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What Is An Innovation Bank?

What is an Innovation Bank?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What is an Innovation Bank? At first blush, an Innovation Bank sounds like a place where innovators can make money for developing their ideas. Sort of like venture capital.  But if we drill down a little further and look at how a traditional bank actually functions, we find a far more interesting opportunity.

People go to a bank and borrow money to, say, buy a house.  Most people think that the bank is sitting on a bunch of cash in some savings account waiting to buy your house for you until you can pay them back. This is not entirely true. 

Money is measured into existence.

When you sign the loan papers, you are committing your future productivity as collateral for the loan.  From the simple act of signing a document, you create an asset called “my future productivity”. Through the miracle of fractional reserves banking, the bank can then conjure into existence the net present value of your future productivity to settle the note on your house.  Money is literally measured into existence where your promise to pay is the underlying asset. The house is the game incentive that motivates you to go to work. Your productivity combined with everyone else’s forms the basis of your national currency.

Most people are shocked when they see how simple this process is. Money must represents human productivity – otherwise nobody would work in exchange for it.  Debt is just a fancy name for future productivity, which is productivity nonetheless. The bank is the place where this accounting ledger is secured, not so much the money.  

The image in the mirror.

Innovation and debt have a lot in common – for better or worse, they both represent future productivity. If debt can be used to measure money into existence, then innovation can be used to measure money into existence as well.  The difference is that the consumption of objects that you make is easier to measure than the innovations required to create them. In a way, venture capital is an aberration – the thing that should not need to exist if we could measure innovation in any other way.  The Innovation Bank was developed to solve the innovation paradox.   

The Innovation Paradox

The invention of the wheel, wedge, and pulley came long before the invention of international trade agreements. Technological change must always precede economic growth, yet innovators still need money (economic growth) before they can afford to create technological change. This is the innovation paradox.   We are living in the mirror image of the economy that was supposed to happen — and we think this is reality. The financial system has gotten it backwards.  Corporations and VC can select and prioritize what gets engineered and what does not, but there is little regard for the wholistic nature of innovation – to preserve scarce resources rather than consume them. As a result, the true potential for value creation by the innovators of the world goes fallow. 

The Innovation Bank resolves the innovation paradox by issuing a digital token on a native blockchain that represents the intrinsic future productivity of engineers and scientists. Not unlike a traditional bank, the Innovation Bank also employs a ledger, a value game, and actuarial math. Also like a traditional bank, a claim and the validation process represent the act of committing an asset that represents future productivity.  The interconnections of these assets provides important data driven business intelligence to a market.  The market responds by placing a value on the token to incentivizes production of more innovation.

Taken together, The Innovation Bank prints money in the exact same way using the same systems, methods, and institutions as traditional banking. The difference is that The Innovation Bank increases human productivity whereas a traditional bank consumes it.       

Additional Information

Thank you for your time reading this article. please continue reading articles from this blog. Our juried paper published by the American Society of Professional Engineers called: The Innovation Bank; Blockchain Technology and the Decentralization of the Engineering Professions. Also, please see our other publications at: Select Publications and Lectures .

Please contact us if you have any questions or ideas. Again, thank you.

The Mother of All Hedge Funds

Money is supposed to represent human productivity; otherwise nobody would work for it (think about that for a second).

Today, money is created from future productivity in the form of debt;  when you take a loan, money is created out of thin air and posted as an asset on the banks ledger.  Unfortunately, the money required to pay interest is never created at all, which drives eternal scarcity.

What Happens Next:

Through the miracles of the fractional reserve system and high finance; money gets thrown into a blender where it is then divorced from the productivity of those who create it, and is converted to exotic financial instruments that bet for or against the future productivity of the future productivity of the future productivity, etc – in both Calculus and Finance, these are called derivatives.

Why does it still work?

So the question becomes; if money does not represent productivity, then why do people still work for it? Well, there is no other alternative to money as we know it.

Then came … and went … Bitcoin;

Bitcoin is all the rage because it behaved sort of like a currency – it had many of the desirable characteristics for the storage, exchange, and unit of account for value. But something about it didn’t sit right with society in general – most people aren’t willing to work in exchange for it.

Bitcoin has 3 fatal flaws:

  1. Bitcoin does not represent human productivity.
  2. The total available Bitcoins were highly concentrated among a very few people.
  3. Bitcoin are speculative in value.

Many words have been committed to these topics so I’ll leave a deeper understanding to the reader to research on their own.  However, we can now ask the question;

What if a virtual currency could be designed that does represent human productivity, is widely distributed among the users, and empowered by those who interact with it?

 

Consider an Engineering Backed Currency:

Let’s consider an engineering backed currency and the existing institution of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

 Condition 1: Engineering works increase human productivity in the form of roads, bridges, machinery, energy, clean water, sanitation, and generalized problem solving.  A currency backed by engineering would invariably be backed by human productivity thereby satisfying condition #1.

Condition 2:  Suppose that upon paying their 300 dollar dues to the National Society of Professional Engineers, the NSPE Knowledge Bank issues 3000 NSPE Bucks, a virtual currency, to the member so that any member can trade with any other member for the purposes of learning, teaching, and collaboration (don’t worry yet about the technical challenges of doing this).

If any member gets stuck on a project, or they need to understand new technologies, or are looking for complementary knowledge, they can compensate another engineer in the NSPE Technical Network using NSPE Bucks.  Young engineers can teach seniors about new tech, social media, hot mobile apps, and seniors can teach young engineers about nuances of engineering practice, etc., all in exchange for NSPE-Bucks.  NSPE bucks will become evenly distributed thereby satisfying condition #2.

 Condition 3: The NSPE Bucks act as a form of insurance.  If an engineer gets stuck on a project or needs a review of their work or intersects another discipline, they can get rapid and effective support across a vast network of knowledge assets in the profession.  An engineer may be empowered to interact with their peers and innovate in their careers knowing that the wisdom and experience of their peers is mutually accessible.  As such, condition number 3 is met.

Hold on to your seat – this last point will blow you away:

Innovation is the domain of engineering – the two words are synonymous.  People innovate today for the purpose of increasing productivity in the future.  Remember, debt is also a currency backed by future productivity.  Therefore, when you have two currencies that are backed by the EXACT same underlying asset, they are fully convertible on an open exchange.  So NSPE bucks can be easily converted back to dollars or simply traded broadly in a market.

The Mother of All Hedge Funds

As the dollar weakens in scarcity, the NSPE Buck will strengthen in abundance, value will be preserved in the works of engineering that are created. In fact, an engineering backed currency would hedge the dollar as it weaken in it’s ability to maintain infrastructure, build schools, solve climate problems, and provide for the safety health and welfare of people and property.

There is no shortage of work to do and there is no shortage of innovation – there is only a shortage of money.  If Banks can print money out of thin air, why can’t engineers?

 

 

 

 

The Wall Street Hack

In the first post of this series, we identified the 5 components of a financial system and suggested that Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant would serve to simulate their functions in a parallel economy before ultimately being adopted completely.

In this post we will identify the hack on the Wall Street Financial instrument regime.  Although exoquant is a bit technical, the basic hack is quite simple:

  • Everyone knows that money is created through the creation of debt.
  • Everyone also knows that debt is a promise to produce something more in the future.
Likewise:
  • Everyone also knows that innovations increase human productivity.
  • Everyone also knows that innovation is a promise to produce something more in the future.

Here’s the hack:

Therefore, a currency backed by debt and a currency backed by innovation are both backed by future productivity.  As such, two currencies backed by the same underlying asset are fully convertible with each other.  Water dissolves water and innovation dissolves debt.

Here is how the Wall Street algorithm works: 

  • People produce stuff in exchange for money
  • Bankers do not care about money, they care about the rate of change of money over time.  This is called the “interest” rate.
  • Stockholders do not care about interest rate, they care about the rate of change of interest rate over time, this is called growth rate.
  • Hedge fund managers do not care about growth rate, they care about the rate of change of growth rate over time, this is the margin on their bets; options, and derivatives, etc.
  • CDOs and other financial exotica become increasingly divorced from the fact that people produce stuff for money.

