Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: 99%

Time to Kill Social Media

Kill Social MediaSocial Media is dying and it needs to be put out of its misery ASAP.  I have been in the social media space for many years and while much has happened, much has been lost.

There was a dream we all had in the earlier days that ‘user-generated content’ would evolve to ‘user-generated productivity’ and social priorities would change. The funny thing about economics is that nothing economic can happen until two or more people physically get together in time and space and make something valuable for each other.

I have seen this over and over in my own businesses. The Ingenesist Project (TIP) has global reach, high the engagement of important people, and a fair amount of notoriety – but after nearly 10 years, 500 blog posts, 60 videos and dozens of conference appearances, TIP has not generated a single penny of revenue.  But I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people many who have become close friends.

On the other hand, Coengineers is only a few years on and gets twice as many website views, we’ve toppled shady contractors, and publish an extensive catalog of engineering means and methods, and saved many shared asset communities from financial peril. But it is not until I physically walk into society and ask people face to face and ask “How can we help you?” that Coengineers generates revenue…. and, then we do generate revenue.  And I’ve met hundreds of people many of whom have become close friends.

Linkedin is worthless. Facebook is criminal. Google is downright creepy.

Again, nothing economic happens until two or more people get together in physical space and time to make something useful for each other. Yes, I know that software can be produced oceans apart, but what is that software about? It is always about something that happens in the physical space. It MUST eventually touch the ground somewhere in order to have an economic outcome to convert back downstream.  Big Data wants those relationships, they want them badly, they think that they should own them.  That is where the value is and Big Data wants to scale it.

ROI Rage

Nobody has ever been able to produce a reliable ROI on social media. It’s easy to get people to talk about something, but it is difficult to get people to buy something. Enter Big Data. According to Josh Sinell, VP at Merkle, “It’s [now] about determining what data we need to make something measurable and valuable happen, and then using that data to craft a strong offer, and delivering that offer when and where that customer is most ready to receive and act on it”.

The implications of this statement are horrific (“Shock and Awe” comes to mind). But we can also look at it as a business opportunity – marketers are willing to pay dearly for clean data from anyone who can harness it. So what if we the people could harness our own data and place a big yellow tollbooth on the Big Data Superhighway?

Turning out the lights 

Curiosumé creates a public key inventory of all the things that people need. Then you create your decentralized private key representing your relationships, which you control. By looking at either key, some global data may be attainable; mostly the the stuff that serves society in general. However, your personal data is encrypted until you – and only you – combine your private key with the public key, then the secrets within are revealed.   This would effectively shut the lights out on Big Data. If they want to see your data, they will need to pay you directly for it.

The famous prophet Mitt Romney once proclaimed, “Corporations are people, my friend” But little do many of us realize that people are corporations too. So go ahead, kill Social Media.  Society may simply reorganize into something else, the sooner the better in my opinion.

 

 

The Paragon of Capitalism

Capitalism is characterized by the condition where individuals acting in their own best interest consequently act in the best interest of society.  By contrast, Socialism is characterized by the condition where individuals acting in the best interest of society consequently act in their own best interest.

Who are the Socialist?

While America espouses a capitalist system of social organization, the jobs that Capitalists create are contained in corporations that operate much closer to the socialist model of community organization.

In a corporation, employees are motivated to act in the best interest of the corporation as a means to assure their own best interest.  Resources allocation is channeled through ministers who are led by a benevolent dictator responding to the priorities of a family of stockholders.  Tasks are segmented into units of equal pay for equal work. There are limited avenues to advancement. People cannot talk freely against their employer. It is acceptable practice to banish some people for the best interest of the collective.

First Amendment To The U.S. Counterintuition

The opposite holds for the OWS movement – some say the occupiers are socialist, however, the jobs that they create are Capitalist.  There is no benevolent dictator or appointed ministers or hierarchy to allocate resources.  Anyone can join and nobody gets sent to the gulag.  Yet, everyone knows what to do like some kind of invisible hand that elevates an ideal.  Most importantly, there are unlimited avenues for advancement.

The movement was peaceful.

Buildings did not fall.  Mothers did not mourn the death of children. There was no volatility induced on the stock markets, the lawyers stayed in their offices, politicians were relatively unscathed. Those protestors who did suffer are now celebrated in the media, culture, art, music, Facebook, etc.  In short, People acting in their own best interest were in fact acting in the best interest of society.

