Steve Jobs liked to quote a Scientific American article to illustrate the importance of tools. Someone measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet, and determined the condor was the most efficient creature, as it used the least energy to move a kilometer.
Humans ranked a rather unimpressive third of the way down the list in the rankings. Until someone at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And a man on a bicycle blew the condor away.
We build and use tools to problem solve. They help us reach greater potential and progress. Jobs, ever the consummate salesman, would then point out that computers were the most remarkable tool that we’d ever created. They were the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.
I was living in Chicago working insurance claims when Steve Jobs died in October of 2011. Eleven years out of high school, and I had raised my station from South Mississippi to Michigan Ave., but every morning found myself questioning the importance of my work.
Adjusting catastrophe insurance claims across the country, afforded me the unique opportunity to connect with thousands of people in countless communities in almost every major U.S. city. In every community that I lived and worked, I could see an unnecessary disconnect created by the transactional nature of our economy. In our hyper-connected world, a meaningful connection had become a rarity. Though we had all been connected by technology, we were more disconnected as a people then ever before.
E. Pluribus Unum
When you get to know someone, they’ll always tell you two things; their recent accomplishments, and current struggles. After handling over 6,000 catastrophe claims in homes across America, I’ve heard it all, seen more than I care to recall, and find that deep down, we’re all just alike.
We all come across situations on a daily basis that individually we’re powerless to change. Helplessness is one of the worst feelings in the world in my opinion. Its also unnecessary.
We were put here to connect with one another and solve problems. Any great effort requires team work. It’s the only way things get accomplished. We all have unique talents. Its not until they’re put to work in unison that we realize our great potential, and our ability to achieve the unachievable.
When inspired people work together in common purpose with a shared goal, and sufficient resources, there are no incurable diseases, or unachievable technological advancements. There are no goals too large, too ambitions, or too grand. There is nothing out of our reach. When we work together, amazing things are possible.
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most do – Mark Twain
Politicians, the media, and paid activists seek to divide us on a daily basis, and they’re succeeding. The many problems I witnessed across the country do not have easy solutions. The kind of positive change we need on so many levels, in so many communities; will require us to reevaluate our priorities, and start connecting with one another again. Not just those in our social media echo chambers, but also with the people in our community that we may not agree with. When open minded people of character and intelligence communicate about issues, problems start getting solved. It’s no mistake that our national motto means from many one.
The Modern Consumer
We’re inundated with nonstop marketing from the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed. Its excessive. We’ve started subconsciously tuning it all out unless its something we connect with or care about.
Personal connections for brands are extremely valuable. Everyone reading this has a Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) and it’s about time we started using them collectively for human progress.
The World Health Organization reports that for $10 Billion we could provide access to clean drinking water for the 1.8 Billion who currently drink contaminated water on a daily basis. The price tag to end world hunger? $30 Billion. If those sound like large numbers, they’re not. We live in a $19 Trillion Dollar annual consumer economy here in the United States. The global economy hit $107 Trillion last year.
Its not a lack of resources, its a lack of will, and coordination. It is my belief that if you show people a problem, and then show them a solution, they will be moved to act.
Problem Solving Requires Ownership
If its not your problem; if you don’t own it, you’re not going to fix it. Before ownership can take place we must first be aware of the problem, and understand it well enough to formulate a plan and execute. We need community connections of value that build and foster relationships that will have a positive impact on the challenges we face together in communities across America. Education, cooperation, and an empowered mindset are essential.
The Greatest Opportunity in Human History
We’re getting a whole new set of tools
The American Economy will change more in the next ten years, then it has in the past two hundred. The lines between manufacturer and Retailer will completely Blur. Transformative technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will assume the majority of our physical work and routine tasks. Digital devices and sensors throughout our homes, appliances, clothing, and products will connect everything to the Internet of Things automating the majority of our purchases while Drones and Autonomous Vehicles will enable automatic replenishment through instantaneous delivery. Digital Traceability, Robotics, and AI will alleviate price and quality differentials among similar class products.
How we use these new tools
will make all the difference in the world
Artificial Intelligence could double annual economic growth rates by 2035 by changing the nature of work and spawning a new relationship between man and machine. Once the impact of AI has been absorbed into the economy, it is projected to yield the highest economic benefits for the United States, increasing annual growth rate from 2.6 percent to 4.6 percent by 2035, translating to an additional USD $8.3 trillion in gross value added (GVA).
The digital transformation will have many negative consequences as well. Up to 40% of the US workforce could lose their jobs by 2030. The mass unemployment and retail space repurposing that will affect the entire country will require a new partnership mindset between corporations, consumers, and communities. Responsible, responsive leadership and collaborative action through public-private partnerships will be vital. This is why we are structured as a Public Benefit Corporation, to facilitate these vital connections.
