For the last few years I’ve been strategizing a new local focused form of commerce. This began as my strategy for competing against established publicly traded companies. Now as I watch our markets destabilize and our Federal government trending towards insolvency, I think it may be our safety net.

“Oakville Grocery” by www78 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Much of the technology our modern world runs on was built in a collaborative methods. Shared ideas. Standards from IETF. Open Source and Free Software. It is available for all for no cost, as long as you have hardware for it to run on.

Much of it was funded by big companies. The work itself was done by skilled individuals. Leaders in global collaboration.

A small technology company can leverage this existing software to modernize local retailers, farmers, and any other local commerce. This software can be used to host local community messaging, social networks, or fill other local needs. This software can help consumers shop online from local sources, keeping more money within the local community.

My objection to much of modern tech companies isn’t the services they offer, but the specific decisions of the rich people in charge. Crowd sourced ride sharing and local delivery are great ideas. There’s a big difference between using it to allow car owners to make money by performing a necessary job, and using it to make money to invest in removing the drivers completely.

A locally operating crowd sourced driving service run on behalf of the local community could enable faster than Prime delivery within your community. It could make owning a car less necessary for some.

I see a way to make commerce more Democratic.

I fear it will be a necessity before long.