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Tag: Groupon

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.

 

New Economies; May The Best Street Win

The great dream for new economies movement is that Wall Street has finally met its match from the vast interconnected social systems that now dominate communication, organization, and commerce.

The problem is that no matter what the New Economies Movement comes up with, Wall Street will capitalize it, commoditize it, securitize it, and sell it back to us for the price of our communities.  Then they’ll build derivatives and options around it and wrap it all up in a nice hedge fund that transfers all risk back to us.   The Street always wins.

So why can’t we do what Wall Street does?

At Social Flights we believe that we can provide 10,000 jobs across the United States by letting people sell options on aircraft seats.

How would this work?

The Hub and Spoke system consists of about 30 major airports in the US that act as hubs.  The rest are spokes and many smaller cities are barely served at all.  So unless you are flying between two hubs, you will always have to catch a connection, waste time, and incur social expenses.

For the price of a typical airport lounge bar tab, a traveler can buy an option to fly a private jet non-stop between their destinations.  An option is the right without the obligation to take a position in the future.  The option would be convertible, transferrable, and may even be exercised on a wide variety of schedules.

Calling all unemployed entrepreneurs 

Suppose that I saw a listing on Social Flights for a private jet flight from Boise Idaho to Colorado Springs taking place in three weeks and costing 300 dollars.  Since I know a lot of people in both cities, I can either use the ticket myself, or I have 3 weeks to sell it for, say, 500 dollars.

This is a bargain because there are no non-stop flights between these two cities and airline prices tend to increase as the departure date approaches.  The private jet can do the trip in two hours whereas the commercial airline would take 8 or more hours. I could buy an option on that flight for, say 30 dollars and resell the ticket for a $170.00 profit.   If I cannot sell the ticket, then I can use the ticket, convert it to another option, or lose my 30 dollars (just like the bar tab).

I am a Capitalist

In effect, I am rewarded for my size and quality of my social network.  I am rewarded for my ability to research in the Internet to find likely prospects who would seek to travel at a time savings.  I am rewarded for my knowledge, associations, professional skills, and ability to analyze data and organize people.   I am rewarded for finding arbitrage opportunities in an inefficient industry.  I buy low and sell high – I am a Capitalist

While this may not seem like a large impact, if 5000 – 10,000 people make their living trading Social Options, the market will shift.  If Social Options can be created for aviation inventory, they can be created for all inventory.  For the exact same effect as a Groupon, people can trade options on goods and services while hedging against Wall Street and restoring community Values.

Don’t just change the game, change the street that it is played on….

The “New Value” Integration Begins

The New Integration begins; Travel, Coupons, Gaming, and Currency

Each stage of humanity’s social evolution did not replace the prior social order; rather, it integrated the tools created during the prior social order. The agrarian economy is going strong and feeding the world. The industrial revolution integrated the tools of the scientific revolution – both still exist.  The knowledge economy integrates the tools of the information age as we speak. The next economic paradigm will result from the integration of tools developed from the technologies of the knowledge economy. So what’s happening out there now?

Travel: Nothing economic can happen until people get together an build something.

Tripit acquired for 120M, DoJ Mulls anti-trust suit for purchase of ITA, Travel sites gang up against ITA Sale, American, Expedia, Orbitz in 3-way dispute, Facebook buys Nextstop,

Coupons: Hey, who exactly is subsidizing all that discount value?

2 y.o. Groupon rejects 6B offer, mulls IPO.  50 top Groupon Copy cats, “Google Offers” Groupon Competitor, Groupon Bachlash builds, Foursquare and Groupon go after “Local Social”

Games: A business as old as money.

Zynga valued at up to 5B. Zynga goes on a buying spree (8 acquisitions in 8 months); Google buying spree in mobile gaming and invests 100M in Zynga,  8B in virtual goods sold worldwide – china leads. Facebook Credits become mandatory for games.

Currency: storage and exchange of social value.

Google buys Social Gold for 75M – social gaming/virtual currency platform. Alternate Currency Movement gains popularity,  Zeitgeist Movement goes on the defensive.  Symbionomics to organize the “new value” conversation. Facebook rolls out new currency. AMEX launches “social currency” with “geolocation”……..

