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People Are Corporations Too

Wow what a week. I though that I heard it all until Mitt Romney said “Corporations Are people”. Actually, I admire Mr. Romney but I do struggle with this interpretation for his sake and those who he represents – and possibly an opportunity lost to rise above the noise.

In a way, Mitt provides us with a looking glass into the fundamental differences between the rich and the poor. The rich see themselves as the proxy for the prosperity of the poor. Meanwhile, the poor see themselves as the proxy for the prosperity of the rich. Neither side admits that they need each other, but I won’t pretend that I can solve this argument any time soon.  However, allow me to suggest that the winner of the debate will be the one that can evolve above the paradox.

The following video discusses how many components of a corporation – and government – are being duplicated in Social Media. The beauty of is that this great social innovation is available to anyone including the rich, the poor, the corporations, and the government. Oh, but wait – if the UK shuts down social media, they will effectively shut themselves out of the paradox, not evolve from it…Ooops. Be careful, Mitt.

So here is a video I made last year which, in a way, validates much of what we see playing out before us in politics, business, and social media.

Watching The Birds Play The Value Game

To some entrepreneurs, the problems with the aviation industries signal many insurmountable obstacles.  At  Social Flights these challenges portend an extraordinary opportunity for a new business method to bring efficiency, order, social value while eliminating artificial barriers.

Social Flights value proposition is very strong for travel ranging from 200-1000 miles between smaller airports. Social Flights can deploy quickly in response to specialized market needs, environmental condition, opportunities, or events. Social flights adapts the mission of the aircraft to meet the opportunities presented to the market.

Conversely, commercial aviation struggles dearly in this segment because they try to get the market to meet the pre-ordained mission of the aircraft. The entire air transportation system would be best served if commercial aviation concentrated on the long haul/high volume “migration” service.  There is no reason why private aviation cannot perform the job that gridlocks commercial aviation.  This would make both industries more efficient.

Commercial Aviation’s Race to Nowhere

The Deregulation Act of 1978 in the Commercial Aviation system led to the development of the Hub and Spoke system whereas commercial carriers would fly people from small locations into a one or more large “Hub” cities where they would transfer on to the next destination – usually another hub, or on to the final destination.

Deregulation undermined point-to-point service regardless of market demand, ignoring social objectives of the passengers, having no regard for the final destination of the passengers, and blowing off the “time-value” of their passengers.  Recently, the ever expanding security layer has reached the point of personal privacy invasion.  With the age of the Internet, sites such as Travelocity and Expedia diluted the “service class” market segmentation of the airlines in favor of the “price class” segmentation of airlines.  These forces caused the commercial airline experience to become a deceptive, deeply invasive, and physically strenuous experience.

Private Aviation’s starvation diet

Meanwhile, the private aviation sector has fallen under the thumb of listing agents who tie up the industry behind the gilded walls of Charter Brokerage Houses.  FAA regulation hampers the ability to attract passengers on a per-seat basis, which gives private operators a hugely limited marketing position.  Brokers took over to mark-up the price of chartered flights far beyond the reaches of a mainstream market.

For these reasons, the private aviation sector has had difficulty organizing itself into a self-sustaining cooperative, until now.  In Fact, the smaller the airplane and the more widely distributed the airports, the simpler and more efficient the whole social system can become.

Social Flights changes the Game by Changing the Mission.

The Social Value Game

The Social Value Game

The value game is a social media business method developed by the folks at The Ingenesist Project in a dynamic application of social technology.

Most applications of game theory are controlled from in-house or deployed against a competitive landscape.  The Value Game is deployed external to the corporation and in a cooperative landscape where rewards are given to those who organize people around a “highly leveraged product” in valuable ways.

There are 5 elements to The Value Game

The first is what we call a highly leveraged product such as a conference, experience, convenience, ZipCars, or reunion – we’ll see that almost any product can be leveraged.

The next element is a secondary product vendor such as a hotel, restaurant, transportation, clothing, or equipment supplier – we’ll also see how almost any product can be deployed in the secondary role.