The Exoquant Analogy:

  • The value of information is derived from the rate of change of data over time
  • The value of knowledge is derived from the rate of change of information over time
  • The value of innovation is derived from the rate of change of knowledge over time
  • The value of wisdom is derived from the value of innovation over time.
In order to “see” innovation before it happens, all we need to do is identify and measure rates of change of information in communities…and so on. Technically, this is a derivative, i.e., something whose value is derived from the value of something else.   All of these metrics can be seen quite readily in the Zertify, Gamidox data sets.  Each is a “derivative” backed by the stuff that people produce rather than the fiction of debt.  The ability to predict future productivity is superior with an innovation backed currency and therefore superior to debt forced productivity – often compared to slavery.

The Silver Bullet

Innovation is a magic word.  The hack is true to the Wall Street math as well as American culture.  Anyone running for public office would not attack the proposition of an innovation backed currency.  Therefore, the hack will not trigger an antigen.
 The next and final post, The Currency Hack, will formulate this innovation currency in more detail.

Printing Social Currency; Influence vs. Intentions

What is more valuable, their Influence or their intentions?

The heat is on to discover a new currency

Obviously, money is supposed to represent productivity otherwise why would people work for it?  But, everyone is pretty much resigned to the fact that the dollar – and indeed most global currency – is irreversibly divorced from actual productivity.

No Alternative  Algorithm?

The reason why people must trade dollars is that there is no other alternative, and the computer algorithms that control the value of the currency have yet to tell us otherwise.  That’s it, really.  The questions remain, how, why, and when will people stop working for it and what will they work for which can replace it?

This will not be as simple as living in yurts, trading cheese cultures and tweeting about it. Complex infrastructure like a judicial system, transportation, medical care, clean water, energy and food production rely on a financial system that can capitalize and securitize whatever the replacement currency may be.

Influence vs. intention

The latest twist in the new currency movement is the idea that on-line influence can be used to support a currency.  There is no shortage of noble leaders aspiring to “define the standard” in their own image as a service to the lesser masses who seek their respective place in the great new economic void.  PeerIndex and Klout are the two main players that promote a social score based on influence, obstensibly to mimic the credit score upon which all currency depends.

Bad Influence is worse than no influence

Unfortunately, influence is a flawed measure.  Marketers are the target beneficiaries of such influence which is clearly defined as the ability to get other people to take action on a marketing message. My ability to influence others to buy Twinkies does not an economy make. In other words – influence is a consumption currency, not a production currency.

A far better marker is “intention”

For comparison; today, money is conjured into existance by banks based on the signature of a loan candidate who states in writing their intention to produce enough value by their future words and actions to exceed the value of the currency being borrowed (created from thin air) plus interest.  That’s how debt works.  That “intention” is then capitalized, combined with the intentions of others, and securitized into bonds that finance important social services and institutions that support those intensions.

Likewise, a social currency may be similarly conjured into existence – based on a person’s promise to increase human productivity in the future, not however, to increase human consumption in the future.  The social marker for the next currency must be an intension to produce something, not an intension to consume something.  The real danger, of course, is if we define the next currency as just another consumption currency or whether it can truly be married to productivity.

Obviously, it would be helpful to have an inventory of what value an individual is willing and able to produce in the future since this is the best marker of intensions.  It would be even more helpful if there were a public knowledge inventory of what value people in a community are able and willing to produce together.  I’ll stop here because a knowledge inventory for communities does not exist – and curiously, none of the great minds in Social Media are clamoring to define that standard.

Likewise, that is where the great opportunity for the future resides.

The Innovation Banker

Future of Banking

When I use the term “Innovation Bank”, people conjure up the image of a cheery place where anticipation reigns as starry eyed depositors arrange their intellectual property in neat cubby boxes, Patents fly like cash register receipts and companies troll the halls looking for a cure for their bottom line blues.

This is not exactly what we have in mind, nor is it too far off either. An innovation Bank is simply a knowledge inventory that contains knowledge assets that exists in the format of a financial instrument and can be deployed for the purposes of increasing productivity.  In the process, it makes 10X more of itself every time it is deployed.  It mints its own money.

The Innovation Banker

This is not much different than a financial bank. In fact, in the financial bank, everyone assumes the borrower has the knowledge to execute the business plan and the bank lends the money. Oh, by the way, the money makes more of itself  10X over (fractional reserve system) every time it is deployed.

With the innovation bank, everyone assumes the entrepreneur has the money to execute the plan, and the seek to borrow the knowledge. Other than that, they can be considered identical. The key is in the scope, depth, and format in which the knowledge assets live in a community as well as the ability to track and preserve the creation of new knowledge in a community.  An innovation banker is a knowledge banker

A Virtuous Circle

Together with the financial banking, these two system engage in the dance of the virtuous circle of innovation enterprise. Apart, they collapse into the swirling cesspool of eternal debt and infinite interest (pun intended).

Ingenesist.com

Music by Phil Felicia

How Obama Will Save The World

Do the math – Interest on National Debt can go all the way up to infinity while Austerity measures can only go down to zero.   There is tragedy looming at both ends of the political spectrum and the Golden Goose can’t fly much longer.  Captain Obama is in a tough spot.

Someone will eventually need to gently lay the economy down in a nice soft spot with a just a few critical social programs intact. A task comparable to US Airways Pilot  Capt. Sullenberger who successfully landed his stalled airliner on the freezing Husdon without ripping off the wings, catching on fire, splitting the hull, or sinking the ship with all the passengers inside.

Here is how the endgame is shaping up:

Through some secret signal, all of the World’s money barons will come together and agree to simultaneously lop off three zeros (000) from all financial balance sheets.  This will effectively reboot the world economy.  A $50 trillion debt obligation now becomes a quaint and manageable $50 billion debt.  Unfortunately, a $500,000 dollar pension becomes worth about $500 bucks.   The game will reset with champaign toasts and business-as-usual in a race to conjure new debt into existence.  The recovery is on … for some.

Those who have exactly as much debt as they have tangible assets will enjoy a net zero impact.   Those caught at the extreme ends with too little debt or too much cash will lose spectacularly.

A stoic and sober Capt. Obama is at the controls, should we be worried?

Well, maybe. Just to give you an idea of what’s happening in the cockpit: Capt. Obama will project his glide path into the visible horizon.  If he can’t make it out to Hillary’s term, he will probably try to set it down right after he is re-elected and can still blame the GOP.  The GOP will try everything they can to wrestle it down before 2012 – split hull or not – so that they can claim the presidency.  If they win 2012 without the landing, they’ll land it soon after 2012 and blame it on Obama.  Note that none of this has anything to do with aerodynamics.

Why should this inspire anyone’s confidence?

There are a few people in the back seats working really hard to build a parachute that will hedge their fall.  None of the people near the cockpit, boardrooms, or stock exchanges have any idea what these passengers are doing – they don’t seem to care – instead, they are too busy topping off their debt to equity ratios for optimum survivability upon impact.

But, the hedge instrument is playing out in Social Media, slowly siphoning the factors of production into a new economic system. Some passengers are only inches away from jump-starting an alternate economy using a social currency backed by real productivity, not debt, in a new form of capitalism.  All they need is an instrument that is only a little better than what’s flying now.  Then, all the money in the world will convert to the hedge currency.

Now THAT’s monetization.

The guys near the cockpit will never see it coming – they’ll only see it leaving.  That’s how Obama will save the World. Let’s hope he can swim.

Social Vetting Makes Knowledge Tangible

The term “Vetting” comes from the sport of horse racing where the animal is “vetted” by a veterinarian to determine if the animal is in suitable condition to race.  Today, there are many vetting mechanisms acting in society and communities.  Think of it as the referee that keeps the game fair.  This is important because if the game is not fair, people will stop playing.

