Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: ingenuity

A Grand Central Value Game

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

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

A Graph Theory and Game Theory Mash-up

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

Not So Grand Central Station

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

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

A Grand Central Value Game

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

A Grand Central Value GameThree Dimensions to A Value Game

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

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

Grand Central Valley Game:

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

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

What Is An Ingenesist?

Eric Rosenblith 1920-2010

I have been putting off writing this blog post until I could find a simple answer to the question “What is an Ingenesist?”.  I invented the term “Ingenesist” to capture the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity without falling back on current definitions and the silos that perpetuate them. Something has gone wrong with the world and the solution could not be found in the current world view – I needed a new word for my work.

Ingenesist comes from the Latin (ingeniare), French (ingénieur), and Spanish (ingeniero) word for Engineer.  These words, of course, were created long before an engineer was defined by such alphabet soup as BSME. MSCE, IEEE, ABET, NCEES, EIT, PE, etc…  The term ‘Ingenesist’ was meant to represent people whose ideas and actions increase the productivity of other people.

A friend of mine lost his dad yesterday.  I read the obituary and could not help but realize that this person lived through what were likely the darkest and the brightest hours of modern human civilization.  He was an artist and a teacher.

Then I hit the quote in Mr. Rosenblith’s obituary:

“We truly need to be thinkers, poets, painters, engineers, and philosophers.’’ – Eric Rosenblith

And that is how I found my simple answer.  With humility and simplicity, he captured the creative, intellectual and social nature of human ingenuity. The least I could do was finally write this blog post.

My sincere condolences to Alan and his family.  Please support the Symbionomics Project on Kickstarter

A Clear and Present Value!

Image credit

dev-oClear and Present Value

The value of conversations is real, clear and present – especially in the actions of those who profit wildly from them. I saw this in the negotiations of NAFTA when it was clearly in the best interest of the some negotiators to keep engineers poor weak and disorganized.

I saw it again in corporate America.  Imagine if Boeing was to publish a complete accounting of the incredible intellect, ingenuity, talent, and creativity that roams their hallowed halls – the world would dismantle them piece by piece.  The “knowledge inventory” is a company’s most closely held secret.

Keeping secrets from the secret:

Sometimes it seems that the biggest secrets are held from those who represent the greatest real value. Corporations pay their engineers the minimum amount of money required to get them to their desk in the morning.  Then they resist organization of engineering professionals, and they give them little or no power over marketing, human resources, accounting, and sales promises related to the engineering outcome.

The problems get worse when this big “secret” becomes public. For example: Steve Jobs has now been identified as trying to collude with Ed Colligan, the CEO of Palm, to not poach each other’s employees.

A Currency Collusion Collision Conversation

“Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal,” Colligan said to Jobs last August, according to an article Bloomberg reported.  Jobs succeeded in making such an arrangement with Google, according to published reports. The feds are investigating and the Palm allegations only make Apple look worse.

It is quite amazing that companies would expose them selves to such risk if conversations among engineers were NOT in fact extremely valuable.  Why else would Apple engage in such disrespect to engineers and others who actually create the products Mr. Jobs gets credit for?

The liberation of Knowledge Assets

The IPhone that rolls off the assembly line is not an innovation.  Rather, the millions upon millions of tiny incremental ideas, conversations, and shared thought are assembled into what does eventually roll off the assembly line.  The role of the CEO is significant, but still a minority task in the larger picture.

More than ever, social media is empowering people to hold equally productive and focused conversations outside the construct of corporation.  With the ability to measure and track impressions comes the ability to pay royalties to those that produce, direct, and sustain conversations.

With the Obama justice department and other federal regulators already looking closely at Apple over the iPhone and handset exclusivity and the sharing of board members, Jobs’ alleged anti-poaching efforts only add to the fire that is growing around him. If social media continues to integrate at a rapid pace, the biggest fire that Mr. Jobs and other CEOs may have growing around them is the autonomy of creative, social, and intellectual staff.

