Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: music

The Reality Platform

Today, we do not have a financial problem as much as we have a value problem.  The challenges that face our civilization are far too great to be solved on an “Advertising” platform.  Whatever happens next, it must start with a Reality Platform.

2012: A Space Odyssey

Back in the railroad days, a platform referred to the surface upon which passengers stepped in order to enter or exit the train.  Later, the platform became a computer operating system.

In 2012,  the “platform” refers to one of the big four space stations on the Internet; Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.  On the backend, they each sort products and people into their appropriated categories.  On the front end, they deliver the consumer to the product and vice versa.  Everything is done electronically; wherever possible, even the product is electronic.

A Platform for Reality

Compared to the Big Four – which collect data behind secure walls, analyze with proprietary algorithms, then serve up  content that is most beneficial to the platform (not necessarily the user) –  The Value Game is revolutionary. In one application of the Value Game, a company called Social Flights collects four separate streams of data, converts the data to a single usable form, then shares the data back to the separate streams.

For example; an airplane operator submits data regarding the inventory of their aircraft.  The hospitality industry submits data relative to their inventory of support services,  Travelers submit data relative to their likely destinations, and event organizers submit data regarding their events.

Music is a combination of rhythm, sound frequency, and timbre

Social Flights captures all of these streams, organizes the data and feeds it back to the market in a more usable form.  Aircraft operators learn the optimum use of their aircraft resources.  Hospitality and tourism learn how to best allocate their inventory.  Event planners  learn to access their markets for attendees. Finally, Travelers learn the exact door-to-door cost AND TIME to achieve their objectives.  All the connections are made WITHOUT advertising.

Social Value is literally “manufactured” because it is in the best interest of each player that the other Players are successful.  Communities become vested in each other – not unlike an ensemble.

Advertising extorts passion

Today, nearly all social organization is now funded – and influenced – by advertising. People do not wake up in the morning aspiring to follow the Kardashians. If left alone, people aspire to follow their friends, to pursue their natural interests, and develop their natural talents.  The sole objective of the advertiser is to convince people to do something other than what they aspire to do naturally.

Manufacturing Social Value

The Value Game is a real and valid social value manufacturing engine. The same system deployed to aviation can also be used for any shared asset or experience; cars, roads, infrastructure, corporations, education, and even government, all with the New Value data platforms that are under development.

The problem can never be the solution – we need a new platform.

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*2001: A Space Odyssey is a story that deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths that are apparently affecting human evolution,

American Day Dreams

As we discuss many times in this blog; human knowledge assets include combinations of intellectual capital, social capital, and creative capital. Of course nobody can survive without all of these elements, however, I am continuously amazed at the power of the last and most important element; Creative Capital.

This video is from an extraordinary Seattle Musician named Aaron English. I have known Aaron for several years and follow all of his work. He is always up to something completely interesting. Aaron can say more in 4 minutes that I can say in 100 blog posts.

Artists and musicians have what I call “communication density”. They are the true innovators among us.  They can combine so many different concepts, media forms, and objects to produce something completely new and interesting. Artists create value. I rely heavily on the artists for my day dreams.

Please enjoy this video – American Day Dreams. Watch it several times. Don’t forget to daydream

The Mastery of Time

When I was in Music School, I learned some very important things about Time.

As a drummer / percussionist the mastery of time is more important than even the instrument itself.  My instructor would place a metronome in front of me and ask me to clap my hands to the beep.  If he could hear any part of the beep through my clap, I failed.

The expectation was that I must mask every beep entirely at any tempo – indefinitely and seemingly without effort.  The truism is that if the instructor could not hear the beep, then neither could I.  True mastery of time means that the metronome must become irrelevant.

I struggled with this challenge for an incredible amount of hours over many many months practicing this seemingly simple exercise.  One day, my instructor said “it’s not about knowing where the beep is, it is about creating the space where the beep is not”.  In other words: understand the space between the beeps – the emptiness, the void, the silence – and let that become the basis of  your musical expression.

From then on – I could nail the beep.

When we listen to music, we derive value from the transformation of one beat to the next and the transformation of one bar to the next, one phrase to the next, and one section to the next, etc.  Value is what gets created between our actions – but without actions, there is nothing to contain that value.

Social currencies resemble this dynamic in many ways.  While money marks the metronome’s beep, the creative expression happens somewhere between the money – the emptiness, the void, the silence.  Let this become the basis of human economic expression, not the beep itself. Value is what gets created between our actions – let’s capture it there.   The true mastery of time means that the metronome must become irrelevant.

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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Creative Capital in Austin (SXSW)

The SXSW Music and Media Conference showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over eighty stages in downtown Austin.  By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature.

We at TIP find this combination of music, indi films, and Geekdom to be extremely interesting.  According to the work of Richard Florida; Engineers and scientists think and act more like artists and musicians than like production workers.  This calls into question much of what we assume to be true in corporate America (specifically 9-5 work weeks, wages vs. royalties, and who manages whom).

