Trustworthiness, that’s the question.
Since the year 2000, at least $2 Trillions (Tn) have simply “evaporated” by the bankruptcy of 80+ banks and a handful of corporations in the U.S. alone. Two of the latter were “bailed-out” by the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as well as other 640+ U.S. entities.
Another $12 Tn almost disappeared from those 11 largest U.S. banks that were also “rescued” by TARP on 2008 alone. Funny or not, the following year, the Bitcoin white paper proposed a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, based on cryptography, in lieu of trusting financial institutions; this is perhaps the most significantly disruptive innovation in the financial landscape of the 21st Century.
But the question of trust still remains. Two or more parties performing an electronic exchange still need to trust each other, regardless of a contract or a smart contract, which is as good as the integrity of the parties who agree to it.
In the age of decadence we live in today, fake is almost everything, fake is almost everywhere. As an entrepreneur who has had a few successes along with some setbacks, I’ve come to realize that finding a trustworthy business partner is even much more difficult than finding a loving and caring spouse or significant other.
And like in a romance, we also fall in love with a potential candidate for a business transaction. Although the warning signs are always right there in front of us, sometimes we just don’t want to see it. When looking for a mate of any kind, there are a handful fire-proof safeguards which we ought to consider: a) due diligence, b) keen observation, c) reflection and d) patience.
Successful relationships or partnerships are so because they share a common set of values and interests. When they are misaligned, conflicts of interest arise and termination is inevitable. Doing the homework is not easy and it takes time, but it is worthwhile. If you do, you will flourish at any endeavor. Trust yourself, trust your instincts and trust the people who have proven to be trustworthy.