Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: Linkedin

The Reality of Social Networking

Nothing Economic can happen until people get together and build something, period.

Social Network services are not that.  Social media gives people the impression that they are getting stuff done – but they are not.  Nothing economic is happening on Linkedin or Facebook or Twitter.  Rather, the impact of these services is derived only from what people accomplish in reality.

Yet so many social media services sell advertising.  The objective of an advertising site is to keep you in your seat where you can view more advertising.  The objective of advertising as an industry is to influence you to do something other than what you already want to do.   Each of these things impacts people’s activities, and therefore, much of the crap that people share on social network services.

Race to the bottom

This self–depreciating cycle does not actually create very much nor does it arrive at anywhere interesting or important.  The content that keep people coming back to Social Networks is produced by a relatively few number of entertainers – people who separate themselves from consumption of the medium and instead produce content for consumption by the medium – instead of “For” the medium.  Again, the objective is to keep people in their seats watching more advertising.

Did I mention that nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something?

We are in the middle of creating a different type of social network in Social Flights.  We are billing it as “The Social Network where people actually do stuff” because the objective is to get people out into their community looking for other people who can help them build something.  We’re still experimenting so please be patient if it still seems a little clunky.

The Last Mile of Social Media

The idea is to form travel communities in relatively small geographical areas and enable them to share an airplane to anywhere where there is another travel community.  We call the The Last Mile of Social Media – empowering neighborhoods not Hollywoods.

There is no advertising on social flights; however, local vendors are encouraged to place discount coupons in direct response to a community travel objective.  There is no airline schedule because the objective is for people to share an asset – the airplane. This means that the passengers tell the plane where to fly and when, not the airline.

In the end, Social Flights rewards people, venders, and aircraft operators for interacting with their communities in real life and real time – instead of their computer screens in virtual time.  Now, the social network, laptop, or mobile device becomes a real productivity tool.

Back to economics:

Most logical people will ask “where do I get the money to travel to new places with new people?  The answer is simple: “That is precisely why you need to travel to new places to meet new people”

Nothing economic can happen until people get together and build something, for real.

Innovation Suicide

The following question appeared on a Linkedin Forum that I follow:

Complete this sentence: The ONE factor that is MOST important to innovation is… and here’s why…

I have said this in a few blog posts and I’ll say it again here: The current definition for “innovation” may be the single most disastrous eliminator of innovation.

Innovation Suicide:

Yeah, it kills itself. Really, look it up – it’s a horrible cacophony of buzz bits and weasel speak that amount to nothing more than “Ya know it when ya see it”.

Any definition is supposed to give the reader enough information to duplicate, recognize, and identify instances of the subject – Preferably before the event has ended. Think about it – if the definition for Innovation were clear, nobody would be asking this question.

I am always amazed at how simple the answers to complex questions – and how complex the answer to simple questions – can often be.

Question: THE ONE: Complete this sentence: The ONE factor that is MOST important to innovation is… and here’s why…

My Answer: The Definition of Innovation

Here is why:

Information, knowledge, and innovation are obviously related to each other.

1. You can’t have one without the other two.
2. If you cannot measure one, you cannot measure the other two.
3. where all three are integrated, the system becomes efficient.

Yet, the definitions of each term do not include the other two. Therefore, the current definition of innovation is insufficient to describe the condition. That is why this is the ONE most important factor.

Let me prescribe the following analogy; distance, velocity, and acceleration are obviously related.

1. You cannot have one without the other two.
2. If you cannot measure one, you cannot measure the other two.
3. where all three are integrated, the system is efficient.

This is because distance is the point between two facts, velocity is the rate at which the distance between two points changes. Acceleration is the rate at which the velocity of travel between two points changes.

Therefore let’s re-define innovation as follows:

Information are facts and data. Knowledge is defined by rate of change of information. Finally, innovation is defined by the rate of change of knowledge in a community.

If we can accept this definition, everything changes. Seriously, everything changes.

Now, that’s Innovation!!!

* note: If you are familiar with differential Calculus you may see how a new economic paradigm may arise from this algorithm.

Video: Taxonomy for Community Knowledge Inventory

2009 Forecast DocAny taxonomy that is used to classify information is a candidate for the classification of knowledge. This is because knowledge is related to information in a differential equation that also includes data and innovation (another blog post).

The trick is that everyone needs to be using the same taxonomy so that we can all access knowledge inventories of the people around us as easily as it is to access books on Amazon.com. This will lead to a trade in knowledge assets formally the sole domain of corporations through the process of industrialization (yet another blog post) .

Please enjoy these videos, use them as you wish and let us know what you think.

Video: The Last Mile of Social Media

Sure Bro…Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are great for broadcasting across the Ocean, but how good are they for meeting your neighbors? As wonderful as all this global chatter appears, nothing tangible happens until the rubber meets the road.

Don’t Worry, Be Neighborly…

The following video describes how the components of the next economic paradigm must act locally, but share globally. For anyone wondering what to do next or where the great opportunities are, think about building out the Last mile of Social Media.

Using Social Currency To Fight Terrorism

conversations2-500x351Given the events of the last several weeks, it’s time to for the aviation industry to get serious with Social Media.   This article demonstrates how an alternate currency can be used to severely reduce or eliminate terrorist risk in commercial aviation.  Think I’m kidding, read on.

Obviously an airline will not let you board an airplane if you don’t have the financial currency sufficient to buy ticket.  Why should an airline let you board an airplane if you do not have social currency sufficient to fulfill your social obligations while in the air?

