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Commercializing Ancillary Innovation

“Technological Change Must precede economic growth. We are going about the process of Globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change – this is not sustainable” – D. Robles

The Ingenesist Project is deploying our blockchain based ancillary innovation solution to important projects and institutions in the US. By representing intangible assets as tangible, and using a novel tokenization strategy, ancillary innovation can be equitably deployed thereby restoring the balance between technological change and economic growth.

Commercializing Innovation

The successful commercialization techniques of novel ideas or research has evolved over the ages into an elaborate techno-legal-fiscal monstrosity of regulations and gatekeepers.  It did not start this way and it may not need to continue this way.    

All innovation stands on the shoulder of some prior innovation – e.g., the wheel, wedge, and lever are still ubiquitous in modern life.  Innovation has always existed, but was greatly accelerated by the creation of the Scientific Method, considered as one of the most important advancements in human thinking.   The Scientific Methods required inventors to determine causation and enforce the discipline of disproving the null hypothesis as a condition of validity.    

The Patent system was created in the 1790 and is largely responsible for the industrial revolution by giving inventors a temporary monopoly so that they can develop their works.  The cotton gin, the steam locomotive, Portland Cement, the electric generator and propeller were patented during these times.  Eli Whitney, Faraday, Edison, The Wright Brothers, Henry Ford all benefited from the patent systems as did society as a whole.  

As secondary inventions were built over primary inventions, the velocity of innovation increased dramatically.  This cause a financial disconnect where the new inventions could not be funded directly from the revenue generated from prior inventions. Things became more complex in the age of computers and internet where all prior patents could be “re-invented” on a computer of over the Internet ushering an era of very rapid innovation across every industry. 

Today, the velocity at which total innovation occurs vastly out-paces the velocity of the mainstream financial means for funding – as was the original intent of the Patent System.  The result was an inversion whereas technological change once preceded economic growth providing a means to fund continued innovation.  Now “economic growth (capitalization)” must precede technological change in order to fund innovation.  This is an unnatural condition that gives rise to various debt related instruments and institutions such as “venture capital” who select winners and losers based on factors that may not be driven by the unity and advancement of society as intended by the patent system. 

Most new ideas are abundant, unable to be restrained, dynamic and interdependent. Most ideas include elements of human nature or intangible value that simply cannot be expressed in the legal terms of a patents.   There is now a very large gap between the patentable invention and the commercialized invention.  Nearly all of the activity in this gap is innovative and intangible in nature, that is; commercializing a novel invention is likewise novel.

Ancillary Innovation:

Where Secondary Innovation is defined as a new or deliberate application or modification of an existing ideas, methods, or device.  Ancillary Innovation refers to the provision of necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, institution, industry, or system.  Ironically, ancillary innovation may be the greatest untapped opportunity for primary innovation since the invention of the Patent system. 

Commercializing Ancillary Innovation differs in many ways than primary or secondary innovation. 

For example, even if a marketing study demonstrates that a primary innovation will fail in a certain demographic, the ancillary innovators were successful regardless of the impact on the primary invention.  Killing a bad idea early is the hallmark of Capitalism.  In fact, the value of the Ancillary innovation staff becomes increasingly honed with each experience being applied to the next market study until the support professional is regarded as having wisdom. 

The nature of statistics is that an experimenter can observe a small sample of normally distributed events, and calculate the probability that the next observation will fall within a prescribed size, condition, performance, etc.  Managers are generally characterized by their experience and thus their wisdom I being able to, say, assign the correct allocation of resources or priorities, etc. 

Many accelerators, incubators, and venture capital firms serve in the capacity of ancillary innovation.  They are run by people whose past experience is sufficiently (statistically) populated with failures and successes such that the probability of success in the ancillary innovation process is increased when given a new set of circumstances. 

