Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: new economic paradigm

YOU are MONEY

money-head-suitSome HR bloggers are calling for a new profession called “Social Media Administrator”.  While there are many opinions and wide agreement about the roles and responsibilities – most of which I fully agree with – I would like to add the following considerations:

The corporate social media administrator should have a direct connection, responsibility and accountability with other social media administrators external to the corporation.  Not unlike a board of directors having diverse membership.  The membership and reputation of member of a Social Media BOD is also on the line.

Social media is just that, social.  It cannot be sequestered fully behind corporate walls and must be open and transparent in it’s message.  The Social Media administrator must protect the voices of those who speak.  While there is a constitutional amendment for freedom of speech in our government and the basis of democracy, none exists for corporations who use the information or the social media enterprise that hold “possession” of the information for eternity.

A market can only be efficient with adequate vetting mechanisms; the SEC vets Wall Street, The FAA vets Airlines, and the system of Checks and Balances vets government.  When the vetting mechanism fails, so too does the market.

Few people can see why this is important largely because the reasoning lies in economics and market theory.  Simply put, we are entering a new economic paradigm unlike anything we have ever seen or could imagine.  The idea that each and every iota of knowledge, experience, and opinion that exists between your ears behaves like a financial instrument has not fully been explained.  YOU are MONEY in every definition of the word.  Your productivity supports the value of the dollar. You own your knowledge, it is your property – you can waste it, you can mint more of it, you can borrow it, and you can lend it – and you should be able to capitalize in any currency of your choosing.

The only thing missing is a financial system for your knowledge. If we are smart – and ONLY if we are smart, this system will arise with the continued convergence of social media.  Among the KEY elements that MUST be in place is a public accounting system for Social Media Administration.

Twitter Vetting = Twetting?

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There are 3 characteristics of financial instruments which make them tangible in a market:   They live in an inventory, they are exposed to vetting mechanisms, and they are subject to constraints.

Tangibility of knowledge:

Here at Conversational Currency we are constantly seeking examples where human knowledge behaves like a financial instrument because a true innovation economy will arise when all 3 characteristics are true for the ‘human knowledge’.

We believe that the platform for the Innovation Economy will be Socialized Media; not corporations, or government.  So we get excited when we see posts like this from Brian Solis via Matt Marshall regarding Twitter’s monetization plans.

Twitter to becoming the vetting mechanism for business intelligence.

Think about the credit score; a list of independent variables run through an algorithm that correlate with the likelihood that you’ll fulfill a financial obligation. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination…read between the lines:

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By Brian Solis:

Over at VentureBeat, Matt Marshall is reporting that Twitter will introduce its first revenue-generating series of premium services.

In an interview with co-founder Biz Stone, it was revealed that Twitter is in the initial phases of introducing commercial accounts to businesses seeking detailed analysis of activity in and around the brand on the popular network as well as other data not available to Twitter users directly.

In the next phase, Stone indicated that Twitter may also debut a new set of corporate-specific API’s that would allow the company to insert a customer layer over the profile and other aspects of the network to more effectively engage with the community, while increasing strategic visibility.

Stone revealed to Marshall, “Twitter will still be free for everybody and we’ll still tell them to go crazy with it. But, we’ve identified a selection of things that businesses say are helping to make them more profit.”

He further elucidated, “We want to build statistics or analytics that let users know — ‘How am I doing on Twitter?”

This news is the latest in a short series of information bursts following the company’s announcement that it is rolling out a new set of APIs to integrate geo-location into Tweets, mostly likely to contend with rising competition of geo-location networks such as Loopt and Four Square and also as a potential generator of hyper-local advertising revenue.

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Ponder this:

Social value lives in an emerging inventory that is ever increasing in granularity.  Corporations have very little control over public opinion –  except in retrospect – which amounts to a constraint on social value.  Now, Twitter is the vetting mechanism.  Wow, we’re getting closer to the next economic paradigm every day.

