ! Steemit is so new, like the chaos of a startup pre ipo. The bugs will be ironed out and the troops will align focus, and watch out world ! I see that adaption potential also. The I's will become we's and we will all be on the same path to production that will increase everyone's ROI !
Welcome aboard !!!

Good vision.
This is true when applied to "societies that promote good behavior with rewards".
As you point out, this approach could work in a corporate framework.

Interesting way of looking at these things you have mentioned. :)
I want to climb the STEEM ladder!

Blessed are those that clarify! Thanks muchly indeed.
The TRIVIUM in action.
The parts, their relationships, and their use.
Nice to walk the track before going for it.
The result is the exponentially unfolding history
we are all individually gestating.
I love how #game theory is not an option,
it's a baked in feature, like Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics.