Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Month: November 2010 Page 1 of 2

The 3 Steps To Social Profits

I have been approached by many brilliant social entrepreneurs in recent weeks.  They each have several things in common. Each has an incredibly creative idea and a strong passion linked to a deep seated observation that social currency has value.  As nebulous as that may sound, it is very real, specific, and clear in the minds of those who I’ll call, The New Entrepreneur.

Nothing Economic can happen until two or more people get together to build something.  Likewise, when two or more people get together to build something, economic things happen. The objective of this post is to demonstrate the 3 underlying actions of a new class of business plans that will become dominant in the next economic paradigm.

Our recipe is simple:

Step one: convert financial currency into social currency

Step two: Create value denominated in social currency

Step three: Convert new social currency back into financial currency – if needed

This simple recipe forms the basis of the business plans for several start-ups including Social Flights and The Social Value Network as well as numerous other projects that we consult to in the US, Greece, Brazil, Australia, China, and Mexico.

So here is how it works

The Old Business Model:  Suppose you buy a truck and you use it to haul stuff for your own personal and business interests. After 5 years, you can sell the truck for about 1/2 what you paid for it.

The New Business Model: Suppose that you buy a truck to hauls stuff for your own personal or business interests.  Suppose that you also let The Boy Scout troop leader borrow it to pick up christmas trees for sale.  Suppose you let the Kiwanis use it to pick up supplies for their annual salmon bake.  Suppose you let the YWCA haul donated furniture to their satellite facility.  Suppose you help your neighbor use it for a home improvement project.  After 5 years, you sell the truck for about 1/2 of what you paid for it.

The difference is that now your community is engaged with your personal interests.  You have converted financial capital into social capital and created new value denominated in social currency.  One notable example includes Neighborgoods, but there will undoubtedly be thousands of variations of this leveraging every conceivable physical asset.

Now, how do you transform this back social capital into financial capital?   Well, that’s what the emerging science of Social Capitalism is all about.  Social Profit is like a fungible option with a face value.  If structured correctly, an option can have a face value equal to the difference between discount and full price. That face value can be traded like money.  When you are engaged in a community, people know who you are, they trust you and they share with you.  People are trading options – the right without the obligation to exercise a financial position in the future.

Options have real value as an asset if you have them or as a liability if you don’t

Specifications for Social Capitalism:

The Ingenesist Project is dedicated to the development of an alternate economy built on a platform of Social Media.

The following video series provides specification of Social Capitalism as a modern social system distinct from Market Capitalism.

Don’t Blame The Bankers

There are two sets of values in an economy. Financial value and social value. The value that is required to make something is financial value. The value that a product provides to a community of people is called social value.

Financial Currency

In order to make something, money is used to purchase raw materials and labor. After these ingredients are integrated, the product is then marketed, transported and sold for more money that the input costs. This is called financial profit in a system called market capitalism. The degree to which financial profits are gained or lost is the degree to which a financial value system is functional or dysfunctional.

Social Currency

When the product enters a community, it helps people to occupy their limited time on Earth in a more peaceful and productive manner. The product unites families and communities around human attributes such as happiness, joy, comfort, security, and wellbeing. This is called social profit in a system of social capitalism. The degree to which social profits are gained or lost is the degree to which the social value system is functional or dysfunctional.

Domination

In market capitalism, no enterprise is allowed to make less money than they consume for very long without being punished. Yet, in social capitalism there is no common means to even account for social profits or losses. There are no formal inventory of raw social materials, social value added labor, social marketing, transport, storage or exchange of social capital – the social value system is largely irrational.  The profit accounting and structural mechanisms are what make market capitalism dominant over social capitalism.

Bankers should be studied

For better or worse, the financial system works exactly as it is supposed to. Bankers do exactly what they were designed to do. They will do the same thing tomorrow as they did yesterday. Bankers are extremely predictable.  The problem lies in our irresponsible design for social capitalism and our dependency on anything but ourselves for economic outcomes.  All of the means and methods that we call an “unfair advantage” are available to each and every one of us if we simply copy bankers.

Look beyond the symptoms and you’ll find the cure

By virtue of the range, complexity, and scope of problems that surround our species it should be somewhat obvious that social capitalism is poorly executed. It does not represent a system of human attributes and values. Social Capitalism is unorganized, unaccounted, and unworthy to act in the interest of the participants. That is where the problem lies and that is where the solutions need to be applied.

