Taylor Rowand is a fireball of energy spinning towards self-actualization. There’s nothing distinctive about the exterior of the modest ranch house he rents, aside from the Nissan 390Z in monochrome matte Batmobile finish in the driveway. But inside, the place could be a Manhattan penthouse: black contemporary furniture set against white walls, art that points to a singular infinity, inspirational posters, a book shelf filled with titles like The Go-Giver, The 360 Degree Leadership Workbook, The Motivation Manifesto, and Goals!, as well as a pull-up bar to keep his torso tight.
Taylor stopped watching TV two years ago. “It had a negative affect on my life.” Instead, he’s currently reading Virus of the Mind, about memes as the fundamental unit of understanding. The monthly calendar next to the front door marks his commitments. One whiteboard in the kitchen itemizes his gratitude for: friends who push me; family who support me; challenges in life; graduating from college without debt; and the abundant energy of the sun. The other proclaims, ‘Move to San Diego! Sell solar and Bitcoin! Become better at my strengths!’
Taylor is a sales representative for Vivint Solar, a company that offers homeowners reduced electricity bills at no cost in exchange for Vivint installing and maintaining solar panels on their roofs. The company uses a door-to-door sales model. Taylor’s very good at it. “My hit rate is 1 in 5. My retention rate is over 70% to installation. People have nothing to lose and everything to gain, but people are prone to fear of loss over achieving gain.”
Taylor grew up in South Jersey’s Pinelands and went to Valley Forge military high school. He decided the army was not for him, so went west and studied design and sustainability at Arizona State University. ASU proved a perfect place for Taylor to hone his individualistic, future-focused, confident approach to life. He returned to Jersey for family reasons that are now resolved, and is planning to take his Vivint skills to San Diego in a few months.
Taylor started trading in bitcoin a few years ago, and is fully committed to the digital currency’s success. “Buckminster Fuller said, ‘You can’t beat the current paradigm by fighting it. You can only beat it by making it obsolete.’ Money is the oil of civilization but the dollar doesn’t benefit people, it benefits corporations. We need to dissociate currency from the state. That’s what bitcoin does. It’s the Internet’s first scarce good: digital gold. Peer-to-peer money. I look at it as shorting the dollar. The reason it’s so powerful is because it is open source. It’s not the money of the Internet, it’s the Internet of money.”
Taylor initiated me into details of bitcoin: how the currency is being issued gradually; it’s eventual cap at 21 million units; how it’s secure and transferable. I cannot pretend to understand it all, but I’m fascinated by how money could be so decentralized. Bitcoin is a logical financial evolution of digital life.
Currency superseded direct barter as a means of transaction. Financialization transformed money into digital tallies of debt and credit that direct our lives beyond the simple task of buying and selling, usually to the betterment of financial institution rather than the individual. Bitcoin began as a virtual good. Its primary value today is speculation. Taylor acknowledges that bitcoin’s daily value fluctuates widely, but notes it was the fastest appreciating currency in 2015, and he’s confident it will be again in 2016. It is even starting to provide currency’s traditional role to obtain goods and services. You can buy an airplane ticket, stay at a Howard Johnson’s motel, and buy a Subway sandwich with bitcoin, albeit not at every location quite yet.
How will we live tomorrow?
“There is going to be an economic correction because the government and corporations are into the boom/bust cycle.”