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Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalism

Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalismapitalism is evolving. Society needs to reorganize itself to trade “abundant intangibles instead of scarce tangibles”.  Then, all the decentralized innovations currently coming online can truly integrate.….and, everything will change.

Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalism:

This 16 minute video describes a method for intangible assets to be made tangible in an accounting system for the purpose of storage, exchange, and creation of new value in communities.

The next step is to create a series of similar videos specifically tailored to each major industry in our economy specifying how Curiosumé would benefit them. That is described in the following document:

Video Proposal

We also seek to reach the community of entrepreneurs who will build the next generation of data visualization tools that will facilitate matching algorithms for communities.

Finally, we will introduce The Value Game and the WIKiD Tools Algorithm with which we may form a new cryptographic currency backed by abundant intangibles rather than scarce disposable tangible assets.

 That is Reorganizing In The Era Of Social Capitalism

The Rango Prophesy

When I asked my friend and highly respected Seattle consultant Joe Brewer for advice, he simply says:

“Tell an Epic Story”

Rango is a hapless Chameleon in a classic “fish out of water” tale and unlikely hero who finds himself in a “Dust Bowl” meets “Spaghetti Western” hardship scenario. His only preparation is an active imagination and a lot of luck.

All of the characters are similarly encrusted desert animals doomed to a life of subservience to a central banker in an economy where water is the currency of trade.

The Mayor of the town first appears as an almost spiritual leader who provides his flock with hope that their suffering will soon be relieved on the day when water flows again from the shrine of the Holy Spigot.   The analogy to modern religion is hard to miss.

When Rango arrives and accidentally stumbles upon an act of valor, he is anointed sheriff of the town.  Meanwhile, the mayor is, in fact, the person causing the hardship by secretly constraining the supply of the water so that he can buy up all of the failed farms for commercial real estate development.

Upon providing guidance to the new sheriff, the mayor inadvertently slips that proverbial libertarian battle cry  “whoever controls the water (currency) controls the people.”   This sparks suspicion in Rango, who then ventures off on an adventure with some of the town folk to find out what is happening to the water.

After plenty of twists, turns, predators, mistakes, and a whole lot of ironic/comical symbolism, Rango and his gang finally learn that the mayor simply shut off the valve tapping the Las Vegan water main.  Once Rango’s gang opens the tap, water becomes abundant again and the protagonists meet their appropriate demise (suitable for young viewers).

The metaphor for the real world is a no brainer, for most reading this blog anyway.  Bankers artificially control the currency tumbling communities into bankruptcy, unemployment, and despair.  Meanwhile politicians, corporate interests, and legislators conspire to offer fasle hope to the wallowing masses as each person, one by one, hands over their fortunes and freedoms to the powerful elite.

Of course the plan is foiled when a group of brave citizens form alliances with their previous adversaries acting in unison toward a common goal.  It then becomes readily apparent that an “abundance” of productive currency, such as water, is precisely the solution to ridding desert society of crime and corruption thereby enabling peace for all – not the other way around.

This is the story that I want to tell.

There is a very simple task at hand – find the main line and open the valve.  Human knowledge, like water is constrained behind artificial barriers called “intangible” asset accounting.  To build an accounting system that makes knowledge assets “tangible” will open the floodgates of the most valuable currency civilization has ever known.  Not surprisingly, the protagonists will meet their appropriate demise –  suitable for young viewers, of course.

 

 

The New Value Tool

The New Value Tool is a repetitive simulation of The Value Game (described herehere, and here) that may be used to determine in advance the true value that may be created when people interact with each other around a shared asset.

The Social Charter

This should not be too difficult to envision since The Value Game plays out daily in the modern corporation where workers acting in the best interest of the corporation (the shared asset) interact with each other in various departments to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset – this is how corporations create social value; through the employment of people and the social utility of their products.

Obviously, corporations that fail to fulfill their social charter likewise fail to sustain value creation in a community.  Those that do, tend to thrive in the Internet Age. The objective of the New Value Platform is to enable communities to organize, as do corporations, except without the burden of corporate governance or the priorities of outside investors.

Drag, Drop, and Dream

The New Value Tool is simple to use; just drag and drop from the Zertify Personal Knowledge Inventory into The Value Game and see what the Exoquant dashboard tells you about your simulation. It may take some practice at first to see how to make the numbers move, but soon it will become intuitive which scenarios create lots of New Value – and will likely sustain themselves in practice.  Scenarios that do not, will likely fail in a particular community and ought not be ventured to practice.

Community Algorithm

Exoquant provides a very simple algorithm relating the creation of data, information, knowledge, innovation and wisdom that govern the Value Game.  However, the weighting of these elements is a component of the “fuzzy math” that entrepreneurs bring to the game.  The empirical data resulting from the application becomes property of the players (community) as their “Secret Sauce” of value creation in their own uniquely optimum economic game.

On the path to a Social Currency

The New Value Tool May become an important system for analyzing existing ventures for optimum social value creation as well as predicting how collections of knowledge assets in a community can optimize their social value in collaboration with each other.  Eventually, the predictability of the outcomes will improve while diversification of projects will eliminate risks such that a social currency can be capitalized and securitized.

The Value Game For University Outreach

The question that persist for many college and university administrators is what actions must they take to optimize all of their relationships in a manner that reinforces their own value to their community.

The Value Game is an ideal solution for this type of scenario (if you are unfamiliar with TVG, please visit this primer link).  The first step is to identify the asset. The recent graduate is the university asset because they are the customer and the product being advanced.  After all, the life worth of that graduate will reflect upon the institution that prepared them for professional service.

Next, we identify the players that will interact with that graduate over the course of their lives.

A* = The Graduate

  1. The graduate will interact with their Alma Mater
  2. The graduate will interact with their alumni association
  3. The graduate will interact with Their broader community
  4. The graduate will interact with corporations and entrepreneurs

Now, Let’s review each of the relationships and the economic incentives that drive them:

A-1: The graduate relies on the university reputation with players 1,2,3 as an extension of their own capabilities.

A-2: The graduate relies on the influence and success of prior graduates who hold an affinity towards each other in fraternal social networks.

A-3: The graduate will interact with their community for friendships, residency, recreation, and support.

