Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Month: February 2009 Page 1 of 2

Innovation Bonds: 3 Million Jobs

Another approach for spending a Trillion dollars (backed by debt) would be for the government to issue innovation bonds (backed by innovation) to fund new enterprise.  Surely the World still greatly admires and respects American Ingenuity (social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital) and would likely buy such a financial instrument instead of more of our debt.

The final frontier; your backyard

The Last Mile of social media is a vastly unexploited resource with an astonishing wealth creation potential.  The Ingenesist Project (TIP) specifies a structure for an innovation economy through the application of 3 simple web applications deployed to social media that will ignite “The Last Mile”.

Already, people use social media to harvest great ideas from around the world.  The Ingenesist Project will enable global ideas to be applied in local economies throughout our communities.

Running Numbers:

The sweet spot for Last Mile social media is (2-6) people living within a (1-6) square mile area. Assume an average innovator density is about (1) person per square mile.  The United States is a little more than (3) million square miles.  If only (1) of the thousands upon thousands of potential applications of Last Mile social media were implemented across the country, then (3) million jobs would be created.

Dan’s List; Leave a Tip

Here is a list of (10) hypothetical business ideas that a buddy and I dreamed up over lunch using TIP methodology for inducing an Innovation Economy.  Each of these ideas has a working revenue model.

1.    Zertify: This company is a last mile/vetting social media application where neighbors “Zertify their Zillow Zestimates”.
2.    Start Up Neighborhood (SUN): is a last mile social media application where neighbors get together to innovate and create new businesses.
3.    ScatterWatt: is a last mile social media application for decentralizing power generation aggregating local clean power generation systems (rooftop wind, solar, greenery).
4.    ComPrac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that forms and organizes communities of practice for the purpose of mentorship and cooperation in innovation.
5.    CombinePac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that combines communities of practice strategically for the purpose of tangential innovation
6.    TopUse: is a last mile social media/vetting application that makes best use of already disturbed lands saving undisturbed lands from exploitation.
7.    CodeVitae: is last mile/vetting service that translates CVs and job descriptions into universal decimal classification system for computerized analysis, normalization, and improved allocation.
8.    Proximizer: A last mile social media application that reallocates knowledge assets for best proximity to home space for carbon credits.
9.    CarbonCops: is last mile social media application to register, certify, and implement carbon savings ideas.
10.    VetBucks: is a last mile/vetting site for the verifying expenditure of public funds.

Improving Information for Fun and Profit:

The degree to which information is improved in a market is the degree to which the innovation adds value.  As such, monetization becomes a relatively simple matter.  Furthermore, the options that are created will have a multiplier effect in the communities as neighbors learn what knowledge assets are available with which to cooperate in their communities and where their knowledge assets can be deployed productively. New ideas generate more new ideas as the markets will seek to fill in the blank spots and support more structure for innovation economy.

An Endowment for their Grandchildren:

While the leadership elders are to be respected for their wisdom and accomplishments, they have very little comprehension of the economic growth potential of social media. It is understandable that they may overlook this opportunity.  The capitalization of social media lays in the hands of the young people who know exactly what to do if given the opportunity.  Why not give them a shot at getting the books in order?  Call it their inheritance.

If It Ain’t Broker, Don’t Fix It.

The function of the innovation economy is to improve information.  This has the derivative effect of improving knowledge which, by definition, fuels more innovation.   Monetization is easy if we simply improve information between any buyer and any seller in any market, anywhere.

…If it is, please do

For example, the job of a broker is to mediate the transaction between a buyer and a seller.  There are real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, stock brokers, etc.  Unfortunately, it is not always in the best interest of the broker to provide perfect information to both sides of the transaction.  Rather, the broker provides the minimum amount of information needed to complete the transaction, within which they build their commission for rendering such filtration services.

Any B-school undergrad can tell you that a market is most efficient when the buyer and the seller have exactly the same information as the other when making a transaction; this is called “perfect information”.  As such, “supply and demand” can do its magic.  Resources of production can be perfectly allocated in the glorious capitalist system.  The financial meltdown has shown us that the more complex the product is, the greater the deficiency in perfect information becomes.

The Holy Grail:

The great opportunity for social media is the ability to improve information in almost every transaction conceivable and create wealth.  The next generation of social media strategists will rise to tremendous heights in this domain of the Innovation Economy. However, the Holy Grail of information improvement is the knowledge asset market itself:

For example: Corporations have a great deal more information about employees than employees have about corporations.  People are encouraged to compete with each other, not to cooperate, for that carrot on a stick. They are trained to keep their salary a secret.  The “job statement” is in a secret code language that is only understood inside the company, not in the general work force.  Managers “broker” information by filtering it on the way up and on the way down the corporate structure.  It is little wonder that corporations are having a tough time with the social media stuff.

When the layoff comes, the outsourcing begins, or the life change happens, the resume is often no better than a bingo card in a key word lottery.  By the way, customers have even less information than the employees. Peanuts anyone?

The mothers of Invention

The knowledge market is the mother of all imperfect information markets.  Social media is a single iteration away from greatly improving information in all knowledge markets. Nothing happens without applied human knowledge, as such, the potential capitalization of the next generation of social media applications is as big as the market itself – and it will challenge the very structure of the traditional corporation and associated filtration services.

Got a Life?

Geographic Compatibility:

In the early 1990’s, traffic in Los Angeles was so horrendous, it could take hours to travel a dozen miles.  Commuting was a nightmare and the last thing anyone wanted to do was sit in more traffic.  As a single professional, every time I met a prospective lady friend, I had that elemental question in the back of my mind – and so did she: are we Geographically Compatible (GC)?

The sweet spot:

I recall many a magical conversation ending with that mutual inevitable shrug of the shoulders; a secret code for “have a nice life”.  In Los Angeles, GC peaked in the sweet spot of 1-6 miles.  After that, GC diminished roughly proportional to the square of distance with 20 miles as an absolute maximum.  Any more was no closer or farther than, say, Nashville.

The cost of ownership:

Today, not only must we contend with traffic and the cost of owning a car, we must attend to a warming planet were every gallon of gas burned spews 19 lbs of CO2 to the atmosphere.  In addition, we have a deepening deficit of the most valuable asset in our lives and the lives of those around us; time, bandwidth, productivity, sleep, money, innovation; it’s all the same convertible currency.  All are wasted equally behind the wheel of an automobile.

Social Experiment:

With this in mind, I did a little experiment.  I went to Linkedin and conducted a search for everyone within 6 miles of me.  All that they offered was a 10 mile range and with keyword search too.  The results were very interesting; not ideal but not too shabby.  I tried the same with Facebook, and the best I could do was search by zip code.  It was very awkward and the profile search feature only allowed me to query my existing contacts.  I am guessing that there is some sort of security issue that restricts this type of searching.  Too many nuts, flakes and stalks in that granola, I suppose.

Not unlike the LA dating scene, the future of innovation economics, global sustainability, quality of life, social support structure, family values, and money management will rely increasingly on GC; and the constraints will not end soon.  Social Media must understand the monetization potential of GC and develop robust applications to support it.

If that is not enough convincing, try this:

‘The Jane Jacobs externality’ named after a transformational sociologist of the same name, suggests that concentrations of educated and skilled people attract companies and investment to a geographical area.  The presence of such investment attracts more educated and skilled people to that area; also referred to as “intellectual capital”.

Harvard Professor and Author, Dr. Robert Putnam concluded that people acting in groups can produce far more economic growth faster and better than corporations and government combined. This is called “Social Capital”.

Carnegie Melon Professor and Author, Dr. Richard Florida, suggests that artists and engineers think more similarly 24/7/365, than managers and production workers.  This is called “Creative Capital”.

Factors of production:

All three; intellectual capital, social capital, and creative capital are wholly and utterly dependent on GC.  These are the factors of production of an Innovation Economy.

Evidence of these effects can be demonstrated by the civil rights movement, woman suffrage, neighborhood watch, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Greenwich Village, Austin Texas, Boston, Hollywood, Chicago, NYC, and many more locations where ‘wealth’ is located.  What came first, the money or the people?

