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Tag: gamification

Behind Every Fraud Is A Mountain of Truth

fear uncertainty and doubt
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on” (uncredited). Similarly, such criminal leverage appears in other forms. For example, one guy with a shoe bomb is responsible for 100 million people removing their shoes every time they get on an airplane – 20 years later. Law enforcement in burdened with being right millions of times whereas the attacker need only be right once. We know from experience that the vast majority of people are truthful and honest. Despite the cost, breadth, loss of immeasurable civil liberties we are still unable to untangle the fraud from the fiction. We need to solve this problem as if our lives depend on it. Behind Every Fraud Is A Mountain of Truth that needs to be curated.

What if the leverage could be reversed so that the attacker must be right a thousand times while the target only needs to be right once?

TIP

The Value Game

One of the features of The Innovation BankTM is the application of game mechanics. The Value GameTM begins when a person makes a claim about the physical state of the world. It could be anything from claims of education and experience on their CV to reporting a toxic spill. Those claims are entered on a blockchain, timestamped, and rendered immutable. The player must then find another player to validate their claim. In effect stating “I validate that this claim is true”. The claimant and the validator are then permanently linked on the blockchain as a “node and two branches”. This claim is then combined with all of the other claims and validations in the community. Each participant is issued a digital token that can be converted to cash. That’s all there is to it, problem fixed!

Here’s how this simple game plays out.

Super Villain Max Mallory decides that he wants to gain access to a nuclear reactor in order to perform nefarious deeds. His problem is that he has no previous experience or education in nuclear engineering. Using The Innovation Bank, Mallory makes a claim that he is a nuclear engineer. He quickly encounters difficulty finding another engineer to validate his claim. Mallory pays his sidekick Carl to validate the claim. For completing the pairing, both receive a token that they can sell for a bit of hard cash. So far so good!!!

Mallory then tries to get inside the reactor gate and discovers that he is denied. Mallory’s transaction record does not follow the typical chronological sequence compared to any other nuclear engineer. Mallory goes to Wikipedia and looks up “Nuclear Engineer” to fill in the gaps. This does not work either — a blockchain cannot go backwards in time. Max needs to graduate high school before going to college. Mallory would not be able to assert the proper sequence events – even if he had a checklist. The Innovation Bank is left to register an unvalidated claim (a fancy term for a Lie) against Mallory. Likewise, a “dead head claim” (a fancy term for incompetence) remains for Carl.

If either wants to interface with the Innovation Bank at any time in the future to get a real job, apply for a loan, or comment on social media, they would experience increasing difficulty in finding validators. Their only other option would be to start over with a new profile starting at t=0.

No Incentive to Commit Fraud

In the long run, the successful attacker would need to be an accomplished professional nuclear engineer with a long transaction record validated by many colleagues, mentors, publications, and institutions in a specific sequence and over a long period of recorded time. The reward from the attack would need to far exceed the attacker’s transactional loss since they will most certainly be identified, caught, and prosecuted. But most likely, they will be thwarted at an earlier juncture with a unvalidated claim related to a less critical offense.

In general, there is no incentive to cheat. There is no incentive for aiding and abetting a cheat. There are retributions far into the future for claimants and validators who are haphazard with their facts and associations. The cost of cheating far exceeds the benefit of most illicit activity. As such, no punitive costs are incurred for routine operations of the power plant.

The Truth Has Value:

As the Value Game plays out over millions of claims and validations across the entire value network of Engineering and Science professionals, (and beyond) the probability of encountering fraud or incompetence would become exceedingly small — approaching zero — especially at the higher order claims.

Meanwhile, the aggregate database of STEM professionals interacting truthfully and dynamically is training the algorithm to identify to recognize outlier behaviors. As more truth is is stored in the aggregate database becomes, the more valuable it becomes for separating fact from fiction thereby increasing the value of the digital tokens. The higher the tokens are valued, the more secure the network becomes.

Now, the truth can travel halfway around the world before the lie has a chance to put its pants on.

