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Tag: game theory

The Innovation Bank Project Overview

The Innovation Bank applies to All Branches of the STEM professions

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Innovation Bank is an autonomous network platform applicable to all branches of technical services enterprise. The platform is governed by game theory, actuarial math, and blockchain technology. The purpose is to capitalizing the STEM professions.

The Innovation Bank Project Overview

The objective is to reward individual practitioners to establish physical facts in collaboration with other practitioners. Knowledge, innovation, and wisdom may be discerned from these interactions. Where such metrics exist, intangible “in-situ” knowledge assets may then be capitalized in a manner analogous to how tangible assets are capitalized in the existing economic system.

Past research has demonstrated individual components of the Innovation Bank within various for-profit enterprise settings. This current effort is unique in its attempt to integrate these components in an autonomous public network.

Several factors need to be taken into consideration:

Engineering is an essential industry – it is essential that the Innovation Bank is complementary rather than disruptive to existing institutions and operations.

All STEM professionals and practitioners are unified and enabled for cross-discipline interaction.

Practitioners are economically compensated within the platform for their contributions to the Innovation Bank. Compensation is proportional to the value of the contribution.

Practitioners own, control and hold title to their identification, and thus, their specific transaction records.

Specific Outcomes:

The initial funding for The Innovation Bank will result in the production of a minimum viable product comprised of an operational native blockchain with decentralized governance, algorithmic token allocation, and database auditing system (block explorer). These outcomes will be suitable for research, analysis, development and future growth within the professional and academic STEM communities. This test bed will allow us to develop means, methods, and metrics for advancing the above considerations.

Intellectual Merit:

The purpose of the Innovation bank is to unify the STEM professionals in society at large. Typically, STEM professionals are segmented by institutions with mismatched ontologies, competitive restraints, or regulatory limitations. While such hierarchical arrangements were well-serving in earlier times, new tools exist allowing network platforms to efficiently deliver value at speed, and at scale.

The core activity of the Innovation Bank is to develop worthy claims such that a qualified validator would be willing to be permanently and immutably associated with the claimant. This union forms a node with two branches for which each would be compensated in proportion to their total stake in the system. A network graph is thus formed from the interconnectivity of aggregate nodes and branches.

The dominant game strategy for each individual would be to allocate knowledge resources to where they are needed most rather than where profits are most assured. Financial value is derived from the dynamic metadata embedded in the aggregate network yielding business intelligence which would command a premium over static non-validated data.

Broader Impacts:

Economic growth is contingent on technological change – this is the exclusive domain of STEM professionals and practitioners. There is currently no reliable way to directly measure the impact of technological change on economic growth. Pricing and allocation are often irrational. Engineers, scientists, technologists, and mathematicians, serve to remove risk from complex systems ranging from consumer products to public infrastructure and the natural environment.

The Implications of the Innovation Bank includes the reduction of systemic risks and improved allocation of natural and intellectual resources. In essence, The Innovation Bank will gradually replace Consumption Capitalism with “Preservation Capitalism”. The introduction of a new risk-backed asset class would amplify the missions of existing institutions such as universities, corporations, finance, insurance, and government.

Given a game that everyone can potentially win, universal engagement in STEM education and STEM applications would become a dominant social policy strategy. More information can be found at The Ingenesist Project. Please contact us for more information regarding The Innovation Bank Project Overview or please read the the following paper:

The Innovation Bank; Blockchain Technology and the Decentralization of Engineering Professions

TVG: The Value Game

A New Class of Business Methods

The Value Game (TVG) is a new class of business methods where value is extracted from an asset, not by consuming the asset, rather, by preserving the asset.  The process of preservation and maintenance is the substrate for the creation of social, creative, and intellectual capital in a community.  TVG is a difficult thing to sustain in a legacy economic model, but may be quite efficient and profitable in the modern networked organizational structures enabled by decentralized adjudication, a decentralized ledger. and simple game mechanics.

To illustrate, we cite examples from on-line games collectively referred to a Fantasy Sports.   Fantasy baseball for example is a game played by adapting real life game statistics to create hypothetical game scenarios using some randomization system such as a set of dice.  Over time these games have become more sophisticated, computerized, and have spread to other sports, and now they are on-line.  Today, fantasy sports are estimated to be a 2 billion dollar industry involving over 56 million people.