Special thanks to a post written by: Veteran industry-watcher David Coursey who tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 6: The Business Plan

The objective of this series is to contain what we know about social networks within the construct of the financial system.  The intention is for knowledge to behave, and thereby trade like a financial instrument.  In prior articles, we discovered the currency, the inventory, the institutions, and the entrepreneurs of the next economic paradigm.  This module will construct the business plan:

A business plan is the blue print for the construction of enterprise.

Like the construction of any tangible asset, an inventory of parts is assembled in strategic proportions.  The ability to accomplish this gives the enterprise a strategic and competitive advantage in a market.

Business failures are knowledge failures

Most enterprises will emphasize design, or service, or performance or price in their proprietary secret sauce of market success.  The question becomes, what quantities and qualities of strategic components allow the new enterprise to create a positive economic outcome.

Most business failure are due to knowledge deficits such as the inexperienced management team, a poor assessment of market conditions, under estimating the amount of money needed, under estimating a competitor, loss of a key employee, or the poor understanding of the technology, etc.  These are knowledge problems not financial problems.

Prediction is the quality of knowledge:

To solve the knowledge problems is to decrease the risk of innovating and increase the predictability of innovations. To decrease the risk will decrease the cost, and increase the availability, of venture capital.  To increase the predictability would increase entrepreneurial activity.

The Unit Business Plan:

The business plan of the innovation economy is very simple; it starts with the single transaction between two people.  The lender provides information and the borrower combines the information with their existing knowledge to create more knowledge.  This single transaction has a value of 1 unit of currency and we call it a unit business transaction:

The Parallel Circuit:

Now we will assemble these single transactions in many combinations.  When we combine two unit transactions in a parallel circuit.  This represents a brain storming session between two people.

The Percentile Search Engine matches the person with the most worthy knowledge supply to a person with the most worthy knowledge demand. The transaction is a simple conversation and the outcome is a prototype process, system, method, or iteration.

The Series Circuit:

The next transaction type is modeled as two unit business transactions occurring in a series circuit.  This represents a product development cycle.

Each cycle of these transactions is an improvement to the business objective. Each time the transaction occurs there is a net increase of new knowledge and therefore an increase in value.  New options are created.  The conversation stops when the product is ready for the market, cancellation, or next physical iteration.

The transaction is recorded as an event between two known persons of known knowledge inventories.  The transaction is stored in the intellect of the participants and becomes their property in the form of a knowledge asset represented by the things they create with their knowledge.

The Social Network:

Now if we combine the parallel transaction with the series transaction we have what now looks like a network.  In practice, we know that strong networks of people freely exchanging ideas make organizations better, smarter, and more efficient.  Networks are where knowledge and community wisdom is stored. A network is fault tolerant, if one person leaves, the network survives. For a relatively small input into a network, we can produce a large output of new knowledge – we have a learning organization.

However, in society, these interactions are largely accidental; people meet at Church, Starbucks, and Social Events or by word of mouth. Other times, these interactions are concentrated inside a single community of very similar people such as a technical conference, group meeting, or lunch buddies and are often not well diversified.  More recently, interaction is self selecting through social media devices such as Twitter, Linkedin, Craigslist, Biznik, and Meetup, etc.

What if the social interactions could be made less random and more intentional?

Suppose interactions be designed with a specific purpose by the entrepreneur as a means toward producing a unique outcome. The Innovation Bank will combine people of complementary knowledge assets in a calculated manner in order to arrive at specific business approaches and applications.

What if Innovation could be made less random and more intentional?

The Multiplier Effect:

A special case business plan is called the Multiplier Effect. In effect, building a network of applications from a network of knowledge assets.

Suppose that a company owns composite material technology for use on aircraft.  Since the company specializes in airplanes, they have no intention of pursuing other applications such as recreational equipment, energy production, or health care products.

The Innovation Bank:

Suppose that the company could deposit this asset in a bank and collect interest.  The Search Engine can scan the business landscape to find persons or organizations with a worthy knowledge deficit in the area of your technology. The originator holds the option to see what those other companies invent and hold the right to use their new ideas in an aircraft application. 