A-4: The graduate will rely on strong and equitable employers / entrepreneur base where they may self-actualize as productive citizens.

Now, let’s review the relationships and incentives that each of the players has with each other:

1 – 2,3,4: The university has an interest in preserving the community because a motivated and educated workforce attracts opportunity far and wide in the form of business, travel, tourism and economic growth (Jacobs Externality).

2 – 1,3,4: Alumni seek to preserve the value of their alma mater because of the direct reflection upon their careers.  It is in their best interest to support the university, it’s graduates, employers and the wider community.

3 – 1,2,4: The community relies on the university graduates and alumni to provide equitable and fair innovations that provide sustainable living standards.

4 – 1,2,3: Employers compete globally for talented, stable and engaged employees and service providers who are attracted foremost by a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and sustainable communities.

Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom

The Value Game is now played by university administrators who direct university facilities, influence, and resources to bringing at least 2 of these four groups together.  Each time there is an interaction, the university will capture the data associated with the interaction.  That data can be compiled to form information which gives the university administrator knowledge about what their next action must be.  University feedback to the community will tell all of the players what interactions create the most social value upon which all players will innovate in their best interest.

As the game continues over time, the university gains the wisdom to understand the values of their assets and surrounding community. The community will act in the best interest of the other players as a means of acting in their own best interest (Social Capitalism).

Data is the ultimate shared asset

Over time, the University will become the physical “Search Engine” for data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in a community instead of just a vetting mechanism for book learned material. The University can now deploy this wisdom to their own internal programs and curricula as well as becoming an external reference source for government, industry, and economic development.

*(The University of New Haven is in no way affiliated with this post except I (the author) am a graduate of the UNH Engineering school (go Chargers!) and needed a realistic example that probably would not sue me – thanks guys)

The Value Game Primer

This reference post serves as an introduction to The Value Game (TVG).   The Ingenesist Project will be posting Value Game Solutions to many specific scenarios that our readers and clients propose.  Having this post as reference will help those new to The Value Game catch up quickly.

The following 12 minute video gives some historical perspective of The Value Game as we have applied to the aviation industry (see SocialFlights.com).  This video also expands the idea to any shared asset and provides important insight as to how to generalize The Value Game across the economic spectrum.

Introduction to Value Games

  • The Value Game is a new class of business methods that manufactures New Value.
  • New Value represents all value that is not normally convertible to U.S. Dollars; i.e., creativity, community, sustainability, resilience, compassion, trust, etc
  • Currently, The Value Game begins and ends with dollars, however, all New Value created within the game is denominated in “social currency” which has no physical manifestation.
  • The Value Game converts between Social Currency and Dollars; i.e., business plans that are not viable in dollars may become viable when social currency is included in the bottom line

Building A Value Game

  • The Value Game starts by identifying any asset, tangible or intangible, that a group of people would share.
  • The next step is to find 3 or more communities that have a vested interest in the asset
  • The New Value Entrepreneur is able to discern which communities and which assets will interact successfully in a Value Game.
  • In general, once a value game is started, it will improve itself since only those who have a vested interest in the asset will continue playing.
  • Players that are inappropriate for the given asset and related communities, will drop out or find another value game
  • All players will eventually find and play value games that correspond most closely to their natural interest and passions.

The New Value Entrepreneur

Just like with any business venture, it is up to the entrepreneur to identify and engage all of the right components required to build any enterprise; this is no different for Value Games.

  • The objective of the new value entrepreneur is to organize three or more communities to interact around a shared asset
  • The interaction among these communities acts to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset.
  • Each community acting in the best interest of the other community is, in fact, acting in their own best interest.

The material that references this post will help identify what types of assets are suitable for value gaming and what types of communities would make worthy participants.

The Ingenesist Project is currently building Value Games for clients in aviation, construction, education,  affinity groups, and social service communities.  Please let us know how we can serve your New Value creation enterprise.  

Goodbye University Hello Multiversity

I recently responded to the following Question on a Facebook group:

How could a newly established university be designed today in order to be elite? Which features must be included, and which features can be left out?

Subquestion: “What would you include in all dimensions: desired faculty, desired student body, location, graduation, research and tenure requirements, institutional structure and purpose, among other things, and what features would you exclude that are currently prevalent at “elite” institutions such as the Ivy Leagues?”

***
My answer as follows:

Why not go farther, much farther. Teachers would not get paid. Instead, they would hold an equity position the future of their students. Sort of like an inverse pyramid scheme built on knowledge assets – teachers would collect a small % amount from many students and a smaller % amount from their many future students students, and so on (multiplying value instead of dividing value). This would attract a certain type of teacher as well as a certain type of student. It would also favor research and innovation since the promise of stagnant salaries are not attractive in this arrangement.

Why two or three subject minors? How about a 3 platform minors; one in social philosophies, a minor in creative arts, and a minor in sciences. Instead of a “degree” your education would be expressed as a string of code representing each unit of study to form your unique API. Your API would interface with the APIs of your colleagues and teachers such that an algorithm could predict the likelihood that a strategic combination of knowledge assets could execute a particular business plan. Such probabilities would be able to predict and associate future cash flows with such business plans. These cash flows could then be securitized into a financial instrument called an “innovation bond”.

Rich people, corporations, and governments would buy these bonds and the revenues would fund the school. Access to the bonds also provides access to the underlying assets – the world’s knowledge. They would be hugely valuable as a hedge agains a declining fiat currency because, like money, knowledge assets can be deployed to create the things people need. Soon, everyone would become a teacher and everyone will become a student in a new form of capitalism will emerge where factors of production are allocated as social, creative and intellectual capital.

***

There were several interesting responses to this question as well as comments to my response.  Admittedly, I was riffing a bit with my response , but I’ll defend it as follows:  

First, let us not mistake “money” for “value” as a so-called “equity position” can be denominated in either. Second, there are many examples in society that demonstrate my conclusion.  Parents take an equity position in the future of their children, executives across America have a cadre of protege from whom they take an equity position in their careers, and Society accepts levies, and taxes, and buy bonds that fund public education so that future productive generations can support the elderly.

The miracle of capitalization and securitization have created extraordinary levels of prosperity on Earth compared to historic social structuring.  The ability to capitalize and securitize knowledge assets (as opposed to classical land, labor, and capital) is likely the next economic paradigm…if not the only sustainable economic paradigm.  I would suggest that current university system is the aberration, not my comment above.

