Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: aviation

New Economies; May The Best Street Win

The great dream for new economies movement is that Wall Street has finally met its match from the vast interconnected social systems that now dominate communication, organization, and commerce.

The problem is that no matter what the New Economies Movement comes up with, Wall Street will capitalize it, commoditize it, securitize it, and sell it back to us for the price of our communities.  Then they’ll build derivatives and options around it and wrap it all up in a nice hedge fund that transfers all risk back to us.   The Street always wins.

So why can’t we do what Wall Street does?

At Social Flights we believe that we can provide 10,000 jobs across the United States by letting people sell options on aircraft seats.

How would this work?

The Hub and Spoke system consists of about 30 major airports in the US that act as hubs.  The rest are spokes and many smaller cities are barely served at all.  So unless you are flying between two hubs, you will always have to catch a connection, waste time, and incur social expenses.

For the price of a typical airport lounge bar tab, a traveler can buy an option to fly a private jet non-stop between their destinations.  An option is the right without the obligation to take a position in the future.  The option would be convertible, transferrable, and may even be exercised on a wide variety of schedules.

Calling all unemployed entrepreneurs 

Suppose that I saw a listing on Social Flights for a private jet flight from Boise Idaho to Colorado Springs taking place in three weeks and costing 300 dollars.  Since I know a lot of people in both cities, I can either use the ticket myself, or I have 3 weeks to sell it for, say, 500 dollars.

This is a bargain because there are no non-stop flights between these two cities and airline prices tend to increase as the departure date approaches.  The private jet can do the trip in two hours whereas the commercial airline would take 8 or more hours. I could buy an option on that flight for, say 30 dollars and resell the ticket for a $170.00 profit.   If I cannot sell the ticket, then I can use the ticket, convert it to another option, or lose my 30 dollars (just like the bar tab).

I am a Capitalist

In effect, I am rewarded for my size and quality of my social network.  I am rewarded for my ability to research in the Internet to find likely prospects who would seek to travel at a time savings.  I am rewarded for my knowledge, associations, professional skills, and ability to analyze data and organize people.   I am rewarded for finding arbitrage opportunities in an inefficient industry.  I buy low and sell high – I am a Capitalist

While this may not seem like a large impact, if 5000 – 10,000 people make their living trading Social Options, the market will shift.  If Social Options can be created for aviation inventory, they can be created for all inventory.  For the exact same effect as a Groupon, people can trade options on goods and services while hedging against Wall Street and restoring community Values.

Don’t just change the game, change the street that it is played on….

Are We Hard Wired?

Hardwired Control Matrix

It has been a challenging month at Social Flights.   Our soft launch story was broken by FAST COMPANY, then it was quickly picked up by  THE NEW YORK TIMESBLOOMBERG TV,  FORBESINC. TECH,  WASHINGTON POST, and MASHABLE, then picked up by various other magazines and bloggers across the web.

Huge Interest in The Business Model

Social flights picked up tens of thousands of hits and several thousand members within a very short period of time.  We also received almost a thousand RFQ’s for charter service and our web traffic rank according to Alexa.com is under 20,000 – better than any other private jet broker in the country, including NetJets.

I personally communicated with dozens of 3rd party entrepreneurs that want to plug into our value proposition and we are discussing multiple high value partnerships in North America and around the world.

Are We Hard Wired?

Introducing such a radical approach brings many challenges, especially in the area of customer expectation.  People are hard wired to schedules, and lines, and pat downs, and waiting, waiting waiting. Social Flights was never conceived to dictate on a market how they should fly and to where.  Social flights will certainly not take people someplace where they don’t want to go – like an airport hub for transfer.  Social Flights will never hold a passenger’s dignity hostage behind some hidden cost or irrelevant regulation.

Losing The Hard Wire

We estimate that Social Flights will optimize at about  2.5 Million members – or roughly 5000 people in each of 500 locations across North America.  At that point our service model will begin to “simulate” the selection and convenience of the commercial airlines.  Keep in mind – this system will “simulate” scheduled service except without hard wires.

