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The Transparent Brand — How To Put Trust back into Economics to Avoid Disasters

Do you believe in win-win-win solutions?

You know, the kind of solutions to problems where everyone working on the solution benefits?

Of course you do.  That’s why you are reading this site.  You aren’t trying to make a buck at the expense of everyone else because we know that’s insane.

We try to make win-win-win decisions as often as we can in our daily lives and we expect others to do the same.

Despite the importance of win-win-win solutions, we’ve started to accept much less when it comes to what we buy from the global economy.

Our economic lives are much more shallow than they once were, due to the fact that almost all of our current economic relationships are with anonymous strangers. It wasn’t always this way.

A little less than a hundred years ago, nearly everyone knew the people who grew, built or retailed the products we bought. We expected them to do a good job and not to cheat us, and if they wanted to stay in business for long, they didn’t. As a result, we learned to trust them.

Unfortunately, as the economy grew to a national and then a global system, the economy became too complex to get the information on who and how the products we bought were being sold to us.

As a result of this seemingly insurmountable information problem, we learned to accept economic anonymity as how it should be, and with it our ability to find win-win-win economic solutions and the trusted companies that make them.

Well, the good news is that this information problem has been solved. It’s now possible, through the use of computers, the Internet, and smart phones, to find all of the information needed to determine whether a company is delivering a win-win-win solution or not. A good early example of this is the online fashion company Everlane.

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This company has built a brand based on transparency.

They do this by sharing as much information as possible with their customers so that they can make the most informed decisions possible. Specifically, they provide customers with a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred in making the products they sell or their mark-up if its a fully assembled product, with the goal of providing a reasonably priced product with a low mark-up.

Everlane is also a pioneer in providing customers with information on how the product they want to buy is produced. The company inspects every factory they buy from to ensure that the people making the product and the process being used is producing prosperity for all involved. Why? To make sure everybody that contributed to the economic transaction being successful wins.

When that doesn’t happen and all of the details of the economics involved remain anonymous, we get events like Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.

In that tragedy, a stunning 1,219 garment workers were lost when the condemned building they were forced to work in collapsed upon their heads.

I don’t want to do business with people that make this sort of thing possible.  I don’t think  you do either.

Fortunately, we have the technology now to change this forever.

The first step is to only do business with companies that are transparent (a vague code of conduct isn’t enough).

The second is to let everyone else know it is possible to conduct business on a win-win-win basis.

Don’t think it is possible? I don’t believe that for a second.

Americans naturally gravitate to win-win-win.

We want to grow pie and raise all of the boats. We have a deep desire to help people who want to help themselves.

It’s in our nature.

Yet, we don’t actively pursue this anymore when it comes to our economic lives.

We expect the government or the marketplace to auto-magically determine what is right and wrong, and enforce compliance with that judgement.

That’s nuts. It doesn’t work.

You can’t outsource moral behavior to the marketplace or the government. It’s something you need to take control of in your daily life.

One step towards making this possible are companies that operate transparently. A transparent company puts you in charge of right or wrong. It doesn’t hide the information behind a corporate veil.

This isn’t hard for a company to do. The information technology we have today makes it easy for every customer to see everything that went into every product they are buying, just by clicking on their cell phone.

It just takes the demand from people like you and me to make them implement it.

Let’s keep an eye on Everlane.

Already, it seems to be working.  The company’s sales continue to grow, despite the lack of gimmicks like sales or promotions or advertising traditionally used to get customers in the door.

We can also see it in the growing amount of press coverage the brand is getting (news headlines per month).

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The success of Everlane and other companies that are using technology to become transparent brands is not just a flash in the pan.

It’s part of the shift to a new type of economy.

An economy based on trust, integrity, and win-win-win solutions. The information and due diligence these companies are providing us is actually resetting the expectations we have for our economic relationships.

This is a rediscovery of the American Way, and everyone in the world will benefit from when it is made commonplace.

Join the movement to restore America's prosperity

Discussion — 14 Responses

  • Javier October 4, 2014 on 3:40 pm

    I think you are overdoing it a bit,
    how about Ethereum as OSV’s?P

    Reply
  • Javier October 4, 2014 on 3:59 pm

    I mean… as Americans you have myley cyrus
    I think ethereum looks simple compared to the
    “what to do with miley dilemma”

    Reply
  • Javier October 4, 2014 on 4:30 pm

    I know, its not americas fault, its the worlds fault for buyingAmerican shit??

    Do you really believe that?

    Reply
  • Javier October 4, 2014 on 4:49 pm

    And FYI, nobody gives a shit about this:
    https://twitter.com/ecfr/status/518505916862562304/photo/1
    So its close to Israel, ok, so what, most americans cant tell japan from cuba in the map man

    Reply
    • sdfadf Javier October 4, 2014 on 9:04 pm

      Hi beautiful

      Reply
  • Javier October 5, 2014 on 6:15 pm

    Do not abuse John’s patience please,
    thank you.