It is also worth mentioning that the value of the commercializing ancillary innovation far exceeds the value of the commercializing primary innovation, yet it is possibly the least understood.  Furthermore, an enormous amount of innovation never reaches fruition for lack of ancillary innovation resources.  It seems somewhat odd that so much technological innovation would be allocated to making a mundane passenger vehicle .5 seconds faster on its 0-60 time when the same technology could elevate entire communities from poverty.  The difference is the prioritization of ancillary innovation. 

Primary originators often receive a very small percentage for their contribution to the ancillary enterprise. The value of the commercializing ancillary innovation may be characterized by the quantity and quality of risk removed from commercialization; as compared to a risk-free hypothetical value of the primary investment alone. 

Reasons why most startups fail. 

The primary commercialization risks can be taken from a typical list of top reasons why startups fail.  The following example is from a VC firm Quake Capital https://medium.com/swlh/the-top-10-reasons-startups-fail-ab3196d70568

Each of these failure modes exist due to an absence of ancillary innovation of some kind.  Each requires a deep and highly specialized set of knowledge assets to mitigate.  No single experience set can mitigate all of them, and most inventors are lacking most or all of the skills required to cover the ancillary innovation roles.   

1. Lack of market need (42%): Metaphorically Is your product a vitamin or a Painkiller.   

2. Lack of cash (29%): Many startups run into money problems /short runway.

3. Wrong team (23%): Having a cohesive group of highly motivated, persistent, and diversely skilled people is crucial for startup success

4. Too much competition (19%): A second-mover advantage allows new competitors to quickly capture market share that you helped validate.

5. Pricing issues (18%): Figuring out how to price the product. 

6. Poor product (17%): founders sometimes release products that don’t fully appeal to customers.  

7. Business model (17%): Lacking a monetization strategy. Failing to find ways to scale. 

8. Ineffective marketing (14%): not understanding how to get one’s product into the hands of the target market.

9. Not customer-centric (14%): Many startups fail to obtain customer feedback and act on it.

10. Poor timing (13%): Airbnb’s success can be attributed to its impeccable timing, as it “came out right during the height of the recession when people really needed extra money. 

Conclusion:

The ancillary innovation process satisfies the demand of the scientific method by forcing the inventor to understand causation and disprove the null hypothesis of failure.  These ideals describe the role of the ancillary innovator.

The ability to assemble a specific combination of diverse knowledge assets deployed at the right time and the right place would not only mitigate risk, but if properly measured, would be able to quantify the value of risk mitigation in a tangible form that can be directly monetized.   

It is essential that the time required to deploy ancillary innovation is vastly decreased from current methods, systems, and institutions.  This is necessary in order to restore the natural and equitable intentions of the Patent system so that primary innovation can directly capitalize its own iterations. 

The Ingenesist Project is deploying our Blockchain Based Ancillary Innovation solution to important projects and institutions in the US. By making intangible assets tangible, ancillary innovation can be readily monetized therefore restoring the sustainable balance between technological change and economic growth.

Intellectual Property in the Innovation Economy

Today there is a big scare that bad people will run off with your intellectual property and make a ton of money with it. Another problem is that the Patent system is so slow and so expensive that the vast majority of innovators simply do not have access to patent protection – many people just keep their ideas secret. This happens in corporations where your ideas are used to advance the careers other people. Often the dominant strategy is to not innovate or keep your ideas secret.

The trend toward open sourcing and crowd sourcing is a real option in the Innovation Economy where Social Network are self regulating. In fact, these articles reference Wikipedia – a community source of definitions.

In practice, If I do dirty deals of Craig’s List, for example; people know where I live….or I get flagged. EBay, for example, produces relatively little to earn their 30B market cap except protect their social accountability system – the EBay feedback mechanism rewards high integrity and punished low integrity. The hallmark of the Web 2.0 is the user generated content as well as the user generated vetting of the content.