TIP

It’s all about efficiency

The Innovation Bank is far more efficient than trying to unravel anonymous and spectacular rumors tossed out on the Internet. It is more efficient that having to validate the equal and opposite. Everything is pre-validated. Prohibitive punitive costs and controls are minimized. This “judicial system” is auto-funding and self-correcting. The process of curating claims and validations creates the social fabric upon which each and every one of us ultimately relies. Every participant is incentivized to collaborate as a means of gaining “stake” (i.e., equity) in the system. Meanwhile, there is no incentive to exploit or corrupt the system. The forensics are performed prior to the failure.

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

The Game of Zero

The Game of Zero was developed in order to populate the knowledge inventory. The purpose of GOZ is to introduce a constraint to Curiosumé which produces an equal amount of supply and demand for knowledge assets. The reason for this is to incentivise the formation of a market between and among knowledge asset holders.

(The Game of Zero (GOZ) is a subset of The Value Game (TVG) which may be found by searching this site.)

In order for a player to advance in a Value Game, the claims that they make in forming their Curiosumé must be verified by another game player and registered as a combined transaction record on the Knowledge inventory. 

In order to create a dynamic market of data, information, knowledge, innovation and Wisdom, each player must register as both surplus and deficit knowledge assets (teacher and students).  A score of surplus (what one knows) must be balanced by a score of deficit, (what one wants to learn) in order for the player to create tokens. 

Introduction: As the name suggests, game mechanics are employed to move the production forward.  Incentives consist of a combination of intrinsic motivations as well as financial compensation.  A knowledge inventory is expressed from an ontology that brings context to interactions.  The two-way flow of information is expressed as a simple bell-curve distribution for states of knowledge ranging from teacher (+1,+2,+3 Sigmas) to student (-1,-2,-3 Sigmas).   

The Game of Zero gets its name from the only constraint that is applied:  each participant MUST have a total score of ZERO.

Formation of Knowledge Inventory:

Ontology is a difficult topic to address universally because every company, institution, and every affinity group has their own specific means and methods for defining themselves in terms of ontology. 

Example: the following is the Wikipedia Ontology:

Generalized Knowledge Inventory:

Top Level Wikipedia Categories   -3s -2s -1s +1s +2s +3s
General Reference       X    
Culture and The Arts       X    
Geography and Places     X      
Health and Fitness   X        
History and Events     X      
Human Activity   X        
Mathematics and Logic         X  
Natural and Physical Sciences         X  
People and Self   X        
Philosophy and Thinking       X    
Religion and Belief Systems X          
Society and Social Sciences       X    
Technology and Applied Sciences           X
TOTAL = 0 -3 -6 -2 +4 +4 +3
Absolute Value = 22            

Claim your Intellectual Property:

  • Earn Power by claiming your IP blocks. 
  • Increase your power by having each block validated by another participant.
  • Surplus refers to knowledge that you offer to others
  • Deficit refers to knowledge that you need from others
  • Rank yourself as you fit among the community of your peers
  • Positive and negative must balance at zero
  • Adjustments can be made at any time

Important: Each of the above categories likewise have sub categories for which the same constraint holds.  Below those categories may exist many more for which the constraint likewise holds. 

Absolute Values in each category may be analyzed as well for business intelligence.  The combined knowledge inventory will accumulate substantial value. 

Implications for Merchandizing platform:

The Game of Zero provides a way for the participants to increase their “stake” in the system.  By accumulation of Absolute Value, the participant increases their likelihood of gaining a more valuable position / winning a more valuable prize.

The network of participants can safely contact each other based on mutual interests of validating knowledge and information.  One buyer may want to alert other buyers of a good product or service based on their unique identifiers.

There is no incentive to cheat – If I lie about my knowledge inventory, this is the equivalent of spamming myself. 

There is no incentive to troll because any claims that are not validated by one or more participant of relevant profile can be ignored by the system.

Playing the Game of Zero

Most applications require a user to become familiar with a detailed set of rules that are necessary overhead for security (passwords), Identity (KYC/AML), terms of use, rules of engagements, limits and levers, means and methods, etc.  Each requires a mental investment on the player as well as a resource overhead on the application.

Video games are taught with a simple objective and just allowing the user to play at level 1.  Level 1 teaches the player the skills that they will need to be successful at level 2, which likewise prepares the player for level 3 and so forth.