People with extreme social currency deficiencies are routinely stripped of their rights by a jury of peers and isolated from society for a period of time (where they would not board an airplane anyway).  While there are many systems in place to manage the various degrees of social currency deficiency, none appear to be able to identify a terrorist without also violating the rights of non-terrorists.

Human Writes

However, many people are willing to share information about themselves to associates with whom an economic benefit is shared or exchanged.  This happens a billion times per week on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter – why not among fellow passengers?  After all everyone is already connected by 6 degrees.

What would a terrorist’s Facebook profile say about them?  Do they have a lot of referrals on linkedin?  Do they post great work on Flikr? Is their community orchestra featured on My Space? Are their posts popular on twitter?

Should a social currency credit score become imperative to social transactions as the financial credit score is for financial transactions?

Banks and Insurance companies already rely on a highly invasive “Credit Score” to establish financial risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and their other clients. Why wouldn’t an airline use a social credit score to establish a social risk profile as a means of protecting their selves and the lives of their other clients?

Ruse and lose

Sure, the bad guys can adapt to social media as they have adapted to all other measures.  The problem is that the greater the size and scope of their social media ruse, the more difficult it is to maintain the ruse.  A threshold score could be set to nearly eliminate this possibility.  Those folks can then simply opt into the full body scan.

The Paradigm Shift

As the saying goes, the attacker needs to be successful only once, while the defender needs to be successful every time.   The concept of a Social media credit score flips this paradigm on it’s head. The attacker’s social credit score needs to be successful every time.  The defender needs to be successful only once.

Deep Web Search

Deep Web Search Engine is here. This represents a new economic paradigm since increasing the available information increases the rate of change of knowledge across diverse communities. Keep your eyes on this one – it’s a big one.

The Power of Social Taxonomy

Revolutionary:

Ask the French about linguistic purity and you get the feeling that an attack on the language is an attack on the culture.  Likewise, corporations arising from the industrial revolution communicate internal structure and processes through the use of a well protected internal taxonomy.  This serves as both a means of storing knowledge across generations of workers, and as a means of encrypting the knowledge from those who would pillage the enterprise.

For example, some people who leave Boeing (a 94 year old company) have a very difficult time re-integrating into society because many of their professional skills and tools are articulated in a language that nobody outside Boeing understands.  Ex-employees of many large corporations often find themselves professionally invisible through an extended period of re-adjustment.

Melting Pot Economics

The Social Media Paradox

Starbucks paradox (Bernie Hou)The very nature of the traditional corporation is called to question by the Social Media Paradox:

Definition (by me):

Social Media Paradox: The degree to which the act of engaging in the social media paradigm reduces one’s ability to engage in the pre-social media paradigm; and vice versa.

Success in social media requires humility, authenticity and commitment to the medium.  Like a tattoo, that impression defines the person and is not easily removed – after all, everyone’s got to have some skin in the game.

Social media rewards people for doing what they are best at and saying what they feel to be most true. Furthermore, brands need to trust their employees to represent them – this means that they need to give up control of the message.  The more they try to control the message, the less effective they are in a social medium.

Sounds like a great idea, but is it practical?

Many people still need to work for a living often find ourselves at the mercy of corporations for an actual paycheck.  Social Media provides a free source of reference material on a new candidate.  If a person is seen as edgy, ‘counter culture’, or defiant by any number of risk averse HR gatekeepers, one’s “old-paradigm” employability can be affected.  The subtle irony that the those who best understand the medium can make themselves unemployable as a result.

The opposite is also true:

Intellectual Property in Bloggerville

Most bloggers invite you to share their content far and wide on any one of many aggregation sites.  But some people get really upset if you post that article on your own aggregation blog (even with full credit and back links).

I am always amazed when I get that proverbial chest thumping quasi-barrister “cease and desist” letter, followed by remedial citation of copyright law, and always ending with some pathetic accusation of irreparable damages and criminal violation.   They get upset if you change the content and they get upset if you don’t.  The worst is when it comes from a self-proclaimed social media guru who touts all ‘dat social media Kool Aid in their consultancy propaganda.

Reality Check:

What If The Dollar Fails?

I have been hearing a great deal about an inevitable collapse of the dollar.  Not today or tomorrow, but more likely over the course of the next 10 years.  The failure will probably not be a stupendous crash since politicians would avoid this as a means of self-preservation.  Rather, it would simply be a slow and grinding inability to “afford” many important things using cash.  Note that this has little or nothing to do with your human ability to produce important things.

Few people disagree that a 50 Trillion dollar debt obligation cannot be paid back without at least 50 Trillion dollars in increased human productivity.  Traditional productivity usually means taking stuff out of the ground, air, ocean, or the forest and making things that eventually wind up back in the ground, air, ocean, or the forest. Today, we are encountering constraints on the planet’s resources.  Something has got to give.

The ONLY technological change that is happening at anywhere near the rate that can conceivably deliver a substantial amount of “increased productivity” is Social Media. But how do we turn it into dollars?  Maybe we shouldn’t.

Here is the problem; the trends for monetizing social media actually slow it down.  People use social media only because of the prospect for increasing their long term productivity as relationships prosper. Entrepreneurs trying to get paid for their innovations invariably need to introduce “friction” by attempting to convert “short term” user productivity into cash.  There is no business case on short term productivity making their innovation nonviable.  Therefore, the monetization problem introduces a threshold over which most great innovations simply cannot reach.

The purpose of this article is to consider what people will use for trade if the currency becomes ineffective AND their productivity does not.   If the dollar does fail, people will attempt to meet their daily needs until a financial system is corrected.  Many countries that have experienced currency problems and the most common result are the emergence of a black market where Levi’s, Cigarettes, or other commodities serve as a de facto tax-free currency.