So, what part of monetization is Social Media having difficult with?  The sweet spot is 1-6 miles, so get the hint and get it fast. Meanwhile, billions upon billions of magical conversations end with that inevitable shrug of the mouse; a secret code for “have a nice life”.  I say, get a life.

Who Owns Your Content?

The epiphany:

Something very interesting happened when Facebook changed their terms of service.   People who use the Facebook platform (for free) organized themselves using the (free) platform to threaten the core validity of the same (free) platform.  This could not happen in any other industry.

Saving face?

Ownership is largely characterized by the ability of one party to restrict the access of another party.  Judging by the results of this uprising, it seems that for all practical purposes, the users own their content and their impressions no matter what the TOS says.  This is a very strong argument for the tangibility of social, creative, and intellectual capital.

Ownership Economics:

The fact that people own and care for their content is what makes Facebook work.  Ownership is an extremely powerful force that drives intense participation and  innovation.  People will attend to their property, improve it, make it valuable, and create value for themselves and those around them.  Really, when was the last time you washed a rented car?

Historical perspective:

Most history books present the Homestead Act of 1862 as the product of a wise and benevolent government seeking to reward worthy citizens of a great young nation for populating the vast Western territories.  But that is not really true. Most of the land was already occupied by squatters who arrived disheveled, found a nice spot, built their small cabin, and farmed or hunted to sustain themselves.   They could not be evicted or charged with trespassing because a “jury of their peers” was also composed of squatters.

Problems arose when squatters could not borrow money to improve the land because they did not hold a title to it.  Legitimate landowners could not value their property if the land next door was untitled.  Border disputes resulted in gun battles.  Stealing was rampant. The children of squatters could not inherit the land without proper title. There was little incentive to produce anything beyond sustenance. When services and capital projects were required to support the increasing population, there was no tax base.  Not unlike Facebook, this new frontier could not be monetized.

Wisdom in Government; not always an oxymoron:

Perhaps the greatest moment in government came with the realization that it is impossible to change the behavior of people, rather, the best strategy would be to accommodate what they are going to do anyway.  So they legalized the squatters and gave them deed to their land. The occupants could sell or capitalize as they wished.  Investment capital flooded the region and entrepreneurs improved the land and created enterprises.  The government could then collect taxes proportional to the productivity of the citizens. The result was the development of the Western States as economic powerhouse that we know today.

Use it or lose it:

A very similar opportunity is presenting itself to Facebook and now the road to monetization should be crystal clear.  They should go out of their way to create terms of service that protects the rights of each and every member to own and control their content in its entirety, forever.

Next, Facebook should develop applications that allow advertisers to bid for impressions directly with the users compensating them for their time.  Users will build profiles that attract those seeking opinion, knowledge, feedback, wisdom AND SALES related to their products.  Users should be able to control every aspect of their content including any means that they can dream up to legally create revenue from their social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital.  Facebook should develop a knowledge inventory of what users know and make it available to others like a “Public Library or knowledge assets”.  Then they should develop applications to match knowledge surplus to knowledge deficit, etc. Let the trading begin.

The answer in their face:

If smart people can make money using Facebook just by doing what they are going to do anyway, they will flood the system with the most tangible forces in nature; social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital. If Facebook can’t figure out how to monetize the asset staring them in their face, they will soon encounter a more powerful competitor – their own users.

Social Media; The Engine of New Economic Growth

Click image to activate

Click image to activate

Business Models of the Future:

The great new social media business models of the future will be in the areas of “The Last Mile of social media” and “Social Vetting mechanisms”.   I have written about these two elements in the past.  However, this article will attempt to focus on how the future engine of economic growth can use social media platforms to power social capitalism.

The Last Mile:

The Last Mile of social media is where the rubber meets the road.  I can chat with people all over the world on Twitter and Facebook, but nothing happens until I walk out of the house and meet real people in real time to create a real business that really increases real human productivity.  If I can accomplish that, monetization is simple matter.

If everyone is harvesting ideas from all over the world, Last Mile technology is the key to bringing these ideas to the ground.  The new social enterprises will develop, support, enable, and service the structure for innovation in neighborhoods and communities.