The Knowledge Inventory: The Game of Zero requires that a player complete a detailed profile in order to accumulate “stake” in the community. The profile is anonymous which allows the player to use an avatar or any name that they choose. They can change their name at any time.  They can delete a profile and start again. They can even maintain more than one profile. Each of these freedoms has consequences at higher states of play, but at the beginning the player is encouraged to experiment to find their place in the community.  The system will allow them to do anything that they want except violate the rule of zero. 

The player will quickly realize that the game interacts with them based on the inputs to their profile.  If they create a frivolous profile, they will get frivolous results.  If they provide meaningful inputs, they will get meaningful results.  Once they realize how it works, they may abandon a profile at this early stage and create a new one.  Penalty for this is that they will need to re-start the clock (like starting on square one).  This is not a big penalty at the early stages, but at the later stages this will become a significant deterrent. 

The more stake that a player holds, the greater the payout will be from the system.  Payout may exist in many forms from prizes to targeted economic opportunities such as gigs, validations, contests, and paid product endorsements.  The value of the economic opportunity increases at higher states of play.

Higher States of Play

The Game of Zero forces that player to maintain a net state of ZERO across the entire spectrum of ontology. At higher States of play the players may also need to validate their claims in order to increase their stake.  If they claim to be a +2 Sigma Computer programmer, they will need to find another +2 programmer to validate their claim.  If they balance their expertise with a -3 sigma desire to learn the game of tennis, they will need to validate their claim with a tennis partner.  Other scenarios are possible depending on market forces.

The process of claims and validations builds social cohesion, community engagement, and value of the system.  Failure to complete transactions or validate claims limits the benefit of game play and may eventually upset the balance of ZERO. 

Each claim and validation becomes a permanent record cast in time and cannot be altered without a corresponding counterclaim, or deletion of the profile.  

Network Effects

The next level of growth will include a transformation from a strict e-commerce site to a networked platform. The following features will be added.

  • Branding
  • Encourage communities to interact with each other
  • Precision matching of “teachers” to “students” drives value creation
  • Targeted incentives
  • Formation of affinity groups and buying pools
  • Managed by algorithm

If the system is trained to behave like a network, then a simple valuation component will be reflected by the square of the number of nodes multiplied by the quality of each interaction set equal to the current linear valuations. 

Management will then use this relationship to drive policy that concentrates on two things: Increases the number of participants and increasing the depth and breadth of engagement among the members.

Conclusion

How a Value Network Works

In business and commerce, value networks are an example of an economic ecosystem. Each member relies on one another to foster growth and increase value. Value network members can consist of external members (e.g., customers) or internal members, such as research and development teams.

Value networks enhance innovation, social welfare, the environment, as well as many other areas. Weakness in one node can affect the entire network. For example, if a development team is weak, the production team has a harder time creating the product, which can leave a buyer waiting for their shipment.

History: The Game of Zero was first identified by the author in response to requirements for managing the Summer Intern program at The Boeing Company between the years 1998-2002.  Later around 2005-2008 the system was studies for closing the knowledge gap at Boeing as well.  The research showed great promise and some parts of the work have been applied by the company.   Additional research and development was conducted through various companies and start-ups from 2008 until present.  The Game of Zero was generalized from the Boeing Experiments in private follow-on research and development as described in Curiosumé and The Innovation Bank.  Details of this history are outlined in the whitepaper.

Municipal Governance On The Blockchain

treesviewAs a member of the City of Edmonds Planning Board, I hear a lot about what the public wants and what they do not want from their local government.  As a seaside town, property values can be greatly impacted by water and mountain views.  As such, there is an incentive to remove trees blocking views.  In other parts of town, the urban forest is extremely beautiful and there is great incentive to preserve trees from high density developers. So what happens when a town wants to regulate trees?  In our case, it was NOT an Edmonds kind of day. Perhaps it’s time to try municipal governance on the blockchain. 

Problem:

Many municipalities are adopting laws which may restrict the cutting of trees on private property in response to factors such as canopy loss, erosion control, wildlife protection, urban forest management, development, view amenities, climate change, etc.; or to enhance tree cutting to make way for new development and associated tax dollars. However, most models for tree regulation are unpopular with their imposing fines, permit fees, high density development, and government regulation on private property. Yet, these fines and permit fees are required to fund a bloated top-heavy tree code in the first place!!

