Why A Co-op?

We’ve architected EVERY’s Shopper Cooperative as an entity that reflects the nature of Blockchain, personal data ownership, and participatory governance and reward.

It makes a ton of sense for us to think of ourselves as a member of one ecosystem. If we want to make data available for new kinds of value exchanges, fair approaches to margin and prices, and more opportunity to drive innovation within that ecosystem, participants must be aligned in a new and unique way. Part of the benefit of the emerging technology of blockchain, cryptoeconomics and data tokenization will be to provide a new alignment that the system has never seen before. That doesn’t make sense for us to stuff into a traditional corporation. It makes more sense that that would be birthed out of a co-op — an entity that’s designed to operate for the benefit of all its members. A standard oriented around participants seeing dividends is such a natural fit for our approach.

The co-op model will allow for interesting governance structures by bringing existing data and historical insights from members into the fold. Our team and our capacity to recreate some of the efficiencies at the scale that Amazon has produced doesn’t exist; that’s not inside of our walls. But the insights, motivations, and economic backgrounds of brands and shoppers do surpass the capabilities of an Amazon. As a co-op, we will pool that insight and participation within its framework by creating the right incentive structures and governance workflows. By leveraging that engagement, our native EVERY Token will be able to facilitate mutually beneficiary value exchanges between Co-op Members to direct the roadmap, technology, and business decisions that allow for brands to drive new revenue and shoppers to have great eCommerce experiences.

One of the things that always geeks us out is when we can take the physical world and map it into bits; the Co-op will be the most authentic way of managing a physical real-world structure of people and companies against something decentralized like a blockchain. It’s this manifestation of deliberately not creating a trusted centralized authority to manage the governance structure, how parties interact with each other, or how disputes are remediated. Another thing truly fun and perfect about this fit is most of these governance rules will actually be coded into how the co-op is structured at a software level. While we are bootstrapping and leading a lot of this, it doesn’t give us that undo control over how these entities are going to interact the same way that Vitalik doesn’t have control over how smart contracts are executed on Ethereum. We will be trusting the network to manage itself. It’s such a great synergy between those to concepts.

By operating as a co-op on top of an open-sourced protocol, we will be able to stand up and make a promise to the ecosystem that we’re not another retailer, we’re not another eComm platform, we’re not another centralizing authority that’s going to trick them into consuming all their value while working against alternative motives and agendas. It’s frankly the only model that will maintain that open sourced framework and allow for the community to drive the direction and vision for the Co-op.

This technology is new. The value exchanges and the alignment is new. When a brand says, “Wait a minute, why do I have so much margin to work with? Why am I not giving up ten, fifteen, twenty percent of the transaction to the marketplace as a whole?” When consumers say, “Why do I have so much control over my own information?” It’s an easy answer that they can understand — that this is a co-op and we’re here for you. And you will get to participate in that. It’ll lend itself to adoption.

This is a whole new world. None of us are egotistical enough to try and claim that we know how it’s going to play out over the next twelve, eighteen, twenty-four months. (Ten, fifteen years! However long it is.) We don’t know what they will do with that excess margin and how it will impact the interactions that occur between members of the ecosystem. They will do things that we never thought of before. We will enable all of those great experiences technically but the structure of the organization needs to evolve too to match those changes. By giving that power to all the Co-op Members, we won’t have to worry about how it’s going to happen. We don’t need to foresee innovation — we can let it occur and play out naturally.

Originally published at medium.com on February 7, 2018.

Future of Commerce is Patented.

What we recognized early during the creation of Comr.se Corp, (circa 2013) was that the centralizing and serving up of product and shopper data into apps, marketplaces, and social channels would be a significant undertaking, but one hell of a market opportunity. Enabling that level of data mobility would be unique and extremely important should shoppers opt to engage with a brands products across environments.

Let me explain what we wanted to protect: shopping anywhere. Having the world of commerce dominated by Amazon, Flipkart and Alibaba reflects the recurring and compounding strategies of incumbent retailers, entities that persistently centralize the shopping experience.

Again — Let me explain. We tried on multiple occasions with Amazon to engage them to partner with us as a payments partner in order to support the efforts of putting digital commerce into ads, social channels or developer’s apps. While certain humans on the Amazon payments team found the ‘Buy Now’ use cases from Pinterest and Twitter cute, there were ZERO FUCKS given into the consideration process where Amazon would be interested in enabling their value to be leveraged outside of the desirable path to purchase.

Again, more — I have my intuitions derived from previous engagements with the Amazon payments and Amazon ads team that this thesis will hold true. Amazon only wants behavior that will push a shopper into their highly performant funnel so as to drive conversion on Amazon.com or within the Amazon app. This strategy will lead to an ever-growing, self-serving efficiency, bringing more and more shoppers into the belly of the orange beast. Centralize time, centralize consumer attention, centralize value. Mitigate brands’ value, extract margins, commoditize brands’ value, rinse and repeat — these are the systems that uphold Amazon.

Now to the patent… I’ve never been able to look at shopping and the broader retail landscape from any perspective other than through the eyes of the Brands producing the products we love.

When we raised the capital to launch Comr.se Corp in 2014. The idea was brand data liberation. Capture the brand’s attention by unlocking their siloed data, constrained to the enterprise ERP or eCommerce platform, and let it lose. Let their product data move more efficiently into marketing environments experiences or social channels. This was the idea. Sync, unhinge, unlock and ultimately decentralize a brand’s product data to enable the opportunities to connect directly to shoppers regardless of the environment.

You see, the last statement is the lynchpin in our thinking. It was the genius and ultimately our greatest challenge. We wanted to allow brands to connect directly with the shoppers. The fucking product discovery and product conversion ecosystem weren’t having that. Owning the brand’s product journey, from the moment of a shopper’s initial discovery through purchase, has propped up the household tech brands we all know. Consuming data about the performance of a product, interest in search or social environments, and cataloging the upsells and return rates from marketplaces are only a sliver of the centralization tactics that technology incumbents leverage against brands and shoppers.

Again — Back to the patent. We knew centralization wouldn’t last. We knew that there would be a model shopping experience, or marketplace that would want to exist and transcend beyond the confines of its own digitally walled garden. We had no clue that it would take rearchitecting the entire shopping ecosystem to do it.

With EVERY’s consuming of previous ‘Comr.se Corp’ assets, we are excited for the decentralization and distribution of commerce to be resting within EVERY’s Intellectual Property.

US 20150278931 A1 : “Native eCommerce Transactables for Familiar User Environments”

Native e-commerce transactable for social and other familiar and/or suitable user environments are enabled. A user of a network site may interact with a transactable to conduct a transaction with a 3rd party without leaving a user environment of the network site. The transactable may be configured to adopt the “look and feel” of the network site into which it is incorporated. While conducting the transaction with the transactable, the user may perceive that they remain at the network site, even though transaction information may be exchanged with a 3rd party network site. The transaction mediation service may obtain social activity data from a plurality of social network sites, as well as merchant activity data (e.g., transaction activity) from a plurality of merchant network sites. The data of each suitable network site may be translated, transformed and/or normalized into a unified and uniform format maintained by the transaction mediation service.