Bringing us back to the beginning: Travel:,  

Unveiling The Catalyst

The Value Game developed by The Ingenesist Project will be unveiled at The Future of Money and Technology Summit on February 28th 2011. We will demonstrate how a high value asset such as an aircraft, zipcar, renewable power, or even public infrastructure can be massively leveraged to create New Social Value.  This represents a new class of business methods designed to integrate the tools of the knowledge economy and produce a closed-loop prototypical innovation economy.

Leveraging fixed assets, socially

The Value Game uses the example of how entrepreneurs can leverage an under utilized asset such as a corporate jet fleet and match routes to the Geographic Social Graph at small airport (Travel) instead of competing with an inefficient Commercial Airline model.  Vendors could join social networks to subsidize airfares with contingency (Coupons) for related products and services. A true value calculator would compare door-to-door social value of private travel with the financial value proposition of commercial airlines.  This comparison creates a conversion factor between social currency and financial (Currency) which monetizes social value.  The resulting interactions between traveler, vendor, and 3rd party entrepreneurs creates an “Intentions Game” in social media where it is in everyone’s best interest to create social value and deploy it to the (Game).

The game starts and ends with money, but all the “New Value” is created inside the game and denominated in social currencies. Entrepreneurs will game the game, the planes will get bigger, the coupons will get stronger, and the social currency will out-perform the financial currency in new value creation.  This business method is now being tested in a live venture. What we learn from this may help catalyze a new and more sustainable economic model called Social Capitalism.

Don’t miss this historic unveiling at The Future of Money and Technology Summit on February 28, 2011

***

(Editors note: The above post is #1 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.)

The Capitalization of Silence

"Silence" by Horst Schmier

Coupon Madness

The business concept of rewards coupons is not new. S&H Green Stamps were among the original applications of the concepts. The fact that coupon cutting is now going on-line is not surprising to anyone. A second major trend is in the area of data collection. Supermarkets have learned that it is valuable for them to “pay” the customer in exchange for data that makes stocking and distribution more efficient. When combined, coupon + data is a tremendously valuable marketing and logistics tool.

The next development of coupon + data model is the notion that if a person likes a product, so too will their friends. This is the coupon + data + association model. Not surprisingly, the marketing value of the combination of these linked data increases almost exponentially.

To Pay Dearly

Brands are now willing to pay dearly for information about the transaction as well as the social networks associated with a transaction. With the ability to track several layers of transaction and association, vendors can paint an extraordinarily accurate predictive model that can be used in their favor – and in competition against market challengers.

The half-life of noise

The hype is brisk and often short lived as most companies eventually run up against the proverbial viral backlash. Someone somewhere can just as easily elevate their own influence by challenging a big influencer. Privacy issues, fair trade issues, corporate responsibility issues are all fair game. Social media forces transparency in an organization too as controlled data can quickly become uncontrollable data.

The battlefield is strewn with the corpses of marketing campaigns gone horribly wrong. Even Groupon, once touted as the champion of mom and pop shops across the land is now accused of dumping economic “sugar calories” into a zero sum game where size does matter – a lot. Groupon is now used by competitors against each other thereby wrecking havoc on Mom and Pop Shops across the land.

Help, I need a Guru

Social Media Gurus continuously pound home the message that they must find their customers grazing in their own pasture and engage them in order to be truly accepted into the herd.  Now the Gurus have all the vendors looking like wolves in sheep’s clothing – nothing could be more obvious or look more ridiculous.

The inherent flaw is that companies are designing and delivering products predicted to interact with people in their own setting. Instead, they must develop a set of products and services that are designed to facilitate human interaction with each other in their own setting – and as a consequence, filter out all the noise that wastes valuable social time.

Coupon + knowledge inventory + anonymity

Learning what people know does not mean that they need to give up their identity.   Joining people who have complimentary knowledge is a superior value creation mechanism than harvesting relationships already played out. The ability to protect and empower the customer in their home setting is the greatest branding opportunity on Earth. The ability to filter out the noise is the single greatest competitive advantage that any marketing campaign can ever enjoy. The ability to bring communities of people together to solve the problems of their own choosing is far more powerful than trying to convince people that they have a problem for which only you have the solution.

This is the capitalization of silence

Image by Horst Schmier

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