Must admit that WE have a problem

Anyone can point their finger at the bankers and blame them for all the bad things in the world.  It is a completely different matter to exert the mental discipline to fully understand what makes a banker rational and what makes a banking system accountable, then to generalize this genius for applicability to ALL forms of Value, including but not limited to social value.  If the bankers accept or reject any value system, they will do it rationally.

Be a Banker

Social media provides an extraordinary set of tools for social capitalists.  Specifications that mimic the banking system in social media are readily available.  Important awakening projects are arising that take responsibility for the future rather than lay blame on the past.  It’s time that we all become bankers.

Social Stock Exchange

The over-reaching objective of the alternate/social currencies movement is to create an alternate storage and exchange device to contain “Value”.

Bizarro Capitalism

Coupons regularly portray value in Bizarro World where “Save” really means “Spend Faster”.  The vendor outlet artificially prints the Bizarro Currency which can only be redeemed in Bizarro World.  No social value is created, rather, it is destroyed.

But, if my friends sell me the product, why should I pay a salesman?

Quit complaining, the new business plan is very simple:

Step 1: Convert financial currency into a social currency,

Step 2: Create Value in the social environment (denominated in the social currency).

Step 3: Convert surplus Value back into financial currency.

Example: Suppose Alphonso publishes his knowledge inventory to a social network as follows

Career mechanical engineer, aspiring photographer, outdoors lover, economics blogger, social media index top 20%, etc.

Based on this profile, Nikon USA gives Alphonso a coupon for $500 off of any purchase of $1000 dollars.  In other words, this coupon has a tangible face value of 500 dollars. Obviously Nikon can’t discount all of their products by 50%, so they announce that only 10,000 of these coupons will be placed in circulation with some fairly distant expiration date.

The Value Game:

Suppose that Alphonso already owns a Canon so he lists the 500 dollar coupon on Craigslist for 250 dollars.  From there, he meets another photography enthusiast in his local community and keeps the difference to buy some new camping gear.

Now, we are in familiar Groupon territory; a 500 dollar deal for 250 dollars.

The value of the coupon decreases as the expiration date nears but the value of the coupon increases as the scarcity increases.  Nikon can regulate values and incentives by changing the rates at which they issue coupons. The Par value of the coupon reflects these external market forces.

People will reach into their social networks to play the value game

People will get their friends together to go on a Nikon spending spree, groups of people can buy and share community camera gear, they can donate the coupon to their kid’s high school photography class – all in exchange for Social Value.

Creating Social Value

This process of people working together around a leveraged asset (such as a 1000 dollar camera) creates social value.  It quickly becomes in the best interest for Alphonso to strengthen the photography community because his increased status will enhance his knowledge inventory and increase the likelihood of receiving additional discounts from Nikon and many other brands.

Converting Back to Currency

Every time Nikon is mentioned in conversation, this is an advertising impression – it is done in a positive light of social value creation.  This is exactly the task that an expensive ad agency would be hired to play Bizarro World.  Nikon would be largely agnostic over where the ad budget is allocated as long as measurable sales result.  Likewise, Alphonso and his friends strengthen their financial position in a market

The Future of Money

Eventually, an environment would emerge where coupons never actually need to be converted to cash. All coupons from all vendors can go into an exchange pool much like a Bond Market rated on a “social value score” and trading at a par value dependent on market forces. The difference is that Value would now be allocated according to social priority rather than Wall Street priority.

The total value of the exchange pool can become the basis of a new currency standard to fund new production of new social products and innovations.

Symbionomics And The Space Between Things

Each stage of economic development in human history was derived from the prior stage by integrating the tools developed in that prior stage; The agrarian era, the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, the information era, the knowledge economy all followed this pattern.

Whatever happens next will be extremely interesting.

Today we are rapidly emerging era of human history where there is great cause for optimism. The tools developed from the Knowledge economy are truly remarkable.  For the first time in modern history, Value is not represented by things, it is represented by the space between things.

Symbionomics

The Symbionomics project is produced by world class film maker Alan Rosenblith and visionary Sustainable Community Developer, Jay Standish.  Their objective is to reveal the next great truism in the context of human economic systems. Please watch the following trailer and please support this essential project.  The hardest secret to keep is the truth.

LandingPage from alan rosenblith on Vimeo.

The Future of Social Currency

The Branded Debit card has long been a staple of the vanity financial services industry.  Having your favorite football team, alma mater, or non-profit proudly displayed upon your purchasing prowess is a clever offshoot of those printed checks of days gone by.  Now, in the age of social media, YOU are the brand. Your product is your information and the information that passes through your social graph.

Self-branding

The most valuable asset is not who you’ve known in the past – many of those relationships are played out.  Rather, it is whom you will know in the future.   Your future connections are where all new innovation will be valued – all the decisions that are yet to be made and all the intentions yet to be acted upon. The only metric that can accurately predict this is your knowledge inventory; what you know, what you are talented in, and what you enjoy doing.  You are the future maker.

Social Value is Social Enterprise

The fastest way to unleash the extraordinary value that is contained in communities of experienced, talented, and motivated people is to provide a substrate for them to trade their knowledge assets among each other.  When people get together around a purpose, they build things that create incredible social value. The Social Value Platform provides an electronic accounting system for social value.  In The Social Value Game, vendors deposit inventory into a strategic community of people and the community creates social value.  This new social value is then converted into monetary revenue in the next economic paradigm called Social Capitalism.


A New Generation of Social Business Methods

A New Generation of Social Business Methods

Now on Kindle and IPad!!

The next Generation of electronic accounts:

There are approximately 5.5 Trillion dollars worth of retail transactions made face-to-face in the U.S. driven by a 400 Billion dollar advertising industry. Many analysts believe that the next platform for money transfer will use mobile devices (as clients for web transactions) in lieu of debit cards or cash.  Companies such as PayPal expect to be the greatest beneficiaries of this trend and are predictably promoting and developing the transaction modes.

The big hurdles will be security, friction, and privacy

Mobile to web transactions introduce any number of hacking opportunities.  Furthermore, PayPal, The Wireless Carrier, Marketers, The Bank, The Federal and State governments, and a host of other intermediaries are taking a piece of your paycheck and your data profile along with that Slurpee you just texted.

A huge amount of anti-social friction is imposed on the consumer in the name of convenience

Most people are unaware of the latest technology in debit cards that will allow them to transact in social currencies.  Vendors can issue electronic coupons directly to a customer’s debit card.  New social media applications allow people to exchange coupons from different companies among each other without necessarily converting them to dollars.  This scrambles the data, preserves anonymity, and escapes taxation.  Yet they can be just as easily redeemed for dollar denominated discounts at the point of sale.

The Social Value Game

Most people are also unaware of a new class of business methods being deployed in social media based on The Social Value Game developed by The Ingenesist Project.  The Social Value Game allows people to leverage their social influence around a product or service to attract coupons from companies willing to sponsor the customer’s social activity in their marketing strategy.  As such, social priorities will drive Wall Street priorities

A New Generation of Social Business Methods

When combined, these two technologies can vastly reduce the frictions of electronic commerce, reduce advertising, improve anonymity, scramble personal data and increase the security of transactions while introducing a strong bias toward social value in commerce.  Instead of encrypting the device, these technologies encrypt the currency. At the point of sale, coupons will enter an exchange pool and the customer will receive their discount.  In effect, they are selling their access and their data instead of having a gatekeeper sell it for them.

The Invisible Hand of Social Capitalism

Living to work, or working to live?

Everyone knows what money is supposed to be – it is supposed to be a representation of human productivity, otherwise nobody would “work” for it, right?

It is also fairly obvious that money is not the only thing that represents human productivity. People work for family, community, reputation, love, recreation, art, music, etc.   These values are denominated in social currencies.

Working for Social Currency

Market Capitalism has deftly turned social currencies into consumption verticals.  People consume recreation products, family products, community products, reputation products, etc. The irony is that people are  foregoing all those things to drive off to work in order to earn the money so that they can buy back their family, recreation, and community. People are “working” for social currencies denominated in dollars.  The Mantra of Madison Avenue is to “Steal the thing that people love about themselves and sell it back for the price of the product”

Influence Peddling

Well known internet celebrities are getting sponsorships from some well known corporations – but not all.  The reason is clear – these people have the ability to influence the opinions and interactions of their community.  However, if the sponsor has a terrible product, that same influence can turn against the brand and the influencer in an amplified manner.  It is clearly in the brand’s best interest to match the product with the message of the influencer and vice versa.

