Knowledge Tangibility should be the most important conversation in Social Media circles given the current financial situation in America.

I lived through financial devaluation in another country and the effects were crushing: after the run on the banks, there will be a run on Walmart.  People will buy TVs, small appliances, shoes, and useful stuff that will hold more value tomorrow that they cost today.  These items may become a de facto currency of trade.  Americans will be astonished by how fast a devaluation event plays out; hours and days, not months or years.  When things settle down, the government will retire the old dollar and introduce a new currency at an exchange of, say, 1 megabuck equals 1000 old dollars.  Then the chips are cleared, assets are transferred, and the same game can start all over again.

The difference is that for the first time in history, there is a window of opportunity for social media technology to break this cycle. Please let me explain:

Suppose that a BMW costs $50,000 dollars and a KIA costs $10,000 dollars.  These prices reflect the quantity and quality of the car in terms of availability and popular amenities such as, handling, road noise, comfort, status, etc. Suppose the government introduces a new currency called the “megabuck”.  Suppose the government pegs the megabuck to cars saying that all cars will have a value of 30,000 megabucks. Since these cars are not equal, people will begin trading; the BMW will be bid up to 50,000 megabucks and the Kia will be bid down to 10,000 megabucks based on supply and demand – right back where they started.

Admittedly an oversimplification, but the point is does not matter what you call the currency – the most important thing is the quantity and quality of the asset.  This brings us back to the idea of knowledge tangibility.

Suppose that, on average, 1 hour of human labor is worth 20 megabucks.  As above, hard labor will be bid up while soft labor would be bid down.  The same is not really true with knowledge because knowledge is invisible and it can’t be counted with bricks or bushels.  There is no knowledge inventory in America’s communities.  Therefore, there is no way to establish supply and demand for knowledge assets.  People in a community do not know what other people in the community know. This is where social networks will make a huge difference.

Human knowledge, if formatted correctly, would make an excellent asset upon which to peg a currency. Today, accountants say that human knowledge is “intangible” but social media demonstrates otherwise; human knowledge is simply invisible – hidden inside corporations under the thumb of Wall Street. Social media demonstrates that knowledge assets are itching to be release to the public domain in a highly tangible manner.  Believe it or not, we are now 95% of the way toward real knowledge tangibility today.   We should be very excited about this because everything changes.

Like the example with the cars, we need to have a comprehensive inventory of the knowledge assets in our communities so that they can be strategically combined into productive organizations.  This inventory must be formatted in terms of quantity and quality and include all knowledge living including social, creative, and intellectual capital.  If done correctly, it will not matter what happens to the dollar or what currency is used as a scorecard, the value of human knowledge assets will remain intact.

Again, the value is in the asset, not the currency – it is in you, me, and our diverse communities who will favor community priorities rather than Wall Street priorities. This is how where we will find equity, sustainability, and fairness in a capitalist system.

The Ingenesist Project has specified exactly how to create knowledge tangibility in a capitalist model using 3 simple web applications for Social Networks; a Knowledge Inventory, a Percentile Search Engine, and an Innovation Bank. Please read the intro and the articles on page IEc101.  If you agree, please pass it on.  If you do not agree, please help us make it better.  If you don’t understand, email me. This needs to happen fast and unfortunately nobody will do it for us – we must do it ourselves.


There is an ongoing discussion about the rating system for articles posted to a business oriented social network site that I belong to.  While am not part of the discussion, my one and only post to that site had been rated very low despite the fact that I am recognized internationally in the subject matter of that particular article.  I stopped posting articles to rated sites because the rating systems are flawed at the core of logic – Frankly, it’s too risky.  As the creativity, originality, or controversy of the post increases, the disincentives to sharing it also increases.  I don’t want my customers googling me to see this rating without also being able to google my reviewer.  No sour grapes – I’d wear a D+ from Stephen Hawking as a badge of honor.

The objective of any business/social network in today’s world should be to make human knowledge more tangible outside the construct of the corporation, such that it emulates a financial instrument – at the end of the day, it’s about the money.  Otherwise Social Networking amounts to active recreation – like guitar hero, or tubing; fun but somewhat trivial.

ALL financial instruments, without exception, are described in terms of a quantity and a quality.  ALL quantity and quality measures for financial instruments are statistical in nature – that is, they fall on some kind of “bell curve”.  This is true for EVERYTHING from a stock valuation to credit score to marketing demographics to health/home/life/car/business insurance, baseball players, GPA,  etc. – the bell curve is ubiquitous.  Whoever is not minimally familiar with the simplest basic concepts of a Normal  Distribution, et al, is at a severe and unfortunate disadvantage in the innovation economy. This is how the world of money is organized, this is what money is, this is what Wall Street does – for better or worse, like it or not….it is what is.

