Francis Rozange: My profession of Faith
Hello, my name is Francis Rozange. I am the soul of lafactory.com.
As you know, our marketplace is intended for artists and craftsmen, particularly those who know nothing about Internet, these millions of people around the world who produce unmatched masterpieces. If necessary, we will put their work online for them without fee-based or paid subscription. Even a few cents represent a fortune for most of the inhabitants of this planet.
This ambitious, deeply human and ethical project is born from the combination of several factors. In 2013, when I visited Thailand with my wife, pregnant with our first child (Jasper, the most adorable of all children on Earth) I realized that almost I realized that nothing of their huge production was available online. It was a real surprise: as good western customer from Amazon, I naively thought that pretty much the whole almost was available online, but nothing is further from the truth. I then imported a few things, for a fairly small amount, less than a thousand euros, through a Thai freight forwarder who theoretically took care of everything. The reality was a nightmare, with a fee of two thousand euros.
This sad situation is valid everywhere. You will find online or in the shop of a large city Moroccan tea service, but certainly not a camel bone dagger made by a craftsman lost in the middle of a desert. As for asking them if they have a website? No one would dare, for fear of being mocked and totally misunderstood.
The second factor is much more terrifying, it is a statistic: an American study estimates that 40% of jobs will have disappeared in thirty years, at all levels of society: if the workers were the first to be affected by robotization, physicians and lawyers will not be spared by advances in artificial intelligence, which has already divided by fifty the number of traders in large companies. This frightening evolution requires us to find upstream solutions for our children. We already destroyed the planet. We move indeed towards a class of super-rich people- already 1% of the population owns 82% of the wealth - and a class of super-poor people. Between them? nothing, almost total disappearance of the middle and upper classes.
How to avoid this shameful destiny? Back to basics, encouraging what the human being has of unique: his creativity. In the 19th century, a work of art or a piece of furniture was ordered from a local merchant, not from a distant factory. We can, to some extent, find this paradise lost thanks to the Internet. By offering on-line, across the world, a production as rare as local, we encourage craftsmanship. They will need more apprentices, pass on ancestral knowledge, create jobs where robots can never replace them. You will find everywhere on the Internet falsely handcrafted articles or even worse, under more than dubious conditions. You may already have ordered from an "artisan" an article actually made in Pakistan or China, sometimes even by children, and almost always in atrocious conditions. We will ensure that can’t happen on lafactory.com. I owe it to my children, and yours.
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