In yesterday’s post, we outlined The Value Game for University Outreach where the graduate was the shared asset and the school administration, the alumni association, the entrepreneurial community, and the wider community were the players. Now let’s presume that the shared asset is a small business owner specializing in aerobics instruction.

Using the same players:

A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

Suppose that a popular aerobics instructor has 20 students and charges 40 dollars for an 8 class sessions. The local health food store will place 10% coupon on store purchases against the 40 dollar tuition for the duration of the class. If the student bought 400 dollars worth of food from the health food store in 8 weeks, their tuition for the aerobics course would be free.  If they spend more, then the aerobics instructor is paid more.

The health food store already spends 10% of sales on advertising.  As such, the coupon is a superior incentive because it provides 100% ROI on the store’s ad spend.

Social Value Outcomes:

  • The health food store gains loyal repeat customers without advertising or spamming
  • The aerobics instructor earns an entrepreneurial wage making similar coupon arrangements with other health services, sporting goods stores, hotels chains, airlines, adventure tourism companies – anyone whose best interest it is to support her clients’ aspiration. They too benefit from loyal customers (anti-Groupon)
  • The Alumni Association would represent a network of clients, business owners, and database of persons likely to provide contacts, references, coupons, and advice to the aerobics instructor
  • The University can provide gym space, sponsorship, health education classes, and collect data such as; which coupons produce the highest yield for a given alumni product or service and player profile.

The Value Game Filters:

This particular value game automatically filters out the players that are not appropriate for the client.  In effect, the donut shop, tobacco store, or video game outlet would not likely benefit from playing this particular value game as their offering would reflect poorly on social values of the instructor and their coupons would not perform well enough vs. traditional advertising.  Instead, these products would find their own value game, if any.

Social Value Index (SVI)

The Social Value Index is a public statistic that compares the economic value (cost/benefit) of the socially integrated value game with the cost/benefit of the disaggregated advertising/spamming model which robs people of their time, passions, and quality of life.

Data as a shared asset

The SVI provides data that rewards this entrepreneur for doing what she is most passionate about; being knowledgeable and supportive of available health resources. The SVI rewards the store for enabling entrepreneurs in exchange for loyal repeat customers.  The Social Value Index rewards the network of alumni who align with their members (aerobics instructor) to deploy social currency to a community instead of spamvertising. The SVI rewards the University Outreach effort for organizing critical data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in the community.

At the end of the day: 

The Value Game is important because it allows entrepreneurial business plans that would not normally be viable under a purely monetary model, become highly viable when intangible Social Value (New Value) is added to the bottom line.


Today, we do not have a financial problem as much as we have a value problem.  The challenges that face our civilization are far too great to be solved on an “Advertising” platform.  Whatever happens next, it must start with a Reality Platform.

2012: A Space Odyssey

Back in the railroad days, a platform referred to the surface upon which passengers stepped in order to enter or exit the train.  Later, the platform became a computer operating system.

In 2012,  the “platform” refers to one of the big four space stations on the Internet; Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.  On the backend, they each sort products and people into their appropriated categories.  On the front end, they deliver the consumer to the product and vice versa.  Everything is done electronically; wherever possible, even the product is electronic.

A Platform for Reality

Compared to the Big Four – which collect data behind secure walls, analyze with proprietary algorithms, then serve up  content that is most beneficial to the platform (not necessarily the user) –  The Value Game is revolutionary. In one application of the Value Game, a company called Social Flights collects four separate streams of data, converts the data to a single usable form, then shares the data back to the separate streams.

For example; an airplane operator submits data regarding the inventory of their aircraft.  The hospitality industry submits data relative to their inventory of support services,  Travelers submit data relative to their likely destinations, and event organizers submit data regarding their events.

Music is a combination of rhythm, sound frequency, and timbre

Social Flights captures all of these streams, organizes the data and feeds it back to the market in a more usable form.  Aircraft operators learn the optimum use of their aircraft resources.  Hospitality and tourism learn how to best allocate their inventory.  Event planners  learn to access their markets for attendees. Finally, Travelers learn the exact door-to-door cost AND TIME to achieve their objectives.  All the connections are made WITHOUT advertising.

Social Value is literally “manufactured” because it is in the best interest of each player that the other Players are successful.  Communities become vested in each other – not unlike an ensemble.

