Twitter / Balaji Sowmyanarayan

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Intent Gratification; Pay attention to your Attention

Idea: Intent as Commodity
Execution: ROOTS Exchange
Profit!: A whole new evolution awaits!

This week something game changing and interesting happened and as expected went unnoticed! I'm talking about Chicago Board of Trade's small investment of $1 million in ROOT exchange a marketplace for 'Internet generated consumer leads'.

What is (Chicago)Commodities Market?

When people need things and they go buy it in the neighbourhood shop. And where did the shop buy it from? A: The shop got it from the distributor who in turn buys form the manufacturers who in turn buys form a series of vendors; Creating a chain of supply and demand in the process. A commodity market injects liquidity( read money; equals gratification) into this chain so that the players in the chain need not wait forever to be gratified. More the scope( geographic, political boundary) of the market, more sophisticated and complicated the market becomes. Chicago Board of Trade is one of the most sophisticated and highly influential commodity market breathing the pulse of the global economy. The world oil prices and prices of key supplies are determined by the sentiments of the Chicago Exchange traders. Thus prices of things in your neighbourhood shop is tightly coupled to action in the Chicago Exchange trading floor. Chicago Board of Trade, founded in 1848 predates the American Civil War and a pioneer in 'Futures' contract(In simple terms it is glorified, regulated, information based speculation bordering scientific gambling.) Such an entity is investing in ROOTS markets( not just money, more importantly CB T's CEO Bernard W. Dan is joining the board of ROOTS, spearheaded by Seth Goldstien. Which brings up the question: What is ROOTS? and Why should I bother?

Intent as Commodity

The most innovative aspect of ROOTS is they are trying to make 'Intent' a commodity. Without going into the merits of it or morality of it, the idea is refreshing and daring. How they are approaching it is interesting and seems very viable.

With our the increased dependence on the Internet, we validate, amplify and gratify our intent online. Several online services facilitate, intermediate our trips through the intent origination to intent gratification process. ROOTS approach is to simply capture the intent gratification 'history' or Karma. Then it is a question of standardization to make it into a commodity. Once characterized as commodity, it can be integrated with the financial(or whatever) markets.

The first Intent commodity is going to be 'online mortgage leads' which is simply brilliant considering the almost zero resistance in the path.
By combining the direct response capabilities of the Internet with the transparency and integrity of a commodities exchange, ROOT Exchange has transformed the lead generation marketplace. Buyers can now create quality filters and receive real-time quotes while Sellers can set ask prices and increase their sales pool instantly.

But why should I care?

Just like currency system facilitated easy exchange of things( that inspired a planet full of awesome man made things) the new Intent currency will create unimaginable ways to interact with each other with our Intents.

It is said that Water is the cohesion that binds this universe. Money, being a reflection of liquid(ity), indeed is a binder that holds 'The Market'. ROOTS intent to increase liquidity of Intent, is more like adding life on to the Water: A whole evolution is hatching!

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