Everyone is an influencer within their own knowledge inventory

A mechanical engineer can influence the professional community of engineers.  A math teacher can influence students.  A police officer can influence citizens.  A patriarch can influence an extended family. A big brother can influence a little sister.  Taken together and segmented across a hugely diverse knowledge inventory of human civilization, everyone is an influencer of everyone else.

Printing Social Currency

So instead of going to work to to earn money, people could just as easily go into their community to earn influence.  Brands can sponsor people based on their knowledge inventory to use, share, organize, and improve communities and products.   The most successful product will be those that help people to improve their communities. As such, brands and products will likewise benefit from stronger and unified communities.  Products that weaken, marginalize, oppress, or isolate people from their communities will fail.

The Invisible Hands of Social Capitalism

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something.  Strong linked communities will get together to build “economic” things. What they choose to build will become the value generation mechanisms of the future economy that will transform social value back into financial value.  Like Adam Smith’s invisible hand of Market Capitalism, the Invisible Hands of Social Capitalism will reward people for organizing themselves to make what they enjoy most and are naturally talented in producing.  We’ll call them “Recorporations“.

Reverse Economics And True Value Social Games

Illustration from Wired (reversed) - Aegir Hallmundur; Benjamin Franklin: Corbis

Debit Cards and Credit cards routinely handle conversions from Dollars to Pesos to Euros and Yen.  The calculation is simple because there are known conversion rates between them.  In Fact, the credit card or debit card is buying the other currency much in the same way that they buy the pair of Levies, IPad, or bag of Tulip Bulbs being purchased.

Trading coupons for coupons

In other words, a debit card or credit card should also be able to use IPads, Levies, or Tulip Bulbs to buy money.  Of course, they would not use an actual IPad any more than a bank uses an actual Dollar – they trade a 100% coupon of a dollar for a 100% coupon of an IPad.  By adjusting the exchange rate between IPads and Dollars,  a 50% coupon for an IPad equals 300 Dollars and it is easy to see we are in very familiar Groupon territory.

The Dollar as a black market Currency

The debit card (or any form of mobile payment system) can, in fact, be used to trade what in earlier technological eras would be called a Black Market currency.  For example, After the Mexican currency crash of 1994-1995, I personally witnessed people empty WalMart to the bare shelves literally overnight, only to find those items circulating as currency the next day – in exchange for Dollars; the black market currency of the less developed World.

Drive the economy in reverse in order to drive the economy forward

With a high velocity and frictionless payment processing system, the economy should be able to operate in “reverse” just as easily – if not better than – it operates in so-called “forward”.  Here is why:

Suppose that Big Box retailer issues a coupon for 50% off all of it’s products for one Christmas Season because they want to beat out every merchant in the country.  The contingency coupon gets applied to all the credit/debit cards of all people that have ever shopped at the Big Box.  Since the local merchants are driven to failure and they’ll need to liquidate anyway, their response is to also honor the Big Box coupons.  This will initiate a spiral and all retailers will begin to accept each other’s coupons.  Soon, the brands such as Nike, Coca-cola, and Canon will be pulled into honoring retailer discounts.   The “coupon” will become the currency instead of the dollars.  The exchange rate between products will be determined by local arbitrage.

Lose the friction, improve efficiency

First, it would become very difficult to tax these transactions.  It would also be very difficult to inflate or deflate a dollar currency against these transactions. Arbitrage opportunities will be based on the true social value of a product in a community.  The dollar denominated conversion factor will become increasingly arbitrary.  The the new currency will be a social currency because people will now favor whatever products have the highest Social Value in their community relative to the knowledge assets of the community.  Advertising friction will disappear.  Assume Market Friction was 50%…..what changes?

In the end game, social priorities will drive Wall Street priorities

Social Currency is real currency.  The technology exists today to make it a frictionless exchange.  The economy may actually run better in so-called “reverse”.  The only thing missing is a True Value Social Game

References:

Sepp Hasslberger The Future of Money

The March issue of Wired Magazine carries an article titled: The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free.,

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

css.php