June 19, 2022 · 1 min read

Schismogenesis as an opportunity to conquer a niche

When I think about the #BuildInPublic, Kevon Cheung and Shawn Wang came to mind. They started early. 

#BuildInPublic movement started long ago, but it is still in the early phases of its development. It might be considered a marketing trick, but it is more than that. It is a culture opposition to building things in private. When you see such counter-culture movements at the early stages, and if it resonates with you deeply, you can dive in and eventually be a thought leader in the niche.

In the “The Dawn of Everything”, the authors mention the concept of schismogenesis, which anthropologist Gregory Bateson developed to describe how individual behavior changes from mutual interactions with other individuals. 

Gregory Bateson provided an example of how men’s and women’s dressings, behavior, and emotional expressions polarize in mutual interaction among the Iatmul people in Papua New Guinea. They found a way to define themselves through differentiation and opposition between genders.

David Graeber and David Wengrow, the authors of “The Dawn of Everything”, extrapolated the concept on societies. Think of ancient Athens and Sparta, two policies with cultures that diverged from each other far away and at their time opposed themselves to each other: 

  • Athens was democratic, and Sparta was oligarchic;
  • Athens supported arts and philosophy development, while Sparta was a military society; 
  • Athens traded a lot while Sparta farmed and conquered; 
  • and you can continue with defining Athens as what Sparta is not. 

I bet this term can be used even more widely. Don’t you remember yourself finding in the middle of the dispute and realizing that your point of view is just a clear opposition to your rival?

So, what are the current cultural shifts that you feel might be a trend in the future, but you can dive in right now?