While on-line gaming industry is pioneering virtual tax-free currencies with extraordinary results, back in reality, people will begin trading services.  Plumbers will find dentists, farmers will find laborers, and teachers will find landscapers.  Matchmaking will become a financial instrument. People will use Facebook and Twitter, Linkedin and many others in new ways in order to keep the game in play.

In fact, perhaps they already are.

Creative Capital; The Hidden Hero

 

Social capital, intellectual capital and creative capital are the factors of production for the Innovation Economy; next economic paradigm.  Few people realize that Silicon Valley arose from a perfect storm of social capital from the 1960’s, the music and arts scene of the same era, and the proximity of academic centers Stanford and Berkeley.  The Bay area corporations may have been the beneficiaries, not necessarily the originators of innovation.

Creative Capital remains the least understood, yet most important element of the Next Economic Paradigm.  As we continue our march into the regime of social media it is imperative that we understand, support, and develop this critical factor.  We cannot “take it for granted” that creativity exists and will always exist.  It must be recognized, developed, and integrated into the fold of Social Media.

Here are some stats:

Wikipedia:

  • Social Capital has it’s own page with 6816 word article
  • Human Capital (Intellectual Capital) has it’s own page at 2597 words
  • Creative Capital does not have a page of it’s own on Wikipedia

Twitter:

  • I found 20 Tweets referencing “Social Capital” in the last HOUR
  • I found 20 Tweets references to “Intellectual Capital” in the last 6 HOURS
  • There were 20 Tweets that referenced the term “Creative Capital” in the last WEEK (mostly as a trade name)

Facebook Groups:

  • Social Capital Groups: 2000
  • Human Capital/Intellectual Capital Groups 1000
  • Creative Capital: 412

Linkedin Groups:

  • Social Capital: 69
  • Human Capital (intellectual Capital): 272
  • Creative Capital: 12

While the ratios vary, the trend is fairly clear.  Creativity is not often interpreted as a financial instrument otherwise it would be associated with the term “Capital”.  There are other factors as well that may play into this.  Artists are often self-actualized outside of the trappings of material possessions and therefore less visible as economic or political power brokers.   As a professional class, they may be under-represented in social media space.  In addition, creativity does not punch a clock and is likely not working for wages as such. Or they may be running around dressed up like Engineers :)

I’ve made the point that was intended so now I’ll leave the remaining analysis to a person who has done a great deal to advance the modern understanding of the field of study related to creative capital; Richard Florida – an unsung hero for whom Wikipedia does have a page:

Richard Florida (born 1957 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American urban studies theorist.

Professor Florida’s focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. [1] He also heads a private consulting firm, the Creative Class Group.

He is best known for his work in developing his concept of the creative class, and its ramifications in urban regeneration. This research was expressed in Florida’s bestselling books The Rise of the Creative Class, Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class. A new book, focusing on the issues surrounding urban renewal and talent migration, titled Who’s Your City?, was recently published.

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You Can’t Eat Gold

goose1The following is a question and answer that I responded to on a Linkedin economics forum.  This question still occurs in so many forms when it is also abundantly obvious that Social Media is driving so much value in so many directions.  The irony is that the question is asked within the currency that it fails to recognize.

Art credit

Question:

Fiat money is the cause or always the main cause of financial crisis. Reverting back to gold standard can give stability. How can this be implemented?

Answer:

It cannot.  Everyone agrees that money needs to be backed by something tangible. However, gold has a host of problems as well that are discussed extensively on-line and cannot be ignored.

A successful and stable currency must be backed by the productivity of the [citizens of a country] users.  So these two words should be interchangeable; i.e., a country spends productivity to fight a war.  A country spends productivity to fund universal health care, etc.

The cause of financial crisis is when the money becomes divorced from the productivity.  Debt is a transaction that exchanges current productivity for future productivity – assuming that productivity will increase at least by the so-called ‘risk’.  CDOs and other exotic financial instruments further obscure true productivity until money becomes driven irrationality and emotions completely separated from productivity.

If people lose trust in the currency, they will no longer trade it – they will find something else. Your hope is that they will find Gold.

Note clearly that innovation is also a transaction that exchanges current productivity with future productivity (due to the innovation).  As such, a currency backed by innovation is of the same species as a currency backed by debt.  Therefore, the entire financial system does not need to be torn down and rebuilt to serve a new non-debt backed currency.

The answer to your question is to look toward the places where extraordinary innovation is occurring today, right now.  It is clear that social media is developing this new currency.   The problem now is fairly simple; making human knowledge tangible.  This is where the innovation is. Here are some resources of people working on this problem:

http://ingenesist.com

http://relationship-economy.com

http://conversationalcurrency.com

Our deepest concern should be to feed the Goose what’s been so good to the Gander all these years. Of course one argument in favor of gold is it’s scarcity.  However, it is difficult to imagine that in an era of scarcity of so many resources, the basis of a currency ought to be more scarcity.  Knowledge, conversation, and innovation are scarce relative to the problems that they must be deployed to solve.  We’re in this together.

It Takes Currency to Make Currency

If you’re a Flash game developer, you are concerned with how you can make a living from your creative and intellectual services. Fortunately there is a payment system so workable, that it may actually work.   Game developers can charge money both for their games, and for things within their games.

Here’s how it works:

1.    Player pays real money to buy fake money within the game.
2.    Player spends fake money on virtual stuff.
3.    Virtual stuff increases the value of the game.

The game developer can technically charge for whatever they like: level packs, hats, extended versions/director’s cuts, etc, etc. The sky’s the limit.

These types of transactions have been very popular in places like Korea for a long time, and it was amusing to see the initial resistance and resentment in North America to the idea. Meanwhile, North American Pioneers of such systems are drowning in money.