Where the vetting mechanism fails, the system fails. This has happened in countless instances from the current financial crisis to nearly every product, market, environmental calamity, or political failure in recorded history – the referees who were supposed to keep their eye on the ball, did not. Likewise, where a vetting mechanism is effective, the system is efficient.

Today, we find severe problems in finance and government and people are investing their knowledge assets in social media as the place to “store and exchange” their present and future productivity – instead of deploying money or debt. As such, social vetting is taking many different forms to validate, qualify, and quantify knowledge assets in communities.

While the progression may not be noticeable, there will be a tipping point where the medium has built enough trust that it can support a currency. This new currency needs to be only a little bit more “trustworthy” than the currency it will replace. This is the point where knowledge becomes tangible.

Create 9 Million Jobs with Innovation Bonds

Another approach for spending a Trillion dollars (backed by debt) would be for the government to issue innovation bonds (backed by innovation) to fund new innovation enterprise. Surely the World still greatly admires and respects American Ingenuity (social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital) especially in the age of social media and would likely buy such a financial instrument, if not to copy, improve, and outsource on it later.

The final frontier; your backyard

The Last Mile of social media is a vastly unexploited resource with an astonishing wealth creation potential. The Ingenesist Project (TIP) specifies a structure for an innovation economy through the application of 3 simple web applications deployed to social media that will ignite “The Last Mile”.

Already, people use social media to harvest great ideas from around the world. The Ingenesist Project will enable global ideas to be applied in local economies throughout our communities.

Running Numbers:

The sweet spot for Last Mile social media is (2-6) people living within a (1-6) square mile area. Assume an average entrepreneur density is about (1) person per square mile. The United States is a little more than (3) million square miles. If only (3) of the thousands upon thousands of potential applications of Last Mile social media were implemented across the country, then (9) million jobs would be created.

Dan’s List; Leave a Tip

Here is a list of (10) hypothetical business ideas that a buddy and I dreamed up over lunch using TIP methodology for inducing an Innovation Economy. Each of these ideas has a working revenue model.

1. Zertify: This company is a last mile/vetting social media application where neighbors “Zertify their Zillow Zestimates”.
2. Start Up Neighborhood (SUN): is a last mile social media application where neighbors get together to innovate and create new businesses.
3. ScatterWatt: is a last mile social media application for decentralizing power generation aggregating local clean power generation systems (rooftop wind, solar, greenery).
4. ComPrac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that forms and organizes communities of practice for the purpose of mentorship and cooperation in innovation.
5. CombinePac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that combines communities of practice strategically for the purpose of tangential innovation
6. TopUse: is a last mile social media/vetting application that makes best use of already disturbed lands saving undisturbed lands from exploitation.
7. CodeVitae: is last mile/vetting service that translates CVs and job descriptions into universal decimal classification system for computerized analysis, normalization, and improved allocation.
8. Proximizer: A last mile social media application that reallocates knowledge assets for best proximity to home space for carbon credits.
9. CarbonCops: is last mile social media application to register, certify, and implement carbon savings ideas.
10. VetBucks: is a last mile/vetting site for the verifying expenditure of public funds.

Improving Information for Fun and Profit:

The degree to which information is improved in a market is the degree to which the innovation adds value. As such, monetization becomes a relatively simple matter. Furthermore, the options that are created will have a multiplier effect in the communities as neighbors learn what knowledge assets are available with which to cooperate in their communities and where their knowledge assets can be deployed productively. New ideas generate more new ideas as the markets will seek to fill in the blank spots and support more structure for innovation economy.

An Endowment for their Grandchildren:

While the leadership elders are to be respected for their wisdom and accomplishments, they have very little comprehension of the economic growth potential of social media. It is understandable that they may overlook this opportunity. The capitalization of social media lays in the hands of the young people who know exactly what to do if given the opportunity. Why not give them a shot at getting the books in order? Call it their inheritance.

Breaking The Monopoly on Money

Hundreds of community currencies are forming across the globe. Gaming currencies are jumping back into reality. Europeans communities are calling for the authority to print their own money arguing that the fractional reserve system is like trying to recover from a war by waging more war (a novel thought).

Many people doubt that the dollar has more than a decade or so of steam left as the interest on debts mythically exceeds the total amount of money on Earth (at least in my world). Yet banks march on, heading straight for the cliff.

Governments are polarized against themselves (and in cooperation with other governments) to solve the problem – except by reducing services to the people. But isn’t this why Governments exists in the first place? Are they suggesting their own elimination? Of course not, so they issue press releases worth about as much as the photons they are printed with.

Meanwhile, corporate media is trying to dominate (and subdue) social media….ultimately, the end game will be the other way around. This short video invites the status quo to look at what people are “doing and saying with their productivity”

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

The problem with the American Dollar is that it is backed by future productivity in the form of debt – that is, our “promise” to pay off the debt. We know this because if America signaled that it was not willing or able to pay it’s debt, the dollar would cease to be used as Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economya trading mechanism.

Innovation is also a promise backed by future productivity. By innovating in a new processes, method, system, or product today you are making a promise to increase productivity tomorrow.

Therefore, debt and innovation are blood brothers or mirror images of the other – they are both “currencies” (means of storing value) backed by future productivity. We can build a new economy around this concept which effectively weeds out the bad parts and keeps the good parts of the institutions and infrastructure that are already in place.  After all, two currencies backed by the same underlying asset  would be fully convertable

After all, the definition of a crook is someone who steals someone else’s productivity. May the best currency win.

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

Update: 03/2015  I recently stumbled upon this definition in a Gamification Wiki concerning the Rallod.  Thanks for the shout out!!

Rallod (Dollar spelt backwards) is concept developed by Dan Robles as a social capital currency which is based on the future productivity of innovation. He uses the Bizarro world featured in DC superman comics to provide an explanation of how his concept works. He distinguishes between normal economics revolving around Land, Labour and Capital and social capital which revolves around intellectual, social and creative capital. What is tangible in the normal world is intangible in the Bizarro world and vice versa. Robles believs the two worlds are mirror images of each other.

Visit www.badgeville.com to learn about the global gamification leader

Pirates, Anarchy, and the Monetization of Social Media

(Editor’s note: some ideas adapted from writings of Peter T. Leeson and introduces the idea of IOUs trading as a proxy for production.  The monetization of social media will likely evolve from such an idea)

No sane blogger would post an article suggesting that anarchy is superior to government as a means of producing widespread cooperation…or would they?

As Milton Friedman put it, “government is essential both as a forum for determining the ‘rules of the game’ and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided upon.” Most great anarchist theories are duly faulted for significant problems coping with cheating and violence.

Nonetheless, large swaths or anarchy exist today.  For example, there is no World Court to enforce World Law, if such laws existed.  Nor is there a Global commercial law to enforce contracts between Global traders. Even at a local level there is no guarantee that the government will protect your property or enforce your contracts.

A common objection to anarchy is that without government the strong will plunder the weak because the weak have an inherent inability to protect themselves. How can self-governance alone protect the weak?

Social Piracy?

Fattest Cat Bets Against Dollar (and what we can do about it)

In 2006 John Paulson (of no relation to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ) bet that the sub-prime mortgage market would tank and housing prices would fall on a national scale, according to a new book The Greatest Trade Ever by Greg Zuckerman. He cleaned up with 4 billion dollars in personal gains, 20 Billion for his firm.

Wonder where your money went?

“John Paulson took it,” wrote Peter Cohen of BloggingStocks. Want to know what Paulson is buying this year? Gold. Betting against the dollar is his latest ploy and so far seems to be working. Ummmm…this means that the rest of us are basically screwed, again.

