“That’s how the world works.” — Pretty much every boss I ever had.
Ever heard that? I’m sure you did. I can even say that you heard it when someone had to justify a situation when one was a clear winner and the other a loser. And I bet you weren’t in the winner position, right?
It’s a great sentence. A powerful sentence. It encompasses the utter futility of going against it. The tide rises inexorably There’s no use in ﬁghting it. That’s just how the world works. Go back to your hole, get used to it and be patient. Eventually, you’ll die, and it will be all over. Go on now. Move along.
Well, #%$@ that.
If you feel that the deck is stacked against you, you aren’t wrong. You’re certainly not alone with that feeling. And you are not the ﬁrst generation to feel that way either.
So, what do we do? What CAN we do?
We already know the answer. We’ve known it since we were kids: if the rules of the game annoy you, change the rules.
And that’s exactly what I propose we do.
We are going Pyrates
300 years ago, Caribbean pirates from a small group called The Flying Gang decided that they had enough of how the imperial powers of the world treated people, and especially their veterans and mariners that made their fortunes possible in the ﬁrst place, all for the beneﬁt of an elite few.
What they did was to create a society where people were treated as equals. Where differences in origin, beliefs, status, identity or gender where less important than their common ﬁght. Where each crew kept its independence and where scaled effort were done on a voluntary basis. They seized Nassau in the Bahamas to create their very own Pirate Republic.
They worked differently than anyone else, including other pirates. They capitalized on their reputation to avoid useless bloodshed. They freed slaves rather than treat them as cargo. They even accepted some women into their ranks. They were spearheading a revolution against how the world worked. They paid the price for their Vision: within a decade they would be hunted down. But their legacy would live on, from the American revolution to the creation of work cooperatives. And they would themselves become legends: Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Sam Bellamy, “Calico”Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny, Edward England, Black Caesar and many others.
Our world is as biased and skewed as theirs. An elite few grew their own prosperity at the expense of the rest of us. We are controlled by layers upon layers of bureaucracy, creating a maddening system where no one is really in Charge anymore. Like Sam Conniff Allende, author of Be more pirate, says “The wrong pirates are in Charge”.
That’s ﬁne. We’ve learned from our pirate predecessors. We won’t ﬁght a losing battle against them. No, we will make them irrelevant.
Thus, we want to channel the positive aspects of the Flying Gang of pirates, build on their accomplishments and modernize them for today’s world. We want to wake the inner Pyrate that lies in many of us, to regain our lost agency and sense of community
Just like the ancient historian Livy, we opt to look at those pirates of old for the ideas they convey rather than a simple collection of facts. We are human beings, and for our species, stories have far more value than truth.
What makes a Pyrate?
Our four principles form what I call a moral compass: a simple reminder of what it takes to be on the right path without it being some, well, moralizing bullshit.
1. Keep your eyes on the prize
Get yourself a Mission, an ongoing Outcome and a few Next-Steps, and get to work on those in reverse order.
2. Fortune favours the bold
Nothing will just be handed to you: go get what you want! For that you’ll need to sell your ideas, tame risks and learn to poke a bear or two.
3. Be a bit garish
Having people listening to you and making allies is easier when you stand out a bit. Conﬁdence, undeniable (and often unconventional) skills and the right attitude can carry you a long way and create interesting opportunities.
4. Build your own legend
Become what you stand for. Embody your ideas and ideals until they become greater than you and start inspiring others.
This compass is high level enough that you can use it to accomplish almost any endeavour. And yet, it is precise enough that, coupled with a code (like the one described further below) will make sure you are Pyrate.
And yes, my introvert friend, this can work for you too.
We have created a Pyrate Haven for ourselves
We have founded a place where us Pyrates can meet, learn and forge the world we want to live in.
The Pyrate Haven is meant to be home to free thinkers, trouble makers, entrepreneurs, social activists and to anyone who’s tired to be irrelevant and who want to have a positive impact.
The Pyrate Haven is where all those people come together and share their ideas, expertises and stories. It is a communication, collaboration and resource hub for a rebellious community that’s designed as a distributed network.
Within the Pyrate Haven, we plan to:
- Help individual unleash their inner Pyrates, regain their agency on the world and become impossible to ignore.
- Help Pyrates band together and form Crews to ﬁnd community and have a stronger, more coordinated impact on their surroundings.
- Help Crews ﬁnd each other and form Fleets, scaled groups of independent Crews who opt to collaborate to build something greater than themselves and have a lasting impact on the world.
We live by a code
Like all good Pyrates, we need a code to deﬁne what we are and recruit like-minded people. Here’s ours:
We are smiling trouble makers, challenging the world
We Pyrates are positive trouble makers, who will not bend the knee and accept abusive systems or stupid rules. We will defy them and offer better alternatives.