5000 people X 500 places model

  • This is the point where there will be a high likelihood that 8-10 people will all want to go to the same place from the same place within reasonable intervals of departure times.
  • This is the point where fluctuations in price and schedule such as de-icing costs, landing fees, fuel cost, or seat cancellation policy can be absorbed across the whole system rather than an individual passenger load.
  • This is the point where ground support vendors will commit substantial discount incentives to controlled bundles of passengers.
  • This is a point where the data that is generated by The Value Game and held solely by the players becomes valuable enough to predict the outcomes of future Value Games.

Not An Easy Puzzle to Solve:

Social Flights is attempting to do something that has never been accomplished in social media with such high value shared assets.  We seek to answer the question: Can people organize themselves around the concept of “Value” much like we have organized ourselves around the concept of “Money”.  Based on our earliest readings, the answer is that people are not as Hard Wired to money as those who control money would like us to believe. Looks like they’d jump the first plane out of Dodge if given a chance.

Collaborative Consumption Is Here To Stay

There is a persistent myth that a “financial deficit” is looming to destroy all that fall in it’s wrath.  The only deficit is the inability for Money – as we know it – to articulate the value that is created in and by communities.

Social Flights is a new venture that combines cutting edge social technology with the universal truth that collaborative consumption of even the most complex system increases the efficiency of that system.

Social Value as a financial instrument

Social Flights attempts to demonstrate the inevitable – social value can and will be convertible to financial value. Social value can and will enter the balance sheet.  Social Value will not only impact the bottom line – it will become the bottom line.

The Invisible Hand of Social Capitalism

Social media is emerging as a dominant force behind economics, global politics, innovation, and community organization. Meanwhile; it is the art and science of finance that has failed to keep pace with technology.  Social Flights introduces a new class of business methods that can close this gap.

Social Flights sorts people and airplanes with data, not financial infrastructure.  The Value Game provides incentives for communities to organize themselves around travel and transportation assets.  So instead of forest-to-dump consumerism, a shared asset is preserved by a community for the greatest service life possible.  Social Flights demonstrates this with an airplane; however, a hotel, car, tour package, or a trade show/convention are quickly pulled into their own value game cycle given the airplane game playing out in proximity to them.  In fact all “assets” – social, intellectual, creative, or financial – can be pulled into their own value games in response to those acting around them.

Travel: An Ideal Benchmark Industry

We are starting with travel. Specifically, air transportation because of it’s complexity, high profile, and significance to most people and industries. Furthermore, corporate jets are beautiful, awe inspiring, controversial, and conjure the image of power and grace.  Most importantly, travel is pivotal enterprise and the best system for the diverse high-value transfer of new ideas to occur.

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something

The value of most commercial activity may ultimately become dependent on the quantity and quality of the data emerging from the millions of Value Games playing out in communities across the globe. Any and all shared assets – from public infrastructure to money itself – can be shared collaboratively in hugely profitable Value games.

New to the Public Domain

Nothing like this has ever been put together before so there is certainly much to learn.  Many people will fail to recognize where we are going with this. However, the rewards will be high and the implications will be vast if we are successful. There will be an extraordinary amount of knowledge to be share to the public domain.

Collaborative consumption is here to stay because it represents a higher value economy than forest-to-dump consumerism.  The financial deficit is simply the inadequacy of Money to articulate Social Value – not the inadequacy of people to be happy, creative, and productive in their communities.


Watching The Birds Play The Value Game

To some entrepreneurs, the problems with the aviation industries signal many insurmountable obstacles.  At  Social Flights these challenges portend an extraordinary opportunity for a new business method to bring efficiency, order, social value while eliminating artificial barriers.

Social Flights value proposition is very strong for travel ranging from 200-1000 miles between smaller airports. Social Flights can deploy quickly in response to specialized market needs, environmental condition, opportunities, or events. Social flights adapts the mission of the aircraft to meet the opportunities presented to the market.

Conversely, commercial aviation struggles dearly in this segment because they try to get the market to meet the pre-ordained mission of the aircraft. The entire air transportation system would be best served if commercial aviation concentrated on the long haul/high volume “migration” service.  There is no reason why private aviation cannot perform the job that gridlocks commercial aviation.  This would make both industries more efficient.

Commercial Aviation’s Race to Nowhere

The Deregulation Act of 1978 in the Commercial Aviation system led to the development of the Hub and Spoke system whereas commercial carriers would fly people from small locations into a one or more large “Hub” cities where they would transfer on to the next destination – usually another hub, or on to the final destination.

Deregulation undermined point-to-point service regardless of market demand, ignoring social objectives of the passengers, having no regard for the final destination of the passengers, and blowing off the “time-value” of their passengers.  Recently, the ever expanding security layer has reached the point of personal privacy invasion.  With the age of the Internet, sites such as Travelocity and Expedia diluted the “service class” market segmentation of the airlines in favor of the “price class” segmentation of airlines.  These forces caused the commercial airline experience to become a deceptive, deeply invasive, and physically strenuous experience.

Private Aviation’s starvation diet

Meanwhile, the private aviation sector has fallen under the thumb of listing agents who tie up the industry behind the gilded walls of Charter Brokerage Houses.  FAA regulation hampers the ability to attract passengers on a per-seat basis, which gives private operators a hugely limited marketing position.  Brokers took over to mark-up the price of chartered flights far beyond the reaches of a mainstream market.

For these reasons, the private aviation sector has had difficulty organizing itself into a self-sustaining cooperative, until now.  In Fact, the smaller the airplane and the more widely distributed the airports, the simpler and more efficient the whole social system can become.

Social Flights changes the Game by Changing the Mission.

Social Currency Takes Flight

Private Aviation is the first of several industries planning to launch a new class of business methods built on a “Social Value Game” developed by  The Ingenesist Project .  Social Flights is a virtual airline which aggregates communities according to their interests, knowledge assets, and social graph.  Social Flights matches people with mid-distance transportation options that deliver them exactly where they want to go in a shortest period of time and the least amount of harassment.

By the time you factor in Social Value, the price of private air travel becomes highly competitive.

In this variation, The Airplane Game has 4 players; (1) A traveler, (2) accredited private jet operators throughout the US, (3) travel services vendors, and (4) a 3rd party entrepreneur.  The objective of the game is for each player to act in their best interest to ultimately produce a door-to-door cost of traveling between two geographic points on a private jet equal to or less than the cost of making the same trip on comparable modes of transportation. The true door-to-door cost will be denominated in social currency and then converted to financial currency to establish a par value.

The Airplane Game scheduled for departure in 2011

The game starts when a traveler states a anonymous intention to geolocate between their zip code and any distant zip code.  This intention will be sent to a private jet carrier who will establish a price for each seat based on a full plane.  Next, vendors for products and services matched to the traveler’s intensions – such as ground transportation, hotels, restaurants, interests, and tourist attractions at both zip codes – will assign a contingency coupon of known face value against the airfare of the private jet seat thereby lowering the cost of the seat.

Enter Social Entrepreneurs

Next, 3rd Party Entrepreneurs will use social media to locate seat inventory to put in play.  Then, they will locate product/service inventory to put that into play.  Finally, they will locate “Social Inventory” in each zip code to fill the jet and drive down the ticket price even further in what amounts to social arbitrage. The Social Flights Algorithm will compare the social value such as time savings, carbon footprint, airport congestion, and experience quality against the comparable modes of transportation, such as car/bus/train/commercial aviation, and provide a par value for each option.

Social Value Conversion Factor

Social profits can be maximized where people are empowered to travel point to point consistent with their social graph rather than car, train, or hub and spoke commercial aviation modes.  Decreasing social friction increases social profits.  This launch further demonstrates how any asset, from jets to zip cars to public infrastructure, can be leveraged to create abundant social value.

The aggregate effect of such businesses will  establish a conversion factor between social currency and financial currency from which any number of social productivity applications can be built and monetized.

