Not doing anything.
Really, it’s the biggest killer of any effort at all, swarmish or not. Centralized organizations, however, can pay people, and therefore demand accountability and a return on their investment.
Swarmish organizations, like startups, need to work hard, cheap (free), and fast, especially at the beginning, where they are most vulnerable.
If a swarm’s members execute, get things done, and show that the plausible promise can be fulfilled, then they will create “buzz,” they will get word-of-mouth reference, Jack will say to John, “Hey, you should check these guys out.”
But if all a swarm does is have a good idea and never gets anything done, then no one will say anything about them at all.
They will fail to attract more workers, who will fulfill the promise, and the swarm will eventually die of boredom.
This is why the vision has to be something that is important – something you believe in – because if you won’t do anything about it, why should anyone else?
The solution to apathy, then, is vision. You have to have a vision you buy into, you own – and then you have to get out there and trumpet the vision.
Not because it’s about you, or your big swarmish empire – but because it’s about the vision, and the vision is important.
If you have a vision, and it’s important, get out there and tell people about it. Stand up for it. Today.