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Tag: disruption

Decentralized Integration of Complex Systems

ApolloThe recent Panel at The Future of Money and Technology Summit on Fueling the Decentralization Movement ended on a very interesting point: The Integration of Complex Systems.

The last comments from Chris Peel suggested that the iPhone program was more complex than Apollo and that we are a far way off from the ability to decentralize production to the degree that a space program or revolutionary consumer product would require. From my years in aviation, I am keenly aware that the complexities associated with an aircraft program would be extremely difficult and risky to manage with a series of autonomous agents and smart contracts – as we know them today.

Wisdom of Crowds

However, the proposition made by Joel Dietz at Swarm is significant. Swarm proposes to crowd-select, crowd-vet, and crowd-fund start-ups. Several efficiencies are cited:

1. The crowd knows best what is needed in a specific time and domain,

2. The same crowd is also the first user/customer/advocates of the product, and

3. The same crowd is the first to iterate the project.

Such diverse and comprehensive “single source” domain expertise is unlikely to be available from any Venture Capital Firm.  Instead, far too many start-ups are designed specifically for the Venture Capital process effectively inbred with the centralized DNA.  The VC formula is fairly simple, well documented, and contains suitably developed infrastructure. The VC process efficiently removes promising innovations from a decentralized ecosystem, repackages them, and injects them into the 20th century finance model of banks, brokers, and IPOs.

Today, the decentralization movement is portrayed in the media by silos like AirBnB and Uber, who may eventually expand into other markets (such as Amazon did from books), but from a relative monopoly position of acquisitions, scale, and market dominance – which is the antithesis of decentralization.

Fueling The Decentralization Movement

This Panel at Future of Money was selected in a very different manner.  The idea that I was trying to get at is that an ecosystem is like scaffolding being populated with individual applications. At first they are sparse, but soon they expand to depend upon each other. At first, each of the panelists seemed very different and related only by ideology. As the session progressed, we could see the each of the panelists were filling in the gaps between themselves soon appearing like a full stack.

Paige Peterson suggested that Maidsafe’s ideas and technology would solve specific problems in the crypto-space that the blockchain could not. Christian Peel suggested that Swarm and Maidsafe may reduce scale risk with what Ethereum has to offer. Sam Yilmaz at DApps Fund is betting on cryptoequity and a broad spectrum of “work proofs” as a means of holding these DApps together rather than letting them become disassembled by a single minded Venture Capital process. Of course, our interest at The Ingenesist Project is precisely on decentralizing both supply AND demand as a means of articulating intangible assets to society (ref: Coengineers.com and Curiosumé).

What is Cryptoequity?

“Cryptoequity,” as defined by Swarm (from this Source) is an umbrella term that covers various applications of cryptographic ledger offerings.

These can include:

(1) Product presales in which the token serves as a coupon redeemable for a real world good (i.e. the Comic Book sale done via Swarm)

(2) Product sales in which the token is redeemable for some service in a decentralized network (i.e. Storj or Ethereum)

(3) Product sales which serve as a “subscription” or membership to some decentralized network (i.e. Swarm)

(4) Token which serves as a license to use some type of intellectual property, potentially with an attached legal contract (i.e. sales being conducted in the Swarm 5th of November launch)

(5) “Shares” serving as stock equivalent for organizations that have no legal entity (i.e. BitShares)

(6) Shares serving as stock for legal entities (i.e. Overstock/Medici)

Efficiency in Zero Marginal Cost

The relative benefit of many of these is that it solves an interesting problem related to the near zero marginal cost of software distribution; the fixed scarcity of a good or service allows the market to determine the appropriate price point for a product rather than centralized forced scarcity or management selection.

Decentralized Integration of Complex Systems

If we are to ever reach a point where complex systems (such as space travel or consumer products – or even equitable governance, environmental stewardship, and fair wealth distribution)  can ever be achieved in a decentralized manner, we must start with the integration of decentralized applications among themselves in a decentralized way.  We should not exclusively extract and seal critical components off from an ecosystem and run them through the VC gamut – the disruption goes both ways.

