Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Month: August 2011

The True Economy, The True Value

I am reading The New Capitalist Manifesto by Umair Haque in preparation for SIBOS 2011 where I will have an opportunity to join in a common conversation. I will be speaking on a panel called New Economies along with several other distinguished presenters (see Below).

New Economies = The Values

The most important thing about the discussion of new economies is the idea of Value.  It is essential that we define Value much more completely than just those things that can be articulated with money and shift to include all forms of Value in our entrepreneurship.  The Sun delivers value to the Earth. Parents deliver value to their children.  Communities deliver value to society.  A true accounting of all value is essential to the discussion of new economies.

The New Capitalist Manifesto is a hugely important book; Here are a few of my thoughts.

First; it provides a vital framework to begin accounting for what we call “True Value”; an accounting of real net value creation as opposed to borrowing, transferring, or destroying value that is not necessarily represented on a financial balance sheet.

Second; the new economy and emergent new accounting system will happen whether we like it or not.  There is little that people can actually do to avoid it. The new economy is a matter of survival – it will happen at the speed and drive of survival (hence “Capitalism”).   So make your choices now as these will define your future.

The third observation is that nobody is immune from the new economy.  The more one resists, the more it will persist.  The stronger that a country, corporation, or traditionalists hold to legacy ideas about linear value and forest-to-dump consumerism, the faster and more dramatic will be their demise.

So what does this have to do with Social Flights?

Social Flights is attempting to replace the horrific concrete wasteland of the command and control “Hub & Spoke” system with a Democracy.  Our premise is that people can self-organize around two points and efficiently share an airplane that flies directly between them from smaller airports.  In effect, we replace the infrastructure with cloud data to accomplish the same thing with a far superior customer experience, and therefor, greater true value.

Think about it; all of the world’s airlines are competing with each other in a race to the bottom around the Hub and Spoke system.  The two largest aircraft manufacturers are beating each other up around the strengths and limitations of the Hub and Spoke System. The whole system is limping along on razor thin margins. Yet, the vast majority of “true and complete” Value of travel is the human experience and the value of relationships, communities, and their actions together.  The only reason that Travel exists is being unceremoniously tossed out on the tarmac….

If you don’t listen to your customers, then at least listen to Umair Haque.

So, if you are a university, a corporation, government, or any institution dependent on physical infrastructure in order to match supply and demand while insulating yourself from competition, then you should be very concerned about the new economy.

New economies
Is money the only form of transaction value and wealth? What about social currencies? We will expose you to new thinking on new economies such as the trust economy, the intention economy, the relationship economy, the social economy and the ethical economy.

Already confirmed:

Another Opportunity To Observe Social Currency

(I am sitting on a panel at SIBOS 2011 in Toronto Sept 19-21st speaking on the subject of New Economies – this post represents the angle that I take on the subject)

With images of people rushing into the Libyan dictator’s compound like the current from a great tsunami reshaping the landscape in a matter of minutes, I reflect on the obvious metaphor.  A quick Google search on “Social Current” reveals almost nothing – except “Social Issues and Current Events”.  Well, close, but not quite…

I hate to break the news to folks but Social Current and Social Currency are the exact same thing.

For example, the ex-Egyptian President had plenty of money and plenty of oil, and plenty of guns  – all the markings of wealth and power.  Yet he was challenged and defeated by Social Currency. If there were a strict market driven conversion factor for Egyptian Social Currency, it would probably comp out at around 100 Billion dollars. So there is a conversion factor in case anyone is interested.

Will the real economy please stand up

Anyone who does not believe that social currency exists today and is actively traded, stored, and exchanged in quantities far greater than financial currency, is looking in the wrong end of their binoculars.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that the economy denominated in social currency is far greater than the economy denominated in financial currency.

Dollar spelled backwards is….

In the past, I have used the word “Rallod” as a placeholder for all VALUE that is NOT directly articulated with Dollars.  In fact, we could say that the Sun delivers Rallods to planet Earth and humans harvest what are called “natural resources” which are then converted to Dollars for storage, trade, and exchange.  The problem is that Rallods don’t have a financial “system” of their own. Rallods have been invisible – until now.

Money can’t buy me Love…

Not to get too fluffy here, but try to produce an airplane, a sandwich, or a surgical procedure without intellect, creativity, compassion, empathy, ethics, social values, or community awareness.  None of these things show up on the typical Wall Street Financial report balance sheet.  However, the absence of these things can quickly shows up in the liabilities column when confronted by social current.

Syria is in the midst of a social currency conversion process as are Greece, Tunisia, London, Israel, and France, etc.  Not to mention Yemen, China, Iran, and quite notably, the United States.

The Challenge then is to articulate ALL value in an economic system.

I believe this to be the genesis of the next economy.  I can also say with quite a bit of optimism, that it is well underway, we have past the point of no return, it’s a done deal, we are all interchanging Rallods and Dollars every day.

People are learning how to store, and exchange Rallods.  They really are – in fact, that’s where the majority of innovation in the world is occurring today.

**************

New economies
Is money the only form of transaction value and wealth? What about social currencies? We will expose you to new thinking on new economies such as the trust economy, the intention economy, the relationship economy, the social economy and the ethical economy.

Already confirmed:

SIBOS 2011 – The Power Of Tribes

I am deeply honored to be asked to deliver a keynote at SIBOS 2011 in Toronto next month.  Normally, I would consider myself quite lucky to have 5-7 minutes to speak to the World’s premier financial services conference. However, I’ll be speaking against the backdrop of economic turmoil, political gridlock, and unprecedented strains on natural resources – across the globe.