What if a “fantasy play” could be replicated given a set of validated statistics, in real life? How would the real world game actually turn out?  This is not an uncommon thought. Many HR directors, corporate recruiters, and entrepreneurs dwell on this topic extensively: “How could we identify social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital of people, given a set of market measures, and allocate them into a self-optimizing game to yield production and profit?”.

Building A Value Game

  • The Value Game starts by identifying any asset that a group of people may share.
  • The next step is to find 3 or more diverse communities that have a vested interest in preserving the asset rather than consuming the asset.
  • Each player acting in their own best interest will seek to play their expertise among the others as best as possible.
  • Any threats to the shared asset will be neutralized by the majority of players in a network.
  • The transactions between the diverse communities of people will “mine” social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital into existence generating tokens in the process.
  • Individual transaction records will be memorialized on a blockchain under the control of the individual.
  • Validated transaction records may be transferable to other Value Games, blockchains, or tokens.

Example:  A condominium is an arrangement of several individual owners (of living units) who all have individual talents.  It is in the best interest of each that the building is well maintained, but none are necessarily qualified to manage and maintain a complex structure.  Another community of nearby vendors such as restaurants, accountants, engineers, physicians, and employers have in their best interest that the condominium is maintained because the value of the units impacts the value of commerce – and the productivity of the residents is the primary source of revenue for vendors.  It is also in the best interest of neighboring buildings, the school district, and the city tax pool, civil servants, etc., that the shared asset is maintained to optimize it’s value.  Each player is aware of the impacts in the network based on the analysis of similar networks.

While malicious actors may be a symptom of illness, by actual attack vector is apathy and neglect. Gravity, weather, and deferred maintenance are constantly trying to reduce that condominium structure to lower state of value.  Maintaining an asset creates value equal to the entropy of the system plus asset appreciation due to the creation of social, creative, and intellectual capital.

The Value Game would form a cryptographic token that may be exchanged among the parties in whose best interest it is to preserve an asset rather than to consume the asset.  This is done in many forms today – a restaurant may offer a coupon to residents for a lunch special.  A physician may locate close and rely on referral instead of advertising.  An trades person saving time and travel expenses may pass that on to local community.  When a drug dealer comes to town, they are quickly identified and excised from the community by the community.

Almost any shared asset may be used to form a value game. 

  • A residential or commercial building
  • A Corporation
  • A car, airplane, or other transportation asset
  • Land for farming, mining, or urban forest
  • Water, food, and energy
  • Engineers, Doctors, Civil Servants
  • Educators, mentors, apprentices
  • Laborers, Maintainers, cleaners
  • Planet Earth

New Value Entrepreneur 

The objective of the New Value Entrepreneur will be to organize three or more communities to interact around a shared asset where the interactions among these communities act to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset.  As people interact with each other, they teach, learn, and iterate with each other.  This activity manufactures social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital memorialized by transaction records represented by the community token.

In general, once a value game is started, it will improve itself.   All players will eventually find and play roles in Value Games that correspond most closely to their natural interest and passions and therefore maximize their personal value.

Where Competition Has Met It’s Match

(update; as of November 2012, The Monitor Group headed by Michael E. Porter, the subject of this article, declared bankruptcy ending an era of C-Suite omnipotence strategy thinking.  This article compares competitive strategy to collaborative strategy)

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The B-School staple “Porter’s 5 Forces” has been the mainstay of corporate competitive analysis since it’s creation in 1979 by World regarded Harvard Business School Professor, Michael E. Porter. Porter developed a model of industry analysis in his seminal book,  Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

In short, a competitive company’s position in a market is threatened by five main forces acting on the corporate asset:

  • new competition,
  • substitute products or services,
  • bargaining power of customers,
  • bargaining power of suppliers,
  • intensity of competitive rivalries.

Any changes in these 5 forces would be cause for the company to re-evaluate their place in the market … thus leading to healthy consulting practices for strategists the world over.