 

The Hack-plications That will Change Everything

Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant (ZGE) are NOT the applications that will change everything.  Rather, the hack-applications that follow on the ZGE data suites will, in fact, challenge the idea that periodic economic collapse and hard-fought restructuring is a necessary inevitability of the human condition.

The current financial system is vulnerable to disruption.

One reason is that it is becoming unstable.  However, by far the more important reason is that it is very inefficient.  The underlying notion that competition alone can determine a winner is wasteful because the time, energy, and resources required to battle, kill off, and dispose of an opponent may exceed, many times over, the value of a win.

What exactly is the nature of winning and losing?

Can truly winning only happen when the opponent is truly dead?  Can a student win by learning even if they can obviously be vanquished by their teacher?  Does a teacher win by living among productive citizens, as they themselves become vulnerable elders?  Can such an exchange form without there necessarily being a financial, or even governmental, intermediaries.  Today, quite the opposite is happening in companies and communities facing both knowledge gap and layoffs.

How Stable are The Stabilizers?

The legal system is very expensive to maintain.  Global military projection is certainly not cost free nor are the subsequent defenses.  Even the so-called competitive “college degree” and “intellectual property” are outliving their accessibility, and therefore, usefulness. Ironically, it will be the financial system itself that is undermined by the scarcity of the lifeblood money.  People will adapt to new forms of enterprise as they have for millions of years.  This is what Zertify accellerates.

What are the alternatives?

It would be vastly unfortunate for civilization if the financial system were to become ineffective prior to  human’s natural evolution to a high order of economics.  In fact, it seems that the failure of society to evolve is the only thing keeping the current financial system in play – there is no other game in town.  Think about it; if money does not represent your productivity, why would you work in exchange for it?  When you can no longer “harvest” your own productivity, why would you sow that field?  People would sow a different field. This is what Gamidox provides. 

Let’s Measure Ourselves Into Existence

History shows that the darkest depths of re-organization preceded prior leaps of human civilization.  But is that ultimate, inevitable competition and sacrifice actually necessary, except to measure the old system out of existence.  People are already quite organized, why do they need to be re-organized except to fit within a measurement system that has outlived it’s usefulness, applicability and relevence.  Exoquant allows the new humanity be measured into a new existence. 

Let’s get it right this time

The ZGE applications provide the intermediate step that never existed at any other time in history.  ZGE are built and structured upon trust networks and Internet connectivity.  Why not start rebuilding now while we still have a chance to get it right, very right.

Who is Awarding The Disruption Badge?

There are some big names getting involved with “badges”.  Modern ideas about badges arise from incentive used by the gaming community to indicate achievement.  Historically, however, badges are older than money itself. Recently, badges are gaining attention in the area of education as a means of indicating achievement.

Badges are steeped deep in our economy and culture

When people write their resume, they “badge” themselves with the names of the companies that they worked for and the schools they attended.  They badge themselves with the market brands of the products that they worked on.  They badge themselves with the trademarks of the technologies that they applied.

People even badge themselves with corporate ideals such that “chronology”, “reasons for leaving” and “no blank spaces” are somehow rational proxies for intellect, creativity, and team working skills. We need a behavior platform, kids. Passion, family, and purpose are merely business disruptions.

There are several directions that this can go

The first is the inevitable collusion between badges and branding.  I am still scratching my head over AMEX hijacking the “Social Currency” badge.  Other badges (or logos) are considered among the most valuable assets that a company can own from Microsoft certifications to the Chuck E Cheese Rat … badges have value – with their own branch of the legal profession to prove it.

The second direction can be quite disruptive to branding.  For example it can cost well over $100K to wear the Harvard “Badge”.  Meanwhile Steve Jobs literally ridiculed Stanford to their collective face(s) with the idea that diverse combinations of knowledge assets are what set the innovation enterprise apart from the old guard.

What if the college degree badge is irrelevant? 