Contracts manage those options.  Those contracts are social contracts and they can be traded.  They are a form of currency – or stored value.

In the event of a cyclic downturn, instead of “laying off” knowledge assets, people can work in tangential industries where they will continue developing – literally putting “Knowledge in the Bank” – to be called back to their original company when market conditions improve.  A mobile knowledge asset increases in value and continually becomes smarter and more productive over time. This is not socialism, this is not capitalism, this is Ingenesism – from the root word: Ingenuity.

Market Efficiencies:

With an innovation Bank, a company can reduce their Research and Development costs and create additional revenue in a tangential innovation market.  Millions of people are being layed off work from corporations – billions upon billions of dollars of innovation potential is being squandered.  With reduced cost and risk of innovation, The new American corporations will specialize in inventing, networking, and applying new ideas as their primary revenue source.

Innovation Bonds: 3 Million Jobs

Another approach for spending a Trillion dollars (backed by debt) would be for the government to issue innovation bonds (backed by innovation) to fund new enterprise.  Surely the World still greatly admires and respects American Ingenuity (social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital) and would likely buy such a financial instrument instead of more of our debt.

The final frontier; your backyard

The Last Mile of social media is a vastly unexploited resource with an astonishing wealth creation potential.  The Ingenesist Project (TIP) specifies a structure for an innovation economy through the application of 3 simple web applications deployed to social media that will ignite “The Last Mile”.

Already, people use social media to harvest great ideas from around the world.  The Ingenesist Project will enable global ideas to be applied in local economies throughout our communities.

Running Numbers:

The sweet spot for Last Mile social media is (2-6) people living within a (1-6) square mile area. Assume an average innovator density is about (1) person per square mile.  The United States is a little more than (3) million square miles.  If only (1) of the thousands upon thousands of potential applications of Last Mile social media were implemented across the country, then (3) million jobs would be created.

Dan’s List; Leave a Tip

Here is a list of (10) hypothetical business ideas that a buddy and I dreamed up over lunch using TIP methodology for inducing an Innovation Economy.  Each of these ideas has a working revenue model.

1.    Zertify: This company is a last mile/vetting social media application where neighbors “Zertify their Zillow Zestimates”.
2.    Start Up Neighborhood (SUN): is a last mile social media application where neighbors get together to innovate and create new businesses.
3.    ScatterWatt: is a last mile social media application for decentralizing power generation aggregating local clean power generation systems (rooftop wind, solar, greenery).
4.    ComPrac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that forms and organizes communities of practice for the purpose of mentorship and cooperation in innovation.
5.    CombinePac: is a last mile/vetting application of social media that combines communities of practice strategically for the purpose of tangential innovation
6.    TopUse: is a last mile social media/vetting application that makes best use of already disturbed lands saving undisturbed lands from exploitation.
7.    CodeVitae: is last mile/vetting service that translates CVs and job descriptions into universal decimal classification system for computerized analysis, normalization, and improved allocation.
8.    Proximizer: A last mile social media application that reallocates knowledge assets for best proximity to home space for carbon credits.
9.    CarbonCops: is last mile social media application to register, certify, and implement carbon savings ideas.
10.    VetBucks: is a last mile/vetting site for the verifying expenditure of public funds.

Improving Information for Fun and Profit:

The degree to which information is improved in a market is the degree to which the innovation adds value.  As such, monetization becomes a relatively simple matter.  Furthermore, the options that are created will have a multiplier effect in the communities as neighbors learn what knowledge assets are available with which to cooperate in their communities and where their knowledge assets can be deployed productively. New ideas generate more new ideas as the markets will seek to fill in the blank spots and support more structure for innovation economy.

An Endowment for their Grandchildren:

While the leadership elders are to be respected for their wisdom and accomplishments, they have very little comprehension of the economic growth potential of social media. It is understandable that they may overlook this opportunity.  The capitalization of social media lays in the hands of the young people who know exactly what to do if given the opportunity.  Why not give them a shot at getting the books in order?  Call it their inheritance.

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