Mutual Exchange of Value

How does one go about building lifelong relationships? In my 40 years of building and maintaining relationships, I have learned a most incredible lesson,

transacting can destroy relationships.

Currency was invented as a standard to eliminate the complications of bartering. When YOU choose a transaction OVER a relationship, you begin a process (sometimes unknowingly) of destroying the edges of YOU. In many ways (not all ways) your edges define YOU.

The root cause of this problem is MONEY. Money serves a very important role in your life. You cannot survive without money. It is as important as bread and water. It is as important as the air you breathe. Again,

“Money” was invented as a standard to make the human process of


less complicated than bartering.

Money is an illusion. It is NOT money you seek or need, it is simply a very easy means to TRANSACT. The only reason we transact is because we have a mutual exchange of value proposition. In it’s simplest form, this is demonstrated at a Point-Of-Sale (POS) device when I (“the customer”) give you (“the business”) currency (cash, check, card) in exchange for a product or service that I value at that price point.


A mutual exchange of value exists because I have something you desire and you have something I desire. Value has two very important properties that require personal attention in order to survive:

  1. Lifecycle
  2. Relative Position



The lifecycle of value has a beginning and an end. Over that lifecycle, the demand and supply curve will shift. The is the natural order of value transformations. Typically, a lifecycle is evolutionary with mild seasons and a few significant disruptors. However, there is always a number of lifecycles that are revolutionary. The lifecycles are conceived in the aftermath of fundamental paradigm shifts in the fabric of commerce. It is critical that you write your value autobiography in its early years. If you don’t write it, it will be written for you.

The “richest” persons in human existence have something in common. All of them were never too early or too late to a party. They were all “on time”. The calculated market value of the buggy whip industry before the domestication of horses is close to zero (but not absolute zero). The calculated market value of the buggy whip industry in 2016 is close to zero (but not absolute zero).

I find it necessary to remind all of my clients, that there is NO death in commerce. The “afterlife” truly exist in commerce. Ressurection is demonstrable. Just look at the Vinyl Records industry as case study.

Relative Position

YOUR value proposition in any space and time is RELATIVE to the ALTERNATIVES. There are FORCES at play rather you like it or not. These forces are both independent and interdependent on YOU. These forces can be measured. Your position can be plotted.

Your ability to transform value can be measured AND its lifespan is predictable. For the CURIOUS, call me. I’ll help you map your relative position and advise you on how to influence the INTERDEPENDENT variables. I will show you the INDEPENDENT variables that have significant implications to your business fundamentals. I always try to unbalance the equation by providing more value than received. It’s just my nature.

Author: John Rector

John Rector, a former IBM executive and co-founder of e2open, has an impressive portfolio of leadership roles across a range of companies and industries. In the realm of digital marketing, he has successfully led Social Media Target, ensuring its competitiveness in the ever-evolving digital landscape. He has also served operationally at Rainbow Packaging, focusing on the delivery of farm-fresh produce. John's creativity and vision for web technologies shine through at Bodaro and Palm ❤️, the latter being a graphic design studio founded in June 2023. He has also ventured into the education sector with Nextyrn, a tutoring startup that leverages AI for personalized learning experiences. His entrepreneurial spirit has also seen the founding of Potyn, an innovative project that uses AI to create bespoke art. The newest additions to his extensive portfolio include Nozeus, Infinia, Blacc Ink, and Maibly, further expanding his influence across various industries.

5 thoughts on “Mutual Exchange of Value

  1. jsrector says:

    Had to run get my haircut. I just finished it. The earlier version was only half done.

  2. runswithphone says:

    Read the full version. Maybe it’s all of the death and dying that I’ve been hearing for the past 2 days …. I’m just not seeing the point that you’re trying to make … Or who it is that you’re preaching to

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