The mashup of music, film, and social media/technology is the basis of the most under-recognized factor of production for an innovation economy; Creative Capital. All the academics and corporate outsourcers thought talk about Intellectual Capital.  All of the marketers and PR experts talk about Social Capital.  But the SWSX is reflecting something very different.

As such, there are some interesting Filters in play. The following observation by Janet Fouts points out the curious absence of known superstars on the panel list.  It’s not the all-star game that traditional media loves so much. I would also encourage the reader to look at some of the Hot List Ideas that Janet Links to below.  My mini-rant: For the parents among us, the addition or elimination of Arts from any curriculum should not be under estimated.  Thanks Janet:

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With all the talk about Twitter grades and the social media elite it’s sobering to look through the “hot” list form SXSW and see the proposals currently in the top of the voting. Sure, I looked for my proposals first and no, they weren’t on the hot list, but more importantly neither were many of the social media superstars I expected to be at the top of the list. After all, it is the interactive division of SXSW and that’s not all about social media folks.

There’s some pretty cool stuff in here for the web developer part of my brain too. A few people I recognize like Jason Wishnow from TED, Adam Pash from Lifehacker , Peter Shankman from HARO, and Skylar Woodward from Kiva, but there are a a lot of people I don’t know, and that’s pretty darn interesting. I spent an hour or two this morning finding some new information resources, and isn’t that really the point? Why not take a few minutes to browse the hot list to see what people are voting for and find next year’s superstars?

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It is crucial to watch how events evolve and to recognize how people organize themselves.  Austin is not NYC, Silicon Valley, LA or Chicago – they are largely disassociated with traditional media, financial, and political power centers.  The purity of this disassociation cannot be underestimated.

Janet is right – events such as SXSW may be the best way to predict the future –  and with surprising and uncluttered clarity.

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The Fertilizer Economy

The bad, the good, and the ugly

The bad news is that United States has a global comparative advantage in producing bullshit. The good news is that we may actually be able to till it into fertilizer for the Innovation economy.

America’s financial crisis was caused by money created from money which was in turn a derivative of wild-eyed speculation in assorted proxies for real productivity, including real estate.  Stock prices were supported by imperfect information in a Tickle-Me-Elmo culture while broker fees are embedded in every conceivable transaction.

America has become a world leader in hype, marketing, lawsuits, and fantasy. None of these industries actually produce anything yet nobody can say they are not immensely creative, induce sweeping social movements, and their propagation demands extraordinary intellectual resources, flexibility, and adaptability.

The Theory of Comparative Advantage

It is not efficient for, say, Ghana to produce rice and Vietnam to produce cocoa. If they each produce their natural endowments and then trade the differences, fewer resources are expended to produce more goods.  This theory is the basis of global free trade and the efficiencies are irrefutable so globalization is here to stay.

Meanwhile, the literature on the subject of innovation agrees that innovation is maximized as a function of endowments in social capital, creative capital and intellectual capital.  Silicon Valley is widely held as the poster child for emerging from the deep social movements of the 1960’s attracting an inflow of diverse people where high tolerance, creative art and music were abundant in close proximity to intellectual centers of Stanford and Berkeley.

Comparative Advantage for Innovation:

By the theory of comparative advantage, if a country does not possess a comparative advantage in intellectual capital, creative capital, and social capital, they would not hold a comparative advantage in an innovation economy.

For example; China has a huge endowment of intellectual capital and throughout history they have been an inspired creative force.  However, the current government thwarts social capital.  Therefore, whereas China has a comparative advantage in a manufacturing economy, they would not necessarily have a comparative advantage in an innovation economy.

Many other countries have endowments of intellectual capital as well as democratic governments, but cultural norms may still constrain diversity related to gender roles, social classes, lifestyle tolerance, or the acceptance of “outsiders”.  As such, they may have comparative advantage in a knowledge economy, but the relative deficiency in creative capital would inhibit a comparative advantage in an innovation economy just as quickly.

The Fertilizer Economy:

That said, the United States has a vast abundance and tremendous economies of scale in social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital in comparison to any other country in the world.  The problem is that these assets are sequestered behind the corporate veil, suppressed from true wealth creation by the priorities of a financial system built to produce nothing except analyst expectations.  Like sugar calories, lots of energy is delivered, but sustainable health is not.

The harvest in the wind

The brokers, speculators, and marketers are not bad people – in fact, they are brilliant.  They are simply stuck with the wrong set of incentives.  The Ingenesist Project dramatically changes the incentives and promises a far better allocation of intellectual capital, social capital, and creative capital.  By making such assets tangible outside the construct of the Wall Street, the comparative advantage of the United States in an innovation economy will be astonishing.

Where there is fertilizer in the wind, Wall Street will lead. Where there is a harvest in the wind, Wall Street will follow.

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