The Rate of Change

In the 1990’s critics began to argue that Porter’s 5 Forces thesis assumes that the forces are static and non-related.  At the time, the world was becoming more dynamic and more interrelated. For example:

  • Buyers, competitors, and suppliers can interact, and even collude.
  • Value cannot be created in the long run by constantly introducing barriers to entry
  • Participants in a market have the ability to plan and respond to competitive behavior.

As a result, they added another Force called “complementors” while introducing rudimentary game theory to explain the role of strategic alliances to the analysis.

Constant Change

Now in the year 2012, we routinely assume that all players can instantaneously access the same real-time dynamic market information from the cloud.  We readily accept that all players will collaborate massively with whomever they want from anywhere in the World.  As a result, we must assume that all five forces will change constantly and rapidly in real time.

Now imagine how 1990’s game theory would manage conditions where the company AND their competitors must continuously re-evaluate their position in a market under the circumstances of continuous change.  In effect, nobody has the ability to compete with each other, they are competing with the game, therefore, they are cooperating to keep the game in play.

Is Collaboration Underrated?

If any player tries to introduce a barrier to entry, THEY risk get knocked out while the game continues without them. In fact, value is created by applications that remove barriers … and brokers are punished. All of these factors cause the game to self energize and improve as players preserve the asset rather than consume it.

The Value Game

It should not be surprising therefore that Porter’s 5 forces now resemble what we call the Value Game that we have described here (and here, and here).  In the ultimate manifestation, however, The Value Game will play automatically through multiagent algorithmic game applications where tangible and intangible assets would be accounted equally in a Value Game. Individual would own, manage, and deploy their secret sauce of knowledge assets through their personal API that interfaces with the game that is most relevant to their highest abilities.

Where competition has met it’s match

Remember that little regarded fact of Capitalism: Markets are efficient where there is perfect information.  This means that if everyone involved in a transaction has the exact same information as everyone else, the true supply can meet the true demand.  Nobody ever said that this must be accomplished through competition especially if collaboration can do it better.

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?   

 

The Art and Science of Social Sudoku

It’s been a few months since Social Flights entered the market with our February 28th Soft Launch.  Since then we have grown at an amazing rate after getting picked up by a series of important news publications.  But for this article, I would like to talk about what we learned.

He who hesitates, iterates

Learning is a critical element in any organization.  The iterative process is a series of intentional steps that a group of innovators must invariably endure.  The iteration process requires a strategy for introducing new variables to a product or process in such a way that the experimenter can isolate the effects of each change.

Social Flights was very much launched with this in mind. We prioritized the rollout of game features in order to form a player priority profile that will drive this Value Game.  Nobody can simply invent such a thing, it must be observed empirically.  This means that the right conditions must be in place to reveal the right data without bias.  The data can then be used to improve the incentives that drive the game.

Resistance is futile

One of the most daunting challenges has been to identify the skill set for what makes an effective community leader.  The Value Game is a value-based economy that is modeled after the mirror image of a dollar-based economy.  It’s like driving on the left hand side of the road for the first time.  Of course, you need someone who can drive a car – but in a very significant way, you need someone who has never driven a car.  In either case, resistance is fatal (figuratively) and futile (literally). The willingness and ability to iterate is essential.

We do expect the results to surprise us.  We went through many candidates for our social media distribution and engagement office before we found the right skill set; not in a marketer, or in an MBA, or in social media guru – we found the skill set in a Linguist.  This makes perfect sense now – but we did not know that before we started the iterative process.

Easier Said Than Done

A travel community leader needs to solve a simple equation.  Find 18 people to share an 9 – passenger jet (9 flying in each direction) within a certain span of time.  This is much easier said than done – in fact, it’s like trying to solve a big Sudoku puzzle where all the rows, columns, and regions need to add up to the same number with no duplication.  Of course the puzzle gets easier as more people join the community because the probability of finding 9 people that want to go to the same place improves.  But still, someone needs to be on the ground to solve the puzzle.

Help us find the gamers

With that, I invite our readers to help us imagine what skill set would be the starting condition for an iterative process of finding hundreds of entrepreneurial community leaders that can solve this puzzle in diverse communities. I am leaning more and more toward the Gaming community on sites like http://gamification.org to find this skill set.  Any thoughts?  Thank you.