Feel the Burn:

To understand the power of this paradigm; there is little doubt that the leader of the free world was elected by the Last Mile.  That is huge.  Now, when the Last Mile is in trouble with mounting layoffs, foreclosures, and wealth destruction, eyebrows are raised, headlines make the first page, and everyone is wondering what will happen in to the Last Mile.  In 1992, this author saw Los Angeles burn over a whole lot less than what’s coming down the pipes today.  This is not a game, this is very serious stuff.

Social Vetting:

Social Vetting, on the other hand, is less understood, but like a tornado there is nothing subtle about the forces that it can impart against the darkness of secrecy.  All markets become more efficient in the presence of an effective vetting mechanism, as such, monetization is a simple matter.  Conversely, the absence of vetting is the root of all corruption – as we are now painfully aware.

Begging for Mercy:

To understand the power of this paradigm; Facebook was recently brought to its knees by Social Vetting.  First, a social watchdog group noticed the change in the terms of service and set the dials on “viral”.  Facebook users organized immediately and lay siege to the core validity of a 3.5 billion dollar new media titan.  Within hours, Facebook was backpedaling. The 300 billion dollar marketing industry, ravenous for viewer impressions, was sent back to the drawing boardroom.  Meanwhile, legacy media spin took pot shots at Facebook’s inability to monetize the value it claims to create.  Again, this is not a game, this is serious business.

Role play

In each of these examples social media responded effectively to an existing injustice.  This presents the dire question:  If the Last Mile and Social Vetting can have such a profound effect in the REACTIVE role, what would be the underlying dynamic if applied in the PROACTIVE role ?

The Engine of Economic Growth:

Consider this: Social media has no problem scaling up, rather, it has a problem scaling down.  The Last Mile and Social Vetting represents the compression cycle of the new economic engine.  The spark of innovation ignites the secret sauce to scale upward.  With a repeatable cycle, we can literally create an engine of economic growth cycling from down-scaling to up-scaling, and back to down-scaling, and so forth, forever.  Each combustion cycle literally pumps value into an economic system.

Master of Puppets:

I’ll let the reader now ponder the cause and effect sequences of this proposition.  But I will leave one hint: Wall Street becomes the servant, not the master.  As such, monetization becomes a simple matter.

The Global Financial Crisis; The End Game

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…

The US Financial System – Tail Wagging Dog

The financial system is not the problem.  The Innovation System is the problem – or did you notice that we do not have an “innovation system”?  Finance and Innovation in the US has engaged in the dangerous dance of tail wagging dog.  Innovation is as Wall Street does; not the other way around.  This is wrong, this is very wrong.

Doers, not shakers

[Our economic strength is derived from the doers, the makers of things, the innovators who create and expand enterprises, the workers who provide life to companies and, with their earnings, support families and invest in their future… This is what drives economic growth.] – Barack Obama

These are sobering words.  It make one wonder how everyone else makes a living; the brokers, the agents, the middlemen, the gatekeepers, the spinners, the flippers, the money managers, and everyone else in the game with their hands “in the flow of money” dragging the system into a tailspin.  Many of these people publicly criticize the working class, who have finally run out of steam, for gumming up their game.

It is also amazing that the engineers, educators, technologists, medical professionals, and public servants could produce so much for so long; enough to feed everyone else – except, as of recently, themselves.

[The financial system is central to this process, transforming the earnings and savings of American workers into the loans that finance a first home, a new car or a college education, the credit necessary to build a company around a new idea.] – Tim Geithner

Meet the Master:

The financial system is supposed to be the servant, not the master.  Innovation takes time, effort and resources before the payback can be realized.  For this reason only, the financial system bridges that time gap to allow for increased future productivity to generate new wealth for use by all.  That is the only reason why the financial system should exists.  But somehow we have gotten it backwards.

We got it backwards:

Technological change must precede economic growth.  We are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change.  The invention of the wheel, wedge and the pulley came before the invention of the Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) – there is no excuse for this oversight. This is clearly unsustainable and the process must be reversed.