The third element is a consumer who seeks to minimize financial cost and maximize social value.

The fourth element is a 3rd party entrepreneur who is able to organized people in social networks and leverage primary and secondary assets in unique combinations.

The fifth Element is a true value calculator called the Social Value Index (SVI).   The SVI is the scorekeeper that calculates the actual value of the leveraged product after all of the discounts and social value factors are counted.

The game starts when everyone joins the same social network underwritten by a mobile electronic debit card platform and sets their filters for what information can enter (and to block out spam).  The highly leveraged product in the middle acts like a ball in play whose value is dependent on the interaction of the other elements.  Secondary vendors will deploy incentives into the field.  Third party entrepreneurs will organize people around the incentives and take social profits.  The Social Value Index will keep score.

Example 1: A ZipCar costs about 8 dollars per hour; this business model does not encourage social activity; it encourages fast shopping. Suppose that a person pays for the ZipCar on their debit card.  Local restaurants will be made aware of the purchase and then deploy coupons against the ZipCar to the buyer’s debit card. Next, a 3rd party entrepreneurs may improve the SVI by organizing a ZipCar swap so that the person does not have to leave in the same ZipCar that they arrived in and can spend more time shopping.  Another entrepreneur may organize events for families and friends that increase the passengers in each ZipCar, or by capturing any inventory from the community such as movie tickets or family experiences to deploy against the ZipCar.  After the event, the SVI updates the net cost of the ZipCar from 8 dollars per hour to, say, 1.42 per hour.  This is 80% savings on the ZipCar and 33% savings on a day out with the family over using their own car.

In effect, the leveraged product buys itself in a convertible social currency

Example 2: Suppose that a popular aerobics instructor has 40 students.  The local health food store may authorize her to give away 1000 coupons for 5% discount on store products.  In return, the aerobics instructor gets 5% of total purchased.  The health food store already spends 10% of revenue on advertising. It is in the instructor’s best interest to give the coupons to people who are likely to spend the most at the store.  After all, if 1000 people spend 100 dollars each, she stands to gain 5000 dollars.  The health food store stands to gain loyal customers without advertising. The aerobics instructor may maximize her profits by joining with a health food chef to teach classes in healthy cooking.  Or, she may join with a caterer, wedding planner, or hotel to supply an entire event for which she will receive social and financial value.  She may give them to colleagues who also become authorized to give away coupons – and she negotiates for a percentage of their output as well. She will become knowledgeable about the products at the store and talk about them with her friends.  She may even sell the face value of the coupons for cash since it is likely that a high bidder would also be a large customer for the health food store.  The Social Value Index favors this store, this aerobics instructor, and this social network – higher than competitors.  SVI registers with Search Engines and bargain hunters seek the Aerobics Instructor for deeper information and services.

Millions of applications will arise limited only by the imagination of communities not Wall Street

The Innovation Banker

Future of Banking

When I use the term “Innovation Bank”, people conjure up the image of a cheery place where anticipation reigns as starry eyed depositors arrange their intellectual property in neat cubby boxes, Patents fly like cash register receipts and companies troll the halls looking for a cure for their bottom line blues.

This is not exactly what we have in mind, nor is it too far off either. An innovation Bank is simply a knowledge inventory that contains knowledge assets that exists in the format of a financial instrument and can be deployed for the purposes of increasing productivity.  In the process, it makes 10X more of itself every time it is deployed.  It mints its own money.

The Innovation Banker

This is not much different than a financial bank. In fact, in the financial bank, everyone assumes the borrower has the knowledge to execute the business plan and the bank lends the money. Oh, by the way, the money makes more of itself  10X over (fractional reserve system) every time it is deployed.

With the innovation bank, everyone assumes the entrepreneur has the money to execute the plan, and the seek to borrow the knowledge. Other than that, they can be considered identical. The key is in the scope, depth, and format in which the knowledge assets live in a community as well as the ability to track and preserve the creation of new knowledge in a community.  An innovation banker is a knowledge banker

A Virtuous Circle

Together with the financial banking, these two system engage in the dance of the virtuous circle of innovation enterprise. Apart, they collapse into the swirling cesspool of eternal debt and infinite interest (pun intended).

