Many of the world's problems come down to overconsumption and inequality. A few individuals and companies hoard the vast majority of the available wealth.
Productivity is at an all-time high yet less and less of this goes to people whose work generates this wealth.
Just look at this chart.
I started a weekly podcast with my friend Ivanka Majic back in 2017 after attending Meaning Conference together.
Meaning a business conference focused on environment and social impact and forward-thinking ways to be better.
One talk that stuck with me was about Suma Cooperative, a company based in the UK that pays everyone the same.
They said that the town where they have their factory started to become a little bit fancy (I forget the exact word). It seems that if everyone has a bit of disposable income, they start to want nicer things.
This is in stark contrast to the situation we see in places like London where the rich spend so much of their money creating their own private communities and clubs away from poorer people.
But as Rutger Bregman put it so precisely, poverty is not a lack of character, it's a lack of cash. It's not that poor people lack "taste" or some sort of abstract sense of "sophistication", it's just that they can't afford the finer things in life.
Every week Ivanka and I talk about these sorts of issues on our podcast so it's always front-of-mind for me.
Currently I build everything here at Good To Hear. Changes, Donegood, Habits, Shoot, Happiness, this website, everything.
But when I started work on Changes app, I realised I wouldn't be able to reach the level of quality to which I aspired without bringing other people in.
I am reluctant to ask investors for money, because money always wants a say. Once people start demanding return on their financial investment, it's easy to fall into the usual unsustainable, socially and environmentally destructive patterns exhibited by so much of the tech industry.
But I don't have much in the way of capital. All I have to offer is equity.
So I am bringing people in on the basis that we equally split profits on anything we build together.
First we get paid for the hours we've put in, with nobody's time being valued more than anybody else's. Then we split the profits equally.
Unfortunately, at time of writing (December 2020), this remains somewhat theoretical.
Ian and I have put hundreds of hours into this app but so far have made very little back in sales.
But I believe in this project and hold out hope that this will change soon. Then I will have an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is.
Meanwhile, I'm committed to radical levels of transparency and will continue to create reports like the following. I track every minute of my time so there's lots of detail, and some surprises!
Thanks for reading.
Michael Forrest, Director, Good To Hear Ltd