TrendPOV

Here is a repost of an interview with myself by Dr. Amy Vanderbilt at TrendPOV.  I like Dr. V for her ability to really draw out the best in people.  Here she tackles a topic of great complexity and makes it feel like an everyday conversation.  If you ever have an opportunity to work with Dr. V you will be deeply rewarded with the outcome.

On a side note, I felt so comfortable that I forgot that I was on air – you can see my eyes wandering, yikes.  Next time I’ll tape a sign on the ceiling that says “Look Down”.  Anyway – it’s an interesting topic so please watch and let me know what you think.

From Trend POV

Social media is no longer just a way to reconnect with friends; it has become an integral part of daily life that is rapidly gaining traction in the business world. Social media now provides a format for customers to self-organize in a way that creates a competitive market for goods and services where both the customers and the vendors can benefit. The depressed economy has brought people together to share advice and zero in on great deals through group buying.

As defined on Wikipedia.com, “Group buying, also known as collective buying, offers products and services at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers would make the purchase.” Originating from China, group buying, called tuángòu grew from the practice of haggling and has now infiltrated the online world in many parts of the globe. Notable sites include Groupon, LivingSocial and MyCityDeal.

Unlike China’s deal strategy that is self-organized and executed, most of the group buying in Europe and North America is done using online intermediaries who charge vendors fees that can be as much as 50 percent of the deal. Group buying has been gaining consumer popularity for three years now; however, group buying in the business sector is still in its infancy. Despite Groupon having over 100 million subscribers that had bought over 60 million Groupons by September 2011, skeptics suggest the trend will not last.

Consumers may be getting saturated by email overload from deal sites competing for their attention. China is struggling amidst accusations of selling fake goods; almost a fourth of the 6000 group buying Web sites shut down in 2011 and those still operating are losing money. But group buying is probably not yet dead. As Dan Frommer said on businessinsider.com, “The future of group buying is on mobile devices. Why? Because they’re always with you, can identify your location via GPS, and can access a network of real-time, instant deals.” If businesses can engage customers and retain loyalty, group buying may have a bright future.

To turn this trend into an advantage for your organization, consider the following. Customer self-organization is going digital. Selling to groups can increase profits. Use social media to drive customer self-organization. Group-selling is not for gaining new customers. Instead, try group-selling for exclusive products and services and rewarding loyalty.

 


Teachers are “threatened” with layoffs. In some cases, the profession is openly mocked. Meanwhile, corporations are staring blankly at the knowledge gap in their industries.  The older generation is retiring, moving on, and taking their knowledge with them.  Teacher’s unions are busted and disappearing. Apprenticeships are a thing of the past.  Everyone is asking “where are the jobs – there is plenty of work to do”

Education is obviously a financial instrument.  Think about that for a minute – it is an investment like any other investment. Wall Street has an arbitrage instrument for every market anomaly – why not education?

What would happen if teachers were given an equity position in their students?  Isn’t this what families do to prepare their kids to take over the family business?  Isn’t this what happens in corporations where executives pick proteges?  Isn’t this what happens in politics where knowledge is traded among a closed group?

A school like Harvard University or MIT certainly hold and equity position in their students. What if every community viewed every child as an asset instead of a liability?


The wisest people in history have been saying the same thing over and over again, yet we fail to listen and act: People are an asset, People are the greatest asset.

So Then, Watch your assets

Meanwhile, our “risk based” capital structure accounts only for the observed randomness of individual human nature rather than trying to securitize the potentially infinite wisdom of crowds.  This is a problem, this is our very serious problem.

Everyone is Committed to The Public Domain

Anyone familiar with The Ingenesist Project knows that we commit a new class of business methods to the public domain for other people to use for building the next economic paradigm. For example, The Value Game developed by ourselves, is being used by at least 3 new start-ups as the value creation mechanism of their business plan.  We likewise consult to social entrepreneurs across the World to help them build a new form of capital structure where knowledge assets are the basis of fungible social currency.

Zertify.com

Zertify.com is a business plan that will convert social currency to financial currency and make money for you, dear reader. Zertify.com can employ well over 40,000 people directly (and tens of millions indirectly) in the US alone within months, not years. Zertify.com is a knowledge inventory system that accounts for knowledge assets as they reside in a community – not necessarily as they reside sequestered within a corporation.

