A long while ago, a great warrior had to make a decision which ensured his success on the battlefield. He was about to send his armies against a powerful foe, whose men outnumbered his own.
He loaded his soldiers into boats, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that had carried them.
Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, ‘You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice - we win or we perish!’
They won. ~ Napoleon Hill
While war is atrocious & I would never wish upon anyone the high stakes ethical dilemma of a wartime command to physically burn ships, I think that the idea of “burning the ships” is a really neat example of a collective action schelling point.
- Before the ships are burned, people may be split between planning to go home or move forward.
- After the ships are burned, people must focus 100% on the path forward.
burn the ships: To cut oneself off from all chance of retreat; to stake everything on success. [source: wiktionary]
I’ve seen this a couple of times through the years. A few Gitcoin examples:
- 2017 - Only by letting go of independence could Gitcoin get funded by Consensys, and through intros from Joe Lubin, begin partnering with top tier teams in the space.
- 2021 - Only by letting go of the safety net of Consensys funding & turning the team could Gitcoin embrace the DAO future.
- 2022 - Only by decentralizing power by passing the torch could the DAO truly embrace decentralized governance.
- 2023 - Only by abandoning the centralized monolithic Grants product could the DAO fully focus on it’s decentralized & modular Grants Stack.
I’m sure there are numerous other examples at Gitcoin through the years! If you have an example of where you had to go all in on something, feel free to share below.