Advertising extorts passion

Today, nearly all social organization is now funded – and influenced – by advertising. People do not wake up in the morning aspiring to follow the Kardashians. If left alone, people aspire to follow their friends, to pursue their natural interests, and develop their natural talents.  The sole objective of the advertiser is to convince people to do something other than what they aspire to do naturally.

Manufacturing Social Value

The Value Game is a real and valid social value manufacturing engine. The same system deployed to aviation can also be used for any shared asset or experience; cars, roads, infrastructure, corporations, education, and even government, all with the New Value data platforms that are under development.

The problem can never be the solution – we need a new platform.


*2001: A Space Odyssey is a story that deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths that are apparently affecting human evolution,

‘Tis the season for “The Year In Pictures” – the annual new year pictorial accounting of the events of the outgoing year.  Any rational collection for 2011 would include three events; Arab Spring, The Earthquake / Tsunami in Japan, and Occupy Wall Street. These three events eclipsed the Royal Wedding, Steve Jobs, the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the space shuttle retirement and even the end of the war in Iraq.

These three events tell a very interesting story of who we are and where we are going as a civilization.  

Classical economists such as David Ricardo and Adam Smith brought us the idea that a merchant class allocates land, labor, and capital in various combinations as “the factors of production” that match supply and demand for all that societies need via the invisible hand of market capitalism.

Yet, in a single hour, land, labor, and billions of units of Capital were wiped off the surface of the Earth by in Japan.   While we see the images of total destruction, there are hundreds of square miles that were untouched and where all seems quite normal – except for that invisible hand of radioactive cesium.  Land, labor, and capital failed as a an economic cornerstone for all those who had once called this land home.

In the Middle East, with few jobs and even fewer opportunities for youth, the quaint notion of “land and labor allocations” crumbled under the forces of people with mobile access to dynamic data, free information, community knowledge, innovation, and wisdom. Governments, with no relative shortage of money, were unable to challenge the opposing factors.  Again, the idea of land, labor, and capital as the economic cornerstone had failed.

Quite appropriately, Occupy Wall Street was executed on borrowed land, with borrowed labor, and borrowed capital.   The operation was peaceful so nobody died. The stock market did not even crash.  Politicians went largely unscathed and the attorneys stayed in their collective offices. Nothing physical was actually created, and therefore, nothing physical was actually destroyed.  However, a great deal was produced.

All three of these events had something in common – they all produced something very tangible.  They all produced an idea in the minds of others.

As we review the year we review it is increasingly evident that land, labor, and capital are inadequate to articulate what people actually produce.  It will be through these shortcomings of classical economics that a new economy will form.  The degree to which society actually produces the things that society actually needs, this new economy should not look much different.  The degree to which society does not actually need the things that capitalism produces, great new ideas will emerge.

What was once the land of opportunity can now become a planet of opportunity.

Photo Credit: David Shankbone via Mashable 

Social media is emerging as a tool that may replace corporate and physical infrastructure of market capitalism.  Social Flights is attempting to sort and match people, airplanes, and destinations with community organization and interaction rather than the massive infrastructure of Hub airports.

Social flight introduces a Community Leader to the “last mile of social media” who can interpret and manage Value Game data to drive social and financial revenue.  In order to articulate this real-life gaming system we need to specify a baseline game scenario such that all future “real-life” scenarios will simply be some unique variation on the baseline game.

The Baseline Scenario

Consider a condition where 4 persons (group A1) from a metropolitan area (point A) self-organize to initiate a flight plan to another metropolitan area (point B). An 8 passenger jet is available at the local airport near point A. The group seeks to return 3 days later. Price sensitivity is high.

The responsibility of the Community Leader at Point A is to:

1. Deploy social media strategies to find 4 more people to fill the remaining seats.

2. Contact Community Leader at point B to notify them of the empty leg that will originate there (when aircraft returns to base).

3. Coordinate with Community Leader B to promote vendor attractions that influence 8 new travelers to fly the jet back from Point B to Point A.

Three days pass and Group A1 needs to return home from point B:

1. Coordinate with Community Leader at Point B to determine who will originate the flight plan and who will own the resulting empty leg (the passengers are agnostic as to where the plane originates).

2. In either case, Community Leader B will deploy social media tools to fill remaining empty seats if any.

3. In either case, Community Leader A will use social media tools to fill the empty seats if any.


In this scenario; 32 seats must be filled to support a flight plan for two round trips in an 8 person aircraft AND the 3 steps outlined for each and every flight remain relatively constant – only their order may change.  Most of the variables to the baseline scenario are factors of social influence and may therefore respond to game mechanics and rewards, i.e.; the number of initial passengers, social draw in each community, 3rd party vendor incentives, social influence of passengers, price sensitivity, traveler schedule, etc.