Goodbye Universe, Hello Multiverse

Encouraging Customer Self-Organization

TrendPOV

Here is a repost of an interview with myself by Dr. Amy Vanderbilt at TrendPOV.  I like Dr. V for her ability to really draw out the best in people.  Here she tackles a topic of great complexity and makes it feel like an everyday conversation.  If you ever have an opportunity to work with Dr. V you will be deeply rewarded with the outcome.

On a side note, I felt so comfortable that I forgot that I was on air – you can see my eyes wandering, yikes.  Next time I’ll tape a sign on the ceiling that says “Look Down”.  Anyway – it’s an interesting topic so please watch and let me know what you think.

From Trend POV

Social media is no longer just a way to reconnect with friends; it has become an integral part of daily life that is rapidly gaining traction in the business world. Social media now provides a format for customers to self-organize in a way that creates a competitive market for goods and services where both the customers and the vendors can benefit. The depressed economy has brought people together to share advice and zero in on great deals through group buying.

As defined on Wikipedia.com, “Group buying, also known as collective buying, offers products and services at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers would make the purchase.” Originating from China, group buying, called tuángòu grew from the practice of haggling and has now infiltrated the online world in many parts of the globe. Notable sites include Groupon, LivingSocial and MyCityDeal.

Unlike China’s deal strategy that is self-organized and executed, most of the group buying in Europe and North America is done using online intermediaries who charge vendors fees that can be as much as 50 percent of the deal. Group buying has been gaining consumer popularity for three years now; however, group buying in the business sector is still in its infancy. Despite Groupon having over 100 million subscribers that had bought over 60 million Groupons by September 2011, skeptics suggest the trend will not last.

Consumers may be getting saturated by email overload from deal sites competing for their attention. China is struggling amidst accusations of selling fake goods; almost a fourth of the 6000 group buying Web sites shut down in 2011 and those still operating are losing money. But group buying is probably not yet dead. As Dan Frommer said on businessinsider.com, “The future of group buying is on mobile devices. Why? Because they’re always with you, can identify your location via GPS, and can access a network of real-time, instant deals.” If businesses can engage customers and retain loyalty, group buying may have a bright future.

To turn this trend into an advantage for your organization, consider the following. Customer self-organization is going digital. Selling to groups can increase profits. Use social media to drive customer self-organization. Group-selling is not for gaining new customers. Instead, try group-selling for exclusive products and services and rewarding loyalty.

 

The Inevitable Next Economy

The Human Productivity Chart:

Human civilization has progressed through many stages.  Each stage arose from the “integration” of the tools developed in the prior stage.  Believe it or not, the next economic paradigm will arise from the integration of the tools being developed in the current stage of human development. Let me explain:

Hunter -gatherer:

We started as hunter-gathers who traveled from place to place to follow animal migrations and seasonal flora.  People would collect fallen branches and burn them for heat or cooking.  Then people started to sharpen rocks that could be used to hunt food better than a dull rock. They sharpened rocks to chop down trees for warmth and shelter.  Soon they sharpened rocks to till soil.

The agrarians

The arrival of the agrarian age came when the arrow, the axe, and the plow were integrated; that is, the output of one became the input of another – allowing people to conserve energy and increasing productivity. The emergence of communities led to the division of labor as people specialized their skills. People soon developed tools and techniques for forging metals, building structures, and harnessing of forces such as wind, sun, water, and domesticated animals.

City-states

The arrival of City-States arose when division of labor, harnessing forces, and transportation became integrated.  Spare time became available to experiment in ideas such as governance, laws, civil services, and currency. Travel allowed for trade of goods, services, and the spread of knowledge across great distances.

Philosophers

The age of philosophy emerged as the leisure class, knowledge exchange, and civil law integrated such that people began to question existence, spirituality, and test theories about the observations that they constantly witnessed in the natural world.

Scientists

The scientific age emerged from the integration of tools developed during the philosophical age.  Written language, mathematics, geometry, came together as alchemists attempting to turn lead into gold, instead created many other new and useful things from the elements. Astronomy, calculus, the scientific method, and modern finance were born.

Industrialists

The industrial age emerged as an integration of the tools developed by the scientific age.  Eli Whitney demonstrated the “interchangeability of parts” paving the way for modern production. The printing press and cotton gin demonstrated the scalability of machinery while capitalization and securitization of value (finance) allowed a merchant class to allocate land, labor, and capital.

Information

The age of information formed from the integration of tools created by the industrial revolution.  All that machinery created a tremendous amount of data.  Computers were developed for processing data creating information that could be used to make productivity more efficient.

Knowledge

The Knowledge age emerged from the integration of tools developed during the information age. The Internet vastly accelerated the amount of information available from which knowledge could be applied as factors of production in physical systems from weather prediction, space travel, medicine, and new ways for people to organize their selves.

Innovation

The innovation age will emerge from the integration of tools developed by the knowledge age.  So called “social media” is creating thousands of platforms upon which people reorganize themselves around interests, affinities, relationship, and commerce.  As these tools integrate; that is, when the output of one tool becomes the input of another tool (and vice versa), a new economic paradigm will emerge.

Wisdom

Keep in mind that the agrarian economy and all previous stages are still with us today. Keep in mind that elements of future economies also exist today.  Keep in mind that the US dollar has not always been the currency of trade nor should we expect that it will always be with us in the future. We can assume that the productivity inherent in people and communities is not dependent on the currency, rather, currency is dependent on it.  Time is the only scarce resource and everyone has an equal amount of it.  As such, time is the only true currency.

Where Teachers Hold an Equity Position

Teachers are “threatened” with layoffs. In some cases, the profession is openly mocked. Meanwhile, corporations are staring blankly at the knowledge gap in their industries.  The older generation is retiring, moving on, and taking their knowledge with them.  Teacher’s unions are busted and disappearing. Apprenticeships are a thing of the past.  Everyone is asking “where are the jobs – there is plenty of work to do”

Education is obviously a financial instrument.  Think about that for a minute – it is an investment like any other investment. Wall Street has an arbitrage instrument for every market anomaly – why not education?

