Today marks the start of full Trust Anchor vouching on Connect.Me. This means Connect.Me users who have become Trust Anchors will have a lifetime allotment of 150 special vouches they can give to others as a special signal of trust — specifically, how much they trust another person to abide by the principles of the Respect Trust Framework to help build a global trust network.
To help explain what a Trust Anchor vouch really means, Connect.Me is inviting the first Trust Anchors (667 at this count) to do a Ten for Trust post: a list of the first ten (or more) people that we are giving a Trust Anchor vouch to, and why.
Here’s mine (yes, it’s 11 – I can’t count). One note: I’m disqualifying family (I’m saving my wife’s thank-you for the Oscars — I just hope I can be as eloquent as Meryl Streep thanking her husband) and also my Connect.Me co-founders Joe Johnston and Marc Coluccio.
Steve Wilmart. This is the guy I credit for my mental model of a Trust Anchor: a human being that I would simply trust to do the right thing anytime anywhere anyhow. Steve was the very first employee at my previous company, and worked steadfastly through thick and thin, up and down, never wavering from doing the right thing and best thing for the team — and for the customer.
Bill Griffin. My closest childhood and lifelong friend. I see at most annually because he lives in Jakarta. But every time we reunite it is as if we’d just left off the last conversation. Bonds like that take a lifetime to form and are stronger than steel. I would trust Bill with my life.
Bob Martin. Bob and I became good friends in Alaska, and given that he still lives there, I haven’t seen him in a decade. But he is a frequent visitor to my email inbox, and it always makes me smile (he has a broad but very discriminating sense of humor). Bob treats everyone he knows with fairness and generosity, and I would do any favor he asks at the drop of a hat.
Kaliya. Identitywoman. Say no more. As her friends like to say, Kaliya is a force of nature, and by that I mean specifically Mother Nature, i.e., she will only do what’s good for this world. She will brook no other option. When I co-founded Connect.Me and Respect Network, she was the #1 person I had to convince that you could actually do good in the world and make money at the same time.
Scott David. When we had the idea for the Respect Trust Framework, Scott was the reason we believed it could become legal reality. He sees the law not as constraint but as sculpture. When he hosted an XDI retreat on his own dime in his own condo with a group of techies he barely knew, I knew he was “all in” when it came to what it would take to build a real global trust network.
Doc Searls. The concept of VRM exists in the world the way it does because of Doc. And it will stay true to that vision because of him (his book The Intention Economy comes out this spring). It’s not just his thinking, it’s his personal insistence on meaning, independence, and authenticity not just in commerce but in life. (As another testament, Doc didn’t “level up” to trust anchor until I pointed out to him that he’d vouched for 3 people and been vouched for by 82.)
Phil Windley. As co-founder of Internet Identity Workshop, author of Digital Identity and The Live Web, and developer of his own rules language, Phil has educated me more than anyone about the power of reputation systems done right. But it is his tremendous personal character and warmth that will win anyone over. He’d bike 100 miles for you — and then serve you toast with warm honey from his own bees.
Steve Fulling. Phil’s partner-in-crime could never be a criminal. He simply wouldn’t know what to do. He runs a right ship with right folks who will figure out how to do the right thing. If he says he’s going to do something, you can trust he’ll do it. Period.
Craig Burton. I don’t know anyone who has undergone more adversity in his life yet stayed true to his vision of building the network humanity really needs. Craig is lighter fluid for imagination; a piledriver for innovation; and a bulldozer for timidity. And he has a heart as big as the Utah mountains.
William Heath. William’s in London so I get to see him only rarely, but each time is a treat. His blog, Ideal Government, says it all — he really believes in the ideals that governments, civil servants, citizens, and businesses should all aspire too. His deep belief in digital rights led him to join Iain Henderson, Alan Mitchell, and David Alexander in fashioning Mydex based on the Community Interest Corporation model. Nobody has the community interest more in mind than William.
Iain Henderson. Iain has had the VRM bug in his blood since he realized that CRM would forever be broken if it didn’t truly connect to the customer. That was 12 years ago, and he has never looked back. He won’t compromise on the principle that the customer comes first – he wants to give The Customer’s Voice. And he won’t stop until they have it.
P.S. More to come – once you start dwelling on who you have built trust with and why, it starts to snowball. So I’ll be doing several more rounds of Ten for Trust.