The topic of the presentation is The Power of Tribes.  While I’ll be representing a business application of this subject, – again, the backdrop for the Power of Tribes is Egypt, Syria, London, Wisconsin, Juarez, China, etc.

Why would they care about what I think?

I am aware that it’s unlikely that the financial industry will awaken some day and say:  “Wow, those kids who marched for equality and human rights in the 80”s were right all along!”.  “Yes, Yes, in order for the rich to live like we do, the poor need to live like they do and that’s not fair”. “Oh Gosh, let’s consult our engineers”.  Uh, not a chance.

They want a mountain of New Gold to appear on the Horizon.

The financial services industry is looking for new Value – something to prop up the Old Value that money is struggling to articulate.   As soon as I grab the mic, the audience will be saying to themselves “Ok, big guy, show me the money”.

Maybe I’ll suggest that Hosni Mubarack had no shortage of money or guns yet he was defeated by social (current) currency.  I could build a metaphore of a world where social currency directly challenges financial currency, political institutions, and even military strength.  Others have tried this path, so why would they believe me?

Perhaps I’ll speak through the reflection of a familiar mirror.

The financial industry is build on five pillars.  If any one of these five pillars is corrupted, the whole system fails

1. “Currency” exists for the purpose of storing and exchanging “Value”.

2. Value of currency is verified by vetting institutions.

3. An accounting system articulates inventory of Value

4. A business model such as “buy low and sell high”

5. Entrepreneurs do the fuzzy math and accept risk

It is not hard to track any failed economy with one or more of these pillars collapsed, nor is it difficult to see the cracks in the walls of the remaining economies.

The Power of Tribes

What many people do not yet realize is that as the old economy weakens a new one is emerging in lockstep.  The five pillars of a capitalist economy are being replicated in the social media movement:

Let me start in reverse:

5: Entrepreneurs do the fuzzy math – Search Engine Optimization

4: The business model is buy low, sell high – communities elevate social priorities

3: An Accounting system – trust, reputation, family, community, and influence

2: vetting institutions:  Twitter, Yelp, G+, Quora, and many many more

Only after these components have developed to a sufficient degree and become integrated with each other, a social currency will emerge.  It is wrong to say that a social currency comes first and all the rest will follow.

1. The new currency will come AFTER the integration of Social Media.

Convertible with money:

Keep in mind that dollars were once backed by Gold.  Eventually, the need for gold convertibility became obsolete.  Likewise, this social currency will be convertible with money, and eventually the need to convert to dollars will become obsolete. That’s the end game on the dollar

That’s also the Gold Mine on the Horizon…that’s The Power of Tribes

People Are Corporations Too

Wow what a week. I though that I heard it all until Mitt Romney said “Corporations Are people”. Actually, I admire Mr. Romney but I do struggle with this interpretation for his sake and those who he represents – and possibly an opportunity lost to rise above the noise.

In a way, Mitt provides us with a looking glass into the fundamental differences between the rich and the poor. The rich see themselves as the proxy for the prosperity of the poor. Meanwhile, the poor see themselves as the proxy for the prosperity of the rich. Neither side admits that they need each other, but I won’t pretend that I can solve this argument any time soon.  However, allow me to suggest that the winner of the debate will be the one that can evolve above the paradox.

The following video discusses how many components of a corporation – and government – are being duplicated in Social Media. The beauty of is that this great social innovation is available to anyone including the rich, the poor, the corporations, and the government. Oh, but wait – if the UK shuts down social media, they will effectively shut themselves out of the paradox, not evolve from it…Ooops. Be careful, Mitt.

So here is a video I made last year which, in a way, validates much of what we see playing out before us in politics, business, and social media.

OWN Your Travel Game

Social Flight is unique in its purpose of organizing communities of people into powerful collectives who can influence markets, vendors, and especially prices. This opportunity arises because of extraordinary inefficiencies in the airlines, but also in advertising, communications, marketing and every industry where a broker stands between your intentions and a market for goods and services.

Why Google Plus?

It may take a while for most people to catch on to what Google already knows: nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something.

Suppose you set up Google Circles by Geographic location.  Essentially, collect your home town friends, your college friends, your family branches, your company headquarters, etc., by geographic location.

Of course, each place where you have been has it’s own set of circles for things to do, places to go, and events to attend.  Each place that you go is a market of goods and services that is willing to accept your patronage as well as the patronage of people in your circles.

Now suppose you overlay your data on your personal “interests” data: 

This data set can include National Parks, affinity conferences, your Alma Mater “away” games, and seasonal recreation, for example.  This affinity data may also include concert tours of your favorite bands, speaker tours of your favorite authors, sibling birthdays, or promotional campaigns for your company, etc.

These form your intentions:

By far the most powerful business intelligence data is for the product that you will buy next, the person who you will talk to next, the place you will go next, and the impression that you will receive next.  This data belongs to you – like physical property – and YOU should be able to determine who sees.

YOU OWN your intentions data. 

Now overlay your intentions over a map of services and vendors such as hotels, or NASCAR races any other Goods and services that someone may want to sell to you.  Today, these vendors are paying a great deal of money to advertise their message to people who may never buy the product or create an unnecessary, and possibly negative, impression on those  who would not use the product in the first place.

$400 Billion dollar yearly advertising spend

These vendors pay and extraordinary amount of money on business intelligence, Groupons, and social media campaigns trying to discover YOUR intentions data.

They want to know where you are, but NOW, you know who THEY are.  You have every bit of information that you need about them to sell them YOUR product: your intentions.

Now you can simply ask them to bid for your intentions data and bid for your business – this is exactly what a print ad or TV commercial hopes to accomplish. 

Who is ready to build these applications with us?

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