Proposal:

Incorporate cryptographic and/or block chain technology to create a web-based public ledger and tree inventory that everyone can see and anyone can audit. By adding simple gamification features, the tree code may become self-regulating as players interact with the game. This may minimize government involvement, except in the most exceptional circumstances.

Discussion:

Think of it like a huge public accounting ledger that everyone can see, but can only edit their own data.  Instead of accounting for money, the ledger accounts for trees.  The game starts when a property owner registers his or her own trees on the ledger.  The city will issue cryptocurrency based on the number of tree units the property owner claims. These tokens would go into an electronic wallet on a blockchain associated with the property parcel number.  Each year, the resident will be issued more tokens by the city as their trees grow – the value of the tokens is derived from climate data or LIDAR surveys.  Some years may increase token values, some years may decrease token value based on estimated growth rates.

When a person wants to cut down a tree, they need to spend tokens to do so. Ideally, A property owner would not cut down more than they can grow. If they don’t have enough tokens, then they need to buy them from adjoining neighbors who are also trying to grow more than they must lose. If trading is restricted to adjoining properties (not commoditized like carbon credits), then community actions must be agreed upon by neighbors to settle any difficult situations.

The city would rarely get involved except to peg the value of the tokens on climate data. Algorithms programmed into the public ledger would manage the token values and electronic wallet exchanges automatically.

Shifts incentives

This sounds innocent enough.  But in reality, it changes all of the incentives that we are now attempting to manage with convoluted linear rules and imposing government regulations on private property.

For example,

  • It rewards tree preservation.
  • It rewards early and active registration,
  • It is self-enforcing because neighbors have a vested interest, and the ledger is public.
  • It is self-governing because neighbors need to agree on price.
  • It is self-limiting – an area cannot get rapidly stripped without progressive costs.
  • If a developer tries to take out a lot of trees, the neighbors can make it very expensive to do so – or negotiate concessions, etc.
  • If an arborist is needed, then the business case exists to hire one.
  • The municipality is able to referee disputes and establish coin allocations based on canopy quota or weather conditions, etc.
  • It provides tree liability (or asset) disclosure at property sale.

Business case

Today, proposed tree code regulations expose the citizens to cutting fees as high as $1000 dollars per tree. Violations for unauthorized cutting can approach $3000 dollars per tree. This money is required to fund a tree department that may consist of up to 3 arborists (for a small seaside town in Washington state; pop. 50,000), a permit reviewer, an enforcement arm, and possible court challenges. It could cost a million dollars per year to have an effective tree code for a city under 100,000 people, or 10 dollars per person per year just to regulate.

A price point of 1 dollar per citizen per year would therefore not be an extraordinary amount of money for a city to resolve a difficult social problem with modern technology.   Several thousand small cities dot the American coastline making this a strong candidate for private entrepreneurial partnership simply to maintain and audit the public ledger.

Conclusion:

A new generation of web applications and cryptographic technologies would allow this activity to happen autonomously. No new labor is required. No regulators are needed, no special penalties or enforcement mechanisms are required.  The city can stay out of the private property tree business completely.

Technically, this is called a multi-agent algorithmic game on a decentralized autonomous platform.  The difference is that today, these things can be made to look and feel like a game that is fun to play – people may play it. How many other Municipal Governance functions can be self-governed on a blockchain such as motor vehicles, animal control, gun control, schools, parking, water rights, energy, executive power, or any intrinsically valuable shared community asset.

 

The Institution 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 being adopted completely.

In this post we will identify a hack to the vetting institutions and players that are supposed to keep the financial game fair but are in fact complicit with it’s unfairness; these include Libor Scandals, Banks, Insurance, The legal system, etc.  Any institution that sets the rules of play, Gamidox will change the rules.

At first Gamidox resembles a classic MBA analysis and strategy tool called Michael Porters 5 Competitive Forces.  In Porter’s analysis a corporation competes within its own business environment against:

  • Competitive rivalry within an industry
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitute products
  • Bargaining power of customers

The Zertify Hack swaps out the competitive nature and installs a more efficient collaborative nature.  Revisiting Porters 5 Forces for collaboration, we can say the following would be true of the parallel economic system:

  • Collaboration within an industry
  • Collaboration with suppliers
  • Collaboration with new entrants
  • Innovation of improved products
  • Collaboration with customers

This is already happening.