The Right [virtual] Stuff:

Now, suppose that Social Media could be modeled after a huge game where people act based on a set of incentives like, say, connecting with friends, accumulating followers for their blog, finding proverbial “gold rings” like employment opportunities, business opportunity, spiritual growth, professional advice, cheap airfare, fun things to do, product reviews, or political activism…just to name a few.

Suppose that in order to get from one level of the game to the next, they need to engage in conversation with another player.  Anyone who has been on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook long enough knows that the “right virtual stuff” is sometimes hard to acquire.  Twitter finally broke the mold with applications that now “sell” followers (I wonder if there were any Flash Developers behind this innovation).

A Mutually Inclusive Game:

Now, suppose the game was mutual such that some players need you a little bit more than you need them and they are willing to invest in your connection.  Similarly, suppose you need some players a little more than they need you and you too are willing to invest for their connection.  Finally, all players know that a mutual link between two appropriate players substantially increases the value of both players relative to the game.

It Takes Currency to Make Currency.

Immediately the engine of entrepreneurialism will ignite as people figure out new ways to play the game.  With a trillion dollar advertising industry, a trillion dollar Professional Placement industry, and a trillion dollar recreation/leisure/entertainment/family industry on the ropes, you can guarantee that innovation will be absolutely intense.  Welcome to the Innovation Economy.

(Editor’s note: This article was inspired by a piece authored by Ryan and can be found here)

Is a social contract legally binding…and who cares?

Trillions of dollars in play:

Trillions upon trillions of dollars worth of value that once coursed through the veins of Market Capitalism is being transferred to social media from the legacy economy now stifled by insurmountable debt.  These numbers are indeed spectacular because they account for the invisible value “lost”, and most importantly, the calculations provides clues on how to “find” it again.

What is a Social Contract worth?

According to Legacy Economics, the term “social contract” describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order. Otherwise, we would each have unlimited natural freedoms, including the “right to all things” and thus the freedom to harm all who threaten our own self-preservation; there would be an endless “war of all against all”.

Take me to your leader

By contrast, Social Media begs the questions: who or what exactly is that authority?  Isn’t the greatness of the Internet the lack of an all powerful authority? So why aren’t we at a war of all against all?  What keeps social media at peace instead of an endless flame war?  Whatever this alien is, it is capturing and storing trillions upon trillions of dollars of value away from the legacy economy, but where?

Separating facts from fiction

According to the old economy, it is a “fact” that human knowledge is an “intangible asset” of which there are only two types defined:

1. Legal intangibles such as trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and goodwill (brands).

2. Competitive intangibles such as knowledge activities, collaboration activities, leverage activities, and structural activities.

However, when we consider social media;

1.    There is no law governing the phenomenon – so there are no legal intangibles.

2.    Collaboration, leveraging and structural activities are not being conducted in a competitive environment (the context of one “Company” against another).

So, the definition fails to account for knowledge assets in social media. The Ingenesist Project discovers the lost trillions simply by treating the social contract like a legal contract.

Tangible assets are managed by contracts

Technically, any oral agreement between two parties can constitute a binding legal contract. The legacy economy limitation, however, is that only parties to a written agreement have material evidence (the written contract itself) to prove the actual terms uttered at the time the agreement was struck.

But social media, email, and blog posts, etc., all constitute vast “written” agreements and material evidence as far as most people are concerned.   So what is missing?  Are we waiting for permission from government, Wall Street, corporations, attorneys, or the Federal Reserve to say it is OK for people to stop competing with each other or to renegotiate the terms of the social contract (and currency of exchange)?

The mystery is no mystery

Guess what, there is nothing there. Absolutely nothing except philosophical barriers carried over from legacy economics built upon political division. The mystery is that there is no mystery except using social media to unite people.  After all, the biggest Brand in the world is a Community Organizer.  Such calculation provides clues on how to “find” value again.

The Value of Social Currency

How big is this opportunity?

Roughly 10% of the US gross Domestic Product can be attributed directly to the process of evaluating or examining transactions.  This represents a 1.4 Trillion Dollar of value in a system that may be better organized, captured, and preserved through social networks and the conversations that they produce.

Social vetting on a scale that would allow social networks to monetize would require that communities organize their knowledge assets specifically for deployment to a market.  All that an entrepreneur needs to do is fill this need.

What happens if they don’t?

The true cost of vetting may be calculated by what happens in the absence of oversight, transparency, and disclosure. When the vetting process fails, so too does the industry.  The continuing financial crisis of 2008 was fueled by a failure to regulate mortgage backed securities.  The financial Crisis of 2002 arose from a failed accounting (CPA) profession.

The losses due to the absence of vetting mechanism exceeds by many times the cost of having a system in place.  The financial crises of 2002 and 2008 have together wiped out nearly 20 Trillion dollars of value and incurred high volatility to financial systems due to failed vetting mechanisms.   The people who held the knowledge about the impending doom had no effective medium to share.

Who vets KNOWLEDGE assets?

The flow of money lives and dies by the vetting mechanism.  CarFax, Experian, Ebay, Google owe their existence to the ability to vet information – However, they do not vet knowledge.  The ability to deliver the right knowledge asset to the right place, at the right time for the right price is tantamount to being able to “manufacturing innovation”, that is, to print money.  Inversely, the ability to foresee the result of specific knowledge assets deployed to specific business conditions is the Holy Grail of entrepreneurs.

Social networks can carry out this very important function of the Innovation economy; organize, locate, and develop knowledge assets in a form which can emulate a financial instrument.

How are things changing?