What would happen if teachers were given an equity position in their students?  Isn’t this what families do to prepare their kids to take over the family business?  Isn’t this what happens in corporations where executives pick proteges?  Isn’t this what happens in politics where knowledge is traded among a closed group?

A school like Harvard University or MIT certainly hold and equity position in their students. What if every community viewed every child as an asset instead of a liability?

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?

BizDev with Cascading Info Game

Social Flights is a complicated game.  Aviation is a complicated business.  This makes Social Flights a challenging business model as much as a great opportunity for those who can figure it out how to play for keeps.

The Challenge

The challenge is to bring on as many as 5000 independent Travel Tribe leaders distributed broadly across a wide geographic area.  Their task will be to strategically build flight plans for private aircraft in their communities. Community leaders will be compensated financially for driving revenue … much is common to a traditional sales channel.

However, each of these community leaders will have already accumulated a vast set of strategic knowledge and experience that can benefit Social Flights across the system. Likewise, Social Flights needs to bring each of them up the ladder of domain specific knowledge in the aviation business.

For compensation, Social Flights offers a tiered affiliate program that pays out various levels of commissions on flights booked according to the affiliate’s tier.  One concern is that this strategy may not create an incentive to share information broadly if one is protecting their own tier standing or their own order of influence.

Cascading Information

Another approach would be to use a cascading information system.  This is a gamification theory that suggests: information should be released in the minimum possible snippets to gain the appropriate level of understanding at each point during a game narrative.

Initially, information would be released by social flights in our initial training program.  Later, other players of the game can release information to each other in specific packets defined by the flight scenario.  Such packets of information can be rewarded with other packets of information – or access to more scenarios. The Cascading information theory promotes loyalty, engagement, influence, and time involved in the game of building flight plans.

Gaming the game:

From the onset, Social Flights encourages gaming the game.  This means that we expect to learn a great deal about our business by watching other people play it.  There are far too many scenarios and permutations of business strategies for us to predict how and where they would apply.  All we can do is specify a baseline game scenario form and watch the ways the game is gamed.

In a sense, Social Flights would also be subject to the Cascading Information Theory, thus demonstrating how a corporation would enhance their own engagement, loyalty, influence, and time-quality in the communities where they operate.   

(reference: Gamification.org – wiki; Cascading Information Theory)

The Raw Material of Social Org Games

Fibonacci Trust Curve

Trust Scarcity?

This article is a loose argument related to trust scarcity in social organization games.  Rewarding trust in a social game is a difficult thing to do unless certain agreements and institutions are in place.

The Social Value Game

Social Flights will be introducing some game mechanics to provide incentive for people to interact with each other to form  specific flight plans  This will also include vendors and operators who would support their travel intentions with goods and services.

We want to dis-aggregate the incentives from a specific flight; in other words, a player does not necessarily have to be on the flight in order to receive a benefit from organizing it.

As the game develops, all players will simply keep an eye out for travel opportunities for trusted others in their social media experience.  By helping their social circles to find travel opportunities, they will receive rewards which they can use when their own “perfect flight” begins to form.

Technology is not yet here, but getting close…

I would like to think that the technology has arrived which will allow people to form flights in social media, unfortunately, this is not the case.  The problem is that big data has become big business.  Social media platforms are funded with Data Dollars – that is, organizations who capture, combine, sell, or otherwise exploit personal data and trends in exchange for money.

Spiral of trust

When a person states their intention to fly to a distant place, this creates immensely valuable data.  Such information is highly specific and even quite intimate because people share their hopes, dreams, and aspirations when they meet, travel, learn together. For this reason, Social Flights game data will be scarce, remain private, anonymized, or normalized so that it can remain in play indefinitely.  There needs to be a great deal of trust in that network and, in fact, a disincentive to casting a broad public net.

Trust as Raw Material: 

  • Social Flights has an internal social network that allows people to communicate anonymously
  • Travel Tribe Leaders are trusted members in a community who operates with trust, integrity, and respect
  • Game mechanics can dis-aggregate intentions from specific flights
  • Game data will normalize outcomes into “probabilities” that mask mask social data as numerical data for future games
  • New Social Media applications allow users to form travel circles of trusted persons with whom they are willing to share flight plan intentions
It is fairly easy to see that no single social network device will serve every requirement of a social economy – nor should their be. Instead, the integration of several devices which identify, create, and deploy trust as the raw material, will allow people to go wherever they want to go and build whatever they want to build together.

Why This Bubble Is Completely Different

I had a discussion with one of my partners that we need 2.5 million users and Social Flights will manage itself.  The partner said, “You mean 2.5 million dollars”.

No, I said, “I need 2.5 million users”.

The partner said tersely, “No, I really think that you need dollars.”

Again, I replied, “I need users…. “

This went on for a while until we both got it: The value of Social Flights is contained within the users, not within the dollars. After that, the conversation could progress in a meaningful way, priorities found their place, and the teams found their roles – including the investors.

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something

Financial analysts are aghast at the magnificent valuations that social media applications are delivering; P/E ratios of 1000, valuations of 100 dollars per member, billions of dollars per billion time hours in game play – these are not the ratios that they teach in B-school.  Is this crazy or does it make perfect sense?

The Great Rapture

While highly unlikely, suppose the Almighty Father called upon all good and pious dollars to ascend unto heaven in a glorious rapture of currency – on a single day, all money disappears from the face of the Earth.  What would be left?  What happens next?

At least for a little while, I’ll still be sitting in this café typing a blog post.  The value of the education and social network of the person who I will be meeting for lunch will still be intact.  The value of the roads, bridges, schools, and highways would remain intact.  The value to teachers, firefighters, and doctors will remain.  The sun will shine and gravity will continue to act on matter.  The money may go, but a LOT of value remains.

No Such Thing As Free Lunch

Of course, things will quickly devolve when I tell the café owner that I can’t pay for lunch because my money has been raptured. Of course that would seem like a relatively minor problem given the fact that their money has been raptured too.  In fact, so has their supplier’s money, and their Bank’s money.  Obviously, there can’t be a bail out because the government has no money either.

Each of us would probably stare at each other for a few minutes until somebody asks the other, “well, then, what do you have that I can use?”  Once that conversation is exhausted, we’ll move on to  “Who do you know that has something that I can use?” Etc.