Ingenesist.com

Music by Phil Felicia

Sell-ebrity Sects

Waiting in the grocery store checkout line, there is never a shortage of glossy media about the sex lives of Celebrities. The stories are always the same, only the Celebrities change.

There are no glossy tabloids in the DIY check-out line where the objective is to check you out as fast as possible in order to meet a competitive “service quota”. In either case, however, the consumer is being extorted of value.

A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. In modern culture the term can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. A sellebrity is someone who sells distraction for a living – they may talk about something that sounds like productivity, but it is really a distraction designed to maintain a status quo.

When marketers want you to do the same thing over and over again, you get Sellebrity Sects.  When marketers want you to change your behavior, they remove the Sellebrity sects.  The absence of sellebrities is equally interesting, and somewhat counter intuitive.   Yet, consumers think it is the exact opposite.  In either case, the consumer is extorted of value.

Sellebrity Sects refers to a set of rules or principles set out as different from the rest and used for the specific purpose of liberating you from your values; your time value, social values, financial values, even your family values.

Social media is introducing a host of new Sellebrities peddling some object designed to fortify their credibility, usually a book tour, keynote address, “Reputation”, social currency, or an A-list client. The ‘pitchman’ preoccupies the consumer into standing still long enough to create an arbitrage position for those who can exploit the TIME that you are not acting – either for branding or automating. When the arbitrage position collapses, a new sect is formed and the game continues.

Keep in mind that “Value” exists in many different forms, the game is intense, Time is the currency, and the story never changes. Look at the sellebrities all around you. Ask yourself why they are there. Try to identify the sects. Guard your social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital very carefully – use it to increase your productivity alone.  Most of all, be different – they will either ignor you or pay you.

Google CEO Warns of Information Armageddon

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt warns of the future consequences of social media and networks, and the vast amount of personal data that users put out there on the Web.

The article goes on to describe how Google is looking for what is next – that is, a world where the Google Icon no longer dominates the center of our lives.  He warns future societies about creating a “future” by documenting the past.  A future president, CEO, or just a job hunter can be haunted forever by the words and images that are becoming indelible in social media today.  Mr. Schmidt insists that information is social currency.

Actually, I do not believe this to be true.  I believe that is more likely than not a severe disruption is on the horizon which will deeply impact social media, Google, and Facebook, etc.  This disruption will alter the course of the future that Google predicts.

All it would take is for humans to step up one more rung on the evolution ladder.

Think of it like this:  a dollar is used to store and exchange value yet it is completely anonymous – you don’t know very much about it’s past or future – you do not need to know much about the exchange device in order to carry out the transaction.

Google is an information company, not a knowledge company. The next economic paradigm will be based on the creation, storage , and exchange of knowledge – not necessarily information.  Knowledge exists only between the ears and once it is made tangible, I will not need to know where in the past that knowledge was excecuted – college keg parties included.

Neither Google or Facebook have indicated that they realize how value can be created, stored, and exchanged while maintaining anonymity if the public knowledge inventory were properly coded. Likewise, billions of people who use Social Media are dismally unaware that nobody else needs to posess any of their personal information to execute a knowledge transaction – seriously, noone.  In fact, not only is relative anonymity a possibility, it is an imperative to market efficiency in Social Capitalism.

The “next Google” will, in fact, filter out irrelevant “information” as a means of creating time. Time is the real currency. For more on this please see http://ingenesist.com/introduction.

Google needs to figure out how to get the most worthy knowledge surplus connected to the most worthy knowledge deficit in the shortest amount of time.  Information brokering alone can’t do this, so it’s Armageddon for whom?