Using Social Currency To Fight Terrorism

conversations2-500x351Given the events of the last several weeks, it’s time to for the aviation industry to get serious with Social Media.   This article demonstrates how an alternate currency can be used to severely reduce or eliminate terrorist risk in commercial aviation.  Think I’m kidding, read on.

Obviously an airline will not let you board an airplane if you don’t have the financial currency sufficient to buy ticket.  Why should an airline let you board an airplane if you do not have social currency sufficient to fulfill your social obligations while in the air?

People with extreme social currency deficiencies are routinely stripped of their rights by a jury of peers and isolated from society for a period of time (where they would not board an airplane anyway).  While there are many systems in place to manage the various degrees of social currency deficiency, none appear to be able to identify a terrorist without also violating the rights of non-terrorists.

Human Writes

However, many people are willing to share information about themselves to associates with whom an economic benefit is shared or exchanged.  This happens a billion times per week on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter – why not among fellow passengers?  After all everyone is already connected by 6 degrees.

What would a terrorist’s Facebook profile say about them?  Do they have a lot of referrals on linkedin?  Do they post great work on Flikr? Is their community orchestra featured on My Space? Are their posts popular on twitter?

Should a social currency credit score become imperative to social transactions as the financial credit score is for financial transactions?

Banks and Insurance companies already rely on a highly invasive “Credit Score” to establish financial risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and their other clients. Why wouldn’t an airline use a social credit score to establish a social risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and the lives of their other clients?

Ruse and lose

Sure, the bad guys can adapt to social media as they have adapted to all other measures.  The problem is that the greater the size and scope of their social media ruse, the more difficult it is to maintain the ruse.  A threshold score could be set to nearly eliminate this possibility.  Those folks can then simply opt into the full body scan.

The Paradigm Shift

As the saying goes, the attacker needs to be successful only once, while the defender needs to be successful every time.   The concept of a Social media credit score flips this paradigm on it’s head. The attacker’s social credit score needs to be successful every time.  The defender needs to be successful only once.

Social Media Frequent Flyer Miles

The Internet is a lot like a commercial airplane – it is very useful in transporting us to distant lands but the real work must happen on the ground.  The organization of society at both ends of an Internet destination must be developed if real wealth is to be created. Social Media needs to develop this component at this critical juncture of human history when vast amounts of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are being sent to the shores of despair upon Unemployment Air Line.

Computer enabled society:

The great opportunity of our generation in the fair, sustainable, and equitable creation of wealth through innovation in a computer-enabled, open-sourced, and democratic society that can organize its own knowledge in the form of a financial instrument.  The great danger, of course, is if we miss our flight and engender a computer simulated society where it is easier to interact with online community than our own neighbors.  It’s like getting on an airplane for the fine view, good food, and interesting conversation.  Social capital is by far the most powerful force of change and social media must now touch the ground in a meaningful, systemic, repeatable, and scalable manner.

The analogy continues:

The earliest days of aviation were a novelty at best.  Some commercial enterprise emerged in the form of barnstorming, carrying the mail, light cargo, aerial photography, and warfare. Likewise, the evolution of the internet brought us on-line gaming, e-mail, e-commerce, assorted photography, and hacking, etc.  It was not until the invention of municipal airports that the airplane became a true time machine by increasing human productivity and allowing us to see history that would otherwise be unavailable traveling by sea.  The true value of both commercial aviation and social media over “sail mail” is precisely through the increase in human productivity to transfer information to the ground.

Three Web Applications:

First, social media needs to develop a knowledge inventory system by geographic areas.  Second, Social Media needs a search engine at a local level that combines knowledge assets to form “strategic” social networks that can execute a specific business plan at reduced risk; cooking the “secret sauce”.  Third; an Innovation Bank must “pull” knowledge surplus and “pull” knowledge deficits together from diverse communities.  These three applications will provide everyone with the tools needed to create wealth in their communities.

Social Media has the potential to become the airport of the Internet Transportation System.  Nothing meaningful can happen until the rubber meets the tarmac.  So, let’s start building runways.

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