Tibles
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Tibles

Tibles Business Principles

Since our founding three years ago, we have relied on these guiding principles when making key decisions. I want to publish them now so that we are publicly held accountable to each other, stakeholders, and above all, our users. If we ever stray I hope that we get called out. This is a living document and will be updated from time to time.

The sections Business Principles and Customer Manifesto were inspired by, and borrow from, Goldman Sachs’s business principles and the book The Customer Manifesto respectively.

Mission

To make digital collecting as authentic and fulfilling as physical collecting.

Strategy

  1. Make great collectibles that are not only truly ownable, but imaginative, robust, and inherently worth owning.
  2. Build engaging collecting experiences that are authentic to fandoms.
  3. Develop platform tools and knowledge that lower the cost of production for 1 and 2.
  4. Foster a decentralized ecosystem owned and operated by publishers, developers, shops, and collectors.

Business Principles

Authenticity

We are an organic part of the community with a seamless connection to the fandom experience, authentic to our customers, licensors, technology enthusiasts — and to ourselves.

Transparency

We are up front about our company values, roadmap, and reasons behind choices we make. This applies to customers and stakeholders — employees, directors, shareholders, licensors, and partners.

Respect

We treat our customers, stakeholders, and coworkers with respect at all times. We promote an understanding of our differences and actively leverage those differences to serve both the products we create and the audiences we serve.

Privacy

Although ownership information may be recorded on a public blockchain, customers have control over all aspects of their identity within our products. Since our business model does not rely on mining customer data, we will require no more data from customers than is necessary to support their experience. We treat all private or confidential information as carefully as we do our own.

Customer Focus

We aim to keep our loyal customers over the long-term, even at the expense of short-term profits. Our customers are contributors in this budding industry. Our development process starts with the target customer, their needs, and our value proposition before features are defined. We do our best to protect the well-being of our customers in our products’ social forums.

Stakeholder Needs

We balance our customer needs with stakeholder needs. Especially when the two are in conflict, we will be transparent about the reasons behind our decisions.

Quality

Not only does quality provide value that customers are willing to pay for, it breeds trust. Therefore, we take great pride in the professional quality of our work.

Innovation

While working with cutting edge technologies, we maintain focus on how those technologies can be used to solve customer problems, such as how blockchain solves the problem of ownership for digital goods. We seek creative solutions that leverage our extensive experience without being boxed in by it.

Reputation

Our reputation in key communities — including blockchain, digital collecting, and the fandoms that we feature — is an important part of our brand. Maintaining a positive and consistent reputation in those communities is of utmost importance. Ultimately, our customers and the communities they build around our products will be a major factor in our success.

Co-opetition

We recognize that our industry is in its infancy. In order to have a successful business, the market for our products must grow. Therefore, it is often in our best interest to work with our competitors by sharing ideas and developing tools that can benefit the market.

Profitability

Being customer-focused is not in conflict with being profitable. In fact, we can only continue to serve our customers if we are profitable. We are building products that our customers value and pay us for. If we are not providing value, we will not get paid.

Customer Manifesto

  • We keep our promises.
  • We listen to your feedback and concerns.
  • We treat you with respect.
  • We will never patronize you.
  • Your privacy is in your control.
  • We will never sell your information.
  • We will resolve your issues in a timely manner.
  • We will own up to our mistakes.
  • Our employees are well-trained and empowered to help you with your problem.
  • When things go wrong, we will communicate proactively and be easy to reach.
  • We will notify you of significant product changes in advance.
  • We treat our relationship with you as long-term.

Core Beliefs

Identity Expression

People express their identities through the brands they love. Ownership, especially of collectibles, is a deep form of this expression. A person may express their identity differently in private, in public, or among close friends.

A Conceptual Model Based on the Real World

When building user experiences, we first look to the real world for inspiration, whether it’s how people interact with their collectibles or how brick and mortar businesses handle customer service. This does not mean we are restricted to the constraints of the physical world, just that we derive our inspiration from those experiences, discovering the root value and building from there.

The Work of Collecting — Building Social Capital

The more work a person puts into acquiring an item, the more valuable it is to them. Collectively, this means that items that are the hardest to get are the most valuable. And owners of those items tend to have more social capital in the community.

Scarcity plus blind purchases equals a need to work with others to achieve collecting goals. Buy-sell peer-to-peer marketplaces make it easy to find a needed item, but collectors who use barter style trading can achieve their goals at lower costs and build social capital with other collectors at the same time. Collectors compete and cooperate.

Ownership has Meaning and Value

Ownership has real meaning and value. If it did not, then we would not need to use blockchain. Ownership adds value to an object, independent of its utility.

Two psychological phenomena — the mere ownership effect and the endowment effect — together indicate that “ownership is a psychologically meaningful variable that can influence the way that one thinks about and evaluates objects” (iresearchnet.com). Ownership is part of one’s “self” and digital ownership is part of one’s digital representation of self (see identity expression).

Intrinsic Motivation to Collect

Most collectors are intrinsically motivated to collect — collecting is its own reward.

Intrinsic motivators, like the desire to identify yourself as part of a fandom, are more powerful and long-lasting than extrinsic motivators, like awards, utility, or financial gain. In fact, extrinsic motivators can be dangerous, as they can ‘crowd out’ existing intrinsic motivation. This is the overjustification effect, a psychological phenomenon that occurs when an activity that a person once found interesting on its own becomes less interesting after they are rewarded for doing it. We believe collectibles have value to their owners regardless of external motivators.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to reach out to me at woody@tibles.com.

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