We have the opportunity to make the new market work for all of us, to improve our society through the market value proposition that the HelpFirst Commerce Platform facilitates. If we work together, we can set civilization sized goals, and achieve them.
A New Era of American Enterprise
Connections of Value and Impact
High Expectations Are The Key To Everything
We believe the best businesses not only sell high quality goods and services at great prices, they support the communities that support them. Every household needs quality, cost effective goods and services on a consistent basis.
Community relationships matter. The US tax code is set up in a way to encourage and empower problem solving at the local level through non-profits with funding from individuals and businesses. We facilitate these vital connections.
The United States has 89,004 unique communities who each face unique problems. Our goal is to educate the people in these communities through engagement, then empower through commerce connections of Impact. We need community connections of value that build and foster relationships that will have a positive impact on the challenges we face together in communities across America.
Every deal on our platform will always have two variables; Cost Savings, and Impact. Every purchase, every day.
The user profile is a relationship builder. We only host effective, unifying, and transparent non-profits and only the most trusted Impact Driven Businesses who have a track record of high quality goods and services of cost savings. As every transaction on the HelpFirst platform benefits society as a whole, we aim to build lasting relationships of value and impact between Impact Driven Consumers, Impact Driven Businesses, and effective non-profits.
Companies too often treat people like they’re problems and not the reason they’re in business. Nothing infuriates me more than poor service, other than poor quality. Whatever you are, be a good one. Far too often this is forgotten.
In markets with razor thin profits to begin with, folks treat customers as if courtesy is a luxury; well it isn’t, and we’ll not tolerate sub par products or services on the HelpFirst platform. If several of our users flag a platform business, we will pull the business listing until we can investigate and resolve the issue. When we say quality connections, We mean to guarantee it.
Local Situation Report
When a new user signs up for the HelpFirst Platform, they receive a situation report detailing the issues that face their community, and ways to impact them. We will send Impact Reports to the user periodically to showcase their impact. Measurable results are essential for progress.
Identify – Promote – Connect
We seek community organizations that go above and beyond, those who do a superior job serving our communities.
Difficult problems require ownership. Ownership requires communication and education. Our system communicates Impact and educates users about the charities mission with each transaction.The HelpFirst platform empowers the user to Impact the causes that matter most in their lives. Every transaction. Every Day.
Capitalism works so well because it rewards efficiencies, and is built on incentive. We’re going to apply those same principles to this platform. A friend to everyone is a friend to no one. There are 1.5 Million non-profits in the United States. They are not all effective. The process of learning about, engaging with, and supporting effective community nonprofits should be easier, the process should be more engaging, transparent, and social.
Through our monthly featured stories and original content development, we’re going to work with the non-profits to tell their story in a meaningful and engaging way.
An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people. – Thomas Jefferson
The way many non-profits advertise is off-putting. We believe much more can be accomplished by telling an inspiring story. With the blatant media bias these days, its hard to know what to believe. We’ll present all sides, and make content actionable. We’ll included an Impact Link at the bottom of each article that will either pair you with an Impact Driven Business that offers items you’re interested in, or it will link back to the relevant government officials HelpFirst page. We’re building profiles on every American politician that includes their positions, voting record, and contact information. You need access to this information, and the ability to utilize it. Civic engagement is vital to the survival of our democracy.
ITS NOT JUST ABOUT HELPING THE POOR AND SAVING SICK CATS ITS ABOUT INSPIRATION, ITS ABOUT PUSHING HUMANITY FORWARD
We seek out the greatest innovators in the non-profit sector that seek to push humanity forward as a space faring civilization, or develop clean unlimited and free energy to solve so many of humanities problems. It’s the chance of discovery that emboldens the human soul. That’s what life’s all about; advancement, discovery, and continual growth through education and new experiences. We think you should be able to help humanity get to mars, or fund research on a faster than light warp drive when you go to the grocery store or gas station.
A BUSINESS MODEL FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD
We have access to the entirety of recorded human knowledge collected since the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria in 48 BC at our fingertips; yet we lack wisdom. We are more connected as a people then ever before, yet a meaningful connection is extremely rare. We have a great many politicians, but very few leaders.
ITS TIME THAT CHANGED
We are united not by our ancestry, but by our shared ideals of individual liberty and free enterprise. If the greatest nation in the history of mankind can conquer the moon, win both world wars, bring the world online while creating a trade environment that gave more humans access to cell phones than clean sanitation, we can do anything, but we have to work together. And we need to know what we’re motivated by as individuals and as a people.
When inspired people work together in common purpose with a shared goal, and sufficient resources, there are no incurable diseases, or unachievable technological advancements. There are no goals too large, too ambitions, or too grand. There is nothing out of our reach. When we work together, amazing things are not only possible, they’re inevitable.
We’re all in this together.