Re-introducing Human Infrastructure

Social Flights needs game data from which to match supply and demand of corporate resources.  The Community Leaders need game data to match supply and demand of social influence.  Finally, the passengers and support vendors need game data to match supply and demand of social value, etc.

By structuring the game around a baseline scenario and introducing “Human Infrastructure” responding to game data, we hope to increase our likelihood of  replacing physical infrastructure in the operation of point-to-point air transportation.

It’s been a few months since Social Flights entered the market with our February 28th Soft Launch.  Since then we have grown at an amazing rate after getting picked up by a series of important news publications.  But for this article, I would like to talk about what we learned.

He who hesitates, iterates

Learning is a critical element in any organization.  The iterative process is a series of intentional steps that a group of innovators must invariably endure.  The iteration process requires a strategy for introducing new variables to a product or process in such a way that the experimenter can isolate the effects of each change.

Social Flights was very much launched with this in mind. We prioritized the rollout of game features in order to form a player priority profile that will drive this Value Game.  Nobody can simply invent such a thing, it must be observed empirically.  This means that the right conditions must be in place to reveal the right data without bias.  The data can then be used to improve the incentives that drive the game.

Resistance is futile

One of the most daunting challenges has been to identify the skill set for what makes an effective community leader.  The Value Game is a value-based economy that is modeled after the mirror image of a dollar-based economy.  It’s like driving on the left hand side of the road for the first time.  Of course, you need someone who can drive a car – but in a very significant way, you need someone who has never driven a car.  In either case, resistance is fatal (figuratively) and futile (literally). The willingness and ability to iterate is essential.

We do expect the results to surprise us.  We went through many candidates for our social media distribution and engagement office before we found the right skill set; not in a marketer, or in an MBA, or in social media guru – we found the skill set in a Linguist.  This makes perfect sense now – but we did not know that before we started the iterative process.

Easier Said Than Done

A travel community leader needs to solve a simple equation.  Find 18 people to share an 9 – passenger jet (9 flying in each direction) within a certain span of time.  This is much easier said than done – in fact, it’s like trying to solve a big Sudoku puzzle where all the rows, columns, and regions need to add up to the same number with no duplication.  Of course the puzzle gets easier as more people join the community because the probability of finding 9 people that want to go to the same place improves.  But still, someone needs to be on the ground to solve the puzzle.

Help us find the gamers

With that, I invite our readers to help us imagine what skill set would be the starting condition for an iterative process of finding hundreds of entrepreneurial community leaders that can solve this puzzle in diverse communities. I am leaning more and more toward the Gaming community on sites like to find this skill set.  Any thoughts?  Thank you.

Hardwired Control Matrix

It has been a challenging month at Social Flights.   Our soft launch story was broken by FAST COMPANY, then it was quickly picked up by  THE NEW YORK TIMESBLOOMBERG TV,  FORBESINC. TECH,  WASHINGTON POST, and MASHABLE, then picked up by various other magazines and bloggers across the web.

Huge Interest in The Business Model

Social flights picked up tens of thousands of hits and several thousand members within a very short period of time.  We also received almost a thousand RFQ’s for charter service and our web traffic rank according to is under 20,000 – better than any other private jet broker in the country, including NetJets.

I personally communicated with dozens of 3rd party entrepreneurs that want to plug into our value proposition and we are discussing multiple high value partnerships in North America and around the world.

Are We Hard Wired?

Introducing such a radical approach brings many challenges, especially in the area of customer expectation.  People are hard wired to schedules, and lines, and pat downs, and waiting, waiting waiting. Social Flights was never conceived to dictate on a market how they should fly and to where.  Social flights will certainly not take people someplace where they don’t want to go – like an airport hub for transfer.  Social Flights will never hold a passenger’s dignity hostage behind some hidden cost or irrelevant regulation.

Losing The Hard Wire

We estimate that Social Flights will optimize at about  2.5 Million members – or roughly 5000 people in each of 500 locations across North America.  At that point our service model will begin to “simulate” the selection and convenience of the commercial airlines.  Keep in mind – this system will “simulate” scheduled service except without hard wires.

5000 people X 500 places model

  • This is the point where there will be a high likelihood that 8-10 people will all want to go to the same place from the same place within reasonable intervals of departure times.
  • This is the point where fluctuations in price and schedule such as de-icing costs, landing fees, fuel cost, or seat cancellation policy can be absorbed across the whole system rather than an individual passenger load.
  • This is the point where ground support vendors will commit substantial discount incentives to controlled bundles of passengers.
  • This is a point where the data that is generated by The Value Game and held solely by the players becomes valuable enough to predict the outcomes of future Value Games.

Not An Easy Puzzle to Solve:

Social Flights is attempting to do something that has never been accomplished in social media with such high value shared assets.  We seek to answer the question: Can people organize themselves around the concept of “Value” much like we have organized ourselves around the concept of “Money”.  Based on our earliest readings, the answer is that people are not as Hard Wired to money as those who control money would like us to believe. Looks like they’d jump the first plane out of Dodge if given a chance.

People always ask me how The Value Game will work and how The Value Game will scale, and how The Value Game will make money.  These are great questions, albeit straight from the b-school crib sheet; good questions nonetheless.

At first glance, The Value Game as we are deploying in Social Flights looks like a rich kids party barge.  The idea is that people can share an airplane just like they did with that stretch limo on prom night.  Yes, the idea is the same – the jet is a shared asset and status on prom night is special.

The Value Game also produces a lot of very important data that is owned by the players.  So when the passengers arrive at their destination, their data can now transform the hotel into a shared asset. As such, a new Value Game plays again.  If the players own their data, and they only share it with the other players in the associated Value Game, they can command substantial value for the collaborative purchase of hotel rooms – or any shared asset.

Likewise, the players will need restaurants, tour guides, golf courses, concert tickets, entertainment, etc.  Their data – if they own it – is their discount coupon…like a Group Coupon, except relevant to the need and exercisable on-demand.  By the time the trip is over, their Value Game data can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in discounts for the individuals in a travel tribe if, and only if they own their data.

The next time they want to take a trip, their data is not only a discount coupon; it becomes a passport to opportunities that money cannot buy. In the End Game of the Value Game, data are the shared asset.  This works if, and only if people own their data and they can share or restrict it from view of others.

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

You give your data away for free.  Companies collect this data and they have no intention of sharing it with you.  Data is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Why?

Aren’t most life lessons about figuring out who is NOT playing The Value Game and avoiding those people and situations?

There is a persistent myth that a “financial deficit” is looming to destroy all that fall in it’s wrath.  The only deficit is the inability for Money – as we know it – to articulate the value that is created in and by communities.

Social Flights is a new venture that combines cutting edge social technology with the universal truth that collaborative consumption of even the most complex system increases the efficiency of that system.

Social Value as a financial instrument

Social Flights attempts to demonstrate the inevitable – social value can and will be convertible to financial value. Social value can and will enter the balance sheet.  Social Value will not only impact the bottom line – it will become the bottom line.

The Invisible Hand of Social Capitalism

Social media is emerging as a dominant force behind economics, global politics, innovation, and community organization. Meanwhile; it is the art and science of finance that has failed to keep pace with technology.  Social Flights introduces a new class of business methods that can close this gap.

Social Flights sorts people and airplanes with data, not financial infrastructure.  The Value Game provides incentives for communities to organize themselves around travel and transportation assets.  So instead of forest-to-dump consumerism, a shared asset is preserved by a community for the greatest service life possible.  Social Flights demonstrates this with an airplane; however, a hotel, car, tour package, or a trade show/convention are quickly pulled into their own value game cycle given the airplane game playing out in proximity to them.  In fact all “assets” – social, intellectual, creative, or financial – can be pulled into their own value games in response to those acting around them.

Travel: An Ideal Benchmark Industry

We are starting with travel. Specifically, air transportation because of it’s complexity, high profile, and significance to most people and industries. Furthermore, corporate jets are beautiful, awe inspiring, controversial, and conjure the image of power and grace.  Most importantly, travel is pivotal enterprise and the best system for the diverse high-value transfer of new ideas to occur.

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something

The value of most commercial activity may ultimately become dependent on the quantity and quality of the data emerging from the millions of Value Games playing out in communities across the globe. Any and all shared assets – from public infrastructure to money itself – can be shared collaboratively in hugely profitable Value games.

New to the Public Domain

Nothing like this has ever been put together before so there is certainly much to learn.  Many people will fail to recognize where we are going with this. However, the rewards will be high and the implications will be vast if we are successful. There will be an extraordinary amount of knowledge to be share to the public domain.

Collaborative consumption is here to stay because it represents a higher value economy than forest-to-dump consumerism.  The financial deficit is simply the inadequacy of Money to articulate Social Value – not the inadequacy of people to be happy, creative, and productive in their communities.

I found an interesting article by Kim Gaskins at titled: Where the Game Layer Really Counts: Sharing & Peer Communities.

I sensed some resigned frustration from her as she reflected upon a somewhat trivial nature of current innovation in this new social genre called “gamification”. Predictably, in the end, Gamification amounts to little more than feeding the advertiser’s insatiable addiction to that extra dose of personal data coursing through the veins of unbridled consumption capitalism.

She is not alone.

In reading her article, I was, however, stuck with a particular stroke of clarity. Kim provided the following diagram showing the intersection of Social, Economic, and Environmental reality that she calls the best gaming opportunity for business and societal benefit.

This is a very important observation. Kim identifies the intersection of three “communities” and suggests that a game opportunity may exist.  Even though the article appeared in community blog, she stopped short of saying “This is where you put the shared asset”.  So I’ll say it for her:

This is where you put a shared asset.

At the Ingenesist Project, we developed something called The Value Game that we are testing in several different business models. The value game is very simple: Three communities are brought together to interact around a shared asset.  Each community interacting with each other, while also acting in their own best interest, would be acting in the best interest of the asset.  The result, we expect, will be the preservation for optimum utilization rather than forest-to-dump consumption.

Meanwhile, the fact of interaction between these communities creates “social currency” that articulates the true social value of the asset. Where social currency is readily convertible to financial currency, the paradox of market capitalism is broken.

Kim’s observation is important – she is talking about a marriage between collaborative consumption and gamefication.  People need to watch this mash-up very closely and we must innovate in this domain very rapidly.  We will need millions of value games playing out in communities across the world if we are to hedge the inevitable implosion of financial currency while also preserving our most valuable shared asset for future generations.

Thanks Kim – you are on to something very important.

A Grand Central Value GameFew people realize that there is nothing new about the Social Graph.  Facebook did not invent it – in fact, Graph Theory is a branch of discrete mathematics that was first developed back in the 1700’s by a Swiss Physicist named Leonard Euler.

Likewise, Zynga did not invent Game Theory.  Again, Game theory is a branch of Applied Mathematics with origins dating back to the 1700’s in a paper by James Waldegrave.

A Graph Theory and Game Theory Mash-up

It follows that The Ingenesist Project is not the first to mix graph theory and game theory to form A Value Game.  While I cannot pinpoint the first example of this, I did recently find an article in American Heritage Magazine Invention and Technology magazine about what appears to be an excellent early example of A Value Game.

Not So Grand Central Station

In the late 1800’s, New York City’s Central Train Station was clearly not so grand.  It amounted to a huge surface train depot with dozens of parallel lines and platforms covered by a huge structure that filled with smoke from the old steam engines.  The train yard bisected 17 blocks of neighborhoods where soot and ash rained everywhere.  The station created widespread urban blight and health issues for dozens of city blocks surrounding the terminal.

Politicians and the Railroad Companies tried to correct the problems but every proposed solution created ten more problems.  Too many trains, not enough land, technological struggles, funding, traffic, property values, pollution, safety, collisions, politics, noise, fires, were only a few of the problems in conflict.

A Grand Central Value Game

Today, Grand Central Station is a model of ingenuity resulting from a brilliant and engaging solution to a complex problem.  A remarkable Engineer named William J. Wilgus had created something that looks a great deal like a modern Value Game.

A Grand Central Value GameThree Dimensions to A Value Game

His first challenge was to pay for the construction of a new station.  His second challenge was to build the station without closing the existing station.  His third challenge was to not use any more land.

His solution was to bury the station.  He made the walls of his underground structure strong enough to support large buildings (now skyscrapers) above.  He then used the huge real estate market gains to finance the project

Grand Central Valley Game:

In this case, the very important railroad station was the shared asset.  Player 1 was the community (politicians) surrounding the station, player 2 was the real estate market, and player 3 was the railroads.  Each acting in their best interest collaborated to arrive at a solution to what was considered an impossible problem.

With the advent of Social Media and collaborative gaming technologies, “Value Games” may be created to solve many of the world’s most complex problems while also releasing vast amounts of value to a social system simply by reorganizing the same players on a three dimensional playing field interacting around any shared asset.