We recognize no lord nor master
We Pyrate are equals and free. We follow leaders when we Choose to, and resist any attempts at controlling us. The Choice is always ours.
We are a motley crew, but always Pyrates
We are diverse in our backgrounds, cultures, identities and beliefs, but we are all linked by being pyrates. Both what differentiate us and what unite us are the pillars that makes us stronger.
We are a community of communities
We are a network of communities. We celebrate successes together, we support each other in time of need, we create new opportunities for each other. We see in each other opportunities to create something greater than ourselves, with a lasting impact.
We are savvy learner, and generous teachers
We always strive to learn and better ourselves in any way we can. In the same way, we sees it as our duty to pass on our skills and knowledge to whomever wants to learn.
We forge a world where prosperity is for everyone
We believe that prosperity isn’t a zero-sum affair. We aim to create opportunities for ourselves and the people around us, regardless who they are. Together we can create a new social model that will help all of us thrive in spite of the hardships ahead.
Disrespect a Pyrate at your own peril
We are good natured, but we’re still Pyrates. Calumny, thievery and violence is not be tolerated amongst ourselves. Persecution is not be tolerated by our community
If that sounds appealing to you, you are welcome to join the community and contribute.
We give, and then we give back
The Pyrate Haven is founded by professional business coaches who had enough of seeing people being exploited, mistreated and crushed by abusive employers and who decided to do something about it.
We opted to create the Pyrate Haven as a social business: a for-proﬁt business that aim to help solve a social problem, and that put giving back to the community as one of its principles. We want to make a living with it, so we can continue our work for change. But we also want to create opportunities for others, and equip them so they can do the same for others. Prosperity for everyone.
The Pyrate Haven will slowly build a library of resources for any would-be Pyrates, absolutely free of charge. Same goes for joining the community We’ll organize, and help others organize, meetup groups and events. That’s for the ﬁrst part of the social part of the social business.
As I said, we are coaches, and damn good ones. To capitalize on our skills, I’ve designed workshops for Pyrates, Crews and Fleets to ease their way into this model of thinking. Some are for a general public, others are for businesses. Those workshops will be supported by a network of Pyrate Coaches. I’m also working on a few handbooks, one for each step of the Pyrate Way. Those are the things that makes up the business part of the social business.
Finally, we will be setting up a community chest a reserve of funds composed of 10% of any proﬁt we will make. We plan to set up a Patreon to allows Pyrates everywhere to also contribute to it if they so desire and get nifty perks while at it. The community chest will be used to fund initiatives from our community, ﬁnance workshops and coaching to communities who would beneﬁt from a bit of organization, pay for the production of speciﬁc free material for the community, contribute to cause our community deem important, and more. The funds in this Chest will be administered in part by the community: a certain level of contribution to our Patreon will give you a vote on how we spend this money Like the pirates of old, if you contribute and have skin in the game, then you get a voice. And that’s the second part of the social part of our social business. This will come a bit later on, but we’ll keep you informed.
That means that you can join the Pyrate Haven, be a Pyrate and ﬁnd opportunities with other Pyrates without ever giving us a cent. I know many of you couldn’t afford it anyway, and you’re probably those who need a break and an opportunity the most. We got you covered.
But if you can and are willing to contribute, you can help us help the community I have no doubt that this will also translate in new opportunities.
Like the pirates of old, those who join the Pyrate Haven are fed up of playing a game where they cannot win, and where their efforts will always beneﬁt others. Like them, we are rebelling against “how the world works.”
Unlike them, however, we don’t need to rely on crime to succeed. The business-minded amongst us ﬁnd that markets are easier to get into these days. Many of us are in for the creation of new ideas rather than fortunes, or to address constructively a social injustice.
While those Golden Age pirates were few in numbers and operating in a small area of the world, we can be numerous and spread all around the world, with eyes on local opportunities anywhere.
We have access to instant communication between multiple Crews, allowing us to operate in a coordinated fashion across the world. Our base of operation is virtual and can’t be invaded. If hacked or destroyed, it can be put back up quickly, from anywhere. If the Haven ends up disappearing forever, the distributed nature of our network will ensure it will lives on.
What we have is a real opportunity to create a future for ourselves independently from any plutocrat. We have the potential for a revolution, and a positive, constructive one. We can help create options for ourselves and for people who have few. We can help create prosperity for many people, across the world. We can give people a Choice, a voice and a share of the loot.
To be clear, I’m not advocating violent confrontation. Violence rarely solves anything, and bloody revolutions only makes room for a new oligarchy. It doesn’t ﬁx the problem.
As I said before, we don’t need to beat the plutocrats. What we need is to wean ourselves from them and the systems they built. We can do much worse than hurt them: we can make them irrelevant.
Let’s opt to turn pyrates.
Together, let’s raise some hell.