Gambling with Jobs

The US Senate recently blocked a measure designed to reduce the outsourcing of US jobs that many corporations pursue in the relentless drive to reduce costs.

Modern Globalization is a system

Globalization must be analyzed like a system. Data, Information, knowledge, Innovation, and wisdom are profoundly related in a system. If you take away one of the components, the others become worthless.  If you destroy one component, the entire structure could fail.

Everyone knows that data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are related.  If I corrupt the data, then the associated information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are also corrupted.  Likewise, if I eliminate any of these elements, the system fails.

Focus on Core competency – what core?

The standard argument for outsourcing is that knowledge workers are better allocated in innovation jobs so “we can better focus on our core – and heck, we can all save a little dough in the process”.  But when we outsource our knowledge economy, the innovation economy is choked off.    The knowledge economy is the source of the Innovation Economy.  The Knowledge economy is also the recipient of the information economy which transforms data and information into useful tools, ideas, and products.

Rate Of Change is Innovation

The rate of change of the innovation economy is directly proportional to the INCREASE not the OUTSOURCING of the knowledge economy.  This is the calculus of outsourcing.  If, on the other hand, it is in you best interest to keep a population poor, weak, and unable to organize into powerful collectives, then yes, outsourcing is an effective method.


Future of Banking

When I use the term “Innovation Bank”, people conjure up the image of a cheery place where anticipation reigns as starry eyed depositors arrange their intellectual property in neat cubby boxes, Patents fly like cash register receipts and companies troll the halls looking for a cure for their bottom line blues.

This is not exactly what we have in mind, nor is it too far off either. An innovation Bank is simply a knowledge inventory that contains knowledge assets that exists in the format of a financial instrument and can be deployed for the purposes of increasing productivity.  In the process, it makes 10X more of itself every time it is deployed.  It mints its own money.

The Innovation Banker

This is not much different than a financial bank. In fact, in the financial bank, everyone assumes the borrower has the knowledge to execute the business plan and the bank lends the money. Oh, by the way, the money makes more of itself  10X over (fractional reserve system) every time it is deployed.

With the innovation bank, everyone assumes the entrepreneur has the money to execute the plan, and the seek to borrow the knowledge. Other than that, they can be considered identical. The key is in the scope, depth, and format in which the knowledge assets live in a community as well as the ability to track and preserve the creation of new knowledge in a community.  An innovation banker is a knowledge banker

A Virtuous Circle

Together with the financial banking, these two system engage in the dance of the virtuous circle of innovation enterprise. Apart, they collapse into the swirling cesspool of eternal debt and infinite interest (pun intended).

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Marketers need to recognize the order and permanence of human evolution. Once our species started to walk upright on two legs, we never permanently returned to walking on all fours.   Such is also the case between the lower social order of communication called “Information” and the higher social order of communication called “Knowledge”.  I will explain the difference now.

Social Value written or spoken to a medium is defined as Information.

Social Value which exists only between human ears is defined as Knowledge.

Likewise,

Social Value is created by transforming Information into Knowledge.

Social Value is reduced by transforming Knowledge into Information.

Once humans learn to create, store, exchange, and trade knowledge among each other, they will never return to the utterly primitive practice of mining and exploiting information.

If you agree with me then I congratulate you for your advanced state of evolution.  If you do not agree with me, then I apologize for the inconvenience.

Living in the Past

Advertisers have an especially hard time with this because it is their core competence to devolve human knowledge into information through data mining, social media espionage, and machine gun marketing – all without necessarily elevating anyone to a higher state of social order.   This is, by definition, a reduction of social value.

Consumers now walk on two feet in forming a strategic networks of knowledge assets in social media. Meanwhile advertisers still slither around on all fours pimping info biscuits.  Consumers can easily see when Value is being stolen from them so they simply ignore the screeches and clamoring of the devolved creature.  Or worse, a counter attack is a very simple – and often quite entertaining – using an evolved tool set.

Holy shit, I need a Guru:

So, the advertisers go off and hire a Social Media Guru to make the old evolutionary order all better again.  The Social Media Guru does all sorts of things that look civilized to a four-legged creature, but appear increasingly ridiculous to the evolved being.

Lo and behold, the advertiser is hugely successful in attracting lots of other four-leggers and believes this to be progress!! This makes the Guru into a Celebrity.  But still, the advertiser simply cannot get any attention from the two-leggers, who now control all the Value.  So, the advertiser goes back to the Social Media Guru who responds by joining forces with yet another Social Media Guru….

Surely two gurus are better than one, especially to those who still believe that four legs are better than two.


In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt warns of the future consequences of social media and networks, and the vast amount of personal data that users put out there on the Web.