The mother of all hedge funds

If this were a game, the person that knows lots of people who do useful things would stand a greater chance of being served lunch than someone who is isolated and disliked – no matter how much money they once had before the rapture.  Likewise, if you have a lot of money, what “Bank” would you put it in?  What “Stock” would you buy?

This bubble is different.

It may be that the dollar is in a bubble and the true value of our economy is stored and exchanged in communities of people enabled by social media.  Those magnificent valuations in social media companies may actually reflect true value and act like a huge hedge fund on currency in the absence of any other plausible financial instrument.

As our noble politicians continue to play their game of chicken with the productivity of honest, educated, and productive Americans, they fail to see the polarity shifting away from money and into “true value”.

The value is in the people, not in the dollars. now we can have a different conversation about how to manage ourselves.

When The Customer, Supplier, And Competitor Are The Same

NPR ran a story today about how drug companies are not the only ones making money inventing new medicines for the market. A man in Massachusetts has brought three drugs to market almost on his own.

His process is the same as the big drug makers, but he farms out each aspect of the process to independent labs and specialists. When the drug starts to succeed in trials, he sells it to one of the big companies.

Who competes with whom?

This is an example of how human infrastructure can replace physical infrastructure.  The standard process for creating a new drug is to build a large building and fill it with smart people and expensive equipment and surround it with parking lots.  The cost can easily exceed 60 million just to bring a drug to trials – the man in Massachusetts can do it of less than 6 million.

Mitigation of risk, waste, and social burden

Not only are market victories less expensive, but so are market failures.  Hundreds of thousands of hours are saved in commute times and millions of miles stay off the freeways. “Independent Lab Specialists” are in fact, independent and don’t need to migrate from company to company chasing the next project.

As the article states, every step in the process for approving a drug is the same – without the unnecessary physical infrastructure. Sure, virtual work has been around a long time, the difference is when the corporate structure itself shifts to a series of small integrated corporations.

If virtualization can revolutionize the medical industry – it can revolutionize all industries.

Social Flights is attempting to revolutionize the Aviation industry in a similar way.  Large Hub Airports represent physical infrastructure through which people and airplanes are sorted and matched.  The majority of US commercial traffic passes through Hub Airports. Yet, the majority of passengers are forced to drive a substantial distance to reach a hub departure.  Then they fly to a place that they have no intention of going only to transfer to another plane that also is not going where they intend to go. Finally, they drive a substantial distance to get where they really want to go.

The congestion and physical footprint supporting large airports is substantial. The burden on both the local and distant communities served by the hub airport is severe.  Thousands of people and vast resources are deployed to support the infrastructure, not necessarily the value proposition to the passengers or the communities.

The Airlines need to understand that their customer is the community, their supplier is the community, and their competitor is the community.  If they lose track of any one of these pillars, the system will become ripe for disruption.

The Gamification of Air Travel

Commercial airlines continue to astonish the traveling public with an ever-increasing array of new ways to charge extra fees.  The newest scheme is to charge 5 dollars to have a customer service agent print your boarding pass.  You can get around this by using your own printer, or using a free kiosk – which undoubtedly will not be free for long.

Your schedule or theirs?

Meanwhile, the different prices that people pay for the same trip continues to fluctuate wildly. There are very few products whose price defies supply and demand or actually increases as it approaches it’s expiration date.

People who book 4-6 weeks in advance have the highest probability of getting the lowest fair – as long as the don’t buy the ticket on a weekend.  Buying a ticket on a Tuesday morning 4 weeks in advance can yield a 50% discount of the person who bought their ticket 2 weeks in advance on a Saturday afternoon.

Obviously, there must be some net average cost for a seat, per mile traveled with all services restored, so why can’t we save the drama and loss of productivity and use the average price? An “average revenue per seat mile” price is good enough for Wall Street Annual Report – why not the rest of us?. Another nagging question: why can’t I use frequent flier miles to buy lunch on the plane or carry extra suitcase?  What, they don’t accept their own currency…?!?!

Are You Gamed by FlyVille?

The airline industry has been gamified and people are hard wired to play along – of course they complain, but they also learn to behave in a manner that they perceive to be in their own best interest, but actually is in the Airline’s best interest.  Tacit collusion among airlines can now play out using frequent flier miles, copycat fares, and lowered customer expectations.  How much time do people spend playing this game?

This is also the environment where a competitor can emerge with a  “counter-game”.

Social Flights was launched a few months ago with a very simple data landscape; a means and manner in which people can meet to ride share on private aircraft.  Currently, the amount of time required for a social flights customer to execute a flight plan – that is, organize people in their community with shared flight intentions – may still be greater than the time and harassment of just going through the flow of the commercial airline abyss.   Over time, however, this will change.

Frequent Influence Miles

Suppose that Social Flights deployed frequent flier miles?  Suppose these could be awarded for organizing a social flight plan to a social network?  Suppose miles could be redeemed for discounts on hotels, car rentals, and ground services (think AAA)? Restaurants, entertainment and events routinely pay commissions to concierge referrals, why wouldn’t they also redeem Social Flights Flier Miles in the same manner?

What if Social Flights frequent flier miles could be earned and redeemed without actually flying, but by simply organizing communities until your perfect trip comes along?  What if a person with high Social Flights Frequent Flier Miles represented a better social influence predictor than say, a Klout score or Twitter follower count?  Would vendors want to know who these magical people are?  Will vendors compensate them for their influence in a community?  Wouldn’t the community then define the ads that get pitched?

What’s the end game? Let’s transform the industry together.  Seeking game designers to build the next generation of air travel

Control The Information And Control The Game

Social media is progressing in a direction where the SM application controls your information – not you.  This is a game that you cannot win unless they let you win.  Social Flights changes the rules by letting you control your own information.  As such, we are growing in popularity among entrepreneurs who are looking for a game they can win playing by a new set of rules.

Social Flights is comprised of 2 components; Social Flights Corporate and Social Flights Travel Tribes.  The corporate application provides vertical integration while the Travel Tribes provide horizontal integration.  Each is hugely dependent on the other, but the travel tribe is where the value is.