One obvious failure of most Social network rating systems is the linear 1-5 “stars”.  If there were 6 stars then at least we could have a leg up on applying the most valuable mathematical tools available from the world of wealth and value creation (hence, Six Sigma).  Second – the bell curve is not linear and the reviewer needs to be aware of this. 6 stars would mean that a post falls (in some measure) between 97%-100% of all similar level posts ever read by the reviewer. 5 stars falls in the 85%-97% range; 4 stars, 50%-85%; 3 stars, 35%-50%; 2 stars, 3%-15%; 1 star 0-3%.

If Calculus isn’t your thing, consider this – the bell curve rating system makes the reviewer really think about who they are in the process, the responsibility they hold in the rating of others, and the implications of their ratings – too high, or too low.  It would be good to know how many articles the reviewer has read and rated, the average of their ratings, as well as their own rating on articles published (is this staring to sound like EBay? – it should, at 25B market cap, they’re not silly people).  Social accountability does wonders for market efficiency and wealth creation.

Social Networks are ideally suited for correctly rating their own knowledge inventories so that when their members go out in the new world trying to make a living, it is known to all that they have been vetted by a respected community.  This increases the value of the member and it increases the value of the community in the market. Communities that empower and release great talent to a market actually empower themselves; Harvard, GE, Frank Zappa.  This has happened at the local level since the stone ages.

What about our competitive instincts? There can only be one winner and the rest are losers, aren’t all good Capitalists supposed to decimate thy neighbor? Always remember, it is all about the perfect combination of average assets, not necessarily the single excessive asset that makes product most valuable in a market.  The market for Toyotas is far greater than the market for Ferraris, yet each are competitive in their respective market.  The studies of ‘beauty’ discovered a collection of perfectly average features – in the eye of the beholder, consistent with balance and harmony.  So we’ll need to drop the win-lose culture on this one and worry about competing with the real threats that lie before us.

Sure, most people will complain about such a system because it is too complicated, too math-ish, not the easy tweet (OMG CUL8R!). But this is the reality of how money is organized – and disorganized (did I mention Wall Street yet?). There is no exception, there is no rational alternative – the world does not care if people agree with the way things are or if they understand the math.

Fortunately, once people learn to roll over this metaphysical speed bump, the rest is real easy as a vast world of possibility for generating extreme wealth in social networks will unfold before our eyes!!  Knowledge tangibility is the Holy Grail of modern finance but Social Networks are at risk of squandering this unique and historical opportunity to paint this empty canvas in their own image.  Act now, please – this chance may never happen again.


INGENESIST PROJECT: Submission to the 10^100 Innovation Contest; www.project10tothe100.com

Single sentence:
The Ingenesist Project is an open source economic development program to induce the Innovation Economy utilizing Social Networks.

Tell us more (300 words)
The current financial system has reached the limits of its effectiveness. Interest on debt has exceeded the system’s ability to pay it off. But debt is simply a promissory note on future productivity – any caveman can tell us that the only way to increase productivity today is to innovate yesterday, not tomorrow.

In modern times, this means that the only way to sustainably create more money tomorrow is to innovate today. This is the flaw on Wall Street that Innovation Economics will correct.

Ingenesist has specified three simple web applications when applied to Social Networks, will allow Knowledge to become tangible outside of the organizational construct of a corporation, government, or academia. To develop these applications would unleash substantial innovation and wealth in society.

*The Knowledge Inventory
*The Percentile Search engine
*The Innovation Bank

Knowledge is an excellent tangible asset upon which to peg a currency – better than Gold, Silver, or Debt.

The factors of production for an Innovation Economy are Social Capital, Creative Capital, and Intellectual Capital. The knowledge Inventory classifies knowledge assets in social networks. The Percentile Search Engine assembles unique knowledge asset combinations and returns their probability of executing a given business objective. The Innovation Bank matches most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit. Finally, entrepreneurs elevate knowledge assets from lower states to higher states of productivity thereby creating wealth in communities.

By analogy; in the early 1800’s Eli Whitney performed a demonstration for members of Congress by disassembling 10 working muskets, scrambling the pieces and reassembled 10 working muskets. It may seem trivial to us today, but that simple feat astonished the world; it led to the industrial revolution, and unlocked a vast amount of innovation and wealth creation. Innovation Economics is the modern day equivalent.
What Problem does it solve (150 words)?

Technological change must always precede economy growth. We are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change. This simple reversal is the cause for much of what is unsustainable in the world today. Innovation Economics corrects this flaw.