Zertify business plan

Here is a downloadable PDF of Zertify.com Sample Business Method. The word “Zertify” comes from the combination of the words “Certify” and the statistical Z-test.  These two things correspond to “Social Vetting” and “Predictive Modeling Capability” – these are the two ESSENTIAL elements for the capitalization and securitization of any asset.  Of course, I have made certain assumptions regarding taxonomies and proficiency criteria – my intention is simply to re-deploy existing market infrastructure as best as possible in this Example.  But go ahead, change it, modify it, understand it, build it, and let us help. Become a billionaire – see if we care.

Why?  because we do care.

In case you were wondering who all those wise people are, flip through this presentation (great to see Tara Hunt among such luminaries !!)


Money Matchmaker

The function of a Bank is to match most worthy money surplus with most worthy money deficit. In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town because they did the matching. But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized.  The spread of the credit score is responsible for great wealth creation because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money in the present to increasing human productivity in the future.

The Credit Score

The credit score is statistical in nature; it isolates about 30 or so indicators of your financial activity and puts them on a bell curve. These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc. These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score. Anyone can predict the likelihood that you may default on your financial obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from because these same organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

We are competing with ourselves

It is interesting that people do not compete directly with each other for our credit score because it is not a ranking system, it is a “normal distribution”. However, with no credit, people are invisible and the system shuts them out. With bad credit, the system also shuts them out. People are also willing to give up some freedom and privacy, but they accept these terms because the credit score provides tremendous leverage to finance a business, automobile, or a home.

The Knowledge Matchmaker

The Value Game specifically transforms financial currency into social currencies where value increases by human interactions in communities. Then, the social currency is transformed back into a financial currency or stored in a yet to be determined social currency. The efficiency of the Social Value Creation Process can be vastly improved with a Social Credit Score.  The objective, like the financial credit score, would be to match most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit.

The Social Credit Score

There are two forces that need to be combined to produce a credit score; the reporting of social activity and the independent variables that constitute social activity. We already see some elements where search engines report your social activity and we have seen a few unsuccessful attempts to use Twitter as a proxy for social productivity. Neither are functional but the nascent social credit score system will eventually improve.  But why wait if we already know what needs to be done?

Something else needs to happen

Not unlike the FICO score, the Social Credit Score is a knowledge inventory for social, creative, and intellectual assets that a community of people collectively hold. The format of the knowledge inventory must be assembled to a bell curve.

Next, a new type of search engine must be developed that can process the knowledge inventory and statistically match most worthy surplus of knowledge asset with most worthy deficit of knowledge asset given a set of business objectives. Then and only then can holistic transactions take place which can redefine human economics in social currencies, i.e., where knowledge really is an asset.



Gambling with Jobs

The US Senate recently blocked a measure designed to reduce the outsourcing of US jobs that many corporations pursue in the relentless drive to reduce costs.

Modern Globalization is a system

Globalization must be analyzed like a system. Data, Information, knowledge, Innovation, and wisdom are profoundly related in a system. If you take away one of the components, the others become worthless.  If you destroy one component, the entire structure could fail.

Everyone knows that data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are related.  If I corrupt the data, then the associated information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are also corrupted.  Likewise, if I eliminate any of these elements, the system fails.

Focus on Core competency – what core?

The standard argument for outsourcing is that knowledge workers are better allocated in innovation jobs so “we can better focus on our core – and heck, we can all save a little dough in the process”.  But when we outsource our knowledge economy, the innovation economy is choked off.    The knowledge economy is the source of the Innovation Economy.  The Knowledge economy is also the recipient of the information economy which transforms data and information into useful tools, ideas, and products.

Rate Of Change is Innovation

The rate of change of the innovation economy is directly proportional to the INCREASE not the OUTSOURCING of the knowledge economy.  This is the calculus of outsourcing.  If, on the other hand, it is in you best interest to keep a population poor, weak, and unable to organize into powerful collectives, then yes, outsourcing is an effective method.


I recently published a video suggesting that Social currency is backed by Time as part of my series on Social Capitalism.  I made the argument that time is the true scarce commodity because it is not easy to debase, counterfeit, or forge; it is therefore the perfect basis for a currency.

Still, a few people always come back with the idea that influence, reputation, game tokens, tweets and more recently “checking in” (a la Foursquare), are all social currencies – citing the experts, of course.

