There's been a lot of chatter about the two-party political system in the United States. Sure, sure, there are the Independents, the Libertarians, the Green Party, and so on, but let's be honest, the candidates who win the majority of the big races are either Democrats or Republicans. Now, American voters may have a new party to throw their support behind. This party comes from Zynga founder Mark Pincus and is called the Win the Future, or WTF party. WTF, indeed.
This all got started in January, the day after Donald Trump took the oath of office. While crowds were organizing from coast to coast to protest, Pincus joined a group of the Democratic Party's top donors at a private retreat in Florida. The purpose of their gathering was to take a look at where the party went wrong.
Pincus wasn't thrilled with what he heard at that meeting. Those top Democratic donors, who had just suffered crushing losses in the 2016 election, felt that the party should stay the course. That's when Pincus came up with the idea to launch a digital platform where voters could promote ideas and messages to send to politicians. Most of the issues the WTF party plans to tackle are pro-business and environmentally friendly.
WTF's first plan of action is a campaign is a promo campaign that is asking participants to tweet their ideas for a series of billboards in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The messages with the most "upvotes" that are also "pro-business and pro-planet" will be featured on the billboards. Basically, Pincus sees WTF as becoming a political e-commerce platform for millennials.
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman has invested $500,000 in the WTF platform. Jeffrey Katzenberg and venture capitalists Sunil Paul and Fred Wilson have also invested in the new platform. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas and Color of Change co-founder James Rucker have joined WTF's advisory board.
Pincus has spent millions backing Democratic campaigns for more than a decade. A big part of WTF stems from his dissatisfaction with the way the Democratic Party has been spending its money and energy.
Pincus sees WTF as a way to counter message the Democratic Party. He sees WTF as a way of getting involved that is less tedious and may force Democratic politicians to listen to and adopt the policies that WTF is pushing. He sees it as a form of social media pressure that will act as a guard against stale ideas.
Pincus is not the first Silicon Valley billionaire to try to bring about political change. Mark Zuckerberg's pro-immigration reform group, FWD.us, hasn't made the inroads it expected. Google's Eric Schmidt backed the Clinton campaign's technology startup The Groundwork. That group was beset by problems and so disorganized that it rendered itself irrelevant. Even though Sean Parker's data startup Brigade predicted Trump's victory, it didn't really boost young voter turnout, which was its primary mission.
Pincus and WTF have a steep hill to climb.