    Reply
  • Javier October 5, 2014 on 6:20 pm

    Final(ly) a value comment
    Heads Up, stage two of the bitcoin phenomenon has clicked in,
    http://coinmarketcap.com/
    of the first 20 coins the only ones rising are platform coins,
    the rest are diving like a post nonlinear event.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4j0Y84ruGk

    Reply
    • John Robb Javier October 5, 2014 on 9:04 pm

      Very cool.

      Reply
      • Javier John Robb October 6, 2014 on 2:24 pm

        Ethereum
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Ethereum
        ether
        Ethereum-logo.png
        Ethereum logo
        Central bank None
        Date of introduction Winter 2014/2015
        User(s) International
        Inflation Disinflationary[1]
        Subunit
         1 ether[2]
         10-3 finney
         10-6 szabo
         10-9 shannon
         10-12 babbage
        Symbol Ξ[3]

        Ethereum is a decentralized publishing platform featuring stateful user-created digital contracts and a Turing-complete contract programming language. Ethereum uses its underlying network unit, ether, as payment to execute Ethereum contracts as a workaround to the Halting Problem. In this respect, Ethereum is unlike most cryptocurrencies, as it is not solely a network for transacting monetary value, rather, it is network for powering Ethereum-based contracts. These open-ended contracts can be used to securely execute a wide variety of services including: voting systems, domain name registries, financial exchanges, crowdfunding platforms, company governance, self-enforcing contracts and agreements, intellectual property, smart property, and distributed autonomous organizations. The currency was initially described by Vitalik Buterin and others in late 2013 and early 2014,[4] and will be released in late winter 2014/2015. It is among a group of “next generation” (or “Bitcoin 2.0″) platforms.[5]

        The stated purpose of the Ethereum project is to ‘decentralized the web’ by introducing four components as part of its roadmap: static content publication, dynamic messages, trustless transactions and an integrated user-interface. These are each designed to replace some aspect of the Web experience we currently take for granted, but to do so in a fully decentralised and pseudonymous manner.[6]

        The basic unit of the currency is called ether, which is divided into smaller units of currency called finney, szabo, shannon, babbage, lovelace, and wei.[2] Each larger unit is equal to 1000 of the next lower unit, so 1000 finney is 1 ether, 1000 szabo is 1 finney, and so on.[2]

        Contents

        1 Development
        2 Reception
        3 References
        4 External links

        Development

        The Development of Ethereum began in December 2013, with the first Go and C++ proof of concept builds (PoC1) being released in early February 2014.[7] Since then, several further PoC builds have been released, with PoC4 introducing the smart contract higher level languages – Serpent (Python inspired), Mutan (Go inspired) and LLL (Lisp inspired).[8]

        In order to finance further development, Ethereum distributed the initial allocation of its internal network unit, ether, via a public sale. The sale lasted for 42 days, and resulted in the Ethereum project receiving 31591 BTC of revenue, or $18,441,318.46 at the time the funds were received. [9]

        The latest proof of concept build – PoC5, was released via GitHub on July 22, 2014 to coincide with the launch of the Ether pre sale, and included many changes from previous PoCs.[10] It was the first time that two clients, one written in C++ and one in Go, perfectly inter-operated with each other whilst processing on the same blockchain. In August 2014, the Python client was also added to the list, and now a Java version is close to completion.[11]

        Currently, Ethereum is in the process of using an initial quantity of funds (generated through the Ether Sale) that have already been withdrawn from the Ethereum exodus address to expand its operations. The development team is focusing on the implementation of PoC6, the next version in the series, which features a number of enhancements, such as a decreased block time from 60 seconds to 12 seconds. This will be done using a new GHOST-based protocol that expands upon previous efforts at reducing the block time to 60 seconds.[12]

        Ethereum is a open source project, with anyone being able to contribute to the existing proof-of-concept codebases.[13]
        Reception

        The currency has received attention in Wired,[14][15] The Globe and Mail,[16] Siliconangle,[17] Yahoo News,[18] Medium.com[19] Al Jazeera,[20] Forbes,[21] and the Keiser Report.[22]

        Primavera De Filippi, a postdoctoral researcher at the CERSA / CNRS / Panthéon-Assas University, spoke on the legal implications of Ethereum at Harvard on 15 April 2014.[23] University of Toronto doctoral student Quinn DuPont discusses the shift from Bitcoin to Ethereum (as part of a broader shift to ubiquitous cryptography) in a public lecture at Dalhousie University on October 2, 2014.[24] Steve Randy Waldman described it as a tool that can be used for ‘engineering distributed economic security’.[25]

        Reply
        • Javier Javier October 6, 2014 on 2:30 pm

          You could easily replace PoC with Demonstration number x,
          coundn’t you?

          Reply
      • Javier John Robb October 7, 2014 on 5:59 pm Reply
  • Javier October 6, 2014 on 5:31 pm

    Somebody, soon from now, is gonna merge openBazaar with ethereum
    just watch it happen

    Reply
  • Javier October 6, 2014 on 7:56 pm

    The Transparent Brand: Argentina
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiF5HHkHvX0

    Reply

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