***

Please Vote for The Ingenesist Project to present at SXSW 2011

The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on a platform of social media as the next economic paradigm.  60 minute solo presentation in the advanced technical track.  Your help is deeply appreciated. All comments welcome.  Material based on video series here

Please Vote for The Ingenesist Project; SXSW

TagCloudPhotoThe Ingenesist Project has submitted the following presentation to the South By Southwest Conference in Austin Texas on March 2011. We sincerely encourage our readers to vote for this presentation. It promises to be hugely compelling, deeply controversial, and boldly disruptive. This is for a 60 minute solo presentation to the Advanced Technical Track – the competition is impressive. Voting ends Friday August 27, 2010

Please select the following link to vote

Thank you very much for your support

The Ingenesist Project

Description:

Today, we have one of the most extraordinary opportunities in human history playing out before our eyes. Social Capitalism is no longer merely a band-aid for an amoral Market Capitalism, it is a new form of Capitalism in it’s own right.

In the age of social media, many entrepreneurs no longer allocate land, labor, and financial capital as a primary means of production. Rather, they deploy social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to the production of a vast amount of “value” that is stored and exchanged in communities. The objective of The Ingenesist Project is to make this value tangible outside the constructs of government and corporate interaction.

This presentation identifies the five essential components of Market Capitalism and demonstrates similar elements emerging in social media. It then specifies how these elements can be integrated to perform the essential analogous functions of financial institutions. Next, we specify three relatively simple social media applications that may create a new class of business plans enabling millions of social entrepreneurs worldwide. Finally, a new financial instrument is described which can be capitalized and securitized to form the basis of a fungible social currency to hedge the dollar.

The net result could create a condition where Wall Street priorities are subservient to social priorities rather than social priorities being subservient to Wall Street priorities.

Questions Answered


What can replace market capitalism when it finally runs out of steam?
What exactly are people producing when they engage in Social Media and why does it create value?
What characteristics must a social currency have in order to be fully convertible or even a replacement for the dollar?
What is a knowledge inventory, how should it be formed, and why should every community have one?
What would be a powerful strategic plan for the Internet in the absence of one today?


[Level Advanced Category Entrepreneurism / Monetization Tags monetization, Social Capitalism, Social Currency Type Solo Event Interactive 2011]

The presentation will mirror some content found in the following video series

Photo credit:


Stock Harmony; Exchange of Social Value

I came across an interesting business model for the deployment of a social currency. Stock Harmony, quite simply, sells itself to interesting people. Those people then interact with each other adding social value to Stock Harmony. The more social value is created, the more the original shares are worth. The more the shares are worth, the more interesting people will join further increasing the value of the shares. From that position to deploy social value, Stock Harmony can amplify the voice for social priorities over Wall Street priorities, effectively re-allocating factors of production.

Actually, the same thing happens all the time in typical social circles, networks, affinity groups, and political action committees. However, I am not certain that anyone has yet been successful (ethically) in using social circles as a way to store and exchange value. That is why Stock Harmony is interesting.

It sounds so simple, right? Well, … not really….

It’s all about structure. The way that a process or system is structured determines how people interact with it. Structure also determines how governments, markets, laws, politics, and even public opinion interact with the process or system as well. Interestingly, the structure of facts often keeps secrets tight. In short, structure shapes human behavior and human behavior shapes structure.

Companies sell shares to raise money. Per SEC regulations, the “sale of shares” must comply with certain disclosure and accounting standards. The SEC regulates companies in the sale of shares as a means to safeguard investors.  In other words, it is illegal to sell shares without government oversight.

Raising Money

The possibility that anyone can sell shares in themselves or their private enterprise as a means of raising money is, by default, relegated to the banking system. A person essentially sells shares on their productive time on Earth to buy a house, a car, or a business, etc. The structure begins to crumble when the employment contracts begin to crumble. As people leave the old system, they take their value with them and tend to create new ones. This is where Stock Harmony treads.

What if the shares are issued in non-dollar denominations?