Emerging ideas such as conversational currency, relationship economics, innovation economics,. nd new ways to value intangibles are appearing in research blogs across the web.  Disruptions to Global finance, environmental policy, and the emergence of global currencies are setting the stage for a huge transformation in how society organizes itself.  Traditional industries such as print media, advertising, and banking are failing. Nothing is sacred except change.

Where are these communities, and what do they want?

Many communities exist today in a variety of forms and functions such as communities of practice, fellowships, service organizations, professional societies, trades groups, affinity groups, etc.  Increasingly they are moving to Social Media such as Facebook groups, Linkedin groups, Affinity groups, aggregation groups, and political action groups.  Communities are using social media technology to engage the knowledge domain contained within them.

As such, they will soon have ability to foresee the result of specific knowledge assets deployed to specific business conditions.  This is the Holy Grail of modern civilization.

The Vicarious Search Engine

The search engine wars continue as both Google and Bing develop more exotic ways of arriving at the wrong answer.  Both commit the same error as all declining industries in social media space; assuming that they can predict what people want without engaging them in a conversation.

The first development is the predictive search notably pioneered by Amazon.com for predicting future purchases based on past purchases.  While predictive search is an improvement, the next step is the “vicarious” search, that is, when the search engine sees the world through your eyes – or someone Else’s – for your benefit.

The Web is Flat

The Ingenesist Project specifies a standard knowledge inventory that may be represented as a packet of code.  If someone wanted to see the web through the eyes of another person, they could buy a packet of their knowledge inventory.  Likewise, a web article would be tagged with the representative knowledge inventory code of the author.  Each comment or re post to a blog article would contain the knowledge inventory of its aggregated vetters.

The search can be done in reverse as well.  If I find an idea on the web and want to know who can execute it locally, I can simulate the knowledge inventory in one or more local people.  This is not trivial.  It literally allows an entrepreneur to manage knowledge assets that they did not know exists and predict content that does not yet exist.

Been there, done that?

Obviously there are privacy, security, and ethics issues related to others seeing the world through your eyes.  But what if every American was told 20 years ago that their identifier number for an insolvent social security program would be attached to their personal, medical, financial, and civil records then spun through Wall Street algorithms, sold worldwide to advertisers, politicians, banks, insurance companies, demographers, and ultimately hacked?  The cities would have burned.

So why can’t social mediators monetize?

The difference today is that if packaged correctly, we can own and control our knowledge inventory.  We can allow or decline access and we can revoke access – it happens all day long on Face Book, Linkedin, Twitter, and My Space.   On-line communities represent collections of knowledge assets.  The 400 Billion dollar per year advertising budget is on the table – up for grabs.  The 100 Billion dollar “head hunting” budget is up for grabs. The multi-billion dollar election budgets are all up for grabs. What are we thinking?

The likelihood of Innovation

The innovation economy will depend on business intelligence related to society’s knowledge inventory to match most worthy knowledge surplus to the most worthy knowledge deficit.   Entrepreneurs must know supply and demand for knowledge assets as well as where to find them at what cost.  Entrepreneurs need to predict competition, disruption, risks, and volatility in knowledge assets.  They need to conduct scenario tests before expending money.  They need to predict the likelihood of innovation and all of the options that they have in the future related to those innovations.

The Securitization of Knowledge Assets

Entrepreneurs need to securitize knowledge assets in order to finance innovation on the scale that will be required to offset our massive debt. This is how the innovation economy must play out.  We cannot depend on corporations or governments to do this for us.  People must control, regulate, anonymize, and manage  their own knowledge inventory.   If only they could see their world through the entrepreneur’s eyes – perhaps they need a vicarious search engine more than anyone.

1.3 Trillion Dollar Professional Contact Market

“Hey, I know a guy who owes me a favor …”

It is only a matter of time until professional contacts will be for sale.  The problem is that the ROI (return on investment model) is such a poor valuation tool for social media. Another valuation tool used in finance is called Real Options.  An option is the right, without the obligation, to act on an opportunity at some time in the future.  Social Networks, friends, family, and professional contacts behave much more along these lines.

Five Easy Pieces:

While the calculation for the value of an option is complex, the things we need to plug in are fairly simple in the context of social media:

1.    There must be an inventory of the assets
2.    The future date when the asset can be acquired must be known
3.    The cost of acquiring the asset must be known
4.    The value effects on the enterprise must be estimated
5.    The uncertainty related to the asset must be estimated

The term “asset” in social media space may include: Knowledge, skill, an undertaking of a new project, or the generation of a new idea, etc.

The Social Networking Manifesto:

The objective of the building a social network is to know where the knowledge assets are, how much they can help you, how much they cost to exercise, and the certainty that they will be applicable, available and useful when you need them.   Conversely, the best way to increase the value of a social network is to be visible to others, tell people what you can do for them, tell people what you need from them, and establish a reputation for reliability.

Most importantly, everyone must have the right, without the obligation, to accept or decline the opportunity.  This is what jump starts ‘supply and demand’ and makes a market a market

Let’s consider all options:

To estimate the value of an option to call on anyone in your network use a financial option calculator tool on the web and plugged in social media numbers.  Let’s use Linkedin as the knowledge inventory; 40 million knowledge assets also hold options with their contacts. Say that the expiration date is 1 year (for tax reasons).  Assume the market value of their skill is 100 dollars and that at some point in the next year, the value of their skill relative to yourself becomes 200 dollars. The right to buy the asset at the earlier price is worth a premium.  Suppose that the volatility of the asset is 50% and the interest rate is 7%.

The value of the “call” is worth about $3.47 dollars.  The Call is an option contract that gives the holder the right to buy a certain quantity of an underlying security from the writer of the option, at a specified price up to the specified expiration date.