Vertical Integration involves information technology; the collection and formation of system data.  This is the information that helps groups stay in contact with each other giving the origin community a portal into the destination community (and vice versa) for a given flight.  This helps airplane operators schedule flights, and it helps communities become attractive to entrepreneurs and other communities.

The horizontal integration is where information originates and terminates.  The Travel Tribe disseminates information on the ground at both the origin and destination.  What happens in a Travel Tribe, stays in a Travel tribe.

The most important aspect of data and information control is the ability to restrict it from communities who are not part of the transaction. Nobody else can know where you are going except you and the airplane operator – that’s what makes the game private.  Nobody needs to know how much you are paying for a hotel room or travel service except you and the service provider – that’s what makes the game valuable.  Nobody needs to know what you are doing on the ground except you and your friends  – that’s what makes the game social.

A Value Game depends on the control of information.  If someone else controls the information – they control the Value and there can be no game. They also control the use of information and the information technology.  Don’t take this point likely; whoever controls the use of the information also controls the technology (vertical integration), not the other way around.   Technology is deployed to the game – the game is not deployed to the technology.  So, if you control the game, then you control the usage and the deployment of the technology; i.e., you control the value.

(Diagram credit and reference:  Seven Faces of Information Literacy in Higher Education by Christine Bruce)

Data: The Ultimate Shared Asset

People always ask me how The Value Game will work and how The Value Game will scale, and how The Value Game will make money.  These are great questions, albeit straight from the b-school crib sheet; good questions nonetheless.

At first glance, The Value Game as we are deploying in Social Flights looks like a rich kids party barge.  The idea is that people can share an airplane just like they did with that stretch limo on prom night.  Yes, the idea is the same – the jet is a shared asset and status on prom night is special.

The Value Game also produces a lot of very important data that is owned by the players.  So when the passengers arrive at their destination, their data can now transform the hotel into a shared asset. As such, a new Value Game plays again.  If the players own their data, and they only share it with the other players in the associated Value Game, they can command substantial value for the collaborative purchase of hotel rooms – or any shared asset.

Likewise, the players will need restaurants, tour guides, golf courses, concert tickets, entertainment, etc.  Their data – if they own it – is their discount coupon…like a Group Coupon, except relevant to the need and exercisable on-demand.  By the time the trip is over, their Value Game data can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in discounts for the individuals in a travel tribe if, and only if they own their data.

The next time they want to take a trip, their data is not only a discount coupon; it becomes a passport to opportunities that money cannot buy. In the End Game of the Value Game, data are the shared asset.  This works if, and only if people own their data and they can share or restrict it from view of others.

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

You give your data away for free.  Companies collect this data and they have no intention of sharing it with you.  Data is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Why?

Aren’t most life lessons about figuring out who is NOT playing The Value Game and avoiding those people and situations?

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.


The Reality of Social Networking

Nothing Economic can happen until people get together and build something, period.

Social Network services are not that.  Social media gives people the impression that they are getting stuff done – but they are not.  Nothing economic is happening on Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter.  Rather, the impact of these services is derived only from what people accomplish in reality.

Yet so many social media services sell advertising.  The objective of an advertising site is to keep you in your seat where you can view more advertising.  The objective of advertising as an industry is to influence you to do something other than what you already want to do.   Each of these things impacts people’s activities, and therefore, much of the crap that people share on social network services.

Race to the bottom

This self–depreciating cycle does not actually create very much nor does it arrive at anywhere interesting or important.  The content that keep people coming back to Social Networks is produced by a relatively few number of entertainers – people who separate themselves from consumption of the medium and instead produce content for consumption by the medium – instead of “For” the medium.  Again, the objective is to keep people in their seats watching more advertising.

Did I mention that nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something?

We are in the middle of creating a different type of social network in Social Flights.  We are billing it as “The Social Network where people actually do stuff” because the objective is to get people out into their community looking for other people who can help them build something.  We’re still experimenting so please be patient if it still seems a little clunky.

The Last Mile of Social Media

The idea is to form travel communities in relatively small geographical areas and enable them to share an airplane to anywhere where there is another travel community.  We call the The Last Mile of Social Media – empowering neighborhoods not Hollywoods.

There is no advertising on social flights; however, local vendors are encouraged to place discount coupons in direct response to a community travel objective.  There is no airline schedule because the objective is for people to share an asset – the airplane. This means that the passengers tell the plane where to fly and when, not the airline.

In the end, Social Flights rewards people, venders, and aircraft operators for interacting with their communities in real life and real time – instead of their computer screens in virtual time.  Now, the social network, laptop, or mobile device becomes a real productivity tool.

Back to economics:

Most logical people will ask “where do I get the money to travel to new places with new people?  The answer is simple: “That is precisely why you need to travel to new places to meet new people”

Nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something, for real.

The Mashup of Gamification and Collaborative Consumption

I found an interesting article by Kim Gaskins at Sharable.net titled: Where the Game Layer Really Counts: Sharing & Peer Communities.

I sensed some resigned frustration from her as she reflected upon a somewhat trivial nature of current innovation in this new social genre called “gamification”. Predictably, in the end, Gamification amounts to little more than feeding the advertiser’s insatiable addiction to that extra dose of personal data coursing through the veins of unbridled consumption capitalism.

She is not alone.

In reading her article, I was, however, stuck with a particular stroke of clarity. Kim provided the following diagram showing the intersection of Social, Economic, and Environmental reality that she calls the best gaming opportunity for business and societal benefit.

This is a very important observation. Kim identifies the intersection of three “communities” and suggests that a game opportunity may exist.  Even though the article appeared in Sharable.net community blog, she stopped short of saying “This is where you put the shared asset”.  So I’ll say it for her:

This is where you put a shared asset.

At the Ingenesist Project, we developed something called The Value Game that we are testing in several different business models. The value game is very simple: Three communities are brought together to interact around a shared asset.  Each community interacting with each other, while also acting in their own best interest, would be acting in the best interest of the asset.  The result, we expect, will be the preservation for optimum utilization rather than forest-to-dump consumption.

Meanwhile, the fact of interaction between these communities creates “social currency” that articulates the true social value of the asset. Where social currency is readily convertible to financial currency, the paradox of market capitalism is broken.

