Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In This Little Auckland Cafe, You Pay What You Want To For A Cup Of Coffee...

The Expresso Coffee School on Auckland's Swanson Street is small, like a hole in the wall, and its owner Adrian Nicholas is educating his happy customers about the Gift Economy,
a novel way of paying for things.
The Gift Economy has been around for a while and doesn't work everywhere, many folk just can't get their heads around the simplicity of the concept and it's just too far out of left field.
But at Adrian's tiny little cafe, the concept is working well. A blackboard displays the Wikipedia explanation of the Gift Economy and  Adrian says his takings are about what they would if he was charging normal rates for his delicious brews.
Apart from offering courses throughout the year for people wishing to start a coffee business, Adrian's Expresso Coffee School Cafe is giving it's customers food for thought...
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  1. A friend in Italy ran his restaurant like this for years, gaining a kind of mischievous entertainment from watching the reactions of the customers who didn't know about the system until they went to pay ( the menu was fixed - just had lunch and that was it ). It was funny to see the reactions which ranged from delight, extreme generosity through to fury and embarrassment.

  2. I wonder if the same concept could function for my art work? I'm afraid it might not, because people generally don't seem to feel they need a silkscreen or whatever the same way we crave a cuppa coffee or a good meal. Still, I'd love to give it a try. Freedom from the tyranny of the fiat currency market could be very worthwhile. Not sure how to go about it though.

    1. I think the concept could work really well for pieces of art. It may well be a reality check but in the spirit in which art is conceived the market might very well purchase in this manner. It's worth trying Kevin, give it a go and let's know what happens...

  3. My daughter ran a yoga class like that. She figured she actually came out ahead. Her students loved it. Some weeks they were short of cash and paid nothing. Other weeks they caught up and often kicked in a bit more. No one kept score, everyone was happy.

  4. This is great - it brings soul into transactions.....

  5. Wall Mart and Wall Street would freek.

  6. & that Howard is another good reason for doing it.