Social Media is driving many social innovations that act as “institutions” would in the legacy economy.  For example:

  • Vendors use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems in nearly every industry.
  • Designers use Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) systems to collaborate Globally.
  • Social Media has spawned the field of Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) where the market tells the producer what to make and how to behave.

Community Relationship Management

But when we combine CRM + SRM + VRM we get Community Relationship Management (CoRM).  In essence CoRM is a Value Game.  Where customers, vendors, and suppliers all acting in the best interest of their constituents are in fact acting in their own best interest.  Cheating gets you thrown out of the game.  The combined analytics provide extensive data to the next hack called Exoquant.

Benign.

Gamidox is an organization that educates, creates, and deploys this new class of business methods where  Communities are encouraged to act in their own best interest when collaborating with other communities.  Jobs are created, things are produced, value is exchanged, and assets are accounted.  Capitalism remains in high gear and the hack will not trigger an antigen.

Playing The Value Game

The Value Game is played wherever 3 or more communities interact with each other to preserve a shared asset rather than consume it.  A Value Game can be built around any sharable asset such as a public corporation, an airplane, a high impact citizen, a condominium building, public infrastructure such as schools, bridges, and health care, etc.

However, A Value Game fails for asset and communities that offer literally no socially redeeming values (that is the point of social redemption, BTW)

The New Value Movement

The Value Game literally manufactures New Value.  As communities interact with each other around a shared asset, they teach and learn from each other – populating the Zertify Hack.  Several layers of vetting and conflict can be eliminated from an economy which will make all many forms of production and associated employment, run faster,  smoother, and more efficiently.

The New Value Tool

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

The Social Charter

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

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

Drag, Drop, and Dream

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

Community Algorithm

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

On the path to a Social Currency

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

A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

In yesterday’s post, we outlined The Value Game for University Outreach where the graduate was the shared asset and the school administration, the alumni association, the entrepreneurial community, and the wider community were the players. Now let’s presume that the shared asset is a small business owner specializing in aerobics instruction.

Using the same players:


A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

Suppose that a popular aerobics instructor has 20 students and charges 40 dollars for an 8 class sessions. The local health food store will place 10% coupon on store purchases against the 40 dollar tuition for the duration of the class. If the student bought 400 dollars worth of food from the health food store in 8 weeks, their tuition for the aerobics course would be free.  If they spend more, then the aerobics instructor is paid more.

The health food store already spends 10% of sales on advertising.  As such, the coupon is a superior incentive because it provides 100% ROI on the store’s ad spend.

Social Value Outcomes:

  • The health food store gains loyal repeat customers without advertising or spamming
  • The aerobics instructor earns an entrepreneurial wage making similar coupon arrangements with other health services, sporting goods stores, hotels chains, airlines, adventure tourism companies – anyone whose best interest it is to support her clients’ aspiration. They too benefit from loyal customers (anti-Groupon)
  • The Alumni Association would represent a network of clients, business owners, and database of persons likely to provide contacts, references, coupons, and advice to the aerobics instructor
  • The University can provide gym space, sponsorship, health education classes, and collect data such as; which coupons produce the highest yield for a given alumni product or service and player profile.

The Value Game Filters:

This particular value game automatically filters out the players that are not appropriate for the client.  In effect, the donut shop, tobacco store, or video game outlet would not likely benefit from playing this particular value game as their offering would reflect poorly on social values of the instructor and their coupons would not perform well enough vs. traditional advertising.  Instead, these products would find their own value game, if any.

Social Value Index (SVI)

The Social Value Index is a public statistic that compares the economic value (cost/benefit) of the socially integrated value game with the cost/benefit of the disaggregated advertising/spamming model which robs people of their time, passions, and quality of life.

Data as a shared asset

The SVI provides data that rewards this entrepreneur for doing what she is most passionate about; being knowledgeable and supportive of available health resources. The SVI rewards the store for enabling entrepreneurs in exchange for loyal repeat customers.  The Social Value Index rewards the network of alumni who align with their members (aerobics instructor) to deploy social currency to a community instead of spamvertising. The SVI rewards the University Outreach effort for organizing critical data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in the community.

At the end of the day: 

The Value Game is important because it allows entrepreneurial business plans that would not normally be viable under a purely monetary model, become highly viable when intangible Social Value (New Value) is added to the bottom line.

