Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Killer App : Why it can't apply to Bitcoin

Too much ink is wasted trying to convince average Joe from using Bitcoin. I stopped trying to convince my friends.

"Average Joe likes Mobile Killer App, so that's how we should appeal him to use Bitcoin"

A clever propaganda to make developers waste their time for free on consumer products that would never take off but sold through the middle man.

The problem is that to appreciate Bitcoin, you need new eyes, you have to erase deep and false beliefs you held from school's days, you need to understand how the money system works, you need to understand the technology to see what kind of new opportunities it opens.
Having new eyes takes education, time and sincere curiosity, which, by definition average Joe has not. Average Joe prefers playing angry bird, taking selfies on facebook, and having a safe 40h/week job.

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it. Ellen Goodman

I suspect that it will always stay like that for a long time, I don't believe in global enlightenment.
So, if we can't convince average Joe for using Bitcoin, how can it succeed ?

The first thing is that when someone deeply cares about why Bitcoin is catching up, he starts a journey to educate himself. Satoshi, through Bitcoin, educated way more people about money than any university could do. However, I think that such natural curiosity does not exist for the Average Joe.

The second point is that there is a deep entrenched rule in human behavior, and also in Average Joe : Everyone wants to maximize their profit if it is not at the cost of others.
Money is like water, it flows where there is the least resistance. That is, where the gain are the highest. Competition lower the resistance by lowering prices.

Entrepreneurs that first saw the least resistance path, are building a road that more and more people will notice and take for purely economic gain.
As time pass, more people notice, the path becomes more and more entrenched, until even Average Joe see it.
Thanks to the Network Effect, every individual going into the Bitcoin path, increase the value of Bitcoin for everybody.

No amount of propaganda can stop this movement. When someone see profit to be done, he does not become easily fooled.

The only thing that banks and gov can do to slow down Bitcoin, is making the life of entrepreneur harder, by licensing activities, and making it hard to open a bank account. (which they are doing right now)

Bitcoin is a programmable money that attract unlimited opportunities for entrepreneur, and thus competition that will lower the cost in lots of traditional industries.
The first that will get the profit is the entrepreneur, as the price of services goes down, this will bubble up to Average Joe that will not ignore anymore.

Bitcoin is a revolution, not an evolution. It is a change of paradigm that requires education, and profit is the carrot for education. This carrot will eventually come to Joe. No need wasting time convincing him. Better spending time creating services that make it economically profitable to use Bitcoin.