I was sitting around the other day and came up with an idea for a different kind of company. It's not exactly a Co-Op, and it's not exactly an ESOP. It's something different, but a cross between the two. I've spoken with a friend of mine that's a business management consultant and he's never heard of someone doing what I'm thinking about and that's why I turn to you, the internet. It's hard to put this idea into words, much less try to convey it in a short period of time, so please bear with me here because I'll be all over the place. We'll call the company QWERT for the sake of space and time.
QWERT would be a partnership of freelance web designers and programmers. Every freelancer has a project that he's never gotten too because it's just too big for them to do alone or they just don't have the time to complete the entire project alone. A bunch of talented people come together to work on each others projects. I would pick 2 or 3 people that I know are VERY talented individuals that have money making ideas that just haven't been worked on yet. Once the 4 of us are together, we start looking for more people. To become a member of QWERT, you need to have a project that all other members agree on unanimously. You also have to have talents that are provable through your portfolio and all other members have to agree on that unanimously. The projects should be picked by the complexity of each part of it. You want to make sure that throughout the projects the work would be spread around evenly based on each person's specialty. You'd have one heavy programming project and one heavy flash. One heavy database and one heavy graphics. You get the idea... spread the work around so no one "department" is consistently working more than anyone else.
One we build a team of 10 or so people. Once the team is built, we vote on which projects we want to work on or we chose them at random. I don't know on that one 100% yet. Once we finish a project, we move on to the next and so on. During the voting process, we would try to bring projects up for vote in such a way as to give the specialty of the last project a "break" on the next one. You don't want to do two heavy database jobs back to back. Every person has to work on every project. There are NO exceptions. That's the only way this plan works.
Every member of QWERT will be an equal "owner" of the company. All profit of the company is split equally between everyone. There 's no managers. The person who's project we are working on will act as project manager for that project. They will still do their specialty, but they run the project. An outside management company will run the financial aspects and be the registered agent. No member of QWERT will have access to any of the company credit or anything like that, but all financial decisions will be made by the democratic process. The Agent will only act on our behalf and under the direction of QWERT. The Agent would be the ones paying the members their share out of the company fund after all expenses are paid. And no, a new laptop for you to work on is not a company expense. Pay for it yourself.
There's no sales department, we only work on our own projects. Once we run out of the original projects, we start coming up with new ones. This would not be a full time job, but something that people who have some free time and want some side work would do. Our meetings would be held over something like GoToMeeting and we'd use collaboration software to make sure everyone's on the same page.
Well, that's the basics. There's more holes than a brick of Swiss cheese, and there's a lot more thought that needs to go into it, but I want to get opinions on the basic idea. Do you think this is something that could work? If you were in a position to do some side work and you fit what QWERT needs, would you consider doing it? What would you change or add? Please, PLEASE leave a comment with your opinion, no matter how harsh you think it is or how dumb. I want ALL opinions here. Let's use the hive mind of the internet and create an entirely new kind of company and an entirely new way of doing business.