The article goes on to describe how Google is looking for what is next – that is, a world where the Google Icon no longer dominates the center of our lives.  He warns future societies about creating a “future” by documenting the past.  A future president, CEO, or just a job hunter can be haunted forever by the words and images that are becoming indelible in social media today.  Mr. Schmidt insists that information is social currency.

Actually, I do not believe this to be true.  I believe that is more likely than not a severe disruption is on the horizon which will deeply impact social media, Google, and Facebook, etc.  This disruption will alter the course of the future that Google predicts.

All it would take is for humans to step up one more rung on the evolution ladder.

Think of it like this:  a dollar is used to store and exchange value yet it is completely anonymous – you don’t know very much about it’s past or future – you do not need to know much about the exchange device in order to carry out the transaction.

Google is an information company, not a knowledge company. The next economic paradigm will be based on the creation, storage , and exchange of knowledge – not necessarily information.  Knowledge exists only between the ears and once it is made tangible, I will not need to know where in the past that knowledge was excecuted – college keg parties included.

Neither Google or Facebook have indicated that they realize how value can be created, stored, and exchanged while maintaining anonymity if the public knowledge inventory were properly coded. Likewise, billions of people who use Social Media are dismally unaware that nobody else needs to posess any of their personal information to execute a knowledge transaction – seriously, noone.  In fact, not only is relative anonymity a possibility, it is an imperative to market efficiency in Social Capitalism.

The “next Google” will, in fact, filter out irrelevant “information” as a means of creating time. Time is the real currency. For more on this please see http://ingenesist.com/introduction.

Google needs to figure out how to get the most worthy knowledge surplus connected to the most worthy knowledge deficit in the shortest amount of time.  Information brokering alone can’t do this, so it’s Armageddon for whom?

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Please Vote for The Ingenesist Project to present at SXSW 2011

The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on a platform of social media as the next economic paradigm.  60 minute solo presentation in the advanced technical track.  Your help is deeply appreciated. All comments welcome.  Material based on video series here


Data are the raw material of the next economic paradigm.  Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are all related; but it all starts with data.

In order to produce anything valuable in the domain of social capitalism, the creation and formation of data is hypercritical.  The better the data, the better the information, knowledge, innovation, wisdom and culture that will follow.  Each stage of transformation along the chain reaction from “data” to “culture” is an opportunity for both great value creation AND astonishing corruption.

Data is King:

Yet data are often collected and processed with very little vetting.  We all know that information is most easily spun from the data collection process.  We know that bad knowledge comes from bad information, and we know that unsuccessful innovation comes from inappropriate knowledge.  Obviously, to be an unwise leader is to be unimaginative leader.  A failed culture creates failed data…and the circle completes itself.

Data is an asset:

On the other hand, the ability to collect data is often the most tangible intellectual property that an organization can hold.  It is easy to copy a patent but difficult to recreate the system that generates patents.  Excellent data results in excellent technology from the moon landings to the Internet. The trick is that all assets must contain two components; a quantity and a quality.  This means that some rigor is needed in the data collection process. When data are produced, the quantity is the “measurement” but the quality is the certainty or uncertainty that what is being measured is actually what is being observed.

Data Relationships

Phenomena such as art, politics, emotions, capital markets, and spirituality are difficult to measure because the item being observed exists as a function of the observer’s interaction with it.  Still, the quality of the data includes the certainty that all data were measured the same way AND some disclosure of the uncertainty that remains.  This is an area of great omission and where severe problems arise especially where the most people rely on the data to make decisions.  The term “comparing apples to oranges” is  a real problem and it is particularly elusive at very early and highly incremental stages of ideation.

Mouse goes squeak:

Often the people involved with the intensely small or incremental portion of the data design and collection process are the least powerful people in the supply chain.  Often they have the least say in how the data is analyzed and certainly have no visibility of what happens upstream.   It is tragically amusing that the dominant characteristic of most hierarchies is that each level of management “filters” the data from lower levels and delivers it to the next level where actions are authorized.

The Culture of Data

Social media is entering the human culture at an incredible rate.  Social media has also shown us what happens when the good data becomes the important information, which increases knowledge among the most people leading to increasingly effective innovation and changing the conventional wisdom about an increasing diversity of subjects.  Social Capitalism will replace Market Capitalism simply because the culture is superior.

Hint: Culture Produces The Data.


The top ten reasons for business failure are due to a lack of knowledge, not a lack of money. In fact, the lack of money is itself a failure of knowledge.