There are several problems with this.  First, none are really scarce – I can find an honest person anywhere.  None are actually commodities because nobody is deploying the identical influence as any another person.

The idea that “currency” as the storage and exchange of value is also insufficient – a glass of water stores value as does a digital camera or a even a goat.  Nobody in Silicon Valley is twittering feverishly about the latest surprise goat farm acquisition.

Indeed influence and reputation are valuable and may act like a financial Instrument but until the purveyors come out and actually describe it as such, I need to call them on their choice of words – and I have.  A typical response is, “Well, uh, you know what I mean”.  My response: “…And, uh, you DON’T know what you mean?”

Beanie babies, tulip bulbs, and CDOs were financial instruments too.  Seriously kids, clarification is extremely important because the consequences of misconception, especially in this important emerging subject area, are tangible. Real people trying to make the wrong ideas real actionable are wasting their real precious time.

Here is what they mean to say:

a Derivative is something whose value is derived from the value of something else.  So when we talk about influence, the value of a person’s influence can be derived from the value of many things.  If you are in a burning building, the influence of the firefighter is different than an endorsement from Shaq, yet both may be valuable at different times.

The premise of my argument is that the basis of all currency is in Time.  Time is limited for everyone.   A good reputation saves people time.  The right influence applied in the right places at the right time saves people time.  Passion, purpose, productivity and persistence are measures of how someone spends their time.  Checking in at the trendy hotspot on foursquare is an expression and commitment of time. Co-location is a function of place and time. Like love, the value of time is in the eyes of the beholder. Valuable yes, currency, no.

Talk about how your product lives in time and you’ll earn all the social currency that it’s worth – not the other way around.

 


Everyone wants to know what “The Next Google” is.  From WIKiD Tools, the answer should be obvious:  Google is an information company.  Their stated objective is to organize the World’s information.  The next element up the human development ladder from the Information Economics rung is Knowledge Economics rung. Therefore, the next “Google” will deploy technology that can organize the World’s knowledge.

A State of Mind

Unfortunately, knowledge can only exist inside the minds of people, so consequently, “The Next Google” must also engage in the messy task of organizing the World’s people as well as the knowledge contained in each one of them.  Not an easy task in dog-eat-dog Global Market Capitalism.

The Facebookie

At first, it seems that Facebook may be converging on this – they are certainly trying.  The problem with Facebook’s approach is that they continue to  insist that Market Capitalism is valid (obviously preparing for the killer IPO) when they should be pioneering the hedge fund called “Social Capitalism”.  Facebook continues to bank on the suggestion that people really really want to share  their personal details and will tolerate invasion by armies of anonymous data miners in order to do so.  Facebook’s best shot may be for one of their gaming currencies to become a black market currency so that when the dollar collapses,  people would gladly sell their privacy in exchange for food.

Since a gaming currency can only be created by people performing frivolous tasks, at best, gaming currencies – phenomenal growth or not – are no more robust than the dollars it seeks to displace.   Sustainability? Uh, no.

Anonymity rules

Think about it this way.  Real human productivity is stored in a dollar bill; otherwise nobody would “work” for it.  The recipient does not know or care if the dollar bill was last used by someone to buy cigarettes or Girl Scout cookies.   The dollar bill is completely anonymous.  Likewise, value is stored in the brains of every living person – there is no need to know who they are until the transaction is exercised and profits are distributed.  Everything else is unnecessary invasion of privacy and certainly not something to build a currency around let alone the next economic paradigm.  The Next Google will treat people like the currency, not ‘like’ the Girls Scout Cookies.

The “Next Google” will be a percentile search engine that will return odds – or probabilities – based on an anonymized public knowledge inventory. Search results will predict the likelihood that any combination of knowledge assets can produce or execute any combination of products or services at a known cost based on the supply and demand for those known knowledge assets.  End of mystery.

Everyone can now make their bets and play their games with real productivity because, in effect, the percentile search engine will match most worthy knowledge deficit with most worthy knowledge surplus and throw the rest of it in the trash bin.

The only thing people want to know is what they want to know, and nothing else.  Now that’s what real productivity is made of, that is what real money is made of.