Paulson’s investing lessons:

1. Don’t Rely on Experts
2. Bubble Trouble
3. Focus on Debt Markets
4. Master New investments
5. Insurance Pays
6. Experience Counts
7. Don’t Fall In Love
8. Luck Helps

Hey Kids, let’s learn from the master:

1. Don’t rely on Experts: They are the crooks. The Mexican Peso crisis was not caused by foreigners; it was caused by Mexican elite running away from their own currency and sparking a wider run. See Johnny Run….

2. Bubble Trouble: Further evidence is seen in speculative bubbles appearing in mundane fixed assets like land, minerals, and alternate currencies around the world.

3. Focus on Debt: If you have cash, you’ll lose it to inflation. But if you have debt, you’ll lose that too. If you have too much debt and you’ll go bankrupt. If you have too much cash and you’ll become equally broke. The trick is to hold just as much cash as you hold debt and when it’s all over, you’ll be no better or no worse off.

4. Master new investments: In the old system, if I trade a dollar for an apple, I lose the dollar but gain an apple. In the next economic paradigm, I share an idea but I still retain the idea; and currency multiplies – master the new investment!

5. Insurance Pays if you know how to play; if you can identify the peril, you know the probability that it will get you, and you know the consequences of the loss – you can “play” insurance. People must reorganize around an “insurance system” enabled by social networks that can influence these factors.

6. Experience Counts; While corporations are laying off older people, social media is capturing them in a knowledge inventory. We must develop, produce, and access this knowledge inventory.

7. Don’t Fall in Love: This means diversify and don’t be afraid to try new things. Innovation is the art of putting many different ideas, concepts or objects together and yielding new wealth creation. What better mechanism than social media.

8. Luck helps: Social media is like a cloud. Nobody can control and the only way to engage with it is to talk to the cloud. After a while the cloud will deliver rain, and your garden will grow. John Paulson calls this luck, we call it inevitable.

We, the people, need to introduce a new economic paradigm – nobody will do it for us. We may lose the dollar as a currency but we must not lose our personal ability to produce and trade our ideas, plans, and actions for the things that our families need to grow. Wealth is created by sharing. The Next Economic Paradigm shows us how we, as a society, can reorganize ourselves around an economy built upon social media. Sounds far out but it can be done today if we move quickly to understand the power – near absolute – that people can have in social media. If John Paulson were really smart, he would bet on us not against us.

Community Currency; Ithaca Hours

Ithica DollarsEditor’s note: I found this copyrighted piece from all the way back in 1995.  I find such history enlightening.  As a researcher it allows me to eliminate certain variables such as Social Media, 9/11, TARP, GWB, BHO, Global Warming, and a host of other firebrand influences on public opinion and action.  That said, the clarity is remarkable. Take strong note of the intention of fulfilling social priorities.  Today, as our corporations and government (federal, state, and local) continue to cut social programs in order to service interest on debt, the void on social programs will induce an inevitable condition; Community Conversational Currency.

by Paul Glover

Originally published in IN CONTEXT #41, Summer 1995, Page 30
Copyright (c)1995, 1997 by Context Institute

Many communities are giving up waiting on large corporations or government to invest or provide jobs, and are instead building on their own strengths and resources.

The Voice of the Youth

HS students Euro ChallengeDoes One size fit all?

The 40+ crowd is flooding to Facebook.  The 30+ massage their Linkedin profiles. The 20+ crowd is tweeting their hearts out.  What are the kids doing?  How are they organizing themselves?  After all, they are saddled with a 50 Trillion dollar debt liability and a warming planet courtesy of their Tenants.  I posted an article below about a High School Student from Issaquah Washington (read “Small Town USA”) with a head full of ideas.

Reading between lines:

Kids are looking for better ways to promote themselves to colleges, employers, and each other, with a twist; they want control and ownership of their data.  They see it as an extension of a business card rather that a bill board branding channel.  Yes, they are open for business and ready to produce insanely creative things.  However, there must be some intimacy in relationships which other social networking sites cannot provide. They seek quality over quantity in the next economic paradigm.  They seek simplicity and eschew the corporatism of  their media.

They are consummate sharers always aware of their own productivity.  Their new applications are a chain of productivity tools for other students creating a world where teenagers can find useful tips, tricks and products to get through the teen years successfully.  They are passionate about engaging the world on their level.  They are passionate about their role in providing value to others.  I, for one, welcome the prospect of turning the world over to it’s rightful owners – the kids.

Students develop Web sites for peers

Skyline Running Start student Adam Sidialicherif has a lot of ideas floating around in his head these days. The self-taught Web developer has so many, he even maintains in his bedroom a list of Web applications he wants to write to help his peers with numerous aspects of life, he said.

You Can’t Eat Gold

goose1The following is a question and answer that I responded to on a Linkedin economics forum.  This question still occurs in so many forms when it is also abundantly obvious that Social Media is driving so much value in so many directions.  The irony is that the question is asked within the currency that it fails to recognize.

Art credit

Question:

Fiat money is the cause or always the main cause of financial crisis. Reverting back to gold standard can give stability. How can this be implemented?

Answer:

It cannot.  Everyone agrees that money needs to be backed by something tangible. However, gold has a host of problems as well that are discussed extensively on-line and cannot be ignored.

A successful and stable currency must be backed by the productivity of the [citizens of a country] users.  So these two words should be interchangeable; i.e., a country spends productivity to fight a war.  A country spends productivity to fund universal health care, etc.

The cause of financial crisis is when the money becomes divorced from the productivity.  Debt is a transaction that exchanges current productivity for future productivity – assuming that productivity will increase at least by the so-called ‘risk’.  CDOs and other exotic financial instruments further obscure true productivity until money becomes driven irrationality and emotions completely separated from productivity.

If people lose trust in the currency, they will no longer trade it – they will find something else. Your hope is that they will find Gold.

Note clearly that innovation is also a transaction that exchanges current productivity with future productivity (due to the innovation).  As such, a currency backed by innovation is of the same species as a currency backed by debt.  Therefore, the entire financial system does not need to be torn down and rebuilt to serve a new non-debt backed currency.

The answer to your question is to look toward the places where extraordinary innovation is occurring today, right now.  It is clear that social media is developing this new currency.   The problem now is fairly simple; making human knowledge tangible.  This is where the innovation is. Here are some resources of people working on this problem:

http://ingenesist.com

http://relationship-economy.com

http://conversationalcurrency.com

Our deepest concern should be to feed the Goose what’s been so good to the Gander all these years. Of course one argument in favor of gold is it’s scarcity.  However, it is difficult to imagine that in an era of scarcity of so many resources, the basis of a currency ought to be more scarcity.  Knowledge, conversation, and innovation are scarce relative to the problems that they must be deployed to solve.  We’re in this together.

Is a social contract legally binding…and who cares?

Trillions of dollars in play:

Trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of value that once coursed through the veins of Market Capitalism is being transferred to social media from the legacy economy now stifled by insurmountable debt.  These numbers are indeed spectacular because they account for the invisible value “lost”, and most importantly, the calculations provides clues on how to “find” it again.

What is a Social Contract worth?

According to Legacy Economics, the term “social contract” describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order. Otherwise, we would each have unlimited natural freedoms, including the “right to all things” and thus the freedom to harm all who threaten our own self-preservation; there would be an endless “war of all against all”.

Take me to your leader

By contrast, Social Media begs the questions: who or what exactly is that authority?  Isn’t the greatness of the Internet the lack of an all powerful authority? So why aren’t we at a war of all against all?  What keeps social media at peace instead of an endless flame war?  Whatever this alien is, it is capturing and storing trillions upon trillions of dollars of value away from the legacy economy, but where?

Separating facts from fiction

According to the old economy, it is a “fact” that human knowledge is an “intangible asset” of which there are only two types defined:

1. Legal intangibles such as trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and goodwill (brands).

2. Competitive intangibles such as knowledge activities, collaboration activities, leverage activities, and structural activities.

However, when we consider social media;

1.    There is no law governing the phenomenon – so there are no legal intangibles.

2.    Collaboration, leveraging and structural activities are not being conducted in a competitive environment (the context of one “Company” against another).

