Malcolm Ocean is kinda a VC for the meaning & relationship economies, systems designer, feral free agent, singer-songwriter, and creator of Complice.
About: On 3 levels of increasing abstraction, here’s what I’m doing with my one wild and precious life:
- I run a software company, Complice, whose app helps people stay in touch with their big-picture goals on a day-to-day basis, and act strategically & improvisationally. We also do online workshops a few times a year on the same topic.
- Complice is the longest-running project in a meta-project of creating a self-energizing meta-team of people coordinating to help each other launch businesses and solve problems, while learning how to work together ever more effectively.
- The deepest level is kind of hard to explain, but it’s essentially developing & iterating on a new cultural operating system for people to interface with each other in ways that deepen trust and create experiences of collective agency, collective intelligence, and collective consciousness. This interplays with the meta-team in various ways.
I aim to be a visionary who also has his feet firmly on the ground, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it. Malcolm used to worry in high school that the productivity he'd get from reading self-help blogs and books would never pay itself back, but instead not only did it multiply his own capacity to do meaningful work but also evolved into creating systems for others, of which Complice is the biggest. Malcolm also shares his techniques and models with others via 1-on-1 coaching and on his blog—this business context offers a chance to dig deeper into the "systems" and "design" components of his undergrad degree Systems Design Engineering, which had unfortunately been overfocused on the "engineering" piece.
Part of what Malcolm loves about working on/at/in Complice is getting to wear a lot of different hats, but in the process he's realized that while he's a generalist he does like wearing some hats more than others (plus some problems require specialists) so part of what he's excited about in relation to scaling Complice and the larger meta-team is that he'll be able to focus even more on what he loves doing: big-picture vision, metaphor design, subtle interaction design, and getting new ideas off the ground.