The value of options in a network:

For the above scenario assuming all assets are equal in price of 100 dollars; if someone has 10,000 1st and 2nd level contacts on Linkedin, the value of their implied call option is about 34,700 dollars.  If Linkedin were a stock market, the value of the social contracts that people have with each other is 34K x 40M = 1.3 Trillion Dollars market value for the contracts that people hold and trade.

This is not even the value of the transaction – only the right to have a transaction. The value of the social contract is in the conversations that they hold.  Contracts are a financial instrument that can be traded, combined, diversified, and aggregated for real money.  It’s only a matter of time.

The Ingenesist Project specifies the structure of an innovation economy where a knowledge inventory, a percentile search engine, and an innovation bank will facilitate and aggregate the 5 components of Option Valuation.  Social media applications form the operating system for the market in options.

How Does Social Media Affect GDP?

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a basic measure of an economy’s economic performance.  GDP is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a nation in a year measured in Dollars.  Globally, GDP is equal to the total monetary income generated by production of goods and services in a country.

Gross Domestic Product does not take into account many important variables accelerated by Social Media and growing exponentially in economic influence.

GDP counts only industrial output, but…

Industrial output is becoming increasingly dependent on social networks and social innovation.  GDP does not take into account such non-market transactions such as open source development, crowd sourced innovation, conversational currency, social capital, creative capital, or intellectual capital exchanged between people in diverse social networks

GDP reflects Wall Street Priorities, but…

Wall Street Priorities are increasingly challenged by social priorities. GDP does not account for sustainable business practices, heroism, mentorship, activism, volunteerism, social networking, uncompensated innovation, and community involvement.  GDP does not account for quality improvements and social multipliers such as aggregation of social media, increasingly powerful computers, acceleration of conversations, online etiquette, multi-media, and social editorial services.

All of the above exclusions are valuable, because…

These exclusions add value, they store value, they create value, they distribute value, and they exchange value.  If we called it a financial instrument that is highly convertible, extremely liquid, and easily transported it would describe a currency by any definition of the word.  For the purpose of this discussion, call this currency the “Rallod” – or Dollar spelled backwards.  The Rallod is the currency of the new American economic and production paradigm.

The Invisible Currency

For Example; Twitter is doing in Iran what America has been trying to do in Iraq for 8 years.  Face book, LinkedIn, and the entirety of social media space is producing many times the effectiveness of the $200 Billion U.S. advertising industry in terms of driving people to specific action. Social vetting platforms such as blogs, commentaries, groups, and content aggregation have increased the efficiency of markets by vastly reducing arbitrage opportunities while also identifying scams and corruption.  Human productivity is being converted to Rallods and there is no politician, executive, or white collar criminal anywhere in the world who is not deeply concerned about this invisible currency.

The Best is Yet to Come:

The “Last Mile of Social Media” is analogous to the last mile of broadband Internet – the marginal cost of reaching every person in every household and tightening social networks to extremely high resolution, is diminishing rapidly.   The Last Mile will bring communities together to vet local politicians, corporations, products, and policies.  The Last Mile will formulate a knowledge inventory combines with close proximity of knowledge assets and a percentile search engine to predict outcomes.  The Last Mile of Social Media will duplicate every function that exists in a corporation except it will be built upon the social media operating system; aggregated, amalgamated, sustainable, and reflecting social priorities.

So what happens to GDP?

GDP by current measure will reflect only the value of the “dollar”, not necessarily the value of the human productivity.  Perhaps it already does.

The Second Impression of Social Media

As we move away from the ROI valuation model for social media and adopt a more dynamic ‘options’ analysis, a different picture emerges.  People are trading options; that is, the right without the obligation to exercise an action.  The next economic paradigm will emerge as a function of people exercising their options.

What are you doing here?

On the surface, there appears to be a lot of ‘feel-gooding’ on linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, etc.  It is easy to brush them off as trivial, non-productive, and delusional.  I often fall victim spending too much time on these devices and have asked myself, simply: “why?”

Computer Enabled Society

At second glance, however, I have personally developed a few extremely profound, important and valuable relationships through “computer enabled society”.  People who I have never met in person have stepped way out on a limb to help me along.  As a result, I have given these people the option to access my network and they have done the same for me.  Our common purpose makes each relevant and valuable to the other and each are willing to support, mentor, and elevate the other.  We exercise options together.

Impressive Results

The distinction is that what once was a “first impression” – firmness of handshake, fashion, and physical appearance – has become the “second Impression”.

What was once the “second impression” – intellect, wisdom, talent and generosity – has become the “first impression”.

People exercise their options accordingly; first impressions leads us to action.

Evolution or Revolution?

Social media does not care if you are rich, poor, young or old, beautiful or homely.  It does not care about the color of your skin, fat or thin, physical ability or disability.  It does not care what kind of car you drive, clothes you wear, or the size of your home. Or does it?

For every revolution, there is a corresponding evolution.

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.

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 4: Institutions

In part 1, we introduced a new paradigm of economic growth; the innovation economy. In part 2, we identified information as the currency of trade for an innovation economy and we defined that currency’s relationship to knowledge and innovation.  In part 3 we demonstrated a structure for a knowledge Inventory that would enable an Innovation Economy.  In this module, we will discuss the institutions in social media that could keep an Innovation Economy, free, fair, and equitable.

In civil society, there are laws and regulations that protect our constitutional rights; these are essential institutions.

The legal system of the United States is extremely expensive, however, the expenditure is necessary to keep the society upright, productive and prevent it from falling into chaos.  Where a country’s legal system fails, so does its economy.  Entrepreneurs do not invest in places without a good legal system and where property rights are not protected. It is that important.  Investment abhors risk.