Kim’s observation is important – she is talking about a marriage between collaborative consumption and gamefication.  People need to watch this mash-up very closely and we must innovate in this domain very rapidly.  We will need millions of value games playing out in communities across the world if we are to hedge the inevitable implosion of financial currency while also preserving our most valuable shared asset for future generations.

Thanks Kim – you are on to something very important.

The Value Game Plays The Valley Game

(The following is a draft of the unveiling presentation for The Value Game at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on February 28th 2011)

Hello;

The Ingenesist Project is developing a new class of business methods that convert social value into financial value, and vice versa.  The premise is that when people cooperate to do useful things, they can also create an amazing amount of social value.

Historically, we have seen how each of the great eras of human civilization was derived from the prior era when the tools of that prior era became integrated.  Like when the wheel, wedge, and pulley integrated to become the printing press.  Great social transformation followed.

So it is that integration of tools that we are most interested in.

Today, we can see this drama playing out across the Globe as people integrate the tools that were created over the last 30 years. People are reorganizing and in doing so they are directly challenging the power of financial currency with equally powerful social currency.

So it is inevitable that a conversion factor between social currency and financial currency will arise.  And that, we believe, will mark the next economic era.

So we developed something called The Value Game that we believe will help build the social infrastructure for the creation, storage, and exchange of social value.

The Value Game is a new class of business methods designed to specifically create social value.  The rules of the Value Game are very simple.  The Game Starts and Ends with money but all of the new value created in the game is denominated in Social Currency.

A Value Game is created by assembling 3 or more communities around a single shared asset in such a way that their interaction with each other relative to the asset creates social value.  In this form, social value can then be more readily converted to a financial value.

To demonstrate this, we helped launch a new company called Social Flights.  The objectives of Social Flights are to aggregate a large fleet of Private Turbine powered Aircraft and deploy them to the Social Graph instead of the Hub and Spoke system used by the Commercial Airlines.

The Shared Asset is the jet.  Player 1 is the traveler community.  Player 2 is the community of private aircraft operators. ,  Player 3 is the community of entrepreneurs at the flight destination.  The True Value Calculation compares the true door-to-door cost of using Social Flights versus other alternatives such as commercial airlines.

For example, flying between two smaller cities like Bellingham Washington and Vail, Colorado.  A Commercial flight would take close to 14 hours traveling through two hubs.  A fully utilized private flight would cost about twice as much but can make the flight in 3 hours.  So right off the bat, the True Value Calculation issues a par value between alternatives.  So if your time is worth less than, say, 70 dollars per hour, you are better off taking commercial airlines.  But if your time is worth more than 70 dollars per hour – for whatever reason – then you should take the private flight.

Now, a hotel in Vail may say – wow, here is a group of 10 people staying 5 days. They can divert advertising budget and issue a 100 dollar “discount coupon” to everyone in the group. Now the par value of the private flight is reduced to 60 dollars per hour. Next, Ski slopes, restaurants, bars, and services will deploy Coupons against the airplane lowering the par value toward closer to middle class incomes and certainly well within the business class of a commercial airline.

Things will get really interesting as people start gaming the game. The more demographic information that the traveler provides, the greater the likelihood that more and more vendors will issue them a discount coupon – which they can even resell on Craigslist.

In effect, why would someone let Facebook sell their information when people can sell it their selves?  Why would vendors pay for advertising when they can find the perfect customers directly?  Why would a manufacturer pay a retailer when the community can sell it for them?   Here we see a great deal of financial value can also be articulated in a Value Game.

Theoretically, we could build a Value Game around any shared asset from zip cars, public infrastructure, energy production, education, natural resources, even the totality of human knowledge, etc.

But for now, let me introduce Allen Howell, Chairman of Social Flights who will discuss how this new business method is developing in practice.

Social Flights should be very interesting to many of the people here because it integrates several of the hottest properties in the Valley; Travel, Coupons, Gaming, and Social Media.  Each of these communities have seen astonishing valuations lately so it will be interesting to see what happens when they, in fact, become integrated.

So please welcome Allen and I can take questions while he sets up.

How To Play The Value Game

The Value Game is a new class of business methods that converts financial currency into social currency and vice versa.   The benefits of the Value Game are innumerable since social currency is the only true alternate means of storage and exchange for value that can hedge a weakening dollar.

The rules of the game are really quite simple

  1. The Value Game Starts and ends with Dollars (financial currency)
  2. All new value is created within the game is denominated as “Social Currency”
  3. Value is created from 3 or more communities interacting with a shared asset

How to build a Value Game

In order to build a Value Game, the social entrepreneur finds an asset that people are willing to share, and then identify three or more communities whose interaction with the asset creates social value.  The following are 3 Case studies currently under development at The Ingenesist Project:

Example 1: Social Flights is a new startup that aggregates private jets and deploys them to the social graph.

  • The shared asset is the Jet.
  • Player 1 is the traveler,
  • Player 2 is the charter operator
  • Player 3 are Local vendors who issue discount coupons against the airfare.

The traveler creates “time-value” by avoiding commercial aviation and developing their social graph.  Charter operators penetrate underserved markets.  Entrepreneurs supply relevant services to a known client instead of advertising.

Example 2:  High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) Reputation Management System. This business method helps influential persons improve their reputation in a community.

  • The shared asset is a shared reputation.
  • Player 1 is a HNWI.
  • Players 2 are the community organizers associated with a social cause.
  • Player 3 are social media gurus.

The HNWI adopts a social cause by exerting their political/financial influence in favor of the cause.  The Social media guru uses this content to demonstrate their ability to move search engine results, which enhances their on-line influence.    The community organizers receive social influence, managerial knowledge, and financial support for social cause.

Example 3: Collaborative Production. A Socially Important Film Project needs $250K to fund production and estimates 5 Millions views at distribution.

  • The shared asset is the final product film
  • Player 1 are the film producers
  • Player 2 are the Community that will benefit from the film’s production
  • Player 3 are product vendors selected by the community

The community provides detailed demographic information about themselves and their buying habits and the film producers processes these data for anonymity.  The film producers sell $1K options to 250 select corporate vendors for the right to issue a “Groupon-like” device to the 5M viewers of the film. Select vendors use the demographic data to target their message. The people who fill out the demographic surveys can purchase the Coupon for themselves or sell to other people for profit. Sales occur in lieu of advertising. The interaction between these communities produces social value in favor of the vendors, the film producers, and the benefit community.