An easy fix, almost:

The Ingenesist project specifies 3 web applications that will allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible outside of the bloated and failing financial system.  These applications will make innovation success predictable.  If success is predictable, then cash flows are predictable.  Using the same calculus as Wall Street, the cash flows can be combined, diversified, and split up into innovation bonds with superior returns that can be issued to fund new and sustainable innovation enterprise. Problem solved.

3 steps away from a quantum leap:

This can be done today playing by the rules and using existing technology – 3 simple applications.  That is how close we are to achieving the most important evolutionary step in human history.  The Government needs to empower the people to release themselves from the shackles of debt created by those who create little else.  For this reason, Obama is on the only correct path – buying time so that this important social media technology can mature.

Necessity Is The The Mother of All Stimuli

So who exactly is paying for this? The next economic stimulus package will not come from the halls of Washington or the boardrooms of Wall Street, but from the streets of America.  The objective of The Ingenesist Project is to induce a crowd sourced innovation economy by integrating Social Media with three web applications. It’s all about to become extremely exciting.

Social Media Grows Legs

There only remains three tiny applications yet to be developed and deployed to social media that will allow human knowledge to become tangible outside the construct of a corporation, and therefore, independent of Wall Street.  Social media technology is very close to duplicating nearly every function of the corporation outside of the traditional corporate structure.  America’s most valuable asset is not money, it is social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital, and it’s about to stand up, brush itself off, and walk away from the mess left by the excesses of greed and power.

The Evolution of a Species:

1. Social Media will be used to develop a knowledge inventory in a computer code based on, say, the Dewey Decimal System.  Suddenly, human knowledge will become organized like a library and searchable by computer in very high resolution.

2. Boolean logic will be applied to the knowledge inventory and the resume will be replaced by a high resolution computer readable descriptive code.

3. Communities of practice will normalize (bell curve) their knowledge domain. At this point, knowledge will appear in the same form as a financial instrument and can then be treated as a tangible asset.

4. A percentile search engine will calculate the probability that a various collections of knowledge assets can execute collections of innovation business plan scenarios.

5. An Innovation Bank will match most worthy knowledge deficit to most worthy knowledge surplus and keep a record of the “secret sauce” of success feeding back to the search engine.

Wall Street Calculus:

Using the same equations as Wall Street, the Innovation Bank will predict the probability that a venture will be successful given a set of knowledge assets.  The Innovation Bank can then predict the future cash flows associated with the venture. Now, thousands of ventures and their predicted cash flows can be combined, diversified, and diced up into innovation bonds having superior returns over any other investment.  Investors will flood the Innovation System with cash.  This cash will be used to fund more innovation investment and the cycle will continue.  Everyone takes an equity position and innovation reflects social priorities rather than Wall Street priorities.  This changes everything.

This can happen today with existing infrastructure.  The only thing needed is a social movement; that’s what Americans are best at.  Where does this leave Wall Street, failing businesses, and all their debt?  The funny thing about knowledge assets is that they can walk if necessary.

The First Mile in Social Media

The Last Mile….

Back in the early days of Broadband, the cost of sending a signal across the Pacific Ocean was negligible compared to the cost of delivering that signal to everyone in town – the problem was called the called “The Last Mile”.

Predictably, companies battled it out in the Dot-Com Wars with a flurry of IPOs and hostile takeovers clambering to fill “The Last Mile” void.  Then the issue largely disappeared.  I guess the cable TV folks figured it out because that is who I send my money to for the speedy bits.  Last week I was chatting with the FiOS folks burying fiber optic cable near my mailbox.  They said it’s going to get faster.

…of Social Media….

Social media currently suffers from “The Last Mile” syndrome.  Social Media applications have enabled me to make friends in India, Israel, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, and everywhere in between. I can shout out to 3 million people with the click of a mouse, but not the wonderful family living a few houses down the street.   I met them while chatting with the FiOS folks who were burying fiber optic cable near our mailboxes.

…is where the rubber meets the road

I really enjoy my online friends and the sharing of information makes me smarter and introduces me to new ideas.  But these ideas are not very productive until I apply them to something that actually touches the ground, like the FiOS cables.  The secret to finding a business case for social media can be found in “The Last Mile”.  It would seem that innovators and entrepreneurs would be strafing each other to fill this vastly under served market and lucrative market segment. This is where the money is. Hello, is this thing on?

