InstaGov is a project to create software by which people can govern themselves. It's also the name of the software (at least for now).
(a) explorative -- what might be possible? What can we do now and what should we think about doing later? What should we aim for in the long run, in the decisions we make today? What can we build right now so that we can acquire the experience to build better tomorrow?
(b) tool-oriented -- we want to create something like a software lego-set for self-governance that can be assembled different ways to work at any scale. These tools should be usable for purposes we have not yet imagined while encouraging accountability and transparency and subverting hierarchy regardless of how they are used.
(c) not for direct profit -- if there's a living to be made at this, the means of doing so will be emergent from the nature of the creation itself. IG must create the mechanisms for worthy projects to be sustainable on their own merits, and this will be the means by which IG sustains itself.
(d) distributed/federated -- no individual installation of any piece of software or personnel should be a potential single point of failure, either technically or politically. The value of an institution is not just in the rules (software) by which it operates, but in the data it collects and the conventions it establishes. We must not establish a convention that any particular group of people holds the de facto "keys" to government; we must all hold them.