Review of Henderson and Churi's "The Trust Revolution" on the Legal Evolution blog

The Trust Revolution (book review) (130)

Todd Henderson and Salen Churi, two law professors, have written a deep analysis of trust — its cultural history, social mechanics, economic elements, and of course how it relates to law and regulation.  As they put it, the goal of the book is “to establish trust as a lingua franca for discussion of issues that are often thought of as discreetly political but actually needn’t be” (p. xvi).

The inspiration for their effort was Uber, which I will discuss a little more in a minute.  But while the book covers a great deal of ground — from securities regulation to dinner parties to the Hanseatic League — it does not pause to unpack the implications for lawyers themselves.  I’d like to do a little of that below, because the margins of my copy of The Trust Revolution are full of graffiti on that topic.

Trust Revolution’s basic story

A test of a true insight is that it seems novel on first encounter but obvious in hindsight.  From there, it sits comfortably in your analytical toolkit alongside things you’ve known for decades.  I think the key insight that begins Trust Revolution clears that bar.  Here’s my distilled version.

We all learned at a young age not to get into a stranger’s car.  Now Uber has millions of us getting into strangers’ cars every day.  So, before Uber is about technology or convenience, Uber must be about trust.  Uber has many elements designed to engender trust, but driver and customer reviews are central to their approach.

Read more at Legal Evolution