But the scalability is lost.

I have found a few applications like Meet-up, Biznik, Ning, Neighborex, Start-up Weekend, etc., but they are just not catching fire like the calculus suggests that they should.  The problem is that the scaling is lost.  The advertising revenue model carried over from radio and TV requires millions of impressions to be viable.  The demographic of “The Last Mile” are groups of 2-8 people living within a few miles of each other – a corporate business model just does not exist to serve “The Last Mile”.

The First Mile…

Meanwhile, the old one-way advertising model is dying off quickly and the two-way advertising paradigm is sending all the major corporations and media outlets to the drawing board looking for the social media strategy.  Corporation are now expected to provide real value to a community, but they can’t figure out how to scale that value. The Irony is that most of those same corporations were started by 2-8 people living within a few miles of each other.  Maybe we should call it “The First Mile” and then re investigate the role of Social Media.

…holds the the secret sauce…

In the future of innovation economics, patents will not be the most valuable object, rather, the secret sauce that comes up with the innovations that will be the most valuable.  Corporation can employ social media to provide a practical and repeatable program that empowers a community.  Corporations can strategically assemble local entrepreneurs into spin-off entities. Corporations could license their IP, open-source their technologies, share internal strategy, and provide executive coaching that helps community teams to form new corporations discovering tangential and future markets.  Corporations should teach people what they do best – making money.

…where the scalability is found.

So where is the scalability?  Hey, let me hop on my new FiOS line with my 8 friends from down the street and we’ll just shout out to our 24 million global neighbors – and we’ll get back to you.

Oh, What a Semantic Web We Weave

Innovation Economics:

is the conscious practice of investing in innovation as a method for driving economic prosperity.  Innovation is the science of change and economics is the science of incentives.

Money is fictitious:

Money does not represent gold or silver, it represents your productivity.  The value is held in the productivity, not coins or bank notes.  Debt represents future productivity and savings represents past productivity. It’s very simple.

So if the word “money” and the word “productivity” mean the same thing, they should be interchangeable. Right?

As a test, try the following:

Every time you hear someone use the word “money”, simply insert the word “productivity”.  Try it with the kids, your boss, the news broadcast, or your favorite politicians.  If their statement still makes sense, then it is likely a logical statement.  If the statement is confused, reversed, or makes no sense whatsoever, then this is where we need Innovation Economics.

The Reversal:

  • “Mom, can I have some [productivity] to buy an ice cream cone?”
  • “We don’t have enough [productivity] to invest in R&D”
  • “There isn’t enough [productivity] in the budget so we must cut education programs”.

The Confusion:

  • “It concerns me that Facebook has yet to find a [productivity] model that seems likely to secure its future.”
  • “Icelandic [productivity] collapse is heard around the world”
  • “Global Warming costs too much [productivity] to solve”

The Ridiculous:

  • “Wall Street Executives earned excessive [productivity] in 2008”
  • “State of Washington opens more liquor stores to raise much needed [productivity]
  • “Lawmakers from both political parties have criticized banks for failing to use the taxpayer [productivity] for lending to help stabilize the hard-hit U.S. economy”.

It’s really fun to play this game when you start getting bored with the endless dribble of spin.  You can even go backwards; hear “productivity” and insert “money”. Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back to the nightly news and you may start noticing some interesting trends.

Discussions related to engineers, infrastructure, airplanes, teachers, doctors, police and firefighters, etc., tend to get The Reversal. Discussions related to innovation industries such as social media, environment, and social causes tend to get The Confusion.  Discussions related to gambling, marketing and advertising, money shuffling, law suits, Wall Street, and various forms of speculation, are simply The Ridiculous.

It will make you wonder why we would need a Web 3.0 Semantic Web.  We really need a Web 3.0 de-Semantic Web.

(Picture from Charlotte’s Web; a story about a dinner pig who makes friends with a spider who comes up with a plan to save the pig by writing words in her web.  All the town’s people thought that the pig was special and his life was spared. The farm animals knew that it was really the spider who was special – she was an innovation economist)

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

css.php