Gaming The Game

As people learn to build The Value Game, they will innovate new and increasingly creative ways to leverage shared assets and interact with communities for profit.  Given the magnitude of the financial problems in the US, several hundred thousand Value Games will be needed to provide people with their daily needs for education, health care, municipal services, energy, transportation, food, etc.  After a while, the need to return to dollar currency will diminish as the value of the dollar itself diminishes under the weight of the impending debt burden.   As such, The Game will be Gamed by The Value Game.

Crowdsourcing The Brokerage House

The broker/trading model is a familiar class of business methods.  The broker advertises the availability of someone else’s inventory of assets but withholds information from the market as a means to control the transaction.  The broker does whatever is needed to pay the supplier as little as possible while also charging the customer as much as possible. The Broker  can then collect a fee for producing absolutely nothing of value except control over a transaction.

The Value Game introduces a new class of business methods that disaggregates the broker/advertising model by increasing information delivery to a community rather than withholding it.

The Value Game Revenue Model

For example; Private aircraft charters are held under the weight of a powerful Broker Industry that scrapes 30-40% of the value of created by thousands of hard working professionals who actually operate the airplanes. By deploying The Value Game,  Social Flights was created as a new air transportation company that organizes four types of communities and enables them to interact with each other around a shared asset (an airplane).  During this process of interaction, complete information is provided to each party, rather than being withheld, and everyone plays towards their convergent goals rather than divergent goals.   As a result, the Social Flights application creates Social Currency, which is then readily converted to money.

Social Flights Revenue is derived from the interaction of four communities:

The Travelers

The Operators

The Partners

The True Value Data

Traveler:

Social Flights brings travelers of similar intentions together in Travel Tribes to share flights at wholesale market value.  Air transportation is deployed to the social graph rather than the airline hub & spoke system. Communities that are underserved by commercial airlines are now empowered to interact in new ways.

Operator:

In the past, an aircraft operator would pay a listing service, a Broker, and a marketing department to sell charter services.  Instead, an operator would simply reallocate some of their marketing budget to Social Flights in return for a high volume, reliable, and risk free marketing venue.

Partners:

The cornerstones of the value game are 3rd Party entrepreneurs who scour the community for inventory of hotels, entertainment, recreation, business opportunities, and anything else to support travelers playing the game.  Not unlike Groupon, Social Flights facilitates the application of discount coupons that can be applied to the passenger’s itinerary corresponding to their normalized travel intentions.

True Value Data:

Social Flights creates a valuable and unique form of business intelligence defining how much value, in dollars, that people place on their time.  This results in a conversion factor between social currency and financial currency – something that has never been achieved before. Such data will induce a huge amount of innovation as time/money currencies fuel new Value Games around many other shared assets.

Winners and losers

  • The traveler wins with complete information, point-to-point time travel, and an empowered community.
  • The operator wins with less overhead, less risk, and steady cash flow.
  • Thousands of social entrepreneurs are empowered to deliver support inventory to a new community market.
  • All communities win as such information about the time-value of money helps people reallocates their intentions in the emerging new economy.
  • Social Flights earns their revenue by empowering communities in Social Currency.

OK, so what exactly does the Broker Produce?


When Everyone has a Coupon, They Will Innovate

It is extremely important to recognize that, for better or for worse, Discount Coupons can have an extraordinary influence on people and their behavior.  This influence is what makes a discount coupon very powerful and extremely valuable. Coupled with social media, a coupon can be leveraged to influence the behavior of whole communities in extraordinary ways.   The ability to manipulate coupon values is tantamount to the ability to manipulate the value of money itself.

However, coupons, in the marketing world, function as a form of price discrimination that enables vendors to offer a lower price to people who would otherwise go elsewhere.  Since coupon customers are price sensitive and not necessarily loyal to a brand, coupons tend to reward ambivalence in a community rather than trust, commitment, or long term relationship. Normally, one would seek to create incentives for loyalty, quality, and trustworthiness. Instead, such transient market can act against both product quality and new value creation.

Another use of the term “coupon” arises from finance where coupons are used as proof of ownership for a bond, “bearer certificate”, or similar financial instrument. Possession of the coupon is considered conclusive proof of ownership of a tangible asset.  Money, in fact, is simply a coupon representing ownership of a unit of a productivity. Ownership is a cornerstone of all forms of Capitalism, including Social Capitalism.

As such, it is of little surprise that the Internet Coupon industry is exploding with huge valuations of Groupon by Google, The emergence of Google Offers, and Yelp Coupons, and many more.  What is very interesting is that this explosion is happening concurrent with similar innovations in Travel, Currency, and Gaming deemed the “Great Integration”.

The next obvious step is for coupon exchanges to form where holders of one type of coupon can trade value with holders of another coupon not unlike one can now trade Coca Cola stock for shares in The Boeing Company.   Coupons today have limitations on their usage, but over time, continued innovation in “Coupon Currency Games” will result in powerful mechanisms for the storage and exchange of value.

There is a classic business game that plays out in markets everywhere.  Suppose that a vendor offers to discount all prices by 20%.  A competitor simple has to say “We’ll match any price”.  After a day or two, the resulting stalemate is inefficient because it simply resolves to both vendors losing 20% with no net shift in market allegiance, only increased transcience.   This is a the divergent force that weakens ties and introduces susceptibility to disruptive innovation.

Meanwhile, The Value Game uses coupons to leverage relevant communities around physical assets such as airplanes, zip cars, alternative energy, and public infrastructure.  This will be the convergent force that strengthens community ties and introduces huge opportunities for social entrepreneurs to create new value.

As a result, the strategic use of Coupons will play an important role in both the acceleration of innovation disruption AND the subsequent creation of new value. In fact, if used strategically, coupons may help usher out the old economy and bring in the new.  The Domino Effect.

***

(Editors note: The above post is #3 in a series [1][2][3][4][5] introducing The Value Game to a new class of business methods.  The first real world application is Social Flights; a collaborative production / consumption game being deployed to the market.  If this works, the new business method class will be generalized throughout the economy to catalyze the convertibility of social currency.  Please join us at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on february 28th 2011 where we will unveil the work to the technology community)

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