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Vegetables as Shareware

In The Guardian, 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.


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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.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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