So, the definition fails to account for knowledge assets in social media. The Ingenesist Project discovers the lost trillions simply by treating the social contract like a legal contract.

Tangible assets are managed by contracts

Technically, any oral agreement between two parties can constitute a binding legal contract. The legacy economy limitation, however, is that only parties to a written agreement have material evidence (the written contract itself) to prove the actual terms uttered at the time the agreement was struck.

But social media, email, and blog posts, etc., all constitute vast “written” agreements and material evidence as far as most people are concerned.   So what is missing?  Are we waiting for permission from government, Wall Street, corporations, attorneys, or the Federal Reserve to say it is OK for people to stop competing with each other or to renegotiate the terms of the social contract (and currency of exchange)?

The mystery is no mystery

Guess what, there is nothing there. Absolutely nothing except philosophical barriers carried over from legacy economics built upon political division. The mystery is that there is no mystery except using social media to unite people.  After all, the biggest Brand in the world is a Community Organizer.  Such calculation provides clues on how to “find” value again.

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 6: The Business Plan

The objective of this series is to contain what we know about social networks within the construct of the financial system.  The intention is for knowledge to behave, and thereby trade like a financial instrument.  In prior articles, we discovered the currency, the inventory, the institutions, and the entrepreneurs of the next economic paradigm.  This module will construct the business plan:

A business plan is the blue print for the construction of enterprise.

Like the construction of any tangible asset, an inventory of parts is assembled in strategic proportions.  The ability to accomplish this gives the enterprise a strategic and competitive advantage in a market.

Business failures are knowledge failures

Most enterprises will emphasize design, or service, or performance or price in their proprietary secret sauce of market success.  The question becomes, what quantities and qualities of strategic components allow the new enterprise to create a positive economic outcome.

Most business failure are due to knowledge deficits such as the inexperienced management team, a poor assessment of market conditions, under estimating the amount of money needed, under estimating a competitor, loss of a key employee, or the poor understanding of the technology, etc.  These are knowledge problems not financial problems.

Prediction is the quality of knowledge:

To solve the knowledge problems is to decrease the risk of innovating and increase the predictability of innovations. To decrease the risk will decrease the cost, and increase the availability, of venture capital.  To increase the predictability would increase entrepreneurial activity.

The Unit Business Plan:

The business plan of the innovation economy is very simple; it starts with the single transaction between two people.  The lender provides information and the borrower combines the information with their existing knowledge to create more knowledge.  This single transaction has a value of 1 unit of currency and we call it a unit business transaction:

The Parallel Circuit:

Now we will assemble these single transactions in many combinations.  When we combine two unit transactions in a parallel circuit.  This represents a brain storming session between two people.

The Percentile Search Engine matches the person with the most worthy knowledge supply to a person with the most worthy knowledge demand. The transaction is a simple conversation and the outcome is a prototype process, system, method, or iteration.

The Series Circuit:

The next transaction type is modeled as two unit business transactions occurring in a series circuit.  This represents a product development cycle.

Each cycle of these transactions is an improvement to the business objective. Each time the transaction occurs there is a net increase of new knowledge and therefore an increase in value.  New options are created.  The conversation stops when the product is ready for the market, cancellation, or next physical iteration.

The transaction is recorded as an event between two known persons of known knowledge inventories.  The transaction is stored in the intellect of the participants and becomes their property in the form of a knowledge asset represented by the things they create with their knowledge.

The Social Network:

Now if we combine the parallel transaction with the series transaction we have what now looks like a network.  In practice, we know that strong networks of people freely exchanging ideas make organizations better, smarter, and more efficient.  Networks are where knowledge and community wisdom is stored. A network is fault tolerant, if one person leaves, the network survives. For a relatively small input into a network, we can produce a large output of new knowledge – we have a learning organization.

However, in society, these interactions are largely accidental; people meet at Church, Starbucks, and Social Events or by word of mouth. Other times, these interactions are concentrated inside a single community of very similar people such as a technical conference, group meeting, or lunch buddies and are often not well diversified.  More recently, interaction is self selecting through social media devices such as Twitter, Linkedin, Craigslist, Biznik, and Meetup, etc.

What if the social interactions could be made less random and more intentional?

Suppose interactions be designed with a specific purpose by the entrepreneur as a means toward producing a unique outcome. The Innovation Bank will combine people of complementary knowledge assets in a calculated manner in order to arrive at specific business approaches and applications.

What if Innovation could be made less random and more intentional?

The Multiplier Effect:

A special case business plan is called the Multiplier Effect. In effect, building a network of applications from a network of knowledge assets.

Suppose that a company owns composite material technology for use on aircraft.  Since the company specializes in airplanes, they have no intention of pursuing other applications such as recreational equipment, energy production, or health care products.

The Innovation Bank:

Suppose that the company could deposit this asset in a bank and collect interest.  The Search Engine can scan the business landscape to find persons or organizations with a worthy knowledge deficit in the area of your technology. The originator holds the option to see what those other companies invent and hold the right to use their new ideas in an aircraft application. 

Contracts manage those options.  Those contracts are social contracts and they can be traded.  They are a form of currency – or stored value.

In the event of a cyclic downturn, instead of “laying off” knowledge assets, people can work in tangential industries where they will continue developing – literally putting “Knowledge in the Bank” – to be called back to their original company when market conditions improve.  A mobile knowledge asset increases in value and continually becomes smarter and more productive over time. This is not socialism, this is not capitalism, this is Ingenesism – from the root word: Ingenuity.

Market Efficiencies:

With an innovation Bank, a company can reduce their Research and Development costs and create additional revenue in a tangential innovation market.  Millions of people are being layed off work from corporations – billions upon billions of dollars of innovation potential is being squandered.  With reduced cost and risk of innovation, The new American corporations will specialize in inventing, networking, and applying new ideas as their primary revenue source.

Is The Banking System Corrupted?

The following video series is one of the most important videos that you can watch right now. These were published in 2006 but it’s the best place to start understanding the current crisis. It will also give you an understanding of what Barak Obama is doing and why.

Finally, after viewing these videos, you will have a greater understanding of what money is, what the future holds, and why the Ingenesist Project is therefore so Important.

Part 1/5; Cartels Robbing the Public

Part 2/5; How Money is Created

Part 3/5; Money Is Debt

Part 4/5; Monetary Reform

Part 5/5; Warning About the New World Order.

Innovation Bonds: 3 Million Jobs

Another approach for spending a Trillion dollars (backed by debt) would be for the government to issue innovation bonds (backed by innovation) to fund new enterprise.  Surely the World still greatly admires and respects American Ingenuity (social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital) and would likely buy such a financial instrument instead of more of our debt.

The final frontier; your backyard

The Last Mile of social media is a vastly unexploited resource with an astonishing wealth creation potential.  The Ingenesist Project (TIP) specifies a structure for an innovation economy through the application of 3 simple web applications deployed to social media that will ignite “The Last Mile”.

Already, people use social media to harvest great ideas from around the world.  The Ingenesist Project will enable global ideas to be applied in local economies throughout our communities.

Running Numbers:

The sweet spot for Last Mile social media is (2-6) people living within a (1-6) square mile area. Assume an average innovator density is about (1) person per square mile.  The United States is a little more than (3) million square miles.  If only (1) of the thousands upon thousands of potential applications of Last Mile social media were implemented across the country, then (3) million jobs would be created.

Dan’s List; Leave a Tip

Here is a list of (10) hypothetical business ideas that a buddy and I dreamed up over lunch using TIP methodology for inducing an Innovation Economy.  Each of these ideas has a working revenue model.