Reoccupy Wall Street

Now that the movement has been dispersed, and the 89% who still have jobs return to occupy their respective corners of Wall Street.  The global narrative has changed for everything from warfare to environmental protection to income equality.

The products that emerge

Already, mobile apps now exceed CD/DVD sales.  Mobile computing devices will replace PCs. Television sales are going down. Many of us now own our last internal combustion automobile. Social Media Applications are mimicking financial instruments with new systems for trade, exchanges, trust, influence, and value creation.  Allocating social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital rather than the now quaint but hopelessly static notions of land, labor, and fiat capital is producing real value.

Capitalism and socialism are simply two of many different forms of social organization.  People are reorganizing.

The Science of Change

Calculus has been called the greatest achievement of the human mind.  Yes, it is a little difficult to understand … until one day it becomes the simplest, most obvious, and glorious form of expression ever imagined.  Like a musical instrument, there is a point where all the symbols and lines can disappear and the artist can express himself or herself in the medium of the art – leading to many more great achievements of human mind.

The Science of Change

Calculus is amazing because it can make the invisible visible.  From sub-atomic particles, gravity, silicon circuits, diffusion of medicine through cell walls, to the discovery of new planets in distant solar systems – none of which are directly visible to the observer, yet their existence enables human imagination, innovation, cooperation, and social development at the most fundamental form.

Changing Wall Street

Wall Street lives quite comfortably in our homes, political system, our food , and our occupations – without being seen directly. Wall Street is utterly invisible.  Most of their work doesn’t even happen on Wall Street.  How did they accomplish this?  How were they so successful in occupying Main Street without being seen?

The Trojan Proxy

Wall Street is a mathematical construct – it exists in the form of symbols and numbers, or, “proxies” for making stuff – but not the actual stuff itself.   That is the vulnerability that we can easily exploit.  If we are smart, we can dismantle Wall Street brick by brick and they will happily walk right through the door because “our door” – the knowledge asset inventory – can be made indistinguishable from any other “proxy” for making stuff.  (I write extensively on this strategy in the prior posts).

There is a bigger message here that I hope does not get lost in the clamor.  There is likewise a very easy way to occupy Wall Street, however, it’s going to take a little mathematical cleverness. How do we make them visible to us and ourselves invisible to them.

The key is that we need to change ourselves. We need to transform, not them.  We don’t need to occupy Wall Street, we simply need to occupy Main Street because that is where they occupy us.  It is not enough to marvel at our numbers, civil disobedience, and cardboard signs.  We need a Science of change so that we can do so.

A Better Way To Occupy Wall Street

What if I told you that we could occupy Wall Street without actually camping out there?  In case you have not noticed, Wall Street occupies your house without you ever seeing any suits milling around your driveway.  So what’s the plan?

In the Age of The Internet, redistribution of wealth should not be a very difficult thing to do, yet the approach is surprisingly low-tech.  Just look at the pictures; if this is going to be our approach, then we’re in deep trouble.

Here’s the trick. Wall Street is built on a foundation where the factors of production are land, labor, and capital.  All we need to do is shift the factors of production to something else. We don’t actually need to shift Wall Street, we need to shift ourselves.

The reality is that the today’s economy is built on social, creative, and intellectual factors of production – these are the factors of production of that so-called 99% of the value of our economy.  It’s a knowledge economy, remember?

Now, notice how land and labor are constrained by geography, property laws, political districts, and “national borders”. Also notice that the accounting system (capital) is as anonymous as possible, if not shrouded in secrecy.  Do you remember how Steve Jobs told us that it’s OK to copy good ideas?

First, we need to build a knowledge inventory of all the useful stuff in our brains and integrated by geographic proximity so we all can find each other.  This is how we’ll mimic land and labor.  Next, the knowledge inventory must be anonymous until the point of transaction – this is not for privacy concerns, rather, we need to do this to create scarcity (nothing personal, Zuck).  This is how we mimic “capital”.

At the end of the day, your knowledge inventory is your personal API – you create your own value and integrate with others or withhold it as you wish…just like Wall Street. Of course, everyone would then need to become a corporation so that we can pay our fair share of taxes (but not a penny more). That’s code for “too big to fail”.

Have you forgotten about Wall Street yet?  If so, it’s not too early to coin the term APIcracy.

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