Focus on Small Business Networks and Alternative Markets

We don't hang out a shingle pretending to be all things to all people. We're focused and specialized on two domains of activity that have many dynamics and opportunities in common.

Local Food System Small Business Supply Chain Networks

Local Food System Business Models

Our work on local food systems focuses on envisioning and working with clients to build and refine a flexible Internet-based platform providing small business supply chain integration. This means creating a modular platform that facilitates getting locally grown food from the family farm field to the customer's table. Since small business networks vary in grower and processor scale and workflow, this platform has to be flexible and extensible to cover new or unseen requirements.

Developing flexible and extensible systems does not just happen. It's not something you do "one off" by building a conventional web site with off-the-shelf eCommerce features. The platform we're evolving is based on years of thought and experience that are evident in the explicit models underlying the systems we build.

With our models providing the detailed roadmap of where we're going, the next step is building the right thing with the right technologies. We've found this ideal platform in the Drupal and Ubercart platform we use to implement our small business supply chain networks.

"Who, How, and Why" Markets for Rural and Small Organization Fundraising

Spotlight on FunFunFundraising...

Creating easy-to-use and effective small business network supply chain systems is necessary but not sufficient for leveling the playing field that is tilted in favor of large corporations and global production and distribution. That's like running a marathon only to sit down on the sidelines just shy of the finish line. That's why we complement our small business supply chain work with our focus on alternative "Who, How, and Why" market systems.

Let's face it, multi-national corporations and their highly efficient global production and distribution systems dominate our traditional marketplaces based on price and availability. Small business networks have a tough time sustaining themselves where ruthless "How much and Where" (price and distribution) purchase decisions rule. That's why we need to nurture and expand customer interest in the "Who, How, and Why" dimensions of the purchases they make.

And there is simply no better domain and no more pressing need than to bring these dynamics into the fundraising campaigns of rural communities and cause-related marketing in support of small community and social organizations. Our venture is an applied laboratory for exploring and amplifying story-driven and game-oriented dynamics that can engage and increase the participation of customer-supporters of fundraising campaigns.

To increase customer-supporter motivation, we're developing a network of microenterprise and small business product producers. By exclusively offering quality small business products, campaign customer-supporters get the "double whammy feel good" sense of knowing that their purchase is both supporting a favorite organization or cause and knowing that the product purchased supports creative and hardworking microenterprises and small businesses.

While supporting rural community and small organization fundraising is a worthwhile goal on its own, it's also an intentional step in further developing our interest in microenterprise and small business networks. Once we've refined and developed the story and game aspects of "Who, How, and Why" markets in the fundraising domain, we can then generalize this experience and employ these marketing dynamics in support of microenterprise and small business networks without the requirement of being tied to a fundraising campaign.

As you can see, we're thoughtfully focused on two very specific and interrelated domains. And, wow, do we have our work cut out for us! :-) But this is what excites us... it gets us up in the morning and keeps us happy throughout the day. If your project falls into the small business network supply chain or alternative markets domains, consider inviting us to be on your project team. The first step is simple. Follow this link to our contact form and tell us a bit about yourself and your project. We look forward to hearing from you.