1.    Zertify: This company is a last mile/vetting social media application where neighbors “Zertify their Zillow Zestimates”.
2.    Start Up Neighborhood (SUN): is a last mile social media application where neighbors get together to innovate and create new businesses.
3.    ScatterWatt: is a last mile social media application for decentralizing power generation aggregating local clean power generation systems (rooftop wind, solar, greenery).
4.    ComPrac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that forms and organizes communities of practice for the purpose of mentorship and cooperation in innovation.
5.    CombinePac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that combines communities of practice strategically for the purpose of tangential innovation
6.    TopUse: is a last mile social media/vetting application that makes best use of already disturbed lands saving undisturbed lands from exploitation.
7.    CodeVitae: is last mile/vetting service that translates CVs and job descriptions into universal decimal classification system for computerized analysis, normalization, and improved allocation.
8.    Proximizer: A last mile social media application that reallocates knowledge assets for best proximity to home space for carbon credits.
9.    CarbonCops: is last mile social media application to register, certify, and implement carbon savings ideas.
10.    VetBucks: is a last mile/vetting site for the verifying expenditure of public funds.

Improving Information for Fun and Profit:

The degree to which information is improved in a market is the degree to which the innovation adds value.  As such, monetization becomes a relatively simple matter.  Furthermore, the options that are created will have a multiplier effect in the communities as neighbors learn what knowledge assets are available with which to cooperate in their communities and where their knowledge assets can be deployed productively. New ideas generate more new ideas as the markets will seek to fill in the blank spots and support more structure for innovation economy.

An Endowment for their Grandchildren:

While the leadership elders are to be respected for their wisdom and accomplishments, they have very little comprehension of the economic growth potential of social media. It is understandable that they may overlook this opportunity.  The capitalization of social media lays in the hands of the young people who know exactly what to do if given the opportunity.  Why not give them a shot at getting the books in order?  Call it their inheritance.

The Global Financial Crisis; The End Game

The year is 2024, no burning cities, no mass hysteria, no bread lines; the economy is on an exponential growth curve.  It took a while, but the financial crisis of ended in an anticlimactic sort of way.  Sure, lots of hedge fund bankers became unemployed, some went to jail, and many companies once deemed titans of industry have disappeared, but nobody seemed to notice much anymore.

Government debt has been eliminated and Wall Street has become the steward of what has become an Innovation Economy rising from the ashes of debt economics.  The transition, in fact, was surprisingly smooth.  Social Network applications such as Facebook, Linkedin, G+, and many more, developed a clever way to make knowledge tangible outside the construct of Wall Street and the traditional corporations and people began trading knowledge like currency.

When inflation hit, the dollar started to fall in value, people began trading a different currency called the rallod (dollar spelled backwards).  The rallod was backed by future productivity resulting from innovation rather than future productivity supporting debt.  When the dollar finally crashed, it pegged to the rallod and the economy began to grow again with an astonishing, yet peaceful, transfer of wealth and power to open sourced self-regulating communities; i.e., society in general.  The vicious cycle of debt economics was reversed just in time.  It’s still hard to believe what happened.

Today the engines of economic growth are tens of thousands of hot new start-ups that exist in the form of “Value Games” related to specific technology areas rather than the old corporation model.  They automatically cluster around a technology and spin off other start-ups at an incredible rate in a strange nesting arrangement called the “tangential innovation” market.  Most innovation is open sourced because the “Patent” (and protectionism in general) is no longer the center of the innovation finance universe, rather, the “secret sauce” of social, creative, and intellectual capital is the most valuable asset today.

About 15 years ago, something resembling the human genome project mapped all knowledge in the form of social, creative, and intellectual capital that exists in society to a very high granularity.  An API standard was created to represent knowledge assets like packets of code that are processed by a community algorithm. The CV/resume is an old bar joke now. Thanks to a visionary government, 1st amendment protections were built into this inventory with anonymity laws and privatized TOU; creators own what they create.

An open source percentile search engine was created to enable entrepreneurs to build unique collections of knowledge assets and predict the probability that various combinations of these assets could successfully execute a business plan.  High diversification induced hyper-innovation around technologies and the resulting innovations are spun out to be reabsorbed by different and diverse communities of practice in continuous iterations forming a virtuous vortex of new systems, methods, and solutions.  Sketched out, these arrangements looked like electrical “integrated” circuits.  Wealth creation is intense.

Since the knowledge inventory has mapped all knowledge and the Percentile Search Engine calculated probabilities and scenarios, the Innovation bank formed to make most worthy and optimal matches between knowledge surplus and knowledge deficit in a community.  Since the probability of innovation success has become predictable, innovation risk is now diversified away.  Innovation insurance products abound. With near-zero innovation risk the cost of venture capital has approached 5-7 % instead of 500-2000% of less than a decade ago.  Banks now issue innovation bonds on the public market to finance innovation in society.  For an investment of such high return and such little risk, participation is near universal.  This created another virtuous circle; the more innovation that occurs, the more money is created.  The more money that is created, the more innovation occurs.

Instead of having jobs, many people in a geographic area are pinged by the Percentile Search Engine which calculates the likelihood that their interaction together will increase the probability of successful execution of a business plan when combined with other knowledge assets.  Instead of earning wages, people collect micro-royalties specified by contracts on capital asset sub-sections. These micro-royalties add up to substantial residual income enjoying a multiplier effect as their work continues downstream over their lifetime. The government funds social security through it’s own innovation ventures. Service workers such as police, teachers, fire fighters, nurses, local merchants, etc., are key beneficiaries because of their impact on the community is directly associated with productivity.

Many of the senior knowledge workers have determined that they can earn more money by taking an equity position in their students, and the students of their student.  Unlike a decade ago, pyramid schemes in innovation economics are sustainable and generate astonishing profits.  Mentors have entered the landscape in vast numbers and apprenticeships have become abundant.  The income potential for the “creating creators” boggles the imagination.   Again, a virtuous circle has formed between the mentor and the student. In aggregate, wisdom is being retained, refined, and transferred efficiently throughout social networks.

University “degrees” have disappeared in favor of unique combinations of knowledge assets that are continually SEO’d for best Percentile Search Engine Placement.  People do not compete directly, rather, they compete with the Percentile Search Engine in the local market place by cooperating among each other.  As owners of their knowledge assets, the entrepreneurial spirit is ubiquitous.  No individual has either a monopoly or an identical knowledge set as anyone else.  Everyone has perfect information about the knowledge assets in a market.  People are pinged for different reasons at different times for different rates depending on supply and demand.  Continuous education is a social event in itself, often mistaken for recreation!

Even the poorest areas of the planet are getting into the action because, by definition, the parts of an economy with the highest potential for technological change correspond to opportunities that return the highest dividends in an innovation economy.  Arbitrage opportunities between master and oppressor have disappeared worldwide.

Like a neural network, the economic system of tangible knowledge is self-correcting, fault tolerant, and self-regulating.  Governments across the globe tried to stop the social network driven innovation economy – but they eventually gave up.  It was like trying to stop water; it flowed between the cracks and simply eroded the barriers.  The most incredible outcome is that innovation now reflects long term social priorities instead of short term Wall Street priorities.

Oil production has been replaced by superconducting wind turbines, global temperatures have stabilized, all cars are electric or “water leakers” (as the hydro’s are affectionately known), many diseases have been cured, and the list goes on.  It is hard to believe this happened in only 12 years.  Then again, the Internet had only been widely used 15 years prior to 2009.  Did I mention, we’re finally sending a multinational expedition to Mars…

Out of Cache; Will Work For Bandwidth

We can measure the time in minutes, we can measure distance in miles, and we can measure mass in grams – so how do we measure Innovation?  Am I missing something or is this possibly the most stunning omission in the history of civilization?  Who is keeping score? Where’s the referee? This is serious business, folks – the fact, factors, and factories of innovation should be in laser sharp focus to everyone right now, here is why:

The total US liability is estimated at 53 trillion dollars. Every US citizen must become more productive by $175,000 each to cover the invisible mortgage.   Government and corporations are not going to fix this problem – they will leave it to the kids to figure out how to make, mix, and measure innovation.