Top 10 reasons why businesses fail

1. Lack of an adequate, viable business plan
.

2. Insufficient sales to sustain business

3. Poor marketing plan: unappealing product, poor customer identification, incorrect pricing and lackluster promotion

4. Inadequate capital, misuse of capital and poor cost control

5. Poor management skills: lack of delegation, leadership and/or control

6. Lack of experience and knowledge

7. Lack of managerial focus/commitment

8. Poor customer service

9. Inadequate human resource management

10. Failure to properly use professional advice: i.e. accounting, legal, financial, etc.

No excuses:

Lack of a viable business plan is an act of negligence where research, scenarios, and assumptions have not been tested. Market ignorance is not an excuse nor is the failure to know one’s customer. Death by poor marketing plan is knowledge deficiency related to product appeal, customer identification, pricing structure, and lackluster promotion. Obviously, one needs to know how to manage a company in order to be focused, let alone correctly estimate capital needs. Lack of customer service knowledge is deadly in the age of social media. Inadequate HR is an oxymoron – if it’s inadequate, it’s not a resource – human or otherwise. Finally, failure to listen to knowledgeable people is ego driven irrationality.

The financial system is not the only problem;

The innovation system (or lack of) is a crucial element. Information, knowledge and innovation, by any definition, are profoundly and inseparably connected. A failure in one kills the other two. So, just because an entrepreneur does not have the knowledge, does not mean the ‘knowledge’ fails to exist – it simply means that entrepreneur failed to find it.

So where is the knowledge?

Unfortunately, there is no public knowledge inventory – people do not know what each other knows. With social media raging all around us, there still is no way that anyone can assemble the knowledge needed to execute a business plan with a known probability of success given the information available. As such, there is no way to finance public innovation.

The emergence of Social Media technology presents an extraordinary opportunity to organize a knowledge inventory outside the construct of a corporation and marry it to the financial system, much like a corporation.

Tangibility of Knowledge

Knowledge tangibility must be the most important “innovation” in the pipeline today if we expect to meet the crushing challenges that await us. Just because we cannot predict innovation does not mean it cannot be predicted – it just means that we do not know how… yet.


In an earlier article (Cluster Funk) I argued that Industrial clusters can lead to stagnation, vulnerability to external shocks, and the erosion of social capital. Since I’m not one to complain without also providing an alternative, this article argues that the future will favor technology clusters rather than industrial clusters.

Make it up as you go along

Technology clusters serve what we call the tangential innovation market – or diversity innovation dynamics. Don’t worry if you have not heard of these things, I’m making this up as I go along.

For example; composite materials technology is very useful in many applications like aircraft, medical devices, transportation, recreation, and even musical instruments. The airplane company has no intention of building cellos and the automobile company has no intention of building snow boards.

Why compete when you can collude?

As non-competing industries, they can readily share technology and people. The system is naturally diversified and inoculated against stagnation, shocks and silos; if one industry encounters hardship, people and capacity can shift easily to another industry preserving knowledge and expanding social networking benefit while the damaged industry heals or dies off. Corporations may not like this idea, but social networks should.

The Ingenesist Project goes a step further by modeling the business structure of tangential innovation markets as an integrated financial system. Suppose and Originator Company has a promising new composite technology idea but is unable to meet the ROI requirements of their stockholders? Today, such innovation would be shelved. In an innovation economy, tangential markets are factored into the business case.

New applications of social media will identify other industries that would be most worthy borrowers of your technology, if developed. The Innovation Bank can estimate the return on investment that can be expected through the tangential market as if it were another customer. The additional revenue projection would allow the originator to meet the ROI requirement prior to committing development funds.

Intellectual Property can be managed with contracts enforced through social network vetting. The originator can hold an option to see further development conducted by tangential users effectively multiplying their R&D reach and further adding to the expected return.

Then something magical will happen. At some point, the value of the tangential innovation market would exceed the value of the origination market. The originator will begin to specialize in pure innovation as a primary product and airplane applications as the secondary product. As all industries in the technology cluster begin sharing technology among each other, R&D costs and risks are effectively spread across industries. As risk is diversified away, the cost of venture capital approaches single digit rates.

Then, another magical thing will happen. As the mixing of people and ideas accelerates, the definition of corporate boundaries will become more fluid. Ownership will exist in the form of contracts among entrepreneurs now defined by social networks, options, and derivatives in a diverse innovation enterprise.

While the boom bust cycle of Industrial Clusters has brought us a great distance in economic development, technology clusters in an Innovation Economy supported by social networks may turn out to be vastly more efficient at economic growth without the perils of Cluster Funk.


The forecasting methods that we are developing at the Ingenesist Project have become sufficiently vetted and organized that I have decided to formalize them for review by others. The “WIKiD Tools” method is fairly simple to describe and demonstrate, but be assured, it is a powerful method for predicting futures outcomes.

