To be clear, the idea of ReCapturit as a ship is merely metaphor. ReCapturit is an online marketplace built to enable sales of recaptured building materials and thus amplify the flow of recaptured building materials into new building construction and other creative uses, rescuing those materials from their otherwise imminent demise in the dump.
This is the first of many volumes, the semi-regular discussions of doings within our company, ReCapturit.
Because this is the first, I will describe the function of our online marketplace using another metaphor: Imagine a popular Farmers Market in any city or town. There are three key parts of such a market: the farmers, the townspeople who come to purchase the farmers’ goods, and the location and setup of the market itself.
The townspeople want what the farmers grow and produce. The farmers want to sell directly to the townspeople. Yet, there are few people who will take a full day to go to a dozen different farms to buy corn at one, honey and tomatoes at another, canned goods and pickles at another, lettuce and cucumbers at another, apples at another, and so forth. It’s not practical. It’s not efficient. It doesn’t happen.
So, in town, someone decides to create a place where the farmers can come and sell their wares, and the townspeople can come to that one place to see and buy those wares. These markets often have tents and tables set up in an orderly fashion. They have parking available and the organizers have dealt with local officials to get permits and road closures and make sure things are safe and legal and legitimate. They often bring in vendors of hot food, ice cream and even music or entertainment for kids.
Plus, the organizers "market the market!” They advertise it. They post announcements – on phone poles and social media. They get the word out.
By now, you are getting a clear picture of the comparison. ReCapturit serves in the online world as the organizers of the Farmers Market do in the real world. We are neither the farmers nor the towns people. We are neither the Buyers nor the Sellers. We organize the place and the means to do commerce, in our case, online.
Our Sellers will be those who sell salvage - salvaged building materials. Our Buyers will be anyone who wants to use recaptured building materials in new construction and other creative uses.
The Good Ship ReCapturit began as the output of a career change-of-course: mine. I came to a point in my career when I said to myself, "Self, it's time to figure out what you're going to do when you grow up!" I was 57. I had a degree in Architecture and had started seven different businesses. Those had mostly been opportunistic. Now it was time to build one from scratch that meant more and did something good for the world.
The Japanese have a term, ikigai, which essentially means the best use of your life - your Purpose. I had taught this principle in job hunt and career coaching. I decided I would enter my own course and be my own best student.
Ikigai embodies four elements: your best strengths, your deepest passions, high marketability (what the world market will pay you to do what you do), and highest benefit for the world. Yes, it must do great things for the greater good. I like to sing and am about a 7-1/2 on a scale of 1-10. Singing would not be the best choice for my contribution to myself nor to the world. You can thank me now.
Happily, when you do the work to distill out these very personal and unique factors, you have a dense and powerful distillate of your best self. Because of its last factor, good for the world, it is wonderfully attractive to a wide audience, and for good reason.
I developed five different business ideas from my ikigai process, investigated each thoroughly, and out of that, the idea for ReCapturit grew fast and far beyond the others.
We now have a team of seven in the company with numerous partner businesses in the U.S. and elsewhere. We are starting in the U.S. and will move beyond as we can. We have received amazing and enthusiastic response from people all over the world – thank you all!
It’s time for the Good Ship to get out of dry dock!
We encountered a tempestuous storm recently that prevented us from getting that done: the outcome of the June 21, 2018 United States Supreme Court decision, South Dakota v. Wayfair – the 5-4 decision which opened the door for states to charge Sales and Use tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers.
There are as many as 14,000 separate taxing jurisdictions across the U.S. of A. and it’s safe to say that all of those are aware that things have changed.
If that weren’t enough to rock the boat, well, there are different laws in different states, some laws which many but not all states have adopted, another law which shifts responsibility to marketplaces in some states, and tax rates that change frequently. Then, there’s this thing called nexus, a threshold of dollar value or number of transactions that a business must monitor in 46 states, or 47, minus the ones in that multi-state program...!
Feeling seasick yet? Yeah, me too.
Our web developers will have plenty to do to make this ship ready to navigate the inlets and channels and rocky shores of sales taxation.
We will weather that storm as we have all others. We’ll get our ship together and test its seaworthiness. The champagne bottle will crash on its proverbial bow soon.
For those of you who have been watching our progress, thank you for your patience! We will keep you posted here, so watch for our sails on your horizon!