Gray Tabby Cat Lying on White Surface 
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Vegetables as Shareware

In , I read an uplifting story about urban honesty stalls in Australia by Denise Cullen about people setting up unattended vegetable stalls where buyers take produce and leave money on an honor system.

It may sound like a small thing, but it brings me joy that there are systems that can overtly run on honesty.

There are, in fact, many, many systems that run on honesty rather than enforcement where those problems exist more because of confusion and poor memories rather than dishonesty. In business in general and startups in particular, I suggest that people put great effort into perfecting the clarity of their agreements rather than enforceability or even obtaining signatures.

The Guardian article presents us with a Rorschach test of sorts: What types of questions does this bring to mind for you? Take a moment to answer before reading further.


multicolored abstract painting
Photo by Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash


I ask myself, “Where else would this work?” and think about the Bagel Man, Paul Feldman.

I ask myself, “What could increase the honesty?” and think about the mirrors and eyes research.

I ask myself, “What can we do about system cheats who take it all?” and think of technology solutions and wonder whether the cameras would get stolen as well as in Grand Theft Astro.

But most of all, I wonder whether it would work for chocolate chip cookies.

Today gratitude and baby animal picture go to Denise Cullin for writing the article, all the people creating providing the vegetables, and most of all to their honest patrons.

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

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