WIKiD stands for:

Wisdom > Innovation > Knowledge > Information > Data

All five of these elements are related to each other – in fact, each is derived from the prior element by integrating the tools of that medium.  For example information is derived from data by integrating the tools of the data medium. Knowledge is derived from information by integrating the tools of information medium, innovation is derived from knowledge by integrating the tools of the knowledge medium, etc.

Likewise, if I want to predict innovation, I look for high rates of change of knowledge in it’s medium….and so on for all five elements as needed.

The chart below helps demonstrate the WIKiD Tools methodology.

Slide05

The Hunter-Gatherer

About 50,000 years ago humans sustained themselves in a hunter gather economy. They would wander for food to eat and fuel to stay warm. Eventually they invented tools to trap their game and chop down trees so they no longer needed to expend as much energy and could remain relatively stationary.

The Agrarian

This led to the agrarian economy, the formation of towns, and the division of labor. A leisure class emerged to engage in philosophy and explore nature. New ideas were explored and the “scientific method” of observation and experimentation was invented

The Data Economy

With the invention of interchangeable parts in manufacturing, the industrial revolution became the dominant era of economic activity. The idea of industrialization separated production from assembly of parts. This allowed for greater efficiency and precision.

The Information Economy

The Industrial revolution generated a lot of Data and the invention of the integrated circuit turned these data into information – we now look back at the 60’s and 70s as the information age.

The Knowledge Economy

Widespread use of computers allowed humans to process the information in creative and unique ways – we now call this the knowledge economy.

Since there were many eras prior to this, we can expect that there shall be many eras following this – so we ask the question “what comes after the knowledge economy?

When we apply the WIKiD Tools Methodology:

We can say that each new era was derived from the prior era by integrating the tools developed during the prior era. We have seen the data economy in the industrial revolution, we have seen the information economy with Invention of the Integrated Circuit, We are in the midst of the knowledge economy with the advent of the Internet.

The next economic paradigm:

Now the tools of the Computer, software, and Internet connectivity are integrating around social media. From this we predict that an innovation economy will emerge by integrating the tools of the knowledge economy, specifically social media, mobile devices, software, hardware, and the internet.

The Wisdom Economy

Looking far far into the future, we can predict that the wisdom economy will emerge from an integration of tools developed in the innovation economy. The wisdom economy – with or without the current financial system – will have the greatest likelihood of achieving a sustainable human presence on Earth. Consequently, failure to achieve the wisdom economy presents an equally predictable outcome.


Activist, Science fiction writer, and blogger Cory Doctorow spoke at in Seattle to a full house at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard. He performed a reading from his latest book, “For The Win”. Cory has an interesting sense of abstraction. He’ll spot a trend – or collection of trends – and extrapolates them into the future dutifully revealing all the complexities of the human condition.

For The Win

His reading centered on the “exploitation” of young adults who are hired to play online games where they work to achieve levels, rewards, virtual currency, and game status which is then sold to rich Western players. Some players become highly valued for their knowledge inventory of game world monsters, strategies, power points, and the uncanny ability to assess the knowledge inventory of their opponents who’ll get suckered into a virtual dual with predictable consequences. The kids literally “mine gold”. As always, gold corrupts the most innocent hearts resulting in situations and behaviors at least as strange as the game itself.

The Activist

Cory has long been an activist for digital publication rights and rules. Not surprisingly, the Q&A was dominated by privacy, security, and exploitation of information issues. Cory recently closed his Facebook Account which caused quite a stir in the blogsphere. Ironically, every big name in world-class privacy violation had recently been in the news for Mr. Doctorow to eloquently spit roast on an open flame. It was quite entertaining.

There is a reason that it’s called Monetization

While Mr. Doctorow did not specifically mention this, what struck me most was hearing him talk around this emerging battle for control of people’s information. While this idea is not new, the reasons behind it may be new. As Money is losing it’s capacity to store and control value, human knowledge is increasing it’s capacity to store and control value – this is hugely accelerated by social media. The desperate attempt to control people’s information is really a proxy for the desperate attempt to control knowledge, therefore to re-control the value that money once represented.

Unfortunately, controlling information also destroys value.

People actively participate and share on social media to achieve levels, rewards, and status which is then sold to corporations in the form of predictive marketing by third party aggregators like Facebook. Some people become highly valued for their knowledge inventory of real-world game perils, influencers, and social mavens and become celebrities of the craft. Many develop the uncanny ability to assess the knowledge inventory of their opponents who get suckered into a virtual dual with predictable results.

Suddenly the News started sounding like one of Cory’s Science Fiction Novels…

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