I have a strange company (214 Alpha): none of us aspire to become multi-millionaires.
That decision regarding culture freed up a ton of potential money, most of which is kept by our customer communities, enabling them to become profitable, and therefore: financially self-sufficient.
Most industries are built upon an “extractive” economic model that drains a community of resources, treating all as consumers instead of producers.
This is why “food deserts” occur within communities that are deemed “unprofitable” by grocers that rely upon extractive economics.
This is why you can’t borrow $100 until Friday to fix your truck unless you sign your title over to a payday loan place that charges exorbitant interest rates.
But our customers aren’t corporate, because corporate values built around extractive economics too frequently run counter to our own.
It’s an oil and water thing, you know?
Our customers are community builders and community advocates, all the way down to the neighborhood, and normally they are forced to grovel. Enough of that.
Our solution isn’t extractive; we don’t drain a community of its resources.
We provide a portfolio of human-based services and app technology that offers communities a choice between the traditional method (extractive), and one that keeps money and affairs local.
In our model, resources are retained and restored within the community by leveraging their existing wealth, allowing us to help our customers reclaim their dignity, on their terms.
And within our model, “wealth” does not necessarily mean money.
What does wealth mean to you?
By allowing our customers to recognize non-monetary forms of capital typically overlooked and devalued by extractive economics, we help make invisible wealth within their communities visible, paraphrasing my dear friend Ruth.
All you mothers and grandmothers out there: we see you.
Think of all the brilliant ideas you’ve come up with while nursing a child in the pre-dawn hours, only to learn that these innovations are incompatible with existing institutions.
Well, it’s time to brush the dust off those ideas and give them another whirl.
Because we “private label” our solution, it becomes a success the community can claim as its own. You get to put your community name on it, and nobody needs to know otherwise.
This allows us to remain in our sweet spot: behind the scenes, anonymous as possible.
There’s no reason for us to hog the spotlight, is there?
This is about you, and your idea, and your community.
Our model (originally inspired by refugees and stateless people) has been explicitly designed to provide funding for the countless brilliant ideas innovated by community advocates who are normally forced to grovel for resources or fight for crumbs, to the detriment of their collective dignity.
Finally, the model itself is based upon an opt-in philosophy, satisfying the non-aggression principle (or NAP), which eschews the use of violence and coercion.
If people don’t want to participate, they don’t have to.
Honestly, I think this model will prove so popular that it’s it’s going to be tricky sticking to the aspiration to avoid becoming a multi-millionaire.
Once people see they have a choice, I believe this will introduce a disruptive competition with companies that depend upon extractive economics.
If a company (or entity) wants to compete with us, they just need to do three things:
- provide better human-based services
- allow the customer community to retain a higher percentage of the money that’s generated
- do so in a manner that’s more transparent, accountable, and easy to audit, thus resulting in less fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption
Wouldn’t it be nice to see companies (or entities) competing on those terms, instead of jockeying to rob you and your community of every dollar?
It’s not that there’s not enough money; there’s plenty of it, but the constraints of extractive economics do not leave much room for your brilliant community-centered idea.
We’re not even breaking the rules, just thinking outside the box a little.
Isn’t it time we start doing that?
Who says we are constrained to the limitations of the existing system, particularly now that it’s clearly in a state of duress?
We could all use less chaos and uncertainty in our lives, and a lot more laughter.
And tacos 🌮