Stars Edge Redux
To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, nancial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more exible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove humanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons—always with pro t as their driving goal.
Most hypercorps are decentralized, non-asset based legal entities. Complete automation, advanced robotics, morph technology, and cornucopia machines allow the hypercorps to abstain from mass employment for labor or production services. The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes. Some hypercorps are in fact entirely “virtual,” with no physical assets and each employee acting as a mobile of ce. A few major hypercorps literally consist of only a dozen transhuman personnel. Though some hypercorps are massive and diversified, most specialize in particular elds or services. This results in both an intricate system of partnerships to develop, produce, and market products and services and a large-scale tendency to internally contract special services from other hypercorps. Many hypercorps also pool their resources and talent into cooperative research initiatives, project centers, or shared habitats.
Most hypercorps are traditional capitalist in outlook, though many have adopted alternative business philosophies and management models. This might include basing decisions on internal forecast market trends, groupthink consensus models, or ditching management entirely in favor of staff polling/voting initiatives that statistically fare better. A few are anarcho-capitalist companies originating from Extropian enclaves, though these often suffer from a bias when making deals with inner system powers.
The solar system boasts thousands of hypercorps; a few of the more prominent and interesting are noted below.