The Virtual Bazaar Manifesto

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We are tired of the profit motive.

Business should be motivated by providing value to society, not by making profit for a few.

People are far more motivated to work when they know their work is helping their friends and neighbors, and harming no-one; we can out-enthuse and out-create the plutonomy.

It's time to overturn some paradigms, and create a business model to accomplish this.

...and then take the world back from the big-box, big-profit, next-quarter-projections model.

Here's the plan:

  • Create the business model:
    • Businesses should be owned and directed by everyone who has made them successful, regardless of official role.
    • A business's primary responsibility should be that of benefiting its community. Any profit should be used for those ends.
  • Replicate the model: Make lots and lots of right-sized businesses that follow these rules.
  • Network and swarm: Use open-source software to allow these businesses to interoperate, gaining the clout of a much larger business without losing small-business flexibility and accountability.
  • Acquire & emancipate: Use profits to acquire other businesses and "set them free" by co-operatizing them.

The Plan (under construction)

  1. Get VBZ back online as a traditional centralized e-commerce site. ← CURRENTLY WORKING HERE
  2. Decentralization -- one of the following should probably be done first:
    • Make it possible for outside vendors to sell things through VBZ, like Amazon Marketplace or Ebay (with or without auction capability)
    • Create data formats for interoperability of e-commerce sites, starting with cross-site searching and adding features in each major revision
      • Offer locally-owned shops free integration services (i.e. the development necessary to at least provide their catalog in read-only mode)
        • possibilities: bookstores, toy stores...?

I am also looking for other businesses of any size who are interested in joining the network.