Tagged:seed funding

Open Source Legal Docs?

Ted Wang, with the support of Andreessen Horowitz, recently posted some open source legal document forms for companies seeking seed funding.

It’s an interesting concept, and in the abstract, one that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time.

I think, in general, the open source software movement has changed the game.  Not by devaluing the skills of the individual developers, but by decentralizing the control of the software they write from the few corporations to the many of the masses.

This change has resulted in amazing progress in some areas, and, of course, ridiculous amounts of navel gazing in others.  But, at a high level, what it’s really done is to move the value associated with the software from the centralized control of powerful corporations to the decentralized control of the skilled individuals who contribute the copyrighted works.

And, in doing so, it’s shown that In many contexts, the value of open source software is not in the copyright to the code of a particular project, but rather in the goodwill of the community that is supporting, maintaining, and potentially following the direction of the steward of the code of that project.

By analogy, it’s not like posting documents that are freely available in the legal start-up space is a new move.  The National Venture Capital Association has made its standard forms available for many years.

But, the difference with Series Seed is the stated goal.  The open legal document movement, if it is to succeed where it applies to start up companies, is in desperate need of a dedicated community, and most likely, a community-trusted steward who will take this project on and protect it, preside over disputes, and act as a neutral third party when folks with an interest in the project have different goals.

It should be interesting to see if the Series Seed project moves in this direction and is able to play this role in the seed funding community.