Are We Hard Wired?

Hardwired Control Matrix

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

Huge Interest in The Business Model

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

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

Are We Hard Wired?

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

Losing The Hard Wire

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

5000 people X 500 places model

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

Not An Easy Puzzle to Solve:

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

Control The Information And Control The Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data: The Ultimate Shared Asset

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

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

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

Can Advertisers Curate Themselves?

 

Get Real by Playing for Real

At the end of the day, any ad campaign needs to get real people to take real and tangible action.  Ideally, the advertiser wants to see the real effectiveness of a campaign in real numbers.

The Value Game is applied to a new jet charter start-up called Social Flights and offers an opportunity for advertisers to become part of the experience of the traveller, rather than a distraction to everybody. Instead of paying a website for click throughs, the vendor can pay the traveler directly to “click through” a catalog of products.  As long as your product is relevant to the travel experience, the traveller will be interested and engaged.

The Game is to be relevant and this is where Social Flights helps create the playing field.

Social Flights will collect data about a travelers intentions in a fully open agreement.   Travelers submit this data to the game with the explicit understanding that vendors will compensate them with relevant discount coupons.  Data are normalized so that the traveller is anonymous in every respect while still providing very rich intentions to the vendor.  Vendors can now target their value proposition with great precision.

What’s a Travel Trader Game?

This sets up a game where the traveler, when presented with many options, will plan their trip and influence their friends based on the perceived value of the options presented to them – it’s like holding properties on a Monopoly(TM) Board.   As the travelers play the game, the vendor is being discussed, researched, and propagated all across the web in real time and in real context with a tangible experience as the travelers decide what activities to pursue.

Win twice: Let People Game the Game

When someone “clicks” on the vendor proposition from their “experience environment” of travel, their intention to be interested, informed, entertained, and fulfilled by your product is much higher than in a off-experience “forced” impression.  When they compare, and even trade, coupons with their friends, a negotiation happens which influences a group of people.  These negotiations lead to discussions all across the Internet.  These discussions mean different things to different people so a fresh pool of customers is always on tap for the next round of play.

Why let Facebook own YOUR game when you can own it yourself?

Social Flights allows travelers to sell their data to vendors who, in effect, compensate the traveler with discount “option” that can only be exercised if the traveller (and their friends) makes a purchase.  Advertising is essentially FREE until the traveler exercises their discount option.  Even then, the advertiser has all the information that they need to determine the quality of the effectiveness their campaign and the effectiveness of a competitor’s campaign.  No matter whether you are the traveler or the vendor, how you play the game becomes YOUR intellectual property.  Patent that Facebook!

A Grand Central Value Game

A Grand Central Value GameFew people realize that there is nothing new about the Social Graph.  Facebook did not invent it – in fact, Graph Theory is a branch of discrete mathematics that was first developed back in the 1700’s by a Swiss Physicist named Leonard Euler.

Likewise, Zynga did not invent Game Theory.  Again, Game theory is a branch of Applied Mathematics with origins dating back to the 1700’s in a paper by James Waldegrave.

A Graph Theory and Game Theory Mash-up

It follows that The Ingenesist Project is not the first to mix graph theory and game theory to form A Value Game.  While I cannot pinpoint the first example of this, I did recently find an article in American Heritage Magazine Invention and Technology magazine about what appears to be an excellent early example of A Value Game.

Not So Grand Central Station

In the late 1800’s, New York City’s Central Train Station was clearly not so grand.  It amounted to a huge surface train depot with dozens of parallel lines and platforms covered by a huge structure that filled with smoke from the old steam engines.  The train yard bisected 17 blocks of neighborhoods where soot and ash rained everywhere.  The station created widespread urban blight and health issues for dozens of city blocks surrounding the terminal.

Politicians and the Railroad Companies tried to correct the problems but every proposed solution created ten more problems.  Too many trains, not enough land, technological struggles, funding, traffic, property values, pollution, safety, collisions, politics, noise, fires, were only a few of the problems in conflict.

A Grand Central Value Game

Today, Grand Central Station is a model of ingenuity resulting from a brilliant and engaging solution to a complex problem.  A remarkable Engineer named William J. Wilgus had created something that looks a great deal like a modern Value Game.

