Why I don’t love Bartercard any more

Isn’t it a pity when great ideas are implemented in ways that are not so great?

Well, Wayne Sharpe, the founder of Bartercard, told me clearly why he did it: he saw a commercial opportunity. That’s great, for Bartercard could be a social business in the way that Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus thinks the future of capitalism could be influenced by people like you and me – despite the “establishment of institutions and governments” that are notoriously slow and ineffective.

Now he writes: … in simple terms we have been unable to use the event really.. our attempts to try to gain press or credibility from this have not really been effectual, as frankly our demographic target market does not fit into the higher level agenda.

Part of the issues are really that business is in fact dependant on the current economy and currency- hence we promote ourselves as an ‘alongside’ addition – NOT an alternative. Our systems are designed to mirror those used because that what business wants- ease of use and credibility.

So frankly we have to be cautiously aligned with this type of program, and if it becomes a platform for anarchy then its not our place to be.

The reason we get little or no press is this is not a viable solution.. it seems like the proposal I made never got out of the room in fact. so no matter how much we want to change things really too many people have an agenda that in their own interests… I have failed more than once and lost everything- and having started with nothing I have no sympathy for anyone unless they are genuinely done over. Real life and history tell us only the strong survive.. and right now the weak are noisy but nothing changes.
Some of the facts and philosophies I agree with- but we have a business to run that depends on credibility and respect from business owners, and right now we need PR that tells them how we can help THEM top survive.
I am not sure our strategic objectives align completely really.

So a loose alliance with the right links is what’s needed
James I feel its best if you allow me and Tim to direct our PR – and in particular the ‘relationship’ with Sabine from here on in.

Best regards

WAYNE SHARPE
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN & FOUNDER
Bartercard Group of Companies

Please remember:

  1. I “met” Wayne Sharpe thanks to the web where I read that he is estimated to have assets in excess of £30m
  2. I therefore had thought that Bartercard could “sponsor” our non-funded voluntary Forum activities to raise them to higher levels
  3. In my enthusiasm I created not only this blog (currently 682 views), but also gave Wayne the platform at our meeting, even though I had never met him
  4. At the meeting, photographs were taken that I’ve been promised but never seen.
  5. For the meeting I had recommended to make to “display pop-ups”: one featuring the Forum for Stable Currencies and one saying “sponsored by Bartercard”.
  6. As you can read above, “sponsoring” to Wayne Sharpe means “using”.
  7. In a lunch conversation with Robert Cookson from the FT, Wayne made it clear that he has no political goal either and he effectively asked me to “use” Governmental contacts to promote Bartercard.
  8. After requests from James (Farmer), I deleted a previous entry about my misgivings with Bartercard from this blog.

Fortunately, I have an inner voice that tells me what is worth doing.

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7 responses to “Why I don’t love Bartercard any more

  1. Jct: Commercial barter networks alone are on the way out. People time-barter networks are on the way in. With Africa trading with mobile-phone minutes, Arabia trading with mobile-phone card credits, with Hours being traded in Ithaca, with Greencredits being traded in LETS, the banks get no interest. And the movement to cut the middleman out of the usury is growing.
    With Facebook, Twitter, Graigslist, offering social currencies to their databases, the use of new social credits around the world is undergoing unheralded growth but the use of interest-free time-based currency is key.

  2. Very interesting observations, John!

    Which system is worth promoting / using, I wonder?

  3. Jct: I’m already using my own http://johnturmel.com/unilets.htm page where I’ve listed what I want, what I offer, who I owe and who owes me. Until it’s done automatically by some central database.

  4. Having worked with Wayne Sharpe, I am not at all surprised.
    Barter is a great business tool, but it can also be used by individuals where the exchange accommodates them. My parrents are pensioners and they actively barter in an exchange so as to cut their cash costs and improve their lifestyle.
    I believe it it so much that I have written a book on the subject and actively post on a barter blog. There are plenty of sound reasons to barter, please take a look at http://www.barterisback.com.au
    There are some free tools to assist businesses to barter as well.

    Thanks
    Ian Jones

  5. Remarkable??? I just re read my post, I meant Parents NOT participants.

    oops, I need to wear my glasses more often.

  6. Corrected, Ian.

    Sorry, I mis-corrected the type before.

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