Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: Global Currency

9/11 and the Convergence Economy

Today, I have been reading a lot of posts related to 9/11 and the terrible events of that day.  The conversation lives.  It is propagated in every direction and expressed in so many different ways once unimaginable from editorialized news.

My memory of 9/11 was quite personal; I was the customer engineering account manager at Boeing – my customer was United Airlines.  I was fortunate to have worked with many UAL Pilots and Flight Attendants and their Unions; UAL lost 16 employees that day – I lost 16 friends.

I remember the anxiety in the aircraft business as the unspeakable was spoken, the impossible became possible, and the unreal became real.   My own identity was defined by commercial air travel and the safety and comfort of people and families.  The relationship between Boeing and UAL has always been profound; but the strain caused inside the industry was foreboding.

The fact that data could shift so rapidly called everything into question.   Relationships diverged, people no longer knew how to process the information that was available.  This gargantuan ‘outlier’ stained every single probability chart in existence – like a crater in a barren landscape.  The only clarity could be found in shorter time segments, before 9/11, after 9/11… but not 9/11.

“Google News” was one of the first information aggregation devices and was developed in response to one news junky’s need to know, as soon as possible, what is happening in the world of such micro-timing. As the subsequent political and economic swings overshot every rational stabilizing mechanism such as ‘checks and balances’, or ‘market arbitrage’ forces, the rest of us sought quicker and better ways to stay in touch with the events of the world.  This meant, quicker ways to stay in touch with each other.

Today, as 9 years of  “new time”  has been added to the risk equations, we can see the effects of radical cultural shifts; social priorities are gaining momentum over Wall Street priorities. While governments still wrestle with the old world order, a new one is forming in it’s place.  This new world has the power to perform many of the functions of corporations and government.  Can twitter catch terrorists?  Can Facebook entries trigger community awareness?  Can instant messaging deliver instant response?  How many lives are saved by Social Media?  I am not certain, but it is an important question to ask that age old question: Will good triumph over evil? or in economic terms; Is humanity self-correcting?

The convergence continues.  The next paradigm of economic development will continue on the micro-time scale as FB communities hit neighborhoods, Linkedin communities hit local communities of practice, and Twitter news armies grow.  Cooperation Capitalism will replace competitive Capitalism and social vetting will replace institutional surveillance.  Finally, a productivity backed currency will replace debt backed currency. Bring it on.

The Great Currency Shift

Dollar FallI am seeing an increasing amount of articles and ideas related to an alternate financial system. The continued traditional media narrative implies that the current system is unstable and corrupted with insider deals, Ponzi schemes, bribes, and high profile acquittals of financial crime. The underlying age-old assumption is that the wealthy (merchant class) will win and the rest of us (the working class) will lose.

Keep in mind that the Mexican peso crisis was not caused by a foreigners, it was the internal wealth leaving their own currency for safe haven elsewhere that sparked the run on the Mexican Central Bank. The absence of a currency other than the dollar and the integration of the dollar among all other currencies is the only thing keeping that from happening in the US. But this may change.

1. Either a new global currency (like a garden salad of currencies and/or commodities) will arise as a ‘less-risky’ diversified alternative,

or

2. A virtual currency will arise from any number of new developments in social media.

Of course the first option seems far more realistic. But keep in mind that the nature of “Disruptive Innovation” is where the dominant player does not even see the disruptor until it is too late. The thing that social media has not yet figured out is how to capitalize and securitize an alternate currency. But we are getting close. After that, the rest is easy because money is simply a social agreement. What would you rather hold, debt backed currency or innovation backed currency?

Nobody can really say that the entire 65 trillion dollar world economy is not vulnerable to a disruptive currency. Please review The Next Economic Paradigm for a complete specification of Innovation Economics. Thanks!

Making A Mess on Madison Ave

Wall Street talks about a Basket of Goods. The UN talks about a basket of Currencies.  What would Madison Avenue say when Main Street coverts your baskets of goods with their basket of social currencies?

Here is a simple business plan that will screw everything up.