To make knowledge assets tangible is the Holy Grail of financial accounting. The Ingenesist Project asserts that knowledge assets are not intangible, they are simply invisible – this is a much easier problem to solve. Innovation economics solves this problem.

True valuation of knowledge assets allows for direct capitalization of people and their social, creative, and intellectual capital. Networks of knowledge assets form a new type of corporation that is fault tolerant, self regulating, risk diversified, and responsive to social priorities. Wall Street becomes the steward instead of the master. The whole game changes.

If it becomes a reality, what happens (150 words)?
If Innovation Economics becomes a reality, Social Networks will become the driving force of economic growth because human knowledge (as social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital) can be capitalized directly. Creative knowledge workers would benefit most initially.

Eventually, publically traded Innovation Bonds backed by productivity gains will replace venture capital at vastly reduced risk and cost thereby unleashing an extraordinary amount of primary and tangential innovation creating a virtuous circle.

Areas of low productivity, such as poor communities and under-privileged populations will become targets for highest returns on innovation applications. Millions of new-to-the-world businesses will emerge and nearly all existing businesses will become more efficient where human knowledge is tangible and free to assemble itself in infinite, diverse, and strategic combinations.

If done correctly, eventually most people on Earth would benefit by freedom from the shackles of debt economics.

What are the initial steps to make it happen (150 words)?

Phase 1: The initial steps are: publish our research to a wider audience, prosecute our patent application (USPTO: 20070226361), release it to public property, and begin receiving public input.

Phase 2: Publish several animated videos which describe step-by-step the role that Social Networks must play to induce the Innovation Economy. Collect more input.

Phase 3: Create an open source development platform where ideas can be collected from the global community on how to develop the three web applications specified herein.

Phase 4: Develop and release common architecture web applications for The Knowledge Inventory, The Percentile Search Engine, and The Innovation Bank.

Phase 5: Exist indefinitely as an NGO to keep the game fair and build out emerging opportunities as needed.

What is the optimal Outcome and how is it measured (150 words)?
The intended outcome is for the innovation economy to arise from the knowledge economy as the next level of economic development. The optimal result would be an improved wider distribution of wealth and the transfer of corporate prioritization to communities regarding what gets innovated and what does not. Or likewise, which existing markets dynamics are disrupted and which are not. The optimal outcome would be the emergence of sustainable enterprise over forest-to-dump consumerism.

Metrics are inherent to the algorithm of the Percentile Search Engine as follows: innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time and knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time. Differential Calculus is the mathematical tool used to monitor all performance indicators of this system. In fact, all of the analytical methods of finance similarly apply to knowledge assets, by design.


Now, the machine readable resume is complete using numbers, symbols, and probabilities; we can quantify and qualify knowledge in the exact same format as a financial instrument. Now the knowledge looks like money. This individual is obviously a:

{20:95%,12:80%};[302+330]70%:(607+17)80%+[500/519]90%

Specialist in Social Interaction, communities of practice, and economics at the 70th percentile related to educational research at the 80th percentile. They have Background in applied mathematic and physics at the 90th percentile. They are a trained ethicist at the 75th percentile. English is 90th percentile and Spanish is 60th percentile.

Each person’s resume can now be combined to represent the collective intelligence of a team. This is not unlike an investment portfolio, baseball team, or insurance policies. This expression carries all of the information that an entrepreneur needs in order to estimate the probability that the team can execute a business plan.

The inventory can be used in many ways such as finding supply and demand in a certain geographic area, securing business loans or venture capital, buying insurance, or place a financial value on the venture. As the organization learns, the new knowledge is retained in the equation through weighted averages – like the secret sauce of success – and can be used again in another venture. If one person leaves the project, they can be simulated by others.

Later, we will see how an uncountable number of applications and new-to-the-world businesses may emerge.

The fun is just beginning…..


We have set up a new game for entrepreneurs to play called Innovation Economics. We have defined a currency and an inventory where knowledge is visible outside the construct of the corporation – and resident in social networks. We have also described a way for entrepreneurs to visualize the knowledge asset and the supply and the demand for knowledge assets. We have given them a tool for matching assets for profit. We have described how social networks will keep the game fair. We have outlined the structure of new business plans; the brain storming session, product development cycle, the neural network, and the multiplier effect. Future businesses will be built upon combination of these four structures and whatever else entrepreneurs can dream up.

We have described all of the pieces needed to form a new economy. Now we need to connect with the financial markets so that knowledge is readily convertible to other currencies.

For review;

With the financial bank, the entrepreneur assumes that they have the knowledge to execute a business plan and then they look for the money. The risk is that the entrepreneur does not in fact have enough knowledge.

