I was thinking recently about fate sharing in a number of contexts. One of them is this server. It goes down occasionally. What’s nice is that a number of people who all have the technical expertise to make repairs share the use of the server. So, when something happens, any one of us can step in to make repairs. Each one of us is motivated because we all share the same fate. If the server is down, it’s down for all of us.
Next is the context of a technology incubator. In Waterloo, there has for a long time been a desire to build a technology incubator, which is basically a building or a small campus with lots of small technology companies at one shared location. There’s all kinds of good reasons for doing this. One is because all of the people and companies start to share their fate. Small technology companies fail all the time for reasons that are just “because”. Not because the people weren’t good enough, but just because the market is random and lots of good ideas don’t work out. But, with a shared fate situation, people can graduate from one company to another easily. Reputations are known through the social networks that build up in a close environment. In addition, things like internet connections, server rooms, IT infrastructure in general can be shared and you get the same reliability gains that I get with my server.