WholeHouse focuses on the Rivertowns, relies on reputation rather than on advertising, and, as much as possible, looks for ways to repurpose resources including solar energy and building materials.
It is inspired by the artisanal economics theories of Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, as described in The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollen.
". . . 'artisanal production,' where the competitive strategy is based on selling something special rather than being the least-cost producer of a commodity. Stressing that 'productivity and profits are two entirely different concepts,' Nation suggests that even a small producer can be profitable so long as he's selling an exceptional product and keeping his expenses down. Yet this artisanal model works only so long as it doesn't attempt to imitate the industrial model in any respect. It must not try to replace skilled labor with capital; it must not grow for the sake of growth; it should not strive for uniformity in its products but rather make a virtue of variation and seasonality; it shouldn't invest
capital to reach national markets but rather should focus on local markets, relying on reputation and word of mouth rather than on advertising; and lastly, it should rely as much as possible on free solar energy rather than costly fossil fuels." - page 415, The Omnivore’s Dilemma