A Grand Central Value GameThree Dimensions to A Value Game

His first challenge was to pay for the construction of a new station.  His second challenge was to build the station without closing the existing station.  His third challenge was to not use any more land.

His solution was to bury the station.  He made the walls of his underground structure strong enough to support large buildings (now skyscrapers) above.  He then used the huge real estate market gains to finance the project

Grand Central Valley Game:

In this case, the very important railroad station was the shared asset.  Player 1 was the community (politicians) surrounding the station, player 2 was the real estate market, and player 3 was the railroads.  Each acting in their best interest collaborated to arrive at a solution to what was considered an impossible problem.

With the advent of Social Media and collaborative gaming technologies, “Value Games” may be created to solve many of the world’s most complex problems while also releasing vast amounts of value to a social system simply by reorganizing the same players on a three dimensional playing field interacting around any shared asset.

How To Play The Value Game

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

The rules of the game are really quite simple

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

How to build a Value Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaming The Game

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

The Value Game Cracks the Monetization Paradox

The Value Game is becoming increasingly generalized as more entrepreneurs seek to learn how to apply it to new economic realities.  The first company to launch is Social Flights.  Quickly funded, in full operation, booking jets and signing contracts, the Social Flights success trajectory has been truly remarkable.

The Ingenesist Project is deploying several more applications of The Value Game.  Our next venture is to develop Reputation Management for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI).  Here’s how it goes.

The Social Influence Game:

Player 1: At some point, the government is going to stop supporting many very important social programs such as schools, health care, child care, retirement benefits, and possibly even close the charitable tax deduction.  In order to survive, social causes will need to come up with new forms of support or fund themselves with a new form of currency.

Player 2: Many politically and financially influential people in communities are finding that their “Google Results” often tell a story that is less than flattering.  Some have old lawsuits, unpopular business associates, or just too much personal information that presents a skewed picture of how they actually feel toward their community.  It is risky, difficult, and expensive to change Search engine results and it is nearly impossible to “control” what other people say.

Player 3: Legions of Social Media Gurus have long learned to aggregate and influence markets using social media platforms.  They have learned to match knowledge surpluses to knowledge deficits as a means of building their own online reputation and influence.  Many Social Media Gurus have achieved a strong Social Media Presence, which supports book tours, lecture series, personal brand image, or corporate clients and sponsorships. They constantly seek new content.

Converting Political Currency to Social Currency

The Social Influence Game will match HNWI with Social Causes where the HNWI can exert their political and Corporate currency in exchange for Social Currency.  Many HNWI have a powerful lifelong network of other influential people from whom they can find advice, mentorship, assistance, or discover goods, services, or physical inventory that may become useful and available to a struggling social enterprise.

Social Media Gurus who make these connections will blog, comment, and promote their ability to match power surplus to power deficit.  Internet Search results will redraw the Social Graph.

Holiday Shopping For the New Millennium

In practice, HNWI can “Go Shopping” for social causes.  When they find one that suits their talents and passions, they will be able to see what that organization needs; beds, food, heating oil, legal advice, CEO mentor, someone to lean on the land lord or even exert a position with the local government, etc.  The HNWI then will pull out their lifelong Rolodex of powerful persons and exert their influence in favor of the social cause through the interpretation of the Social Media Guru.

Winning The Game:

After a short while, Google will start pushing the old search results of the HNWI farther and farther down the page as the tweets, comments, and blog posts accumulate.   The Social Media Guru will find gold in their own backyards instead of Corporate Astroturf.  Social Causes will achieve their mission while managing new resources and earning important new friends.

Perhaps most importantly, the HNWI community will collaborate in order to sustain their Social Currency in the community.  They will begin to bias their personal and professional actions in favor of social priorities over Wall Street priorities.

In Short, everyone acting in their own best interests benefits the interests of everyone.  This is Social Capitalism.  If it works well enough, maybe we can finally put those pesky social causes out of business.

Game Over

The first law of Gaming: If you can’t win a game playing by the rules, stop playing the game, or change the rules. It would seem that Egyptians would add a corollary “Change the Rulers”.

This is not trivial.

