18th Century Economist and leading enlightenment thinker of Naples, Fernando Galiani was an advocate for the merits of personal freedoms in economics. Freidrich Nietzsche referred to him as “a most fastidious and refined intelligence” as well as “..the most profound, sharp-sighted and perhaps also the foulest man of his century.” He was renowned for his wit as much as his economic ability, his masterpiece he wrote at 22 ‘Dialogues sur le commerce des bleds’, “Dialogues on the commerce in wheat” was described by Voltaire as a cross between Moliere and Plato. He fundamentally argued that markets and conversations were basically the same thing, and by improving the conversation between parties in a market situation we would improve the value of the product and wealth involved and that intervention would prove to lever an unfair advantage to one side.
In our modern world our conversations (our markets) are defined by the relationships we have between us as producers and the consumer. Many people build products or blogs that are good or even profound but, and this is more important than ever before with online business, they forget about the conversation and subsequently their market reach suffers.
This situation isn’t confined to merely marketing. Product creation is also reliant on excellent communication between the client and the producer and between the people producing the products themselves. In renaissance Italy, particularly Florence, schools were created which worked to produce art and innovation by pooling together many great types of thinkers and allowing massive cross contamination. The enlightenment was a hub of writers trading ideas with craftsmen and accountants without segregation as we position different disciplines today. Essentially its success was partly down to the networking which was interwoven into the fabric of renaissance communities. Essentially the communal hub and work-space’s were the market and the catalyst for its expansion.
So how does this compare to modern online businesses and how can we use this understanding to benefit our own creative and economic success?
Forums offer a fantastic place to interact online. To talk to potential customers and convey our own personalized ideas and thinking in a market environment which offers scrutiny to test and improve our ideas. This is an area often overlooked by people starting out in business, myself included at first. The excitement to create something often leaves entrepreneurs skipping the processes of testing and building up a group to lead. By leading a group you can then find solutions to their problems which if efficient and valuable will lead to the groups expansion, this is the creation of your customer base.
The other side of this is what Napoleon Hill, author of the science of getting rich describes as the Mastermind Alliance. Many would be online entrepreneurs often hide behind their computers and hope to create a system that just creates money. The flaw here is a) creation of money is a by-product of creation of products of value, and b) without some form of interaction like the renaissance school where groups can bounce ideas off each other, the innovation and creative process is often stunted or crushed entirely.
Fundamentally the relationship between customer and creative in a business environment is still very much based on the relationships created. By setting out to build an online business the processes ie; the internet, has given the scope and power to reach more people than ever before but the catalyst for business to take place is still underpinned by the relationships outlined above.
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