Please Vote for The Ingenesist Project to present at SXSW 2011

The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on a platform of social media as the next economic paradigm.  60 minute solo presentation in the advanced technical track.  Your help is deeply appreciated. All comments welcome.  Material based on video series here


In the 1960’s Superman comics, Bizarro World was a place where everything was the opposite as Normal World.  On the planet Htrae (Earth spelled backwards) lives Bizarro Jimmy Olsen, a Bizarro Lois Lane, Bizarro Superman, etc.  Of course, Normal World is the standard bearer for all that is great and good to the reader.

Normal Capitalism:

In the study of Normal Economics, currency always represent productivity – otherwise nobody would “work” for it.   Productivity is defined as: all the stuff we can make within a certain period of time. We measure it with expressions like “dollars per hour”, “miles per hour”, “5% compounded annually”, board-feet per minute, etc.

Abnormal Capitalism:

Suppose we were to describe a Bizarro currency as:  All the Time that can be produced within a certain amount of stuff.

After all, every living person is allocated a certain amount of time on Bizarro World.  Time is a scarce resource whose value is determined by supply and demand.  Time is not easily forged, debased, or counterfeited.  It makes for a perfect Bizarro currency.  Of Course the Bizarro Currency would be called the Rallod (Dollar spelled backwards).

Bizarro Capitalism:

In Normal Economics, land, labor, and financial capital are the factors of production called “Tangibles” while social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are called “Intangibles”.  By contrast, in Bizarro Economy, social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are Tangibles while land, labor, and financial capital are the Intangible factors of production.

Of course in Bizarro World, it takes rallods to make rallods.  So if you want to get rich, you need to invest your time in one of two things: Saving time for other people, or reducing the amount of stuff they need to consume on their time.

Likewise, in a Normal Banking, an entrepreneur assumes that they have the Knowledge to execute a business plan and they borrow the money. In Bizarro Bank, the Entrepreneur assumes that they have the money to execute a business plan and they borrow the knowledge.

In Normal World, money is backed by debt.  In Bizarro World, money is backed by innovation.

What if we got it backwards?

Probably the most immediate concern is whether the Rallod can hedge the Dollar, or will the two planets collide?

Material based on video series here


July 8, 2014 Update:

Wikipedia defines Capitalism as an “economic and social system in which the means of production are privately controlled”. 

 Factors of Production (from classical economics) are presumed to be some proxy for land, labor, and capital.  Suppose, however, the factors of production for modern society were something like “Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and Creative Capital” of people and their relationships?  After all, these are the assets that are deployed in order to produce the proverbial basket of goods upon which most currencies are compared. 

Since these factors of production exist between the ears of each individual person, they are, by definition “privately controlled” and readily exchanged among other people in social networks.   If the US Supreme Court can rule that Corporations are people, then it is equally valid that people are corporations. Therefore, Social Capitalism refers to the economic and social system in which the means of production are social, creative, and intellectual assets.  

In order for Social Capitalism to become the dominant form of social organization, quite literally, society must reorganize itself to trade “abundant intangibles instead of scarce tangibles”. Then, all the decentralized innovations can integrate. The following video describes a system for reorganizing society so that the new economic paradigm; called Social Capitalism, may emerge.

Reorganizing For The Era Of Social Capitalism

Social Capitalism is similar to Material Capitalism with the exception that society would trade in abundant intangibles instead of scarce tangibles….and, everything changes.

***

The Article below is from 2010 – more than 4 years ago – when Social Capitalism was just beginning to enter the lexicon of the social media practitioners.  This article below quotes the Wikipedia Article on “Social Capitalism”.  That article has since been removed by Wikipedia for failure to be a real -ism; I suppose.  That is, Wikipedia does not yet recognize the movement as a real form of Social Organization.  It is interesting, if not historic, to watch the progress of a social movement from its tenuous inception:

The Adaptive Cycle: Holling, C. S. 1986. Resilience of ecosystems;

Social capitalism is an old idea taking on an new form in the age of social media where social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are deployed outside the construct of the prevailing corporations or governments.

Throughout human history, societies have reorganized themselves in response to tyranny, innovation, environment, new wisdom, etc.   I believe this to be the root of what Social Capitalism is, and therefore, how it should be defined.

In The Shadows:

The dominant definition of  “Social Capitalism” from Wikipedia reflects a social cause cast against the backdrop of market capitalism.  This definition acknowledges that economies work better when everyone participates; specifically, the so-called tier 1 and tier 2 people.  Tier 1 individuals have steady financial incomes that allow them to function without private or government support. Tier 2 individuals cannot meet the prevailing standard of living and rely on private or government support. Therefore the prevailing definition of Social Capitalism often refers to efforts to bolster tier 2 persons as a means of reinforcing the economy for everyone.