Natural Resources of Bandwidth

It is official; the United States has run out of bandwidth and we need to create more. The only way to accomplish this is an extraordinary expansion in the breadth, depth, and scale of innovation. This is a situation that cannot be rationalized by any conventional school of thought – starting with our definition for innovation.

The accepted definition for innovation is “something novel and useful”. I hope that I am not insulting any B-school professors or innovation guru’s but “something novel and useful” is already bankrupt as a definition for the only thing that can pull us out of this flaming tailspin of debt economics.

So let’s try something that the kids can do well (because they get to pick up the tab):

Innovation = Bandwidth Created / Bandwidth Expended

So there it is: a simple, clean, and effective:  If the number is greater than 1 we have a creation of wealth. If the number is equal to 1 we have a transfer of wealth, if the number is less than 1 we have the creation of more debt.

It should not matter how one defines bandwidth as long as the top number and the bottom number are measured the same way. If the kids can increase the top number, or lower the bottom number for anything anywhere by using their social, creative, or intellectual ability, alone or in groups, then they can become successful innovators.

Business case

There is a clear and rational business case for bandwidth – people will pay for it at a price relative to their own available bandwidth. Let’s give the kids a game they can win.  Let’s give them a score that they can keep. Let’s show them how entrepreneurs work, think, and play.

For the same amount of bandwidth expended, they can create more bandwidth for 10 rich people or more bandwidth for 1000 poor people. Let the kids decide. If they give some people more bandwidth at the expense of the bandwidth of others, they lose.  If they find synergies that act as a bandwidth multiplier, they win. Let the kids figure it out.

All we need to do is help develop standards to measure bandwidth.

It’s the least that our old people can do and a much simpler problem for our feeble minds to solve.  The Ingenesist Project specifies 3 web applications which if deployed to social media will allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible outside the construct of the traditional corporation – we believe that this may do the trick.  There may be others working on the problem too, we don’t care – at the end of the day, we all work for bandwidth.

That Pesky Little Problem With Market Capitalism

Technological change must always precede economic growth.  We are going about the process of market capitalism as if economic growth can precede technological change.  Somewhere along the line we have gotten the cart in front of the mule.

It seems that this situation can be fairly easily corrected – after all, it’s the same cart and the same mule.  All we need to do is get the same driver to point the same carrot on the same stick in the opposite direction; and the system should turn itself around.  Impossible we ask? Well, maybe not….yet.

The same species…

Economic growth and technological change are the same species; each is represented by human productivity.  If I take a loan to buy a house, the debt is “counted” as economic growth backed by my future productivity.  If I go to work and invent a method that provides a better way for people to accomplish something, that same productivity increases with my innovation.  They should hedge each other much like insurance.  The problem arises when we forget to count the mule.

If A = C and B = C, then A = B

If any two currencies are backed by the same standard, they should be readily convertible.  If Euro’s and Dollars are both backed by Gold, they would be convertible between each other and the market can simply choose to trade one or the other.  Arbitrage opportunities would keep the system balance.

This is the same case with debt and innovation; two currencies represented by the same standard, i.e., productivity.

What if a new currency was introduced and pegged to human productivity?  That currency would also be proportional to the dollar. Arbitrage opportunities between debt and innovation currencies would seek a balance. The two scorecards would hedge each other as they should.

It is going to happen eventually, why wait?

While this may seem odd to talk about one State, two currencies, it is not so odd to talk about what happens if the dollar fails.  People will start trading a different currency.   The Plumber will trade ideas with the lawyer who will trade with the doctor, carpenter, teacher, grocer, laborer, etc.  A computer enabled society will build a knowledge inventory of who knows what.  Reputations will arise thus organizing knowledge in the form of a financial instrument.  This social medium will be the tool that organizes trading schemes and establishing supply and demand.  An Innovation Bank will keep track of who owes what to whom and distribute wealth in the form of tangential innovation.  Venture “capital” will be the cheapest money in town – it’s like money in the bank for an innovation economy. This is in fact, the nature of society and largely the function it has served for thousands of years.

Little carrot on a big stick

The difference between now and any other time in history is that society is computer enabled.  Human knowledge has been held hostage behind the construct of “intangible assets” on a corporate balance sheet for too long.  There is a great deal of energy building up and it can now find a productive outlet through social media.  The best government policy is to accommodate what people will do naturally.  It would be extremely inexpensive to empower society to form an innovation economy to hedge market capitalism. People need a currency that is first and foremost natural for them to trade.   Later, Wall Street can convert and gamble at their peril. But first, point the stick in a different direction and the system will correct itself.

[The Ingenesist Project (http://www.ingenesist.com) has specified three web application which if deployed to social media would allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible inside social networks.]

Social Media; A Public Innovation System

In order to restructure our financial system; we first need to restructure our innovation system.  ALL of the top ten reasons for business failure are due to a lack of knowledge, not a lack of money.

Top 10 reasons why businesses fail:

1.    Lack of an adequate, viable business plan
2.    Insufficient sales to sustain business
3.    Poor marketing plan: unappealing product, poor customer identification, incorrect pricing and lackluster promotion
4.    Inadequate capital, misuse of capital and poor cost control
5.    Poor management skills: lack of delegation, leadership and/or control
6.    Lack of experience and knowledge
7.    Lack of managerial focus/commitment
8.    Poor customer service
9.    Inadequate human resource management
10.    Failure to properly use professional advice: i.e. accounting, legal, financial, etc.

Lack of a viable business plan is an act of negligence where research, scenarios, and assumptions have not been tested.  Market ignorance is not an excuse nor is the failure to know one’s customer. Death by poor marketing plan is knowledge deficiency related to product appeal, customer identification, pricing structure, and lackluster promotion.  Obviously, one needs to know how to manage a company in order to be focused, let alone correctly estimate capital needs. Lack of customer service knowledge is deadly in the age of social media. Inadequate HR is an oxymoron – if it’s inadequate, it’s not a resource – human or otherwise.  Finally, failure to listen to knowledgeable people is ego driven irrationality.

The financial system is not the only problem; the innovation system is a crucial element. Information, knowledge and innovation, by any definition, are profoundly and inseparably connected.  A failure in one kills the other two.  So, just because an entrepreneur does not have the knowledge, does not mean it the ‘knowledge’ fails to exist – it simply means that entrepreneur failed to find it.

So where is the knowledge? Unfortunately, there is no public knowledge inventory – people do not know what each other knows.  There is no website where that people can go search for all 90th percentile social media experts living in zip code 06776, let alone build a dedicated local management team.  There is no way that anyone can assemble the knowledge needed to execute a business plan with a known probability of success given the information available.  As such, there is no way to finance public innovation.

Insurance companies can tell you the probability that you will die exactly on your 80th birthday, but we cannot estimate the probability that a business will be successful.  Nothing has more variables that human physiology, yet it is predictable and business success probability is not.  Why can’t this be fixed?

If we could identify, integrate, and predict public information, knowledge and innovation, we could diversify risk exposures away.  With risk exposures managed, we could insure start-ups risks.  With start-up risk eliminated, we can sell innovation bonds at, say, 6% to fund the extraordinary rate of public innovation that we need to support our debt and pressing social liabilities.   If the innovation bond returns a modest 20%, human productivity, by definition, has increased by 20%.  A 20% growth in human productivity is a 20% growth in an economy.  Again, financial system is not the only problem; the innovation system – or lack of an innovation system – is the problem.  Perhaps oversimplified, but this is an astonishing omission from the national dialog on the financial crisis.

The emergence of Social Media technology presents an extraordinary opportunity to organize a knowledge inventory outside the construct of a corporation and marry it to the financial system, much like a corporation.  Knowledge tangibility must be the most important “innovation” in the pipeline today if we expect to meet the crushing challenges that await us.  Just because we cannot predict innovation does not mean it cannot be done – it just means that we do not know how… yet. This is not about inventing a new currency, it is about the public taking control of the old one. We, the people, don’t deserve to lose this game; join The Ingenesist Project and help build a sustainable Innovation Economy.