The implications are vast.  Now we shall ask a few question:

At what point will Corporate Innovation reflect social priorities over Wall Street priorities?

At what point will Wall Street Priorities reflect Social Priorities?

If the Wall Street Manifesto is to “return shareholder value” and Twitter is vetting “social values”, what is the value of Twitter and who is really holding/voting those shares?


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The Social Media Resolution; From Monet to Blue Ray

The Convergence of Knowledge

The Ingenesist Project and related blogs such as Relationship Economy and now Conversational Currency have long predicted that the resolution of social media space will vastly increase from  “Monet” to “Blue Ray”.  The segmentation and convergence of social media space will happen on two fronts: Knowledge Inventory and Proximity.

From Strategis:

“As Facebook balloons to over 250 million users, many voice their appreciation for Facebook’s small social network feel.  Unlike its so-last-year counterpart, MySpace, Facebook has successfully maintained a very personal feel, finding hundreds of ways to link the most relevant people, in the most relevant ways.

Even so, because Facebook has so many interesting people, useful content, and relevant apps available, many users would appreciate a broader search option that would enable the to quickly search ALL of Facebook’s content. Thus, Face says: “your wish is my command”. And so it is. Facebook has now announced that it will soon make the change allowing users to search the entire site, not to mention, do new things like share status updates with everyone, rather than just confirmed friends. Expect to see these changes in full effect some time within the next two months”

What’s in store for the next 2 years?

While the coolness of Social Media is still riffing through society as the late adopters drive huge growth, nothing “economical” happens until people actually get together and build something.  In order to build anything, there must be an inventory of parts.  All these parts need to be in physical or virtual proximity to each other. A financial system must support the initiatives of the entrepreneurs in any market.

The United States of Mind

We’re about 3% into this new paradigm today.  At 20% the corporate structure will become increasingly mushy as many corporate functions are now handled in Social media space. At 30%, cooperation will “compete” with competition as a business model.  At 40% a new currency emerges to hedge debt backed dollar with productivity backed “conversational currency”.  At 50% people convert general dollar backed holdings to ‘conversational currency’ holdings.  At 60% social priorities dominate corporate priorities. At 70% the Innovation Bond dominates financial markets. At 80% international borders become fuzzy as knowledge flows as easily as, say, avocados and T-shirts do today.  At 90% global currency backed by productivity, dollar, Euro, Yen all expire.  At 100%, the president is elected to a “State of mind”.

Hold on, not so fast….

OK, so that’s the problem with predictions, it’s hard to survive with one’s credibility intact.  Kudos to Strategis for showing us the future!!

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 New Economic Paradigm; Part 5: The Entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in this world.

6 Billion of them wander the Earth looking for assets that exists at a low state of productivity waiting to be elevated to a higher state of productivity.

The entrepreneur must first be able to identify an asset as an asset.  Next they need to identify the lower level of productivity and they need to be able to imagine the higher potential level of productivity.  The entrepreneur must identify and manage some risk, perform leadership tasks; and as a result, elevate the asset to the higher state of productivity.  Profit is the difference between the lower and the higher state – minus expenses.

Unfortunately, today this process starts at the forest and ends at the junkyard.

This is how our economic system is organized.  The next economic paradigm flips that idea over.  Instead of accounting for natural resources as the tangible element and human knowledge as the intangibles element; the next economic paradigm must account for the natural resource as the intangible element and the human knowledge as the tangible element.

The current problem is not that knowledge is intangible; rather, knowledge is simply invisible.

The Ingenesist Project will make knowledge assets visible by provisioning all of the information that an entrepreneur now needs to identify the knowledge asset and the associated states of productivity.  Entrepreneurs can then increase human productivity using knowledge assets applied to natural resources, instead of natural resources applied to consumption.  The implications are vast.

Returning to the financial analogy:

With a financial bank, the entrepreneur assumes that they have the knowledge required to execute a business plan and the go to the Financial Institution to borrow the money.