Today we see many non-dollar denominated structures arising apparently at the same rate that the financial system is failing. Google secretly invests 100M in Zynga – a gaming company with a common gaming currency. Facebook established a system of currency-like Credits. Groupons deploy social currency to incite monetary discounts, etc, and PayPal stands ready for the next killer currency app. Any of these transaction systems are poised to hold a black market currency if fiat currencies fail. If the fiat currencies fail to recover, the black market becomes a gray market and ultimately a legitimate market. So, there is a lot at stake.

Currency must act as a proxy for human productivity;

So this is what makes Stock Harmony interesting. The successful “next currency” will be the one which best represents human productivity. Only then will someone be willing to trade their productivity for that of another person using a currency note as an exchange mechanism. This is where other alternate currencies fall apart and where Stock Harmony shows greater strength. After all – what would you rather accept in exchange for your services – Farmville gaming currency or a currency backed by the harmony and productivity of real people in real community?

It will all come down to structure.

Cluster Funk

I recently attended another one of those economic development summits where a bunch of people with long titles gets a chance to speak on a panel touting the mysterious benefits of a mysterious innovation clusters that create mysterious wealth that can only be realized if their mysterious department is funded.

Nearly every speaker concluded with the following paraphrase: “if only government would fund this or that, everything will be fine”, or, “if only corporations would fund this or that, then we’ll all be better off”

Uhmmm…sorry to break the news, it ain’t gunna happen.

Innovation clusters are all the rage in regional economic development circles. Actually, they are “industrial clusters” because several companies in similar industries collocate in the same geographical area. The industrial cluster then attracts supporting industry and often causes the migration of educated and motivated people to the prospect of jobs. I suspect the ‘innovation’ moniker comes from the notion that new ideas will somehow result from similarity of ideals and purpose.

Group Think Tanks

There are, however, a few drawbacks to industry clusters; they are vulnerable to stagnation, silos, and external shocks. As companies become organized and technologies mature, patents and trade secrets take hold. As they ‘go public’, SEC regulation effectively places a gag order on everyone and sharing slows while stagnation sets in.

Soon after, dozens of nimble companies consolidate into a single giant to achieve economies of scale. Finally, silos form under the weight of multiple layers of management while jobs are mechanized or outsourced.

Then, something somewhere happens to shock the cluster; the end of the cold war leveled the So Cal aerospace cluster. 9/11 busted the Seattle Aerospace cluster. The dot.com bomb stunted Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Route 128. Hurricanes and environmental disasters hit the petroleum cluster, stem cell and genetic engineering legislation stalled biotechnology, and corruption continues to shock financial institutions. At the end of the cycle, companies divest, people defect and a new planet starts to form someplace else.

Remember “scrubbing bubbles”?

While occasional cleansing, in a Schumpeterian sense, is good for industries, the extreme volatility takes a horrendous toll on that invisible turbine of the economic engine – social fabric. Families, friendships, professional networks are strained or collapse and those who dedicate their life to a career path – the pure innovator themselves – can be left marginalized by obsolescence.

The term “Innovation Clusters” makes for a good soundbite for politicians because it fits on the “Jobs R Us” banner they can stand in front of (thumbs up) for the next election cycle.   The term keeps funds flowing to organizations to publish studies that conclude that more studies are needed. Maybe these summits ought to be renamed to Cluster Funks because that is largely what they actually promote.

Let’s Argue About the Definition of Productivity Instead

Many arguments rage because of poor definitions to terms. If people cannot agree on a definition, they will not agree on much else. A definition should be definitive – here I will tackle 5 of the most elusive definitions that are at the center of much, if not all, global controversy: Data, Information, knowledge, innovation, wisdom

To state the obvious

It should be obvious that data, information, knowledge, innovation and wisdom are related. The test is simple: if you corrupt one of them, all the others become corrupted. The question becomes; how are they related?

Consider the following definitions

Allow me to provide the following 4 relationships:

1. Information is derived from the productivity of data

2. Knowledge is derived from the productivity of information

3. Innovation is derived from the productivity of knowledge

4. Wisdom is derived from the productivity of innovation

These relationships are very useful.

