The Economics of Social Capital 

Srinivas Rao
Jun 5, 2013 · 3 min read

In the connection economy, social capital is incredibly valuable. But it’s an unusual currency in that the normal ideas you have about currency don’t work.

The richest people are the ones who give the most.

The balance can’t be measured.

Those who keep score deplete their balance without realizing it.

The value of social capital is intrinsic, not external.

I have an unusual situation in which I’ve amassed a significant bank of social capital because I’m connected.

But I have to make any withdrawals sparingly and strategically. Even when I attempt to make a withdrawal it’s with the hopes that that my withdrawal will actually turn into a deposit. In fact I’m constantly on the search for the opportunity to make deposits into it.

A few things I want the world to know about:

Victor Saad is working on a project that is near and dear to my heart. The implications for higher education are profound. Take 5 mins to watch this, and if education matters to you, send it to somebody who can help him further this cause.

James Altucher just came out with a new book called Choose Yourself. There’s really nothing to say other than James wrote it so it will be amazing. He’s a role model for the economics of social capital.

BlogcastFM gives me a microphone that has a higher volume than the average person. But it’s also got an amplifier plugged into it. In my mind the most responsible thing to do is amplify the messages of people like Victor, while maintaining the integrity of my art.

Making Deposits into Our Ecosystem

Part of your ability to make ideas happen, launch projects and receive opportunities is dependent on the deposits that you make into the ecosystem. This comes down to motive.

Do you want to actually help people or are is everything you’re doing just for self interest?

Are you trying to make withdrawals from a bank of social capital in which you’ve made no deposits?

People can see through your intentions whether you realize it or not.

A Few Simple Ways Everybody Can Make Deposits

1.Create Art

You might think it’s insane to spend hours writing something, making the design beautiful and giving it away. But that kind of thing is a deposit into the bank of social capital. It has a way of coming back.

2.Make a List of People You ALWAYS say yes to

You have friends and you have family. And some friends are family. Treat them accordingly.

This list doesn’t have to be massive. I’d recommend 5 people. But when these people ask you for a favor always say yes. Assuming they don’t ask you to do anything that conflicts with your values, say yes to all their requests.

3.Review Somebody’s book on Amazon

This takes 5 minutes, makes a big difference, and the percentage of people who review books in compared to the people who’ve read them is minimal. If you did this once a day, think about how many deposits you’ll have made into your bank of social capital.


I have to give James Credit for that. I just read about it in his book this morning .So like anything that he’s written. I guess you could click like on this too. I won’t complain :)

I’m the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast, where I have weekly conversations with creative entrepreneurs and other insanely interesting people. Our guests have included bloggers, authors, bank robbers, happiness researchers and world famous cartoonists.

    Srinivas Rao

    Written by

    Order An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake: Listen to the @UnmistakableCR podcast in iTunes

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