“Whoever, laying aside prejudice and self-interest, will honestly and carefully make up his own mind as to the causes and the cure of the social evils that are so apparent, does, in that, the most important thing in his power toward their removal. This primary obligation devolves upon us individually, as citizens and as men. Whatever else we may be able to do, this must come first. For ‘if the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the ditch.’

Social reform is not to be secured by noise and shouting; by complaints and denunciation; by the formation of parties, or the making of revolutions; but by the awakening of thought and the progress of ideas. Until there be correct thought, there cannot be right action; and when there is correct thought, right action will follow. Power is always in the hands of the masses of men. What oppresses the masses is their own ignorance, their own short-sighted selfishness.” – Henry George, Social Problems (1883, p. 326-327)

So why the books and video material and website to explain the Root Bug hypothesis? Why not attempt to reshape economic perspectives from ”the source”, the academic world, and start with a doctoral dissertation or a paper in a top-tier journal? Why did we want you to discover it? In short: because we live in a democratic and corrupt world with complex power structures and because the power of 50 million exceeds that of 5.

If you came up with an algorithm, that you knew was going to allow creating the world’s best operations control system, eating those of SAP and Oracle for breakfast, would you go and lock yourself into a cubicle for 5 years to study to get a master’s degree in computer science and another 3 to make a doctoral dissertation on the algorithm, by which time it will be hopelessly out-of-date? No! You would establish a startup company, make a prototype and a demo and start looking for partners and potential clients with whom to develop the idea further – i.e. you’d start “selling” it immediately in order to get the necessary feedback from clients to perfect the system to the their needs. The algorithm alone is useless.

The thing we should all learn about B2B sales is that if your hit rate in booking meetings is bad or your prospective clients don’t take you seriously, it is not because your solution would be bad or your arguments not logical or sound enough. Even if they were, the client couldn’t possibly know it at that point. It is either because:

–          Your message (booking script) isn’t clear and simple enough
–          Your message does not connect with the contact person’s personal agendas
–          Your message does not connect on an emotional level
–          You don’t have enough brand equity
* Broad and deep awareness
* Strong and favourable associations

The people who make the procurement or adoption decisions regarding new solutions are usually not the same ones who are using the products or solutions and they always have their own unofficial agendas (e.g. securing their own position and bonuses). Thus even if they suspected you might have the best solution, they don’t have much of an incentive to put effort into investigating it or promoting it – it’s safer in terms of their position and career progress to maintain the status quo and possibly even prevent others in the organization from finding out about any better alternatives. Even in the absence of such organizational incentive traps, people have a strong tendency to focus on justifying (and feeling good about) their previous decisions, instead of constantly questioning their validity.

The procurement department won’t start considering new alternatives before a large number of users start asking for them. If procurment then still ignored the entrepreneur’s calls, they’d risk losing their jobs. But until then, no one can blame them for not having time to test every single solution on the market.

So the most efficient way to get a new operations control system “sold” and implemented, is to show the users how it works and make them tell their colleagues and superiors about it. The expression “speak to the hands, because the ears ain’t listening” has a constructive, metaphorical meaning in this context: Showing new gloves to the eyes or talking about them to the ears is often not enough. You have to let the hands feel the difference.

The users of an economic system are all of us – the people operating in it. The buyers in this case are politicians and researchers, who both are primarily concerned for their own positions. Politicians need votes, which they get by being diplomatic, predictable and “politically correct”. Not a situation where you’d want to start suggesting breakthrough changes – and definitely not ones threatening the positions of people in charge of currently influential institutions.

Researchers need funding and security for their research groups and they get this by publishing papers – and papers are always easier to get published if they refer to lots of other recent articles or are about an otherwise trendy subject. Citing others’ articles gets them to cite you, which builds your status in the “web of knowledge” and academic hierarchy. By going rogue and attempting a ”long shot” with something new, you’d risk becoming an academic outcast.

So what we are doing now is:

  • Leveraging the creativity of the clients – all of you – to make sure the final “operating system” (Market Economy 2.0) built using the new “algorithm” (Root-Debugging) meets all of our needs, and
  • Raising awareness of The Root Bug hypothesis so that it will be more viable for politicians and researchers to take the presented perspective seriously and thus direct their efforts to solving the actual problems instead of attempting to compromise over how and which symptoms to treat (and how to win most privileges and transfer payments for their own interest groups)

We need people to understand the Root Bug hypothesis and then explain it to others in a language they can understand (be it music, dance, comics, games, movies, whatnot) – or find faults in the hypothesis, falsifying it, so that we can make an even stronger theory about how we can maximally facilitate productive and adaptive human cooperation.