Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Jumpstart Theory

We don't actually need people to consume ethically. We just need companies to think that people might start consuming ethically. Capitalism will take care of the rest.

That's loosely quoted from a conversation I had today with the founder of one of The Carrot Project's potential collaborators/competitors.

The man's out to start marketing wars.

He believes that his job is to convince companies that people are ready to start caring, to show companies that if they make changes, and if they talk about how important those changes are, people will listen.

So his plan is to build the consumer education tools, make them great, generate some buzz, and then fade into the background. Companies will see the opportunity. They'll adjust. They'll market the adjustments. Consumers will respond. Competitors will one up them, both with adjustments and communication. They'll one up back. And - TA DA! - we'll have races to the top.

Simultaneously cynical and wildly optimistic. A rare combination. Gave me pause for sure. For a few minutes anyway...

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