The year is 2024, no burning cities, no mass hysteria, no bread lines; the economy is on an exponential growth curve. It took a while, but the financial crisis of ended in an anticlimactic sort of way. Sure, lots of hedge fund bankers became unemployed, some went to jail, and many companies once deemed titans of industry have disappeared, but nobody seemed to notice much anymore.
Government debt has been eliminated and Wall Street has become the steward of what has become an Innovation Economy rising from the ashes of debt economics. The transition, in fact, was surprisingly smooth. Social Network applications such as Facebook, Linkedin, G+, and many more, developed a clever way to make knowledge tangible outside the construct of Wall Street and the traditional corporations and people began trading knowledge like currency.
When inflation hit, the dollar started to fall in value, people began trading a different currency called the rallod (dollar spelled backwards). The rallod was backed by future productivity resulting from innovation rather than future productivity supporting debt. When the dollar finally crashed, it pegged to the rallod and the economy began to grow again with an astonishing, yet peaceful, transfer of wealth and power to open sourced self-regulating communities; i.e., society in general. The vicious cycle of debt economics was reversed just in time. It’s still hard to believe what happened.
Today the engines of economic growth are tens of thousands of hot new start-ups that exist in the form of “Value Games” related to specific technology areas rather than the old corporation model. They automatically cluster around a technology and spin off other start-ups at an incredible rate in a strange nesting arrangement called the “tangential innovation” market. Most innovation is open sourced because the “Patent” (and protectionism in general) is no longer the center of the innovation finance universe, rather, the “secret sauce” of social, creative, and intellectual capital is the most valuable asset today.
About 15 years ago, something resembling the human genome project mapped all knowledge in the form of social, creative, and intellectual capital that exists in society to a very high granularity. An API standard was created to represent knowledge assets like packets of code that are processed by a community algorithm. The CV/resume is an old bar joke now. Thanks to a visionary government, 1st amendment protections were built into this inventory with anonymity laws and privatized TOU; creators own what they create.
An open source percentile search engine was created to enable entrepreneurs to build unique collections of knowledge assets and predict the probability that various combinations of these assets could successfully execute a business plan. High diversification induced hyper-innovation around technologies and the resulting innovations are spun out to be reabsorbed by different and diverse communities of practice in continuous iterations forming a virtuous vortex of new systems, methods, and solutions. Sketched out, these arrangements looked like electrical “integrated” circuits. Wealth creation is intense.
Since the knowledge inventory has mapped all knowledge and the Percentile Search Engine calculated probabilities and scenarios, the Innovation bank formed to make most worthy and optimal matches between knowledge surplus and knowledge deficit in a community. Since the probability of innovation success has become predictable, innovation risk is now diversified away. Innovation insurance products abound. With near-zero innovation risk the cost of venture capital has approached 5-7 % instead of 500-2000% of less than a decade ago. Banks now issue innovation bonds on the public market to finance innovation in society. For an investment of such high return and such little risk, participation is near universal. This created another virtuous circle; the more innovation that occurs, the more money is created. The more money that is created, the more innovation occurs.
Instead of having jobs, many people in a geographic area are pinged by the Percentile Search Engine which calculates the likelihood that their interaction together will increase the probability of successful execution of a business plan when combined with other knowledge assets. Instead of earning wages, people collect micro-royalties specified by contracts on capital asset sub-sections. These micro-royalties add up to substantial residual income enjoying a multiplier effect as their work continues downstream over their lifetime. The government funds social security through it’s own innovation ventures. Service workers such as police, teachers, fire fighters, nurses, local merchants, etc., are key beneficiaries because of their impact on the community is directly associated with productivity.
Many of the senior knowledge workers have determined that they can earn more money by taking an equity position in their students, and the students of their student. Unlike a decade ago, pyramid schemes in innovation economics are sustainable and generate astonishing profits. Mentors have entered the landscape in vast numbers and apprenticeships have become abundant. The income potential for the “creating creators” boggles the imagination. Again, a virtuous circle has formed between the mentor and the student. In aggregate, wisdom is being retained, refined, and transferred efficiently throughout social networks.
University “degrees” have disappeared in favor of unique combinations of knowledge assets that are continually SEO’d for best Percentile Search Engine Placement. People do not compete directly, rather, they compete with the Percentile Search Engine in the local market place by cooperating among each other. As owners of their knowledge assets, the entrepreneurial spirit is ubiquitous. No individual has either a monopoly or an identical knowledge set as anyone else. Everyone has perfect information about the knowledge assets in a market. People are pinged for different reasons at different times for different rates depending on supply and demand. Continuous education is a social event in itself, often mistaken for recreation!
Even the poorest areas of the planet are getting into the action because, by definition, the parts of an economy with the highest potential for technological change correspond to opportunities that return the highest dividends in an innovation economy. Arbitrage opportunities between master and oppressor have disappeared worldwide.
Like a neural network, the economic system of tangible knowledge is self-correcting, fault tolerant, and self-regulating. Governments across the globe tried to stop the social network driven innovation economy – but they eventually gave up. It was like trying to stop water; it flowed between the cracks and simply eroded the barriers. The most incredible outcome is that innovation now reflects long term social priorities instead of short term Wall Street priorities.
Oil production has been replaced by superconducting wind turbines, global temperatures have stabilized, all cars are electric or “water leakers” (as the hydro’s are affectionately known), many diseases have been cured, and the list goes on. It is hard to believe this happened in only 12 years. Then again, the Internet had only been widely used 15 years prior to 2009. Did I mention, we’re finally sending a multinational expedition to Mars…