 

The Value Game For University Outreach

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

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

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

A* = The Graduate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom

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

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

Data is the ultimate shared asset

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

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

The Value Game Primer

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

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

Introduction to Value Games

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

Building A Value Game

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

The New Value Entrepreneur

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

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

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

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

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?   

 

A Radical Twist on Crowd Computing

Social Flights is a Value Game. The objective is for communities to fill a private jet in both directions in order to achieve the best economics. This may be achieved through creative Game Mechanics where travelers, aircraft operators, tourism and hospitality vendors, and municipalities interact in their mutual best interest to perform a calculation in a radical twist on the concept of Crowd Computing.

But what if communities could organize themselves using their own data? This would introduce a great deal of innovation in order to solve a calculation that is otherwise performed by capital infrastructure such as structures, corporations, government, or in the case of Social Flights, a vast hub airport.

The Value Game is designed to be gamed by entrepreneurs where “True Value” is created through collaboration rather than competition.  

If Social Flights can create a game where people share an airplanes, imagine that the same game can be played with any shared asset from cars, education, health care, food production, and even public infrastructure.  Communities may perform the “calculations of economics” much like how traditional tribes allocate resources.  Enterprise lacking in “socially redeeming value”,  by definition, will fail.

So exactly how powerful are tribes?

As we all seen this year alone in the Internet Age, Social Currency can and does directly challenge dictators, militaries, financial systems, and governments across the globe.  People are performing Crowd Calculations – communities are Crowd Computing.  These ideas and many more will be highlighted by Innotribe at SIBOS 2011

Let me offer an analogy:      

The economy that is denominated by Money, is a system built on 5 pillars that are perform the calculations of finance and economics.  The pillars are integrated to support a financial system. These pillars are: a currency, an accounting system, vetting institutions, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

If any one of these pillars is broken, corrupted, oppressed or otherwise fails, the entire system falters. Enron presented a failure in the accounting profession. The mortgage crisis was the failure of the vetting mechanisms. Corrupt legal systems suppress entrepreneurs. Now the debt crisis is threatening the currency pillar.  The currency crisis will threaten the consumer.

Suppose that these five old economic pillars could be duplicated in a some different way and then integrated to form an alternate system for performing the same calculations.   It is no coincidence that many of the sessions at SIBOS2011/Innotribe correspond to the five pillars of such an economy.

Entrepreneurs: Social Data and Cooperation, Corporate Cultures 

Vetting mechanisms:  Banks for a better world

Accounting system; Big Data

Consumers: Digital Identity

Currency; Future of Money

Imagine this, if the organizations at Innotribe were to integrate to create a new economy that is only slightly more efficient the old system, they may become the mother of all hedge funds. Remember the dictator caught without social currency?  At least half the money in the world will convert, capitalize, and securitize in social currency.  We may not be that far off from that day.

The New Economies Track at SIBOS2011/Innotribe features the people and projects that are at the forefront of “The Big Integration” where the five pillars of a new economic system will integrate themselves to form a new economy to replace the old.  It all starts with entrepreneurs such as those featured at Innotribe 2011 trying to figure out new ways to integrate the five pillars of a new economy.

BizDev with Cascading Info Game

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

The Challenge

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

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

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

Cascading Information

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

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

Gaming the game:

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

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

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

The Game and The Counter-Game

The term “Gamification” is pretty cool, except that it is meaningless.  Anyone who has ever worked a day in his or her life knows that the World is already gamed.  Anyone who follows politics and world events sees the game playing out constantly.  Everyone, including the winners, know that the game is stacked.  The last thing anyone needs is another game layer.

If you are like the majority of people on Earth, you are given a game that you can’t win playing by the rules.  If you are like the majority of people on Earth, you would do anything for a chance to play a game that you CAN win.  Imagine the value of an IPO for a gaming company with that prospectus.

What is a Counter Game?

Wikileaks – love them or hate them – is a Counter Game because they turned the lights on a game that was being played in the dark.  Bloggers play a Counter Game because media was editorialized by powerful interests.  Twitter is a Counter Game because it drives the narrative instead of being driven by it. In fact, any place where there is a broker – someone or something that benefits from you NOT having complete information – is an opportunity to introduce a Counter Game.