With the Innovation Bank, we assume that we have the money, and we go to the bank to search for the knowledge. The risk is not having enough money to purchase sufficient expertise.

With both banks acting together – the risks cancel each other out and the innovation economy tends toward a ‘risk free’ cycle; the more knowledge you can assemble, the more money you can borrow. The more money you can assemble, the more knowledge you can assemble.

Now we have a virtuous circle. The more knowledge you have, the more money you can borrow; and the more money you have, the more knowledge you can borrow.

There is no shortage of money circling the globe – only a shortage of risk free places to put the money. The innovation economy is an environment of very high return for a very low risk and will attract a great deal of money to fund innovation enterprise.

Earlier we demonstrated that money represents human productivity. It follows that the places that have the greatest potential for increasing human productivity can create the greatest amount of wealth. Therefore, poor areas and marginalized economies with under utilized knowledge inventories or the injection of specific knowledge inventories, become the highest ROI centers in a risk-free system; a condition the explicitly favors the wealth equalization rather than wealth disparity.


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!


Now we look for a similar situation for Knowledge Markets.

In the cuurent times, the hiring manager is the person to know if you want to get a job. The manager would read your resume and compare it with “bell curve” in their brain about what has worked or not worked in their past. This was a great system for the industrial economy, but it falls far short in the innovation economy.

The world is evolving so fast with new technology, new disciplines, and global cultures that what worked in the past may not work in the future. Innovation favors different combinations of knowledge where the Industrial economy favored similar knowledge. A hiring manager may not accumulate sufficient experience in a lifetime to make a proper assessment in the complexities of a diverse, global, and technical future market.

If we look in society, there are many vetting mechanism in place. Social networks are by far among the most exciting and important new technology that can serve this purpose. Social networks must now evolve to become a local vetting mechanism for knowledge assets.

Just like the reporting agencies in the credit system, Social Networks can serve an extremely valuable function in permitting human knowledge to emulate a financial instrument by acting as the “Recording Agencies” who have verified the asset in terms of quality and quantity. The knolwedge Inventory acts as the independent variables that are used to calculate the probability of market success. The difference is that the credit score measures mostly negative events while the new system will seek only positive events and can be designed to give the participants much greater influence on how they appear to the market.

One thing is missing. The credit score uses the FICO equation; Innovation Economics will use something called the Percentile Search Engine.


We have defined the currency, the factors of production, and the inventory of the Innovation Economy; we destroyed the old resume system and turned it into a computer language that makes knowledge appear like money in the eyes of the entrepreneur.

Now, we need a system that keeps the game free and fair. For example; EBay does little more than protect the feedback system, Craigslist uses community flagging, Linkedin keeps track of comments and contacts, etc. All markets must have a vetting mechanism in order to operate efficiently. Entrepreneurs do not invest in places without a good legal system and where property rights are not protected. When vetting fails, investors leave – It is that important.

In the Innovation Economy, the knowledge market is analogous to the credit market.

In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town. If you needed to borrow money to start a business or buy a house, the banker would review your work history and financial records as well as your reputation in the community where you both live. If you were deemed an acceptable risk, the banker would lend you money from the deposits of local companies and individuals.

Then an engineer named Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac created the first behavior scoring system to predict credit risk. They formed the Fair Isaac Corporation FICO and their invention came to be known as the FICO credit score. With the credit score, the local banker is almost irrelevant; now a Saudi Billionaire can lend money to a young couple in Boise to buy their first home – and neither of them are aware of the other. The credit score is responsible for the creation of a lot of wealth because it made many more entrepreneurs who invested borrowed money in business. The credit score even allows you to recover if you hit hard times – you just pay more a little interest until you prove yourself solvent again.

The credit score isolates about 22 or so measurements of financial activity and puts them on a bell curve relative to everyone else. These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc. These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score. Anyone can now predict the likelihood that you will default on your obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from – all of these organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

It is interesting that you and I do not compete for our credit score because it is not a ranking system. The old saying “No credit is worse than bad credit”, although inaccurate, is cited often because with bad credit, you are visible to the system and it can adjust to find a suitable interest rate. With no credit, you are simply invisible.

We lose some privacy with FICO, but we accept these terms well because they provides us with tremendous benefit to finance a business, automobile, or a home without needing to save cash. Likewise, we lose some privacy engaging each other on the Internet and in our community, however, the benefit of Social Networks far exceed many perceived privacy issues.

My personal complaint with credit scores is that they track largely negative events and seem to predict failure. What if we had a system that tracks success and used that data topredict varying degrees of success.

In the next section, we will identify the institutions that exist in society and how Social Networks can act to duplicate the benefits of the credit score without the downsides….watch