Who is to say and engineer in not an engineer until they take on $2000 more debt for a course in Western Civ.  And, if not Western Civ., then what course denotes the ascension into engineerhood?   A physics major that rules video games, kite surfs, plays in a punk band, and writes decent code is equally, if not more likely, to create a new industry than someone with a CS degree from MIT. Where is that badge?

Badges should be disruptive

What happens when it is no longer important to have “Google” on your resume? Why is it so now? What happens when being a Princeton drop-out is no better or worse than being a drop out from State U?  What happens when people are recognized for their passions and the things that they are naturally good at?  How can a credit score extrapolate success from measuring failure? What happens when there is no badge for the color of one’s skin, physical appearance, or family connections.  What happens when Brands are accountable for the people who wear their badge instead of the other way around?

Badging already exists and in order to improve anything, badges must be disruptive.

So, who is awarding the disruption badges?   

 

When The Customer, Supplier, And Competitor Are The Same

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

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

Who competes with whom?

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

Mitigation of risk, waste, and social burden

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Media and Foreign Direct Investment

FDIIn the broadest definition, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an investment outside the economy of the investor. It usually refers to a measure of foreign ownership of productive assets, such as factories, mines and land. Increasing foreign investment can be used as one measure of growing economic globalization.

The Disruption

Social Media has the effect of defining an economy not by an international border, but rather, by associations between people and their conversations. Investment is in the form of time and the exchange of ideas, experience, and knowledge. Ownership is expressed in the form of reputation, search placement, social ranking, hits, etc.

Social FDI

Therefore, FDI in social media refers to an investment applied outside the economy of the investor where:

  1. The outcome is derived simply from who is talking to whom.
  2. Combining different people in conversation results in alternate outcomes.

Likewise, increasing Social FDI can be used as one measure of growing economic socialization. For business, this means that Social FDI would then include investments in people who are not your customers.

For Example:

I recently wrote a post for Plane Conversations – a blog serving the private aviation industry. Thousands of private airplanes that once served the corporate market are grounded because of the financial crisis. The jist of the article was that the private aviation industry could help communities to stave off commercial aircraft expansion by empowering local entrepreneurs to compete with commercial aircraft industry by selling “lift products” provided by the private aviation industry, hence, Citizen Airlines, LLC.

The paradigm shift …

…is that a company that sells corporate jet services would engage, cooperate, and empower people who are not their customers in order to compete more effectively. Who saw that one coming? Can it happen everywhere? Can it happen in every single industry imaginable? What if everyone did it in their personal lives? Can it create entirely new industries altogether?

This is not trivial.

FDI in all forms induces a sharing of risk between the host economy and the investing economy. This provides a stronger stimulus to economic growth in host economies than other types of capital inflows. FDI is more than just capital; it is access to diverse technologies and management knowhow.

Welcome to conversational currency.

Many people who read the title of this post would conclude that the article is about the 100 million dollar Russian investment in Facebook, or how countries outside the US are using Linkedin and Twitter. Perhaps some repackaged assessment of well worn forecasts. Guess what, that is exactly what the article is about.

Innovation Economics 101

Innovation is largely the practice of connecting two useful ideas resulting in a third. Innovation leading to increased productivity is the fundamental source of increasing wealth in an economy. Innovation is the most important thing for the human survival.

The Weakest Link; Advertising

ChainAs an Engineer, my respect for the Advertising/Marketing/PR, as an industry, is diminishing daily.  I see what is gorged behind the curtain and I see what is reguritated in front to the curtain.  The degree of hypocrisy defies social responsibility.

While many Marketing and PR professionals have a deep commitment to social values and the empowerment of people and their communities, many also see society as a big fat consumption machines whose collective minds can be mapped and channeled into “basic-needs” reactions designed to ultimately meet Wall Street priorities over social priorities.