With an “Innovation Bank” the entrepreneur assumes that they have the money to execute the business plan, and they go to the innovation institution to borrow the knowledge.

While this may sound trivial, the implications are vast:

1. A virtuous circle now exists between society and the financial system
2. Profit is derived from increasing human productivity not natural resource exploitation.

Economics is the science of incentives:

A financial Bank seeks to match a surplus of money with a deficit of money.  It is in the best interest of the bank to find rich people who will not need their money for a while, and poor people have the best likelihood of paying the money back in time.  The process assumes that the borrower has the knowledge required to execute a business plan when they seek to borrow money.  However, that FICO score does not measure knowledge explicitly, so little incentive exists to make it tangible.  All of the top ten reasons why businesses fail are due to failures of knowledge.  The financial system is collapsing under the weight of failed knowledge.

By contrast, the Innovation Bank seeks to find people who have a surplus of knowledge and people who have a deficit of knowledge about what they intend to produce. The innovation bank then uses a series of statistical calculus (the same calculus as the credit/insurance/risk management professions) to match most worthy surplus of knowledge assets to most worthy deficit of knowledge assets.  Here, the opposite assumption is made; everyone assumes that the borrower has the money required to execute the business plan and they go to the innovation bank to borrow the knowledge.  People have an incentive to accumulate knowledge.

Simplicity that defies comprehension:

The business plan for the new entrepreneur is deceptively simple to do and nearly impossible to monopolize; anyone can do it not just the wealthy and their chosen few.  The next 3 modules will outline how new enterprises will be constructed from the virtuous circle created between the financial bank and the innovation bank.  This changes everything …. and did I mention that the implications are vast?

The Balance Sheet for Knowledge Assets

Innovation economics has a way of forcing us to look at the mirror image of conventional wisdom.  This article will look at knowledge assets as they might appear on an accounting balance sheet.  You may be surprised at what happens at the bottom line.

Wall Street will often reward a company that has a large backlog of orders. This can appear in the eyes of most observers as an asset. After all, who would not want a backlog of orders?  However, in the world of social media, a huge backlog causes a serious problem – it represents commitments made that have not yet been delivered. An unfulfilled promise in a social network is a liability and not an asset.  By extension, a backlog in an innovation economy is a liability and not an asset (note: climate change).

Applying conventional wisdom to an innovation economy, we find that most companies have an excellent inventory of the “liability” but a poor inventory of the “asset” that will execute those promises. All of their plans, specifications, blueprints, job descriptions, policies and procedures, etc., are liabilities in an innovation economy because these define the promise that is unfulfilled, not the asset that will fulfill them.

Until recently, companies assumed that the right knowledge assets will always be available – an assumption that for a long time has limited the level of productivity that humans can achieve, specifically, the sustainability of natural resources. The absence of a knowledge inventory limits the complexity of problems that humans can solve much like industry was limited to custom machinery before Eli Whitney demonstrated the concept of interchangeable parts less than 200 years ago.

Further, if the product line is expected to have a life cycle of more than a few years, the knowledge inventory must extend beyond the doors of the company and into the surrounding community.  Therefore, the knowledge inventory must take on the taxonomy of the community, not the taxonomy of the corporation such as skill codes, levels, titles, etc. The requirement is now clearly in the domain of social networks.  Yet, I still hear grumblings in the blog sphere that social networks cannot be monetized – nothing should be further from the truth.

So, let’s talk about the bottom line.  For example, Boeing announced today that their greatest future challenge would be the availability of engineers. Boeing has a market capitalization of $34B and a $300B backlog.  Money has a 10:1 multiplier as it travels through and economy.  For a balanced accounting statement, what would be the real value of a social network that can capture the correct knowledge inventory to support Boeing; 34B, 300B, or 3T?

In general, valid estimates of the bottom line can vary by 2 orders of magnitude depending on the point of view of Wall Street, corporate management, or the social network community.  Who would be the better steward?

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