transparency – Stay N Alive

Open Source – Do You Share Your Experiences for This Life or the Next?

01-1.jpgThis is a picture of my Great-Grandfather, Joseph Stay. With a son named after him, I’ve spent some time reading about him and learning about the experiences of his life that I can pass down to my son. One of my favorite things to do in my spare time (when I get any) is to read about the lives of my ancestors. My faith teaches about life both before and after this life, and as such, it’s important for me to know who came before me and how I came to be. Besides that, it’s just plain fun.

Some of my ancestors were very good at tracking their lives and what they did. Some of them kept journals and records, so that their progenitors could learn about them after they passed away. I have a journal like this, as do my parents and grandparents. These journals show a glimpse into our successes, trials, and failures, and what we did to overcome them in hopes that our children and those that come after us can learn from our own mistakes and make their lives better.

This concept is great, except it only applies to those after this life – only they can learn from us because we often keep these details secret. What if we could share the skills we have, let others try them out, play with them, learn from them, just as we’re able to do with the experience we’ve learned from our ancestors, but in this life?

This is the reason I like the concept of “Open Source”, which started with Software, but really, could be applied in all expertise. The concept of “Open Source” is all about sharing the experiences we have in this life and allowing others, still in this life to try those experiences out, apply their own experience, and continue to share with others. It’s just what our ancestors did for us, but applied to this life.

What if we all, in everything we did, shared what we did with those in this life, instead of planning for the next, so that we could start that legacy of learning right here and right now. What if we as a society were working together instead of just us and those that follow us after this life? Why do we have to wait until we’re dead to let others learn about what we’ve done?

How Transparent is Your Business?

ATT0005216161616.pngThis image is a Gas Station from the times that my parents and grandparents grew up. You’ll notice that there are glass cylinders on top of each of the gas pumps giving a glimpse into what’s inside. Those aren’t lights, nor are they crazy bug zappers. They are a symbol of how honest that gas station is.

My Uncle explained to me his memories of these:

“First a valve would open to fill the glass cylinder (about 5 gallons). That proved they weren’t cheating you. Then another valve would open and the 5 gallons would flow down the hose into our tank. This would be repeated as needed.”

Nowadays, in a world of computers and binary calculations, it’s easy to just let the computer do the work for you. They’re pretty accurate, and hey – nobody shares their statistics any more. You don’t need to share that data. After all, you know you’re being honest. But do your customers know you’re being honest?

Some times it’s easier to keep our honesty secret and trust the computers. However, your customers will be happier if you follow these Gas Stations’ examples. Go transparent, open up the blinds, and be sure your customers have no doubt in their minds that you’re being honest. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we all felt pressure to expose our honesty, rather than hide it?