Trust as Currency

Trust as Currency

I had an interesting email conversation with Steven Smith of HD BizBlog regarding the nature of trust in today’s business world, after he pointed me to guest article on Slacker Manager he’d written. His premise is that trust is the “new currency” of business, which immediately triggered the following comment from me (I apologize for the poor grammar, and I’ve inserted a missing fragment):

Interesting post! A side comment: Trust has always been the currency of the world…it’s what underlies actual money, and it’s what allows [society to function]. Organizationally speaking, I think the various types of corporate structures have minted their own bank notes for trust: in the hierarchy, the implicit promise is that if you do your job, you will be rewarded and taken care of. This has broken down as people realize that the companies themselves do not have the same loyalty to them as they expect from their employees. And thus, that particular type of trust has become devalued within the organization itself and becomes worthless.

Stephen has posted the entire thread, including his thoughts and my other feedback, over in his blog post The Importance of Trust in the Web 2.0 Economy, and would like to get a conversation going on the topic. It’s not every day that I get to bring up Richard M. Nixon in an email conversation! So check it out and give him some love :-)


  1. Christian 17 years ago

    Haha – not strictly on topic but I just posted something slightly funny/quirky on trust.

  2. Jon 17 years ago

    Dave, I hear you loud and clear on this point! very, very true. Corporate organisations can quickly lose trust if they do not treat people in an authentic and personal manner.

  3. JEFF 17 years ago

    You might also enjoy the book: “The Speed Trust” by M.R. Covey very on message with what you are talking about.

  4. Stephen 17 years ago

    The more I think about this, the more I think that trust itself is becoming the currency. Sort of like the idea of “reputation servers” in Bruce Sterling’s “Distraction” and how a person’s actions had a direct influence on community standing and an impact on their actual role/job.
    How do I keep finding these topics that get bigger and bigger?

  5. Dov Seidman 17 years ago

    David and all, this is an important, emerging awareness about our changing culture. I’ve joined the discussion over on Stephen’s blog and posted some additional thoughts of my own at I hope this conversation continues…

  6. Robert Gibbs 14 years ago

    Trust and currency, though linked throughout history can now be dissociated by the use of technology through a distillation process whereby they are no longer necessarily seen in tandom. This is why such large corporations can exist with enormous amounts of money, and with such little social trust.