Arguably, the most important element of the Innovation Economy will be the vetting mechanism.

Fortunately, social media has the potential to serve this function; in fact in many cases it already does.  A feedback system supports Ebay ($35B Cap), community flagging supports Craigslist (40M ads/mo), peer review supports Linkedin (150M users).  These are not small numbers.  All markets must have a vetting mechanism in order to operate efficiently and if done correctly, social vetting has vast economic implications for an Innovation Economy.

First, let’s return to our financial analogy.

In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town.  But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized; now a Saudi Billionaire can lend money to a young couple in Boise to buy their first home – and neither is aware of the other.  The credit score is responsible for the creation of great wealth because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money to invest in enterprise.

The credit score is statistical in nature; it isolates about 30 or so indicators of your 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 because these same organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

We are competing with ourselves.

It is interesting that you and I do not compete for our credit score because it is not a ranking system. On the other hand, with no credit, we are invisible and the system shuts us out.  With bad credit, the system shuts us out. We lose some freedom and privacy, 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.

Now we will draw the comparable analogy from the social media.

In the old days, the hiring manager was the person to know if you wanted to get a job.  They would read your resume and compare it with “bell curve” in their experience about what has worked or not worked in their past.  This worked great in the industrial economy, but it falls far short in the innovation economy.  Innovation favors strategic combination of diverse knowledge where the Industrial economy favored identical packets of similar knowledge.

Not unlike the FICO score, the knowledge inventory is a collection of statistical variables and the social network is the reporting agencies who have a vested interest in a system of correct values.  Unlike FICO however, the variables are infinite and it responds to positive event input.
Social networks are by far among the most exciting and important new technology for an Innovation Economy.

Social networks must now evolve to become the vetting institutions for knowledge assets.

All the pieces are almost in place; now we need to develop a new type of search engine.

The Percentile Search Engine is generic term for the ability to make statistical predictions about all types and combinations of knowledge Assets in a network. Conceptually, the percentile search engine is where all of the equations that we use to analyze financial assets are now applied to knowledge assets.  The main characteristic is that the search engine returns probabilities for the entrepreneur to test scenarios.

For example; an entrepreneur may want to know if her team has enough knowledge to execute a business plan.  Perhaps the team has too much knowledge and they should try something more valuable.  Maybe the team does not have enough knowledge and they should attempt another opportunity or accumulate training.

The search engine can look into a network and identify the supply and demand of a knowledge asset. If it is unavailable or too expensive, the search engine can adjust for price, risk, or options that may emerge at a later date.

Talent will bid up to their productivity value, and brokers will bid down to their productivity value.

Competitors can scan each other’s knowledge inventory to compete, cooperate, acquire, or evade. If a key person retires, the entrepreneur would simulate the knowledge that is lost and reassign people strategically. All of these scenarios can be examines prior to spending money. They can be made during the project cycle, or after the project is completed.  Lessons learned can be used to adjust the algorithm perfecting it over time.

For example: companies such as Disney and Boeing both use Engineers, each would have proprietary algorithm of knowledge that represents their “secret sauce” of success. These recipes can be adjusted and improved to reflect and preserve the wisdom of an organization.

When the innovation economy will catches fire….

Over time, these algorithms will far more valuable then the Patents and Trade Secrets created by them – this will allow technologies to be open sourced much more profitably and shared across more industries.

In the next module, we will talk about the entrepreneurs.

The Global Financial Crisis; The End Game

The year is 2024, no burning cities, no mass hysteria, no bread lines; the economy is on an exponential growth curve.  It took a while, but the financial crisis of ended in an anticlimactic sort of way.  Sure, lots of hedge fund bankers became unemployed, some went to jail, and many companies once deemed titans of industry have disappeared, but nobody seemed to notice much anymore.

Government debt has been eliminated and Wall Street has become the steward of what has become an Innovation Economy rising from the ashes of debt economics.  The transition, in fact, was surprisingly smooth.  Social Network applications such as Facebook, Linkedin, G+, and many more, developed a clever way to make knowledge tangible outside the construct of Wall Street and the traditional corporations and people began trading knowledge like currency.

When inflation hit, the dollar started to fall in value, people began trading a different currency called the rallod (dollar spelled backwards).  The rallod was backed by future productivity resulting from innovation rather than future productivity supporting debt.  When the dollar finally crashed, it pegged to the rallod and the economy began to grow again with an astonishing, yet peaceful, transfer of wealth and power to open sourced self-regulating communities; i.e., society in general.  The vicious cycle of debt economics was reversed just in time.  It’s still hard to believe what happened.

Today the engines of economic growth are tens of thousands of hot new start-ups that exist in the form of “Value Games” related to specific technology areas rather than the old corporation model.  They automatically cluster around a technology and spin off other start-ups at an incredible rate in a strange nesting arrangement called the “tangential innovation” market.  Most innovation is open sourced because the “Patent” (and protectionism in general) is no longer the center of the innovation finance universe, rather, the “secret sauce” of social, creative, and intellectual capital is the most valuable asset today.

About 15 years ago, something resembling the human genome project mapped all knowledge in the form of social, creative, and intellectual capital that exists in society to a very high granularity.  An API standard was created to represent knowledge assets like packets of code that are processed by a community algorithm. The CV/resume is an old bar joke now. Thanks to a visionary government, 1st amendment protections were built into this inventory with anonymity laws and privatized TOU; creators own what they create.