Meet your maker

It is also not surprising that the advertising industry is also on the front line of social media where savvy gamers call themselves strategists, gurus, and experts over the very game that they cannot control.  They are quick to define “Social Media Innovation” as new ways to penetrate the hearts, minds, and eyeballs of people and their paychecks.

Can Twitter Fuel a Run On Banks?

The Ingenesist Project is retained by corporate clients because we look at the world through a different set of filters. We are looking for possible disruptions on the horizon as far in advance as possible so that our clients can be aware of potential perils and modify their business plans accordingly.

One of our signature assertions is that Money is merely a social agreement – not a federal mandate of a democratic government. People will trade whatever currency they agree to trade. Increasingly, people, empowered by social media can impact the financial system far more that a bunch of Quants peddling CDOs.

People simply do not know how powerful they are.

Suppose someone puts together a Twitter/Facebook campaign for everyone the withdraw their money from a single financial institution who just handed out big bonuses? At best, those bonuses will have to be recalled to keep the doors open. At worst, people will find an alternate currency to store the “value” that is destroyed by a bank run. Virtual Currency? Admittedly, it’s far-out, but we need to keep our eyes on these trends because once started, they move very very fast. That’s why they call it a “Run”

Is this scenario really possible? Read on…..

The Vicarious Search Engine

The search engine wars continue as both Google and Bing develop more exotic ways of arriving at the wrong answer.  Both commit the same error as all declining industries in social media space; assuming that they can predict what people want without engaging them in a conversation.

The first development is the predictive search notably pioneered by Amazon.com for predicting future purchases based on past purchases.  While predictive search is an improvement, the next step is the “vicarious” search, that is, when the search engine sees the world through your eyes – or someone Else’s – for your benefit.

The Web is Flat

The Ingenesist Project specifies a standard knowledge inventory that may be represented as a packet of code.  If someone wanted to see the web through the eyes of another person, they could buy a packet of their knowledge inventory.  Likewise, a web article would be tagged with the representative knowledge inventory code of the author.  Each comment or re post to a blog article would contain the knowledge inventory of its aggregated vetters.

The search can be done in reverse as well.  If I find an idea on the web and want to know who can execute it locally, I can simulate the knowledge inventory in one or more local people.  This is not trivial.  It literally allows an entrepreneur to manage knowledge assets that they did not know exists and predict content that does not yet exist.

Been there, done that?

Obviously there are privacy, security, and ethics issues related to others seeing the world through your eyes.  But what if every American was told 20 years ago that their identifier number for an insolvent social security program would be attached to their personal, medical, financial, and civil records then spun through Wall Street algorithms, sold worldwide to advertisers, politicians, banks, insurance companies, demographers, and ultimately hacked?  The cities would have burned.

So why can’t social mediators monetize?

The difference today is that if packaged correctly, we can own and control our knowledge inventory.  We can allow or decline access and we can revoke access – it happens all day long on Face Book, Linkedin, Twitter, and My Space.   On-line communities represent collections of knowledge assets.  The 400 Billion dollar per year advertising budget is on the table – up for grabs.  The 100 Billion dollar “head hunting” budget is up for grabs. The multi-billion dollar election budgets are all up for grabs. What are we thinking?

The likelihood of Innovation

The innovation economy will depend on business intelligence related to society’s knowledge inventory to match most worthy knowledge surplus to the most worthy knowledge deficit.   Entrepreneurs must know supply and demand for knowledge assets as well as where to find them at what cost.  Entrepreneurs need to predict competition, disruption, risks, and volatility in knowledge assets.  They need to conduct scenario tests before expending money.  They need to predict the likelihood of innovation and all of the options that they have in the future related to those innovations.

The Securitization of Knowledge Assets

Entrepreneurs need to securitize knowledge assets in order to finance innovation on the scale that will be required to offset our massive debt. This is how the innovation economy must play out.  We cannot depend on corporations or governments to do this for us.  People must control, regulate, anonymize, and manage  their own knowledge inventory.   If only they could see their world through the entrepreneur’s eyes – perhaps they need a vicarious search engine more than anyone.

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