American life has been saturated with the old models of commerce, which are built on competition. Through competition, we are driven to innovate and be creative to be better, faster, stronger, or more efficient at providing the results of our labors… our products, services, and ideas. The provider, always trying to maximize profit, is at odds with the consumer, who is trying to maximize value at the lowest cost. Standard economic models show this on an x/y axis with a mathematical equilibrium where demand and supply meet to establish price. However, in order for this model to maintain its efficiency, two impossible feats must be accomplished: perfect information, and perfect competition.
Perfect information means that all players in this game know the same information, that competing providers and competing consumers all know what is available, and what each other can do to compete. For this to be true, all options would be on the table and anyone could potentially choose any of them in their own self interest. The truth of our society is that our perspectives are limited, and it is a deliberate lack of transparency that often gives one player a competitive edge. At the extreme, some even resort to misinformation, to taint the pool of information and either change the facts to suit their aims, or bring all known facts into question.
The second impossible feat is perfect competition, meaning that there are many competing suppliers with essentially the same product who need to compete on incremental shifts in price and quality to capture a slice of the market. I would also propose that this means that consumers are also similarly equipped with comparable incomes and means to acquire the available goods. Again, this does not resemble the world I see. Economic disparity is a repeating cycle in our culture, most recently in the news through the Occupy movement(s). And not all societies enjoy the same access to information, transportation, and economic opportunities. So we find ourselves in a tumultuous world of fast paced changes where the opportunities for growth are often cunningly crafted rather than cultivated.
I propose another possibility, a new economy. What if “growth” itself had an advocate? What if there was a third entity in the equation not motivated by supply or demand, but by the expansion of the entire system? This third mover would attempt to increase the value to consumers while increasing the profits to suppliers, moving the point of equilibrium, attempting to adjust for the many imperfections in the system. This “growth partner” would move to increase transparency while clarifying the differences between competing products. Eventually, the new “edge” would come from the suppliers ability to engage the consumer in the process of innovation, creating a sense of shared ownership in the growth of the entire system, giving each stakeholder a part to play in the evolution of the market.
This is the space that Trisym Growth Partners is here to fill. Trisym is short for Trinity Symbiotic: trinity for the three members of this economic system, and symbiotic for the recognition of our ability to thrive together. The world may be changing around us, but the desire to thrive is at the core of life itself. Together, we can build a better way, sharing the best of ourselves now, while looking forward to the new opportunities we are actively creating together.