An open source percentile search engine was created to enable entrepreneurs to build unique collections of knowledge assets and predict the probability that various combinations of these assets could successfully execute a business plan.  High diversification induced hyper-innovation around technologies and the resulting innovations are spun out to be reabsorbed by different and diverse communities of practice in continuous iterations forming a virtuous vortex of new systems, methods, and solutions.  Sketched out, these arrangements looked like electrical “integrated” circuits.  Wealth creation is intense.

Since the knowledge inventory has mapped all knowledge and the Percentile Search Engine calculated probabilities and scenarios, the Innovation bank formed to make most worthy and optimal matches between knowledge surplus and knowledge deficit in a community.  Since the probability of innovation success has become predictable, innovation risk is now diversified away.  Innovation insurance products abound. With near-zero innovation risk the cost of venture capital has approached 5-7 % instead of 500-2000% of less than a decade ago.  Banks now issue innovation bonds on the public market to finance innovation in society.  For an investment of such high return and such little risk, participation is near universal.  This created another virtuous circle; the more innovation that occurs, the more money is created.  The more money that is created, the more innovation occurs.

Instead of having jobs, many people in a geographic area are pinged by the Percentile Search Engine which calculates the likelihood that their interaction together will increase the probability of successful execution of a business plan when combined with other knowledge assets.  Instead of earning wages, people collect micro-royalties specified by contracts on capital asset sub-sections. These micro-royalties add up to substantial residual income enjoying a multiplier effect as their work continues downstream over their lifetime. The government funds social security through it’s own innovation ventures. Service workers such as police, teachers, fire fighters, nurses, local merchants, etc., are key beneficiaries because of their impact on the community is directly associated with productivity.

Many of the senior knowledge workers have determined that they can earn more money by taking an equity position in their students, and the students of their student.  Unlike a decade ago, pyramid schemes in innovation economics are sustainable and generate astonishing profits.  Mentors have entered the landscape in vast numbers and apprenticeships have become abundant.  The income potential for the “creating creators” boggles the imagination.   Again, a virtuous circle has formed between the mentor and the student. In aggregate, wisdom is being retained, refined, and transferred efficiently throughout social networks.

University “degrees” have disappeared in favor of unique combinations of knowledge assets that are continually SEO’d for best Percentile Search Engine Placement.  People do not compete directly, rather, they compete with the Percentile Search Engine in the local market place by cooperating among each other.  As owners of their knowledge assets, the entrepreneurial spirit is ubiquitous.  No individual has either a monopoly or an identical knowledge set as anyone else.  Everyone has perfect information about the knowledge assets in a market.  People are pinged for different reasons at different times for different rates depending on supply and demand.  Continuous education is a social event in itself, often mistaken for recreation!

Even the poorest areas of the planet are getting into the action because, by definition, the parts of an economy with the highest potential for technological change correspond to opportunities that return the highest dividends in an innovation economy.  Arbitrage opportunities between master and oppressor have disappeared worldwide.

Like a neural network, the economic system of tangible knowledge is self-correcting, fault tolerant, and self-regulating.  Governments across the globe tried to stop the social network driven innovation economy – but they eventually gave up.  It was like trying to stop water; it flowed between the cracks and simply eroded the barriers.  The most incredible outcome is that innovation now reflects long term social priorities instead of short term Wall Street priorities.

Oil production has been replaced by superconducting wind turbines, global temperatures have stabilized, all cars are electric or “water leakers” (as the hydro’s are affectionately known), many diseases have been cured, and the list goes on.  It is hard to believe this happened in only 12 years.  Then again, the Internet had only been widely used 15 years prior to 2009.  Did I mention, we’re finally sending a multinational expedition to Mars…

The Great Convergence

Hey Kids, It’s 3D:

The objective of this article is to discuss the Great Convergence of computer enabled society. Social media must not be allowed to converge to a single apex – rather, it must converge to 3 distinct and tangible dimensions.

The factors of production for the industrial economy are land, labor, and capital.  If you lose one, you can’t use the other two to build an SUV, for example.  The factors of production for an innovation economy are social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital. All production in the new economic paradigm will result from the allocation of a “secret sauce” of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital.  Again, if you lose one, you can’t use the other two to build anything meaningful.

The congregation of congregations:

In order to find The Great Convergence, we simply need to examine Social Media to discover where social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital tend to congregate.

One of the more obvious illustrations appears to be playing out between LinkedIn, Facebook, and Myspace.  Many people use Linkedin for professional contacts (intellectual Capital), other people use Facebook for friends, family and more diverse associations (Social Capital), while many others use MySpace to post videos of their rock band, Artwork, or to discover the latest Mash up (Creative Capital).  Of course there are many more social networks, lots of cross talk, different demographics, rants and raves, etc.  I intentionally leave this analysis sparse as these conditions simply reflect the nature of The Great Convergence.

The Next Economic Paradigm:

We need to watch The Great Convergence with laser focus and deep personal interest because it will be extremely important for the development of what comes after the knowledge economy.   Whatever form this next economic paradigm takes, globally and locally, will depend upon The Great Convergence.  The Innovation Economy is the only wrench left in the toolbox for resolving the vast global problems that we face today.

The Innovation Economy must end global warming, restore financial accountability, enact sustainable enterprise, and institute renewable energy – or not.  This is a huge burden to ask of the next “greatest generation”.  It is clearly in everyone’s best interest to identify, encourage, and support The Great Convergence to form in 3D, before the old single-apex game “resets” and starts all over again, perhaps for the last time.

[The Ingenesist Project discusses this concept at length and identified various predictions, methods, and scenarios, including specifications for an Innovation Economy.]

The Credit Score Analogy; Part 2

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.

The Credit Score Analogy; Part 1

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

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