We used to control our computers. Now our computers are used to control us.
As a handful of giant, essentially unaccountable corporations concentrated more and more resources and power in fewer and fewer places, the people surrendered an unprecedented degree of control over the flow of information and lost sovereignty over their technology.
Neither the free market nor the free and open-source software (FOSS) movement have been able to stop these trends, nor even arrest their rapid acceleration.
FUTO believes in the power of individual freedom and economic competition, yet we must concede the free market is failing to challenge the Tech Giants. Monopolies and oligopolies naturally form as power consolidates and the people don’t always make the best economic decisions for themselves. Technology has exacerbated both of these problems. Computing technology can create incredibly powerful economies of scale which favor bigger organizations. Furthermore, computing technology can be employed to manipulate human behavior in the direction most profitable to the manipulator. Anti-trust enforcement has proven impotent to restore a balance that would actually threaten the oligopoly’s domination.
Capitalism only works when the winners compete with one another. As things stand today, tech entrepreneurs with truly disruptive potential almost always have more to gain by selling out, burying their technology under the warm wing of one of the oligopoly’s conglomerates. Programmers are incentivized to take their talents off the table permanently and leave consumers no better off than they were before.
Meanwhile, the FOSS movement has been equally unable to claw back tech sovereignty from Silicon Valley’s power centers. In many cases, the reasons for this are obvious: a significant part of the most important FOSS foundations and projects are themselves funded by the tech oligopoly.
The time has come for a new organization wholly dedicated to solving this problem and giving people back control over their technology. That organization is FUTO, founded in 2021 by 18-year Silicon Valley veteran, founder of Yahoo! Games, and WhatsApp seed investor Eron Wolf.
Through a combination of in-house engineering projects, targeted investments, generous grants, and multi-media public education efforts, we will free technology from the control of the few and recreate the spirit of freedom, innovation, and self-reliance that underpinned the American tech industry only a few decades ago.
FUTO is not reliant on any existing tech company or venture capital firm for its funding. We are not expecting quick profits. We will never cash out with a sale to a megacorporation the moment our technology begins to catch on. We will focus entirely on the mission.
If you share these goals, either as a user or a developer, we ask you to watch this space and get ready to throw off the stultifying limitations of the current state of affairs. We want to return to an era where a substantial portion of computer users can understand, control, and use their technology as they see fit without the approval or input of oligarchs. And we need your help.
FUTO is a new organization founded to develop technology and share knowledge that gives control of computers back to the people.