Social Media; The Central Bank for Knowledge Assets?

It is very interesting to watch Social Media follow familiar trajectories as earlier paradigms in finance.  I see many social media platforms struggling to make human knowledge tangible in their respective markets.  The challenge is so simple, yet so complex.  Let the litmus test for knowledge tangibility be as follows; “Can you buy groceries with it?”

The Romans Empire had a similar problem; how to sack Europe and bring home the booty.  The only thing most people had at the time were sheep, fish, and wine.  So the emperor created a coin that represented a peasant’s productivity in raising sheep, catching fish, and making wine – and it was a lot easier to collect taxes.  The conquest of a continent has far more to do with the social acceptance of the currency than the actual pillaging – pillaging, after all, would be counter productive in a social network.

Today the dollar also represents human productivity – except a ‘necessary flaw’ was introduced to finance innovation leading to fantastic worldwide economic growth from which many people benefit greatly.  Now, this flaw threatens to topple the whole system.  Money still represents productivity, except it now represents future productivity allocated to paying debt.  As long as innovation increases fast enough to outpace debt, everything is OK.  Problems happen when debt exceeds our structural ability to innovate.

We do not need to restructure the financial system – we need to restructure the innovation system.  The human race is exceedingly fortunate that the end game for debt economics will happen at the exact moment in history that the technology required to start a new game of sustainable innovation economics has arrived.   If done correctly, Social Media (computer enabled society) can become the most important human invention since to the printing press.

Today, human knowledge, in the form of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital, is captured and hidden inside corporations.  Each corporation has its own business plan, lexicon, culture, organization, structure, and processes by which human knowledge is exchanged in the creation of a “product”.  Outside the corporation, however, true knowledge assets are either invisible, incomplete, or only appear as a proxy of the corporation.  This leads to stagnation, silos, mis-allocation, vulnerability to external shock, and greatly limits the diversity needed for sustainable innovation.

In the 1700’s Banks printed their own currency – these were called “bank notes” because they were little notes that declared who had a surplus and who had a deficit of money relative to the bank.  People would trade these notes in society to purchase things, buy feed or seed, and to keep track of things.  Everyone had a job to do and the general flow of these notes is what “incorporated” townships. Unfortunately, such banking also lead to industrial stagnation, silos of wealth, and lack of diversification leading to corruption, bank failures, and ‘bottle necks’ in the flow of capital.

Barely 150 years ago, the U.S. government established a central banking system with common currency, common practices, common accounting, and common regulation. The system became much more efficient, diversified, and accessible across the landscape.  The industrial revolution, manufacturing revolution, lots of wars, the era of information, and the Internet Industries were all financed through a central banking system.  Human productivity increased at a tremendous rate and the relative wealth that we enjoy today is a tangible result of innovation.

Now the Pied Piper has come to take the children to sea.  The banking system needs to invent new, exotic, and increasingly risky financial instruments for trading your productivity in order to keep the game alive.  Meanwhile, the tangibility of human knowledge is stuck in an 18th century banking system.  There is no common knowledge inventory, there is no common accounting practice for skills and abilities, there is no way to measure social capital and creative capital – the system is too biased toward “intellectual capital” measured by Ivy League degrees and access to wealth.  Knowledge assets are not tangible, organized, classified, or collected in a society in any structured way.  “Can you buy groceries with it yet”?

With the emergence of Social Media, we have an extraordinary opportunity to make knowledge tangible outside the construct of a corporation much like banks notes became tangible outside the construct of a single township.  There are vast and crushing problems in the world today.  The only way out of this mess is to massively increase the rate of innovation in society.  Like off-shore drilling – vast wealth in the form of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital lays hidden beneath thousands of layers of philosophical limestone.  Social Media and the first amendment = drill baby, drill.

The only thing separating us from a debt economy and an innovation economy is social agreement. The philosophical chasm holding us back is about to be broken by The Ingenesist Project: In the current paradigm, money is backed by future productivity allocated to pay off today’s debt.  In the social media paradigm; money will be backed by future productivity created by today’s innovation.  At the end of the day money still represents productivity.  The conquest of a continent has far more to do with the acceptance of the currency than the actual pillaging.  Hey, why not buy groceries with it?

Tangible Knowledge; Options and Contingencies

In order for knowledge to become a tangible asset, we need to come to grips with the fact that human knowledge is fluid and mobile, whereas a condo or a piece of machinery is static.  A machine can’t walk away if it does not like their management.

With knowledge assets, the typical “Return on Investment” (ROI) model breaks down.  When assets have a mind of their own, there is no reliable way to calculate ROI without somehow corralling the asset inside some form of closed contract, a corporation, political system, social class, or by introducing barriers to exit, etc.  In the modern financial system, human assets are held tangible by debt obligations – today many people go to work in servitude of debt, not in creation of new ideas.

An option* is the right, without the liability of obligation, to exercise a decision in the future.  Human interaction accommodates this valuation model quite readily; it’s called free-will.  Therefore the option valuation model is an adequate method to assess knowledge assets as a means of making them tangible.

The value of a financial option can be calculated if one knows the following 5 variables: The asset price, the strike price, the date of maturity, the risk free interest rate, and the volatility – or, the odds on the bet.  By contrast, the ROI model requires us to know basically the same things; the cost today, the strike price (future sale price), the date of maturity, the risk free interest rate, and the probability of success – or variance of the expectation.  The equation is just a little different.

Individually, human behavior often appears chaotic and irrational, but in aggregate, we know that human behavior is really quite predictable.  If you put similar people together, you get similar ideas.  If you put extremely different people together, you get extremely unpredictable ideas.  If you put strategic combinations of people together, you should be able to predict the variance of the ideas.  This is all the information we need to place a value on our bet.   If human behavior is predictable, it is tangible.

Suppose we enter into a ROI venture and it fails miserably; the market was wrong or the product was wrong, or the people were wrong, etc.  Even though the investment failed, the knowledge accumulated from the attempt can be exercised in many other projects in the future. While the Patent may turn out to be worthless, the knowledge gained by the team can be used over and over again.  Each person gains a statistical data point in their experience set with which to assess comparable situations in the future.  This is an option and this option has value.  If the team were disbanded without somehow capturing the inventory of new knowledge assets, a very valuable set of options becomes squandered.

Some companies such as Google, try not to kill an idea, they morph the idea into something else.  Free-range knowledge tangibility must achieve those same objectives.  Today we see people building networks on Linkedin – this activity resembles the collection of options on future opportunities.  People post on social media to see and be seen by other knowledge assets as a means of collecting more options for their careers or actions. People would not be doing it if there was no intrinsic value.  The next big leap will happen when knowledge tangibility is married to the financial system through the direct valuation and capitalization of options.  Did I mention there is an equation for that?

The Ingenesist Project specifies a method and system for knowledge inventory that would produce a variance for knowledge assets.  The Percentile Search Engine would pull knowledge assets in combination that diversify variance into a highly predictable surplus assets and deficit assets.   The Innovation Bank would match most worthy surplus to most worthy deficit.  As such, the Innovation Economy itself is now a most worthy option for supporting a feeble financial system.

The ROI model is the mother of all squandered knowledge assets – the very same assets that are really purchased on a project, successful or not, are often willfully abandoned.  All of the parameters of an option valuation model can now be met with social media and The Ingenesist Project integration methods. Free-range knowledge assets can then be directly financed toward business objectives.  The idea of an innovation economy based on knowledge tangibility is well within our grasp technologically, culturally, and systematically.

Social media has an astonishing opportunity to integrate social, creative, and intellectual knowledge assets to trade that single most important part of the puzzle, tangible knowledge assets.  I suspect that this outcome will depend on whether these new tools are treated to an ROI valuation model or on an options valuation model.

* Italic used for clarity

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