Greendimes

August 22, 2007 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

Sean Stannard Stockton asked me what I thought of the greendimes.com business model.

As he explained it: “Green Dimes is a for-profit that is trying to drive themselves out of business. They offer, for a fee, a service that reduces your junk mail (snail mail). Instead of a centralized Do Not Call list, which has essentially killed telemarketing, there are 17 lists that consumers can put themselves on to keep themselves off junk mail lists. But instead of the 5 years the Do Not Call works for, these lists only keep you off for 6 months. So Green Dimes sends requests over and over on your behalf. There is actually more to what they do than that, but that’s the nutshell. But Green Dimes is also trying to get a national Do Not Mail list created. If successful, their service will be irrelevant. So you can see that they are a “social enterprise” in the best sense of the word. Their profit is funding their campaign and if they actually solve the problem, their business model will collapse (but of course, it won’t be needed any more). Green Dimes has traditional VC money backing it.”

My response: “If you build that kind of effective preference engine (on the blocking side) they’d probably migrate to new markets with that technology/methodology. and they’d also probably, if they were smart, move to the positive preference side; what do people who trust them want to get, now that they trust you to protect them from getting stuff.

What they will have built if they succeed in their first market is a trust relationship that has an environmentally friendly externalities, so you have mobilized an energized consumer base and done some good for them and done some good for the world. so if they execute, it’s not a business that will go away, but one that will grow as we trust it to be our commerce interface; we know we can trust them because they stopped a nuisance and by reducing my irritation level i helped them help save the planet. the movement like brand play here could be huge if they do it right. mobilizing a trusted cadre of conscious consumers. that’s something i’d fund if i could get them to expand their impact to alleviating poverty along with it. i’d like to be a supercharger to that network, maybe, to let them toss money at the kinds of things we’re working on once they get the good feeling from having saved the planet by reducing their own household irritation levels. eg. if we were to invest in kiva, they could move money into mfi right after they feel the payback from reduced junk mail. translate that feeling into another transaction. Or they could put some money into benefits bank or into real benefits, any of the potential network platform plays that are out there…

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Entry filed under: market tracking.

ethnograpy in business Goodcap the consumer brand

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