Suppose that a pool of advertisers in a single industry (yup, competitors) all throw 10% of their advertising budget into a basket.  Now, suppose that money is distributed among a basket of the top 10% most active social media mavens (bloggers) based on their rankings related to the affinity segment.

For example, all teen fashion designers and outlets would toss 10% of their ad budget into a basket.  The money would be distributed to the top 10% of teen fashion bloggers for doing exactly what they are going to do anyway – communicate their lifestyle experiences in their galaxy of communities.

What does this achieve?

1. If your product sucks, you’ll know why.

2. If your competitor rocks, you’ll know why.

3. Your brand is disseminated more efficiently than advertising

4. You are supporting the community that serves you.

5. People who are good at community organizing can earn a living doing it – that’s good for communities and your brand image.

6. Beats the Payola Laws because the payer can only pull their money from the basket – not any single payee.  Pulling out would not send a good message oh, no, no, no

7. Bogus Bloggers can’t beat the rankings

8. a 300 Billion dollar per year advertising industry with a 95% failure rate can be bypassed by GOOD products – profit center anyone?

9. Designers create products in response to Social Priorities not Wall Street priorities.

10. You’ll create a Millions of young, proactive, innovative entrepreneurs too busy to watch traditional media anyway.

Oh sure, you’ll hear a desperate whine from Madison Avenue – That’s all free advertising – as a bulldozer moves the wrong way down a ONE WAY street.

Community Currency; Ithaca Hours

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

by Paul Glover

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

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

Community Currency Systems

MAC2Community Currency Systems are not new, in fact, they preceded the current financial system by, say, 50,000 years. The focus of this blog resource is to investigate all currencies and reflect them upon the image of a vast new technological breakthrough called social media.

Our hope is to discover, specify, and influence the formation a new financial system that allows communities to trade among each other for basic goods and services before, during, and after the “reboot” of our current economic system.  We are optimistic that the current economic system will ebb in favor of a next economic paradigm that reflects social priorities as a means of meeting Wall Street Priorities. We’ll be posting several articles on the subject in the coming days.

Here are some of the earlier resources to get you started on local currency and other aspects of community economics.  I like the early systems because their rationale was independent of more recent influencers such as 9/11, TARP, GWB, etc.

Banking on the Past

I am writing a short series on the Banks of the past, present and future. Prediction what future of banking was the easiest piece. Identifying the current transition phase was a little tougher so I borrowed from another blogger’s post. Describing banking of the past was most difficult. Here is an example of what I’m talking about:

“The bifurcation of the credit loss piece is a key component of the revised rule,” says Larsen, “but the part that often gets missed when pundits talk [about the rule] on TV is that the trigger that starts the whole [measurement and recording exercise] is the realization that a loan is not going to be repaid. The rule addresses an impaired security, you still have to identify the fair value of that security, and all of the losses are disclosed on the balance sheet.”

Holy shit, did you understand any of that? Guess what – nobody else did either and bankers are wondering why nobody wants their “currency”. Currency is a conversation, a social agreement, a community organizer – if nobody know what it is, people are going to start trading something else.

Dollar Pressures Force Talk of New Currency

I am heavily quoting an article below from the DOW JONES NEWSWIRES written By Tom Barkley because this situation leads us into a discussion about alternate currencies in which Conversational Currency is applicable.

We predict that the structure for an innovation economy will be built on a platform of Social Media where conversational Currency is the currency of trade.  We admit that this is a far cry from a declaration of government foreign or domestic, sorry about that.  We also admit this is a far cry from what Corporations, Banks, Insurance Companies and traditional media barons would espouse, Ooops.

The best management policy is to accommodate what people are already doing.  People are ADOPTING Social Media in a frenzy of applications which were not even predicted by those who developed the platforms – this is a reality, not a fantasy or a blip in the radar screen.  Social Media will have an extraordinary role in the value of currency – if people don’t like it, they won’t trade it; Game over.  The next Global Currency will be represented by human productivity traded in social media.  The most productive country will hold the most currency – this is a game that the US can still win.

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke waded into the international debate over the fate of the dollar Thursday, pledging to do his part to avoid what he sees as a longer-term risk to the dollar’s status as the world’s predominant reserve currency.

