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Vanilla Ice Cream effect

Last updated February 15, 2022

Ask everyone to vote on their favourite ice cream, you’ll most likely end up with vanilla.

Similar to design by committee → a project that has many designers involved but no unifying plan or vision

# Coordination Headwind

Source: How Organizations are like Slime Molds by Alex Komoroske

In small orgs, individuals matter a lot, but when the org gets larger the system (structure + dynamics) dominate. Consensus is especially difficult in larger groups.

Bottom-up orgs (slime mold model)

Top-down orgs (military model)

# On avoiding Vanilla Ice Cream

Related to how to better fund moonshot things

Setting an appropriate council size so that if one person proposes an idea and the others don’t agree, they can still drive that decision. obviously based on high trust and should not dictate entire budget → have a consensus (more publicly governed) budget and an aconsensus budget (core council budget)

Interactive Graph