Conflict:

There is an inherent conflict where tier 1 is held responsible to support tier 2 as a means of protecting their tier 1 status. Traditionally tier 2 included poor families dependent on food stamps; children who depend on public education; elderly people who are no longer able to work, and low-income criminals who require police intervention, etc.

Ideally, getting more people from tier 2 into tier 1 is the desirable objective.  Indeed political division is marked by the theories and practices on how exactly that objective would best be accomplished.

A worst case:

What happens when tier 2 is simply forgotten; they are simply allowed to fail in the mainstream economy?  What if the government becomes too weak to bolster their economic prospects?  What happens when a critical mass of tier 1 people involuntarily enter the tier 2 environment bringing along their substantial knowledge inventory.  They are otherwise very productive people that had been laid-off, outsourced, underemployed, or otherwise marginalized.

The Special Case:

What happens when Tier 2 deploy new technologies that responding to their priorities, not necessarily Wall Street priorities.  What happens when tier 2 people trade a social “currency” among themselves? What happens when tier 2 swells to a size and scope that they are able to bear broad political and economic influence.  Many great human struggles emerged from under the hand of a Tier 1 constraint using their own manner to store and exchange value  (currency) represented by their own knowledge inventory and productivity.  Why would that not happen internally in American Society?

Structural Capitalism:

Social Capitalism is where factors of production in an economy are purely human and technological and less structural:. Specifically, social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital deployed outside the construct of the prevailing corporations or governments.  Maybe it should be called “structural capitalism” because that is what is actually changing. We are at an extraordinary time in history where an extraordinary structural reorganization is taking place.

That’s Social Capitalism as it’s always been.


What’s the difference between money and value?

Today, I saw yet another doom gloom economic forecast with the proverbial exponential graph of interest-on-debt climbing out to the stratosphere. The prognosis is the same; all bad, very ‘all bad’ things will happen.

So I wonder, to whom is all this interest being paid? Where is all that money stored? It has to belong to someone or be represented by something on the planet Earth, after all, money makes the world go around.

The 1000:1 rule

If I were to take, for example, NOA, the National Oceanographic Agency, and ask someone a Goldman Sachs to place a value on it, they would add up the replacement value of all the ships and weather satellites and come up with a number like, say, 4 Billion Dollars.

Now, if I were to calculate the increase in human productivity that result directly from the ability to forecast the weather – for the purposes of food production, managing all modes of transportation, Energy production, and tangential resource allocation – the value of NOA would be in well in excess of 4 Trillion dollars. This is a factor of over 1000 between the value of the same object in financial currency and social currency.

A bridge spans a waterway and carries 50,000 cars and trucks per day. An alternate route would take each vehicle at least 1 hour longer per day to cross the waterway. 50 billion dollars worth of social value is created over the life of the bridge that cost 50 million to construct; a 1000:1 leverage ratio.

A single Boeing 747 costs 100 million dollars but increases human productivity (including influence ripples) by 100 billion dollars over the service life of the aircraft compared to the nearest alternative mode of transportation. Again, 1000:1

That’s the difference between money and value.

The problem arises because our financial system is not able to articulate true value of social currency using a dollar denominated currency so social value remains invisible, not non-existant. Maybe the financial system does not want to articulate social value. After all, dollar denominated currency represents control of social value at a ratio of 1:1000. It’s about control

9.6 Trillion dollars was spent to educate every American. Just because a “corporation” does not exist to employ them and utilize their talents to the highest productivity level, does not mean that the talent and value does not exist. According to the 1:1000 rule, The GDP of the US in Social Currency is a minimum of 9,600 Trillion. What deficit?

It is about control. The dollar has a 1:1000 control leverage over social currency. It is not at all surprising to see social media expand at the rate proportional to that which the doom-gloom crowd predicts that the financial system will collapse. They are related, they hedge each other. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Again, the imminent collapse of the financial system – no matter what the ‘doom gloom’ crowd says – does not mean that value does not exist; it simply means that the dollar will no longer control the value; that is, the social value wedged between people’s ears is free to be capitalized and securitized directly. We need to capture social currency in a new financial paradigm.

Social currency is not a buzz word, it’s an imperative – it is the Ingenesist Project