[China and Russia have been the major drivers behind calls for an alternative reserve currency, blaming the U.S. for the global crisis and worried that its growing debt load could pose a further threat to stability. That view gained some additional force this week when World Bank President Robert Zoellick predicted that the dollar would face increasing as a reserve currency and its status would depend on how well the U.S. can manage its debt.]

Here is the Social Media Pitch:

[The G-20’s plan to reinforce country measures to address imbalances through peer reviews “would perhaps strengthen the mechanism” for enforcement, he said.]

Social Currency?

At the end of the day PEER REVIEW will be the global vetting mechanism that supports the value of a currency.  What part of Social Currency are we not understanding here?

YOU are MONEY

money-head-suitSome HR bloggers are calling for a new profession called “Social Media Administrator”.  While there are many opinions and wide agreement about the roles and responsibilities – most of which I fully agree with – I would like to add the following considerations:

The corporate social media administrator should have a direct connection, responsibility and accountability with other social media administrators external to the corporation.  Not unlike a board of directors having diverse membership.  The membership and reputation of member of a Social Media BOD is also on the line.

Social media is just that, social.  It cannot be sequestered fully behind corporate walls and must be open and transparent in it’s message.  The Social Media administrator must protect the voices of those who speak.  While there is a constitutional amendment for freedom of speech in our government and the basis of democracy, none exists for corporations who use the information or the social media enterprise that hold “possession” of the information for eternity.

A market can only be efficient with adequate vetting mechanisms; the SEC vets Wall Street, The FAA vets Airlines, and the system of Checks and Balances vets government.  When the vetting mechanism fails, so too does the market.

Few people can see why this is important largely because the reasoning lies in economics and market theory.  Simply put, we are entering a new economic paradigm unlike anything we have ever seen or could imagine.  The idea that each and every iota of knowledge, experience, and opinion that exists between your ears behaves like a financial instrument has not fully been explained.  YOU are MONEY in every definition of the word.  Your productivity supports the value of the dollar. You own your knowledge, it is your property – you can waste it, you can mint more of it, you can borrow it, and you can lend it – and you should be able to capitalize in any currency of your choosing.

The only thing missing is a financial system for your knowledge. If we are smart – and ONLY if we are smart, this system will arise with the continued convergence of social media.  Among the KEY elements that MUST be in place is a public accounting system for Social Media Administration.

Social Media and Flip-floponomics

Flip-floponomics is a term that I just coined with this post which means:

1.    A traditional business method flipped on it’s back to reveal a new business method
2.    A mirror image of a previously accepted economic paradigm
3.    sing. n; flip-floponom; A phenomenon of flip-floponomics.

Let’s demonstrate how this works.

Flip-floponom A:

Twitter has announced that they will mine user generated data and process it into business intelligence which they will sell to corporations for a whole lot of money.  As such, corporations who were unable to figure out how to charge people a whole lot of money money to “watch” social media can now be charged a whole lot of money to “watch” social media

Flip-floponom B:

YouTube can’t make money on ads because viewers don’t care.  But with user generated content such as Jill and Kevin’s wedding (with 12 million views), Chris Brown landed a land slide of sales for the song “Forever”.  The audience is now the Brands positioning themselves to be “user-generated”.

The Mother of all Flip-flopona:

Before flip-floponomics: entrepreneurs assumed that they had the knowledge to execute a business plan and they went to the bank to borrow money.

After Flip-floponomics: entrepreneurs assumed they had the money to execute a business plan and they go to social media to borrow the knowledge.

Next economic paradigm:

With the continuing integration of social media, every single business transaction has the potential to be re-invented in the mirror image if itself using the principles of flip-floponomics.  The opportunities for future entrepreneurs who figure out this class of business activity can be described as nothing short of astonishing.

 

Image Credit Picasso

The Vicarious Search Engine

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

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

The Web is Flat

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

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

Been there, done that?

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

So why can’t social mediators monetize?

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

The likelihood of Innovation

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

The Securitization of Knowledge Assets

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

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