Star Trek, Cowboys and Blockchain: Ferengi Rules!

For reasons somewhat beyond me, a friend recently hailed me as “Hello Ferengi!”

You may have forgotten but the Ferengi of Star Trek  fame, apart from having misshapen heads, were, shall we say, a little tricky as far as business goes. They had a whole host of rules, promulgated throughout the entire innumerable episodes and films, some of which make you cringe.

Personally, I particularly like “You can’t free a fish from water” and  “No good deed goes unpunished.”

In amongst these Rules are such gems as “ Never be afraid to mislabel a product”, “Free advice is seldom cheap,” and  “The bigger the smile the sharper the knife.” A little study of the Rules would repay you in many ways – not least recognising people you know, and bringing into focus what you really think of them. I’ve always said everyone knows stuff – but sometimes it needs codified.

Some years ago, when business books were all the rage, I bought:

Star Trek, Cowboys and Blockchain

Star Trek: Make It So: Leadership Lessons from Star Trek: The Next Generation

Now you may think how sad is that, but as in cowboy films, a set of principles are required to win through. The code of the West was derived from common sense and the Bible, and I’m grateful to cowboyethics.org  (who knew??) for the following:

  1. Live each day with courage.
  2. Take pride in your work.
  3. Always finish what you start.
  4. Do what has to be done.
  5. Be tough, but fair.
  6. When you make a promise, keep it.
  7. Ride for the brand.
  8. Talk less and say more.
  9. Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
  10. Know where to draw the line.

There is also, of course:

  • When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting before you get within shooting range.
  • Never try on another man’s hat.
  • And most important of all, Ya never hit a lady

That last has led to more cowpokes being gunned down than any other. Giving recalcitrant ladies a spanking seems to have been OK though. John Wayne managed it several times and lived to tell the tale. Not to mention getting the gal.

Star Trek, Cowboys and Blockchain

Where am I going with all this? In both outer space and in the Wild West, people had to rely on themselves and no one else. This is particularly true at the moment. So what does Blockchain have to do with that?

The whole point is that the blockchain is demonstrably correct, fair, immutable – and everyone can rely on it absolutely.

I have a feeling the Ferengi would not have liked blockchains. Their rules also state “When there isn’t a rule, make one up” and “A Contract is a contract is a contract – but only between Ferengi”.