An astonishing array of Counter Games is forming in social media and the brokers are falling out of the sky like hailstones.  Power brokers, mortgage brokers, energy brokers, media brokers, even Google is gamed by Counter Gamers.  The better they get at hiding information; the better the Counter Gamers gets at rooting it out.  The harder they try to control a message, the better the Counter Gamers gets at disclosing the truth behind the message.

The game creates the Counter Game.

Likewise, to kill the game is to kill the Counter Game. As such, the only way to kill the counter-game is to kill the game. Think about that for a bit…Do we really want to do that?

The Holy Grail of the Counter Game is the global monetary system. Money is supposed to represent human productivity; otherwise people would not go to work to make things that everyone else needs.  The Game has caused Money to become increasingly divorced from actual productivity.  People who produce the most value are exploited while those who produce the least are most grandly rewarded.  The Game is stacked with money.

The Holy Grail of The Counter Game is to replace monetary currency with a True Value Currency.

The financial system stands on 5 pillars: currency, inventory, vetting institutions, entrepreneurs, and value arbitrage. All of these are slowly being replicated, mimicked, or duplicated in Social Media.  When the 5 pillars integrate in social media systems, a new currency will emerge.  People will use it to store and exchange the value that they create through their work. It will be a no-brainer

The Value Game

The Value Game is outlined in this short video using the now proverbial “Corporate Jet” as the turning point in the global economic paradigm.  The Value Game does not kill the Financial Game, rather, it challenges, corrects, and improves it.  The Value game has reached a critical milestone – it has been funded in dollars by investors.

This is not insignificant.

The Human Infrastructure Game

Social media is emerging as a tool that may replace corporate and physical infrastructure of market capitalism.  Social Flights is attempting to sort and match people, airplanes, and destinations with community organization and interaction rather than the massive infrastructure of Hub airports.

Social flight introduces a Community Leader to the “last mile of social media” who can interpret and manage Value Game data to drive social and financial revenue.  In order to articulate this real-life gaming system we need to specify a baseline game scenario such that all future “real-life” scenarios will simply be some unique variation on the baseline game.

The Baseline Scenario

Consider a condition where 4 persons (group A1) from a metropolitan area (point A) self-organize to initiate a flight plan to another metropolitan area (point B). An 8 passenger jet is available at the local airport near point A. The group seeks to return 3 days later. Price sensitivity is high.

The responsibility of the Community Leader at Point A is to:

1. Deploy social media strategies to find 4 more people to fill the remaining seats.

2. Contact Community Leader at point B to notify them of the empty leg that will originate there (when aircraft returns to base).

3. Coordinate with Community Leader B to promote vendor attractions that influence 8 new travelers to fly the jet back from Point B to Point A.

Three days pass and Group A1 needs to return home from point B:

1. Coordinate with Community Leader at Point B to determine who will originate the flight plan and who will own the resulting empty leg (the passengers are agnostic as to where the plane originates).

2. In either case, Community Leader B will deploy social media tools to fill remaining empty seats if any.

3. In either case, Community Leader A will use social media tools to fill the empty seats if any.

Variables:

In this scenario; 32 seats must be filled to support a flight plan for two round trips in an 8 person aircraft AND the 3 steps outlined for each and every flight remain relatively constant – only their order may change.  Most of the variables to the baseline scenario are factors of social influence and may therefore respond to game mechanics and rewards, i.e.; the number of initial passengers, social draw in each community, 3rd party vendor incentives, social influence of passengers, price sensitivity, traveler schedule, etc.

Re-introducing Human Infrastructure

Social Flights needs game data from which to match supply and demand of corporate resources.  The Community Leaders need game data to match supply and demand of social influence.  Finally, the passengers and support vendors need game data to match supply and demand of social value, etc.

By structuring the game around a baseline scenario and introducing “Human Infrastructure” responding to game data, we hope to increase our likelihood of  replacing physical infrastructure in the operation of point-to-point air transportation.

The Gamification of Air Travel

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

Your schedule or theirs?

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

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

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

Are You Gamed by FlyVille?

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

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

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

Frequent Influence Miles

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

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

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

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.

The Mashup of Gamification and Collaborative Consumption

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

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

She is not alone.

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

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

This is where you put a shared asset.

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

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

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

Thanks Kim – you are on to something very important.

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