Billions of people are walking the planet Earth with the nagging feeling that they cannot win their game playing by the rules they are given.  If America was once the shining beacon of opportunity where hard work and perseverance were the main ingredients of success, and Americans are feeling that they can’t win playing by the rules, then you can expect two things to happen:  People will stop playing the game, AND the rules will change.

Interactive Entertainment

Looking on the sunny side, we see Gaming companies achieving astonishing valuations in Silicon Valley.  What is even more remarkable is that a similar thing is happening concurrently with Travel, Coupons, and Alternate Currencies.  Many people stand back aghast at the sheer size of some of these bets; $120M for Tripit, $5B worth Zynga, $6B for Groupon, $50B for Facebook.  The Market capitalization of Apple ($320B) is almost 2 times greater GDP of Egypt ($188B).

It would be foolish to underestimate the value the gaming component – now called “Interactive Entertainment” – as enabled by the Internet.  Gaming is an extremely mathematical science where designers predict the probabilities that a player will favor one strategy over another.  The better these prediction become, the more interactive and, ostensibly, the more entertaining a game becomes – at least to some people.

The Calculus of Gaming

It is no coincidence that the calculus of gaming and the knowledge assets deployed to the gaming industry are functionally identical to financial and marketing industries such as banking, insurance and demography.  Banks set the price of money based on the probability that you can pay it back (credit scores).  Insurance companies set the price on premiums based on the probability that you will experience a loss (actuarial data).  And Demographers predict what you will buy and who you will vote for. After all, a Bank is really just a game that bets that you will win and an insurance company bets that you will lose, and demographics keeps the game, well, unfair.  But together, they all hedge each other’s risk, not yours.

Watch The Integration, closely

From prior articles; The Travel industry is a proxy for how and where ideas are spread.  The Coupon Industry influences human behavior to accelerate the disruptive innovation and to create new value simultaneously. The Gaming Industry will define the rules by which the new game will be played and provide the ability to predict when, where, and how to value social capital. When the integrated is complete, the ability to capitalize and securitize a new social currency (next article) will emerge to hedge, and then replace, the dollar.

Game over.

***

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

Social Value is Social Enterprise

The fastest way to unleash the extraordinary value that is contained in communities of experienced, talented, and motivated people is to provide a substrate for them to trade their knowledge assets among each other.  When people get together around a purpose, they build things that create incredible social value. The Social Value Platform provides an electronic accounting system for social value.  In The Social Value Game, vendors deposit inventory into a strategic community of people and the community creates social value.  This new social value is then converted into monetary revenue in the next economic paradigm called Social Capitalism.


Banks In The Future

 

Bankers don’t care about money, they care about the rate of change of money. At The Ingenesist Project we are not entirely interested in change – we are entirely interested in the rate at which things change. As you can imagine, we get all giddy when we see the rate at which the rate of things change…that’s all that banking is and all that banking ever will be.

Each of the Facebook Applications posted below are to Facebook what The NYSE is to Commercial Banking. Note that Facebook is growing at an astonishing rate. Now, these applications – on top of Facebook – will increase the rate of change of the rate of change in how people communicate, transact, organize, and deliver conversation.

You are hearing it here; these innovations are the most significant disruption that Wall Street can’t possibly imagine. Money is a social agreement and these are the banks of the future. Although many come from the gaming industry, many games are modeled after the real world, therefore, transition back to the real world is not as difficult as one may think. If people are willing to trade it, it becomes money. This is serious business. While many of these new innovations are on the right track – not all of them will survive.

It Takes Currency to Make Currency

If you’re a Flash game developer, you are concerned with how you can make a living from your creative and intellectual services. Fortunately there is a payment system so workable, that it may actually work.   Game developers can charge money both for their games, and for things within their games.

Here’s how it works:

1.    Player pays real money to buy fake money within the game.
2.    Player spends fake money on virtual stuff.
3.    Virtual stuff increases the value of the game.

The game developer can technically charge for whatever they like: level packs, hats, extended versions/director’s cuts, etc, etc. The sky’s the limit.

These types of transactions have been very popular in places like Korea for a long time, and it was amusing to see the initial resistance and resentment in North America to the idea. Meanwhile, North American Pioneers of such systems are drowning in money.

