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?


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)


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.


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.


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.


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


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)


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?


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.



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.