How We Preform Transactions
To understand how we do transactions in our society have been one of the biggest challenges while working on my diploma. Throw some internet on top of that mix, and you have yourself a very challenging project. That being said, I still enjoy it very much.
One thing that have helped me to get a better understanding of the development of transactions through the time, is a short anecdote in an old Wired article, by the very inspirational Jason Tanz. The little anecdote is a tiny timeline of the different steps in our economical development. It goes something like this:
50.000 BC Friend-to-Friend. Buyers and sellers mainly barter and trust only friends. Trading is based on reciprocity and reputation; cheaters are shunned.
8000 BC Neighbor-to-Neighbor. Small villages form; people begin trading with neighbors. It’s easier to trust someone when you know where they live.
1200 BC Currency. Portable currency develops — first as shells, then as coins — and becomes a shared medium of exchange, replacing barter.
650 AD Paper Money. Cash with no inherent value is popularized for the first time. People trust that bits of paper can be exchanged for real goods.
1000 AD Stranger-to-Stranger. Buyers and sellers begin to trade with strangers through trusted intermediaries who bring goods to market.
1800s Person-to-company. As corporations replace local stores and markets, trust comes from regulations, insurers, banks, and law firms.
1950s Person-to-world. People buy goods from multinational corporations. Watchdog groups, along with global regulations and banks, secure these interactions.
1990s Networked. Products are purchased through websites built by companies that provide a centralized marketplace and trust infrastructure.
Present Intimate. New mechanisms emerge to secure in-person transactions that are brokered through digital marketplaces.
2015 Trusted. Enter Theodor Henriksen. Just kidding. Still, I see trust as such an important aspect of the new era of the economy we are entering. The acceptance of internet as a valid medium enables us to preform transactions that we wouldn’t trust before. This all goes back to the first of my seven main findings in my reseach; Culture. By that I mean that we have developed a culture where we have adapted our everyday lives to include the use of internet enabled services. We have gained experiences, and mostof us have come to accept the possibilities the web gives us.
These internet enabled services have allowed us to exploit our intangible assets, as Barbara Gray calls it. Examples of these assets could be helping visually impared through BeMyEyes, or offer a spare bedroom on AirBnb.