Imagine a world of abundance. Imagine having the freedom to both support urban growing in a sustainable manner and also co-funding and co-creating innovative business models. Imagine then being able to earn money and rewards as new agriculture businesses emerge while collectively changing the food system for the better by being on the Harvester platform and investing your time or money in new innovations.
Harvester is a taking a triple-bottomline approach, a concept familiar to many, but nonetheless one which must be highlighted in order to digitalize urban growing and create a crowd sharing app.
The 3 P’s and Unleashing Urban Growing Potential
Urban Growing follows the rule of 3 P’s:
- ) It can be healthier for people
- ) It can be healthier for the planet
- ) It can make a profit
People identify with the spaces in which they live. Much of the things we see people do around us and what we are surrounded by shapes the way we behave and think. In seeking identity in an environment, often times people tend to the community around them. In fact, the healthiest neighborhoods are proven to be ones with the healthiest sense of community. Additionally, most of the world is focused on how “we shape our tools”, including how to make and use the vast cornucopia of tools across all facets of life, business, government, society, etc. Meanwhile, our behaviors, attitudes, society and culture are unconsciously shaped by the tools/technologies we use. Digital technology represents an overabundance of rapidly shaping and changing tools. Now, even tools are shaping other tools. Urban growing both enhances and encourages community, while also allowing people to identify with and imagine a new physical space around them within an urban ecosystem. As well, it provides them with new technological tools for growth. It is both refreshing and an act of tending to the land with which it is our civic responsibility to care for.
By 2030, two-thirds of all people living on planet earth will live in cities. We live in a world where we have to produce more crops with a limited availability of space and resources. We have to do more with less and at the end of the day the only way we can do this is with technology. “Much like the banking industry, the public infrastructure and city-planning projects and initiatives that would help to spur innovative new products and best-practices, ones that would improve conditions for the average consumer, are stagnant.” Sustainability needs to be at the forefront of anyone’s mind when planning to develop a city and especially in creating an agricultural system within and around one. At Harvester we think the public good of changing the food supply chain will be in service generating returns for years to come. When approaching a potential project of this scale, its important to remember that humans interacting with a system like agricultural infrastructure in the context of cities will never be flawless, however, we can at least begin to address pain points for consumers and businesses, common problems, and areas of interest, and then start to implement ecosystem-wide improvements via sustainable solutions.
- Micro (internal) environment — small forces within the company that affect its ability to serve its customers.
- Macro (external) environment — larger societal forces that affect the microenvironment
We at Harvester are not just introducing an application, we are introducing a philosophy of a nature and life in a technological world. We like to think that the basic architecture of system sharing can create network effects that will increase the value of our platform exponentially. The technological environment is perhaps the fastest changing factor in the macro-environment. Our revenue model will come from combining physical and digital assets. To do this, we will include environmental scanning into the sharing of information within our platform. Environmental scanning is one of the essential components of the global environmental analysis. Environmental monitoring, environmental forecasting and environmental assessmentcomplete the global environmental analysis. The global environment refers to the macro environment which comprises industries, markets, companies, clients and competitors. Consequently, there exist corresponding analyses on the micro-level. Suppliers, customers and competitors representing the micro environment of a company are analyzed within the industry analysis. Their are many forces within agriculture companies that affect their ability to serve customers.
Tying It All Together
You might be thinking, “Ok, this all makes sense, but how does this relate to co-incentives and tokenizing public agricultural infrastructure at Harvester?”
Let’s dive into network effects. Allow me to also clarify that by infrastructure I am referring to any ‘plant’ that can be grown for public use or publicly for private use. Additionally, infrastructure related to agriculture can take form of the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, water, light, power supplies, or electricity) needed for the operation of a sustainable society or agricultural enterprise.
Uber, PayPal, Twitter, Salesforce, PayPal. These are some of the most impactful and significant companies in the world. Each one is rather different in a many ways, but there’s a single correlation between each one that defines them all and lies behind their success. That property is network effects.
NFX Guild (a seed and series A venture firm that is a transforming how true innovators are funded) goes into detail by stating, “As we’ve said, nfx are the #1 way to create defensibility in the digital world. Companies with the strongest types of nfx built into their core business model tend to win, and win big. Our three-year study, which we released recently, shows that nfx are responsible for 70% of the value created by tech companies since the Internet became a thing in 1994. Even though they are only a minority of companies, companies with nfx end up creating the lion’s share of the value.” Watch the following video to get an overview of nfx.