The Right [virtual] Stuff:

Now, suppose that Social Media could be modeled after a huge game where people act based on a set of incentives like, say, connecting with friends, accumulating followers for their blog, finding proverbial “gold rings” like employment opportunities, business opportunity, spiritual growth, professional advice, cheap airfare, fun things to do, product reviews, or political activism…just to name a few.

Suppose that in order to get from one level of the game to the next, they need to engage in conversation with another player.  Anyone who has been on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook long enough knows that the “right virtual stuff” is sometimes hard to acquire.  Twitter finally broke the mold with applications that now “sell” followers (I wonder if there were any Flash Developers behind this innovation).

A Mutually Inclusive Game:

Now, suppose the game was mutual such that some players need you a little bit more than you need them and they are willing to invest in your connection.  Similarly, suppose you need some players a little more than they need you and you too are willing to invest for their connection.  Finally, all players know that a mutual link between two appropriate players substantially increases the value of both players relative to the game.

It Takes Currency to Make Currency.

Immediately the engine of entrepreneurialism will ignite as people figure out new ways to play the game.  With a trillion dollar advertising industry, a trillion dollar Professional Placement industry, and a trillion dollar recreation/leisure/entertainment/family industry on the ropes, you can guarantee that innovation will be absolutely intense.  Welcome to the Innovation Economy.

(Editor’s note: This article was inspired by a piece authored by Ryan and can be found here)

The 2.3 Trillion Dollar Mentor Market

Mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. In many different arenas people have benefited from being part of a mentoring relationship: Freddie Laker mentored Richard Branson, Bach mentored Mozart, Dr. Dre mentored Eminem, Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great, and Obi-wan Kenobi mentored Anakin Skywalker.

Mentorship: a Valuable 2-way Conversation

Suppose that mentorship could be monetized like financial instruments.  Within the structure of an innovation economy specified by The Ingenesist Project; a knowledge inventory, a percentile search engine, and an innovation bank will match the most worthy student to the most worthy mentor in the respective market structure.  The mentor would take an equity position in the protégé, not unlike taking a stock in a corporation.

For example:  A single mid-career mentor could take on 10 protégés with an option to exercise, say, 1% of the students future salary for every year mentoring upon predetermined retirement date. Say that the average mentorship lasts 10 years.  Likewise, each of the protégés also becomes a mentor taking on 10 protégés of their own.  The Master mentor will collect 1% of the revenue that each of the 100 sub-protégés provide to their middle mentors per year.

The Educational Pyramid Scheme

If each protégé becomes at least as successful on average as the mentor, the master mentor can collect the equivalent of their average salary for the duration of their retirement.  If each of the protégés become equally effective mentors, then the master mentor can double their average salary for the duration of their retirement.   A third tier adds another salary to the master mentor.

This is what actually happens in an informal way within companies, government, and Jedi Knighthood; the exception is that social media will enable this to occur outside the construct of a corporation – and such.

Game Theory for the Rest of Us

An interesting social game emerges:  It becomes the best interest of the mentor that each of their protégés is successful in their field and practice high integrity.  It is in the best interest of the mentee to learn as much as they can and become as proficient as they can. It is the best interest for mentees to pick appropriate mentors and it is in the best interest for mentors to take on appropriate mentees.  It is efficient for mentees to form a social network among themselves and for Master Mentors to form a network among themselves. A multiplier effect surges with cross-mentoring.

In aggregate, it is in the best interest for the membership in the social network to cooperate rather than compete because their income would ultimately benefit less from competition than from cooperation.

2.3 Trillion Dollars Market

The American Public education system is in disarray.  Standardized education defies the diversity of the country.  Teacher’s pay has been stagnant. Curriculum takes years to respond to new knowledge. Recent McKinsey research finds that a persistent gap in academic achievement between children in the United States and their counterparts in other countries deprived the US economy of as much as $2.3 trillion in economic output in 2008

None of this has anything to do with the dreams of our children.  None of this has anything to do with the intellect, motivation, and perseverance of our kids.  It has everything to do with Political stalemate and failure of the economic system.  All children can achieve their dreams, and ours, if there were a market for mentors.

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