In my case, my work on Snowdrift.coop is among the priorities I’m juggling that make it harder for me to accomplish some other goals. I want to make some videos, music, blog posts about my thoughts in music education (my main career focus). And when I find that someone has done a great job of expressing what I would say, or when someone else leads the way in figuring out something that I was hoping to do and to get credit for… I do feel tension.
The core thing is: usually the other work is not FLO! So, someone made a great video describing the harmonic series, yay, I could just link to that instead of reinvent the wheel… except… then I’m subjecting other people to YouTube ads, to the hype around that other person’s videos etc etc.
But if that other video or writings or whatever are FLO, then I can use it more fully. I can post it somewhere other than YouTube. I can edit out ads. I can cut it together with my own material to create the result I want. It becomes a valuable resource. I’m thrilled about it.
The problem isn’t who gets any credit or who does the work. The problem is that when someone else makes something and controls it in a restrictive way, then I’m stuck engaging on their terms.
So, my worry about someone else solving the snowdrift dilemma isn’t that they’ll get credit instead of me. The worry is that they will have power in running the system and will make decisions I disagree with. If I could use any of their ideas and adapt it where I see fit, it’s a whole different story.
Put simply: without FLO, everything feels like competition. And in competition, it matters whether I win. With FLO, people give up holding control and power over their published work, and the result is everyone in cooperation, collaborating on a rich commons, and we all win.