Again. How does this relate to Harvester, you might ask? Let me just give you a few examples regarding how people, the planet, and profitable marketplaces will add network effects to Harvester:
- ) From the perspective of a regular person (app user).
In light of our sticking to the rule of 3 P’s, Harvester will be a platform that will allow users to create personal and personal utility networks. The way we envision this taking form is via profiles in which people involved in the space can share their knowledge, experience, and content.
Personal Networks involve personal identity and reputation, connecting the persona of each user with other user personas. Each additional node represents both an additional potential audience member as well as an additional content producer for all the other nodes.
We want to do this because agriculture is the least digitized industry and we hope to enhance a network of professionals that already exists offline. The Personal Network Effect arises from the interpersonal, tribal impulse to build connections with others. It’s this impulse that compels people to join and stick with a network (e.g. a Facebook group, LinkedIn, or a school) because their friends/co-workers/neighbors are also part of that network. A user’s “social graph” in a personal network are usually closely mapped to their in-the-flesh relationships. Opening data related to real-life physical meetings and actions is the first stage in generating network effects for growing agriculture. This can change the food supply system directly by incentivizing people to take action via going to businesses that positively impact the environment, by having meetings at restaurants that promote local sourcing, in turn helping these businesses succeed, and indirectly by changing food quality standards through incentivizing crowd behavior, creating more transparency and visibility, and also by putting the power of data sharing, such as one’s location when purchasing locally produced food, back into the hands of the individual. One individual sharing their location at an ethical restaurant could theninform their friends where such food can be found.
In the diagram above, the nodes are represented by the chat bubbles of people (nodes) connected by personal utility services (links). The nodes of a personal utility network are tied to the real-life identity of the people using it, and the network is especially dense because it has many local sub-groupings. This brings Reed’s Law into effect, so the value of Personal Utility Networks could increase at a rate of up to 2N.
Personal Utility Networks are typically used for things that need to get done.There is a substantial amount of practical utility to the user. People use Personal Utility Networks to communicate and interact with their own personal networks, so not being online or being part of the network has a steep downside. Second, Personal Utility Networks are typically more for private communication, rather than public communication. Personal Networks are less vital. Opting out would become a significant impediment in daily life and could greatly harm people’s important personal or work relationships. Personal utility related to urban growing supply chains can include purchasing goods, agriculture job search & postings, opting in to rewards clubs, or using reward payment methods, research & development, agreeing to share purchase data for rewards or special offers in the future, joining interest group discussions, booking food related meet-ups or events, sharing food, tracking food deliveries, booking tables at restaurants, opting in to receive a weekly supply of farm goods, writing food reviews, etc. By making a personal utility network, which will additionally provide SaaS workflows, Harvester allows for communication between users at zero-marginal-cost, meaning that it will cost them almost nothing to distribute information to additional recipients.
To Be Continued
As shown in the video above, the first stage in growing network effects for the agriculture industry will involve physical actions and the second will take the form of protocols. As mentioned in my last article, “Opening the Value of Agricultural Data” the first protocol will be relevant to putting the individual back at the center of their personal data related ecosystem. This data can include behavioral data like content or app engagement data, data related to urban growing from sensors or drones etc., financial history data, and demographic data like age, location, etc. This will allow individuals the ability to share information without putting their identity at risk and to provide new mechanisms for reliable data sharing in ways similar to what they are currently doing for replication and reliability, but with very different reason behind. It can be as simple as opting in or out and then being rewarded for your contribution. Protocols can also include verifying location for different functions occurring on the Harvester platform, a protocol which rewards users for contributions, a protocol which rewards sponsors of advertisements, a protocol for establishing information relevance in search, and a protocol for value exchange. Analyzing and testing the value add of multiple blockchain protocols can then inform us how to best tokenize our platform. All of these ideas will be explored further internally at Harvester.
We will next get into how Harvester is a two sided online network for members of the urban agriculture community. Organized by user profiles, Harvester will allow business and individuals the ability to connect and collaborate on different functions within the supply chain. We have covered how People (individuals) on the one side will create network effects. In the next article we will dive into how businesses will make up the other side of our platform, and also how the creation of tokenized assets for cities, countries, has many benefits with businesses in this context as a key players in changing out Planet.