They say that in business, the path to success can only be traveled alone. Do you believe this as well? Picture a visionary, pursuing an unreachable goal, often with no regard to common sense, alone against the world. We know dozens of stories of businessmen that managed to shape the world to their will. They inspire us, giving us hope and reinforcing our belief that by treading a lonely path we one day reach our shining goal. We choose to skim over the painful fact that behind every success story are hundreds upon thousands of devastating failures. The world loves a winner, losers are buried and forgotten under the weight of loneliness and defeat.
We are so familiar with the maxim “only the strongest survive” that we never really start to doubt it. We submit to the law of the concrete jungle, where building business is the privilege of the strong. And so we fight on, having only ourselves to rely on, praying to have enough strength to reach the top and not come crushing down. But are we right to put all our trust into the power of the individual? No, we are entirely wrong.
Here in the Nordic region we still remember how the Hanseatic League became the first undeniably successful economic community in the history of Europe. Under its policy, thousands of small trading guilds blossomed along the northern sea coast. This rapid progress only became possible with cooperation. In war-ridden Europe, a merchant could only be relatively safe behind the city walls. Outside he was on his own, thus becoming an easy target for outlaws. By coming together and forming a union, merchants became a force to be reckoned with and entered an age of prosperity that lasted for 400 years. Aren’t we similar to those entrepreneurs of the past? Businessmen that are good at what they do, but lack the power to conquer the force of the outside world. We are alike in our strive to do business and come out on top of existing conditions.
Thankfully, the Middle Ages are past and our business is no longer threatened by wandering bandits, but we have come across a new obstacle – advertising. This engine of trade, created to inform consumers of our products and services, has become the sticking point of every new undertaking. And much like a lonely merchant failing to protect his caravan against robbers, small businesses of today fall short trying to compete with large corporations and their million-dollar advertising budgets.
But today, we have a much superior tool for cooperation – the Internet. Millions of people from across the globe come together to finance ambitious projects that will change our common future. They meet on facebook, share advice on Quora and help strangers on Kickstarter. Crowdfunding, coworking, collaborative consumption, cloud sourcing, as well as many other forms of cooperation, change our prevailing view on information and open up new possibilities every single day. All we have to do is learn to use this to our benefit.
Unlike costly competitive strife, cooperation needs no extra investment. By helping each other we become stronger. Can this approach be used in promotion of goods and services? We believe that it not only can, but it must. Truly relevant goods and services need no million-dollar budget to find their rightful consumer. The world has changed and information can now scatter across continents in mere seconds through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media.
We are not talking about a union entirely based on production of analog goods and services. What we offer is mutually beneficial cooperation with thousands of businesses whose products are similar or complimentary to yours. Working together can open up fresh opportunities and attract new customers. Owners of a restaurant and a fitness club can easily find common ground, they don’t need complicated contracts where a firm handshake is enough.
This isn’t about getting a bargain. It’s about forming a community that will support you regardless of your income. A community that could have prevented a tragedy like the one that has befallen the Ecomom startup (http://pandodaily.com/2013/02/18/ecomoms-aggressive-discounting-culture-should-be-a-cautionary-tale-for-all-of-ecommerce/). At that time the concept of coupon-based websites seemed like a perfect way to attract sales and knock the competitors out of their saddles. Unfortunately, over-the-top discounts, subsidized sales and constant marketing stimulation led to a failure of an otherwise healthy business. A promising business model fell victim to excessive ambition. At coshared.com we believe in a different way.
If you own a business and have already built a community around your product, you are one step away from discovering the promotional power of social media. It’s a perfect tool that requires a special skill. At this point loners inevitably reach their limit. Naturally, when there is a wealthy budget, services like Facebook immediately offer various ways of promoting your business. But look at the world from another angle! – And you will see endless possibilities of growth that depend solely on the quality of your product.
The world is no longer hostile – there are a million hands out there, reaching out to help you stand tall. Have courage to reach out in return. The time has come to abandon the race of competition and take your business to a new level. We believe that cooperation can change existing business models and transform promotion!
Coshared.com is a simple solution for large scale self-promotion with no financial costs, based on a cooperation mechanism. Founded in Europe, Coshared is currently under development and is planned to launch by the end of summer 2013. The starting platform of new service is going to be the world’s largest social network – Facebook. Coshared first free accounts are available for subscription on coshared.com. The number of free accounts is limited.