Island Economics KickStarter Campaign

About this project

1000 people are abandoned on an island with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. They are told to survive and grow their civilization as best they can. They are then left to fend for themselves.

What will happen to these people? How will their society evolve?

Let's start by putting some ground rules in place. These people are smart, tough, kind, compassionate, loyal, honest, and trustworthy individuals. The best of the human race. This is not a Lord of the Flies scenario. These people know that the best way to survive is to cooperate and work hard. They know that in order to thrive, they need to trust and help one another.

When they first arrive, immediate survival is the only thing that matters. Their top 5 priorities are:

1) Water; 2) Food; 4) Shelter; 5) Clothing.

(I know. I only listed 4 out of the top 5 priorities. There's a 3rd priority just before shelter which most people forget about, but is incredibly important.)

And immediately we stumble upon our first lesson in economics. In the beginning, as they are struggling for survival, things are either priceless or they are worthless. Anything that helps with immediate survival is priceless. Anything that does not is worthless. A knife, a gun, matches, tinder, a jug to carry water... these are all priceless because they are so incredibly useful for survival. A laptop, a cell phone, gold, silver, even a light bulb... these are all useless.

We see that at first things are either priceless or they are useless. And then, over time, this shifts. As a good source of water and food is established, as houses are built, things that used to be priceless come down in value. Things should come down in value. Things should become cheaper over time. Deflation should be the norm. Why then, do we have inflation and why do things seem to rise in value? Because there is one thing that does increase in value.

In the beginning, survival gear is priceless.

As we model their story and watch their society evolve, we gain valuable insights into how economies work. We learn to understand the purpose of economics and why economies work the way they do. From this understanding, we can derive useful lessons that make us better investors.

And that, my friends, is the entire purpose of the book. To gain a better understanding of economics in order to become better investors and grow our wealth. After all, why else would we study economics?

I'm launching this on KickStarter for several reasons, the most important of which is to gauge interest. I find the concept surrounding this book to be fascinating and it seems like a very interesting way to learn about economics from first principles. I want to know if others agree. Is there sufficient interest out there to justify publishing the book?

Which brings me to the second reason for this campaign: Feedback. I'm very interested in hearing others' comments and learning from them. (Actually, this is one of the economic lessons we'll be exploring... the traits of successful people/groups/companies/countries.) I've already learned a few things just from the initial feedback I've received.

Finally, the third reason is pre-sales. This seemed like a good way to generate interest and pre-sell the book. Throughout the process, I'll be detailing my progress and describing the publishing experience. Hopefully, sharing that will add value to the larger community and any hopeful writers out there.

Risks and challenges

Procrastination! That's the primary risk. Will I be disciplined enough to sit down and hammer out paragraphs and pages every day? Or will I decide that today is the perfect day for skiing or cleaning out the garage?

I hate cleaning out the garage and I expect that skiing conditions this year will be very poor, so there's a very good chance that I'll sit down and write.

I expect to finish the clean draft by March 31, 2017, and should have the book ready to publish and send out by June 30, 2017.

Posted on Jan 04, 17 | 8:20 am