Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Stories Drive The Economy

If screamed loudly enough, one word can change our thoughts about a room. Just scream “BOMB!” in an airport and see what happens. (Don’t.)

So if one word can instantly change the behavior of a crowd, imagine the power of a story. 

A story may have the power to change the world.

In fact, many stories already have.

Consider Bitcoin.

A virtual currency invented by a person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, that was once valued at over 300 billion dollars.

Bitcoin of course has no value, unless people think it does. So how did the Bitcoin go from zero dollars to 300 billion dollars?

Definitely not thanks to its underlying technology that allows it to exist. Whenever you ask a Bitcoin fan about ‘Merkle Roots,’ ‘UTXOs,’ and ‘CoinJoins’ you’re usually met with a blank stare.

If you press Bitcoin fans about why they support cryptocurrency, you’ll often get a political answer. “Bitcoin eliminates the need for banks and government interference. Now my business stays my business.”

Which is true. Bitcoin is a democratically and anonymously maintained currency.

Besides anarchists, Bitcoin also appeals to: tech geeks, wealthy world travelers, the voiceless, gamblers, and anyone who wants to be part of a tech driven future.

Thanks to the interest of these early adopters, the pragmatic mainstream also became excited in Bitcoin. 

Let’s be honest, if you hear word of a new, groundbreaking technology that was made by a mysterious genius the world has never seen, you can’t help but feel excited.

And so the electronic coin went from being worth nothing in 2009 to being valued at $13,860 a pop in 2017 through the power of stories.

Stories that aren’t necessarily true, but that do have a tremendous impact on our behavior.

Just like the bomb-threat in our fictitious airport. Or the very real American story of the Laffer Curve that says lowering taxes leads to higher revenue, but actually helps the rich get richer.

Stories drive the economy, and not always in your benefit.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach