If we follow the Wall Street accounting model, the supply and demand for knowledge assets are cast against the factors of production; land, labor, and capital.  The typical corporate human resource department looks to the community for labor units within commuting distance to a factory, and who are willing to rent their time in exchange a minimum amount of money.

But Land is Obsolete

Technology has made the idea of “land” as a factor of production almost obsolete.  Knowledge assets travel over the Internet and can be deployed and organized in many ways across long distances without a factory.  Indeed there are server farms and automation houses where things are made if needed – but these are hardly factors of production as they once were.

What exactly is a Labor unit again?

Machines have replaced much of what we once called “labor”.  I am sitting at Starbucks where a smiling robot is the only thing missing from the age of automated lattes.  The social, creative, and intellectual capital required to create, design, maintain, and serve the technology is what ushers us into the knowledge economy and the associated innovation economy.

Capital is arbitrary

Everyone knows that money is created out of thin air when someone allocates their future productivity to the bankers balance sheet in exchange for a place to sleep.  When this game loses its entertainment value, “capital” as a factor of production will also become obsolete.

The Supply and Demand for Knowledge Assets:

Knowledge assets are deployed by teachers and replicated by student.  Teachers represent the supply of knowledge and students represent the demand for knowledge.  In between these two extremes are collaborations – that is, varying combinations of teaching and learning that ultimately results in a productive outcome such as a latte, automobile, or computer program.

If we sample a population of knowledge assets across some geographic area (Land) we would expect to find something that looks like a bell curve.

If the bell curve has a different shape, this tells us what things can be made and what things cannot (Labor).

So when people allocate their own productivity, they are in effect assigning their productivity to a community balance sheet (Capital).  They are saying “this is what we are willing to make because we have the freedom, liberty, and we intion to pursue our happiness”.

Hardly a Wall Street model.

The result is that the social, creative, and intellectual assets of people must now replace Land, Labor, and Capital as factors of production in the new value economy.  Trying to produce anything less would be inefficient in a Capitalist system – perhaps some may have noticed as much lately.


I saw a Fox News commentary on the Occupy Wall Street movement.  They interviewed a bunch of kids who were taking part in the parade and asked them a simple question: “So, what do you expect to replace Capitalism with?”

Then Fox, in their fair and balanced tradition, portrayed their subjects as the poster children of a failed education system (some children left behind after all) and further testimony to the failure of the Obama Administration. because obviously “These kids don’t know how the real world works”.

The Pundits can’t climb the tree any better.

Unfortunately, nobody else has an answer to that question either – none of the pundits or anchors produced anything except the tired argument that we tried Socialism and it failed so therefore more Capitalism is the only way to fix Capitalism.

It’s a Simple Problem

Market Capitalism only articulates value in the things that people make which can physically sit on a market shelf.  Market Capitalism does not articulate the value of individual people; those things that people make in society.

Of course, it is also a double edge sword since those that really don’t produce anything – like hedge fund managers, pundits, and politicians – will become impoverished. Meanwhile, those who really do produce things – like teachers, engineers, and firemen – will become wealthy.  So watch how the lines are redrawn in this debate.

How the world really works

The Internet and social media have shifted the factors of production away from land, labor, and capital to a higher order of human organization.  This is what we need to be talking about.  People today produce things with knowledge – social, creative, and intellectual knowledge.  These are the factors of production for that 99% of the value that exists on Earth.

A Simple Solution

After many a blue face, I’ll say it again; there is no way to build anything meaningful without an inventory of parts.  Car companies have inventories of parts, Banks have inventories of assets, even biology has an inventory of genomes – but there is no knowledge inventory for our communities.  We don’t know what we do or do not know.  We have absolutely no idea how valuable we are yet we complain that we’re impoverished.  Meanwhile corporation create technology to replace people when people could be just as easily be creating technology to replace corporations.

How on Earth can we determine supply and demand for knowledge assets without an inventory?  How can we expect to create any type of fair and rational economy from a bunch of invisible stuff milling around the parks?  There is no escape from Market Capitalism and no path to Social Capitalism without a Knowledge Inventory, period.

A Stunning Omission

This is a very easy problem to solve and we have all the cards waiting to be stacked in our favor using the tools that are right in front of our collective noses.  If we fail at something so simple, then we deserve to be enslaved.  After all, 100,000 years ago, such people would have been eaten by tigers.  It’s time to Evolve.


Commercial airlines continue to astonish the traveling public with an ever-increasing array of new ways to charge extra fees.  The newest scheme is to charge 5 dollars to have a customer service agent print your boarding pass.  You can get around this by using your own printer, or using a free kiosk – which undoubtedly will not be free for long.

Your schedule or theirs?

Meanwhile, the different prices that people pay for the same trip continues to fluctuate wildly. There are very few products whose price defies supply and demand or actually increases as it approaches it’s expiration date.

People who book 4-6 weeks in advance have the highest probability of getting the lowest fair – as long as the don’t buy the ticket on a weekend.  Buying a ticket on a Tuesday morning 4 weeks in advance can yield a 50% discount of the person who bought their ticket 2 weeks in advance on a Saturday afternoon.

Obviously, there must be some net average cost for a seat, per mile traveled with all services restored, so why can’t we save the drama and loss of productivity and use the average price? An “average revenue per seat mile” price is good enough for Wall Street Annual Report – why not the rest of us?. Another nagging question: why can’t I use frequent flier miles to buy lunch on the plane or carry extra suitcase?  What, they don’t accept their own currency…?!?!

Are You Gamed by FlyVille?

The airline industry has been gamified and people are hard wired to play along – of course they complain, but they also learn to behave in a manner that they perceive to be in their own best interest, but actually is in the Airline’s best interest.  Tacit collusion among airlines can now play out using frequent flier miles, copycat fares, and lowered customer expectations.  How much time do people spend playing this game?

This is also the environment where a competitor can emerge with a  “counter-game”.

Social Flights was launched a few months ago with a very simple data landscape; a means and manner in which people can meet to ride share on private aircraft.  Currently, the amount of time required for a social flights customer to execute a flight plan – that is, organize people in their community with shared flight intentions – may still be greater than the time and harassment of just going through the flow of the commercial airline abyss.   Over time, however, this will change.

Frequent Influence Miles

Suppose that Social Flights deployed frequent flier miles?  Suppose these could be awarded for organizing a social flight plan to a social network?  Suppose miles could be redeemed for discounts on hotels, car rentals, and ground services (think AAA)? Restaurants, entertainment and events routinely pay commissions to concierge referrals, why wouldn’t they also redeem Social Flights Flier Miles in the same manner?

What if Social Flights frequent flier miles could be earned and redeemed without actually flying, but by simply organizing communities until your perfect trip comes along?  What if a person with high Social Flights Frequent Flier Miles represented a better social influence predictor than say, a Klout score or Twitter follower count?  Would vendors want to know who these magical people are?  Will vendors compensate them for their influence in a community?  Wouldn’t the community then define the ads that get pitched?

What’s the end game? Let’s transform the industry together.  Seeking game designers to build the next generation of air travel


Social media is progressing in a direction where the SM application controls your information – not you.  This is a game that you cannot win unless they let you win.  Social Flights changes the rules by letting you control your own information.  As such, we are growing in popularity among entrepreneurs who are looking for a game they can win playing by a new set of rules.

Social Flights is comprised of 2 components; Social Flights Corporate and Social Flights Travel Tribes.  The corporate application provides vertical integration while the Travel Tribes provide horizontal integration.  Each is hugely dependent on the other, but the travel tribe is where the value is.

Vertical Integration involves information technology; the collection and formation of system data.  This is the information that helps groups stay in contact with each other giving the origin community a portal into the destination community (and vice versa) for a given flight.  This helps airplane operators schedule flights, and it helps communities become attractive to entrepreneurs and other communities.

The horizontal integration is where information originates and terminates.  The Travel Tribe disseminates information on the ground at both the origin and destination.  What happens in a Travel Tribe, stays in a Travel tribe.

The most important aspect of data and information control is the ability to restrict it from communities who are not part of the transaction. Nobody else can know where you are going except you and the airplane operator – that’s what makes the game private.  Nobody needs to know how much you are paying for a hotel room or travel service except you and the service provider – that’s what makes the game valuable.  Nobody needs to know what you are doing on the ground except you and your friends  – that’s what makes the game social.

A Value Game depends on the control of information.  If someone else controls the information – they control the Value and there can be no game. They also control the use of information and the information technology.  Don’t take this point likely; whoever controls the use of the information also controls the technology (vertical integration), not the other way around.   Technology is deployed to the game – the game is not deployed to the technology.  So, if you control the game, then you control the usage and the deployment of the technology; i.e., you control the value.

(Diagram credit and reference:  Seven Faces of Information Literacy in Higher Education by Christine Bruce)


Eric Rosenblith 1920-2010

I have been putting off writing this blog post until I could find a simple answer to the question “What is an Ingenesist?”.  I invented the term “Ingenesist” to capture the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity without falling back on current definitions and the silos that perpetuate them. Something has gone wrong with the world and the solution could not be found in the current world view – I needed a new word for my work.

Ingenesist comes from the Latin (ingeniare), French (ingénieur), and Spanish (ingeniero) word for Engineer.  These words, of course, were created long before an engineer was defined by such alphabet soup as BSME. MSCE, IEEE, ABET, NCEES, EIT, PE, etc…  The term ‘Ingenesist’ was meant to represent people whose ideas and actions increase the productivity of other people.

A friend of mine lost his dad yesterday.  I read the obituary and could not help but realize that this person lived through what were likely the darkest and the brightest hours of modern human civilization.  He was an artist and a teacher.

Then I hit the quote in Mr. Rosenblith’s obituary:

“We truly need to be thinkers, poets, painters, engineers, and philosophers.’’ – Eric Rosenblith

And that is how I found my simple answer.  With humility and simplicity, he captured the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity. The least I could do was finally write this blog post.

My sincere condolences to Alan and his family.  Please support the Symbionomics Project on Kickstarter


We call this wisdom

In the old days, the hiring manager was the person to know if you wanted to get a job. They would read your resume and compare it with the “bell curve” in their mind.  This bell curve contains a statistical sample of all similar situations that the manager has witnessed, the variables involved, and a range of outcomes observed across their long and illustrious career…Ohhhmmmmmm

We Call This Simulated Wisdom

Modern HR systems try to simulate this wisdom through a series of innovations such as key word search, structured interviews, personality tests, and employee incentives. Now we can use Google (an information company) to derive sort of a proxy for wisdom as we assess search results in our own image.  Facebook and Linkedin go a step further by providing us with another filter through which to pass judgement upon a future employee or partner.  The problem is that the more we look into these systems, the more they deliver back to us a reflection of ourselves…Ohhhmmmmm

Social Media vs. Normalized Intellectual, Social, and Creative Capital

The Data need to be Normalized

The world has become so strange, complex, technological, and interwoven, that no single person can possibly posses such a vast and broad set of experiences as to arrive at an optimized outcome every time.   Innovation favors strategic combination of diverse knowledge unlike the Industrial revolution which favored identical packets of similar knowledge.  The Innovation Economy will require a completely new approach to social value creation.

The Social Credit Score

Not unlike the FICO score, the knowledge inventory is a collection of potential knowledge events where the social network is a reporting agency that has a vested interest in meaningful knowledge events. Unlike FICO however, the variables for knowledge can be infinite (think of the Dewey Decimal System).  Also, a Social Credit Score would respond to positive events rather than a finite set of negative “hits”.

The Percentile Search Engine

Instead of just returning information, this new search engine must return probabilities from which an entrepreneur may test scenarios related to the likelihood of executing a particular business process at a known time, cost, proximity, ROI, etc.

Example

Innovation Economics

An entrepreneur may want to know if her team has enough knowledge to execute a business plan. Perhaps the team has too much knowledge and they should try something more valuable. Maybe the team does not have enough knowledge and they should attempt another opportunity or accumulate training.

Valuation of Knowledge  The search engine can look into a network and identify the supply and demand of a knowledge asset. If it is unavailable or too expensive, the search engine can adjust for price, risk, or options that may emerge at a later date.

Business Intelligence Organizations can scan each other’s knowledge inventory and decide to compete, cooperate, acquire, or evade.

Knowledge management If a key person retires, the entrepreneur would simulate the knowledge that is lost and reassign people strategically.

The Secret Sauce  Companies such as Disney and Boeing both use Engineers, each would have proprietary algorithm of knowledge that represents their “secret sauce” of success. These recipes can be adjusted and improved to reflect and preserve the wisdom of an organization. Over time, these algorithms will become far more valuable then the Patents and Trade Secrets created by them – this will allow technologies to be open sourced much more profitably and shared across more industries.

Eventually, we will learn to manufacture wisdom …OhhhhMmmmmGeeeee


Résumé: A French word for separating the body from the brain

We are entering a renewal in the work force. The global imperative is for the United States to become an innovation economy now. This is an entirely different animal than the Industrial revolution; I have long argued that the résumé system is by far the most archaic knowledge management “currency” of trade in use today.

The entire premise of the résumé is destitute, if not destructive, in the modern world. Words on a computer screen are a very low level ‘media form’ being used to describe a very high ‘media form’; social, creative, and intellectual capital. It’s like using crayons to design an aircraft.

If the key words are so important, why have any other words?

A manager always hires people that remind them of themselves. They estimate the future success of a candidate based on their own limited, and often static, past experiences. The world is moving so fast and has become so complex that no manager can possibly know enough to capitalize the future based on a viable statistical sample of past experiences – we’re all holding on for dear life in a hurricane of change. The problems and opportunities of the future are so huge, so important, and happening so amazingly fast yet the allocation of human resources is worse than random for a candidate pool.

Here are a few comments that I’ve picked off some recent Human Resources Community Blogs:

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1. And our future goes with it:

“Most recruiting systems I’ve seen screen out innovators. Any résumé that is unique, different or convention-defying gets surreptitiously put in the junk pile.”

2. Start by looking in the junk pile:

“The Innovation Economy requires that the talent that creates the most value for an organization must rise to the top. Innovators are playing an increasing role in creating shareholder value – one might argue that they create the most shareholder value these days – and figuring out how to find and attract this very different breed of talent is one of the most critical initiatives you can launch within your organization.”

3. What part of “share holder value” are we having difficulty with?

“The most innovative people I have ever met don’t follow conventions in their experience or in their résumé. Or, they get bored very quickly when they can’t innovate or are forced to focus on operations, and efficiency. Most might look like (and even be) job hoppers”

4. Here is my favorite comment – I wish I could hug this person:

“I think it takes more than a résumé to screen an Innovator in or out. As blogs, blog posts, social networking, more powerful search tools, personal websites, the emergence of video on the web, talent platforms that offer CRM, etc. etc. etc. continue to become additional tools for an employer to consider in making a hiring decision, is the résumé still a currency for a candidate?”

***

We have an inventory and CAD model of every nut, rivet, and panel that goes on an airplane – why would we try to build anything without one?

So Please, let’s evolve out of the revolutionary times and develop a real community knowledge inventory. It must be computer enabled and based on a taxonomy that everyone knows and understands. It must be read, analyzed, sorted and vetted by social networks and communities of practice. It must integrate with knowledge assets from anywhere in the world.


Thousands of social currencies are emerging as people lose confidence in the ability of the dollar to store value. At the end of the day, a currency is a social agreement. People need to agree that whatever they use for the storage and exchange of value accurately represents their productivity – otherwise they will not work for it. Social currency is a storage place for social value.

Of course this is much easier said than done. Alternate currency advocates continue to stumble across substantial structural issue is defining their currency; It must be scarce, it must be difficult to forge, debase, or counterfeit and it must be accepted by everyone.

The only thing that fits all of those criteria is ‘Time’

 


Today, land, labor, and capital make up the “Tangible” assets allocated by entrepreneurs in the production of all products and service.   Meanwhile, Social Capital, Creative Capital, and Intellectual Capital of people and communities are called “Intangible Assets” on the corporate balance sheet.

As soon as you leave the Corporation, this condition reverses.  What if the new generation of corporations were built on this reversal?

Suppose it is already happening.

The next economic paradigm will be built on Social Media as soon as people start getting together to build things.  Social Capital, Creative Capital and intellectual capital will be allocated by entrepreneurs in the production of all products and services.  Meanwhile land, labor, and capital will be the intangible assets.

This may not be so far out.

LAND: with Social media, Mobile internet, geolocation applications, mobile applications, and speed blogging – most activity is independent of physical land.  Instead, Public “land” or private “land” behave as the intangible component where people assemble and produce things.

LABOR: no longer means that two physical parts are assembled into a machine.  Instead two ideas are assembled into a third idea and redeployed as data, information, knowledge, innovation or wisdom.

CAPITAL: Seriously; what exactly is Capital these days except the thing that banks play with and politicians argue about? Capital is created from debt.  The continuation of Capital Markets as we know them exists more as the absence of a reasonable alternative than an actual proxy for true value or productivity.

Instead; 500 Million people flock to Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin, Foursquare, Gowalla, etc., to collect options and store social value.  Uhm…Why?

The next phase for social media will become user generated productivity.  That is when people get together outside the construct of government and corporations to build something.  If we are lucky, this transition will happen before we are forced to “rebuild” something.

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The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on a platform of social media as the next economic paradigm.  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.

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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.