This is significant. The efficiency of any market is directly related to the efficiency of the vetting mechanism by rewarding high integrity and punishing low integrity; the FAA vets the airline industry, checks and balances vets democratic government, and the FICO score vets the consumer credit markets. Likewise, things go horribly wrong when the vetting mechanism fails; the accounting profession after Enron, and the sub prime mortgage crisis after loose lending practices, etc. The battlefields of business are littered with similar examples.

In an Innovation Economy, the secret sauce for the production of innovation is far more valuable than any single innovation itself.  The secret sauce provides a monopoly on dynamic repeatability rather than some static device. As such, patents can be open-sourced and innovation crowd sourced across a much wider domain of user applications.  Such conditions will change the type of innovations that are favored to reflect the broad and sweeping social priorities rather than innovations that are easy to patent, protect, and monopolize – and fear for one’s IP being stolen.    Bad people cannot steal your intellectual capital, your social capital, or your creative capital – it is yours, you own it and you have the social network to prove it.

Ownership is the key ingredient of entrepreneurship – everyone owns the innovation economy.

In fact, the objective of innovation economics is for people to take your ideas and make money with them – then give you some of it. Your income arises from collecting royalty payments on your ideas and participation of many ventures. If someone does not play fair, their access to intellectual property and the Percentile Search Engine can be curtailed just like access to credit can be curtailed in modern finance. Therefore, it is in everyone’s best interest to play fair; you may cheat, but only once.

Social Networks are largely self-regulating; no government, Industry, or management is needed. This is efficiency, scaleability, and multiplicity all in one!

Economics of Innovation

Every time humans invent better ways of doing things, the economy gets a little bigger. This is a simple idea. The cave dwellers discovered that they did not have to travel as much hunting and gathering if they could sharpen a rock enough to chop a tree down for firewood or for spearing animals.  That same tool helped them to dig holes to plant seeds.  By growing food and domestication animals, they could stay in one place and conserve energy.  By living in cities, the division of labor led to more efficiency as the farmer, metal smith and rancher bartered their services.  Enough surpluses were created so that a leisure class was free to develop philosophical thought leading to early scientific principals.

After a while, the invention of the printing press greatly advanced the availability of formal education.  In the Early 1800’s, Eli Whitney stunned the world first with the cotton gin and then with his concept of “interchangeable parts” where he disassembled ten working muskets, scramble the parts and reassembled ten working muskets.  What seems trivial today lead to great advances in the industrial revolution, becoming further refined in the manufacturing economy.  Computers then ushered in the Era of Information followed by the knowledge economy that we live in today.

At each stage, there was a quantum leap in human productivity and financial wealth.  Obviously the two are related.

If we look at this history from the big picture, we notice that each level of human development was derived from the prior level by integrating the tools of that prior level.  As such, the knowledge economy was derived from the information era by integrating the computer tools leading to the Internet.  The agrarian economy was derived from the hunter-gatherer tribes by integrating the wheel, wedge, and lever into agriculture and livestock.  The industrial revolution integrated scientific principles from the Renaissance. This is fairly consistent.

If we look at this history from a microscopic view, we see that no single idea drove human development, rather, billions upon billions of little ideas from many diverse sources combined in unique ways to form larger ideas which then combined to form even larger advances eventually leading to those big innovations that we see as the milestones above.

Also, we notice that the over time, rate of change at which these ideas have been combining is getting faster and faster.  The hunter-gatherer phase lasted 2 million years, The agrarian age lasted about 40,000 years. The scientific revolution lasted 1500 years.  The knowledge economy is barely a single generation in play.

These are important concepts because later, when we build a mathematical model for the next economic paradigm, we will use a few tricks of calculus called the “derivative” and the “integral” to describe how things change over time so that we can measure and analyze productivity and wealth creation in the new economy.

Finally, we ask, what comes after the knowledge economy?  There are two things that we can be certain of.  The next great leap in economic development will be derived from the knowledge economy by integrating the tools that we developed in this knowledge economy.  I strongly suspect that computer enabled society – or social networking will have something to do with it.

Welcome to the Innovation economy.

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