1. They include everyone, they exclude no one.

2. They are personal enough to reflect individual value system yet discrete enough to not contradicting the value system of another.

The question now resides in how we define productivity, that is a much simpler, more efficient, and far wiser problem to be arguing about. Besides, a singles solution solves 4 problems.

Georgism; When Old Ideas Become New Again

Henry George was discredited for many ideas which are now emerging in with the increased economic influence of Social Media, social capitalism, trade of limited natural resources, and the trade of social currencies in reaction to the demise of financial currency.

The new film “The End of Poverty?” begins with the same question which Henry George asked in P&P:

Why does poverty become a deeper problem as a society becomes more prosperous?

While times and technology are far different than 110 years ago, early ideas are sometimes essential to peel back the complexity and look for the “truisms” that drive the Human Condition. Only then can we find both our common ground and our common direction.

From WikiPedia: Henry George (September 2, 1839October 29, 1897) was an American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the “single tax” on land. He inspired the philosophy and economic ideology known as Georgism, which is that everyone owns what he or she creates, but that everything found in nature, most importantly land, belongs equally to all humanity.

[The following is a lose adaption from a 1993 article by Robert V. Andelson which can be found here with links dutifully provided by Stephen Nacci, 2010]:

…The method of discrediting Henry George is described in “The Corruption of Economics

The book describes basically taking Classical Econonomics and distorting it by
artifically merging land into capital, and distorting Classical economic thought
with NEO- Economic thought, and pushing this agenda through media and
institutions… over the last 100 years…

Henry George’s first book, Progress and Poverty: An inquiry into the cause of
industrial depressions and of increase of want with increase of wealth… The
Remedy
was self-published in 1879. It went on to become the best-selling book ever on
political economy,* and in the 1880s and 1890s was said to be outsold only by
the Bible.

*Political economy is the science which deals with the natural laws governing the production and distribution of wealth and services.

He went on to write several other important books including Social Problems, The Land Question, The Condition of Labor, A Perplexed Philosopher, The Science of Political Economy, and (published posthumously) Protection or Free Trade, and a number of articles and speeches, including The Crime of Poverty, Ode to Liberty, Thou Shalt Not Steal, Thy Kingdom Come, Causes of Business Depression, and Justice the Object, Taxation the Means.

In 2006, Bob Drake* did a thought-by-thought updating into contemporary language of Progress and Poverty, which was published with the subtitle “Why there are recessions and poverty amid plenty — and what to do about it. Or, download and listen to Bob’s MP3 here

We hope you’ll explore Henry George’s answers — and his remedy. We are persuaded that the problem of poverty can only be solved through recognizing what George taught.

Cory Doctorow In Seattle

Activist, Science fiction writer, and blogger Cory Doctorow spoke at in Seattle to a full house at the Sunset Tavern in Ballard. He performed a reading from his latest book, “For The Win”. Cory has an interesting sense of abstraction. He’ll spot a trend – or collection of trends – and extrapolates them into the future dutifully revealing all the complexities of the human condition.

For The Win

His reading centered on the “exploitation” of young adults who are hired to play online games where they work to achieve levels, rewards, virtual currency, and game status which is then sold to rich Western players. Some players become highly valued for their knowledge inventory of game world monsters, strategies, power points, and the uncanny ability to assess the knowledge inventory of their opponents who’ll get suckered into a virtual dual with predictable consequences. The kids literally “mine gold”. As always, gold corrupts the most innocent hearts resulting in situations and behaviors at least as strange as the game itself.

The Activist

Cory has long been an activist for digital publication rights and rules. Not surprisingly, the Q&A was dominated by privacy, security, and exploitation of information issues. Cory recently closed his Facebook Account which caused quite a stir in the blogsphere. Ironically, every big name in world-class privacy violation had recently been in the news for Mr. Doctorow to eloquently spit roast on an open flame. It was quite entertaining.

There is a reason that it’s called Monetization

While Mr. Doctorow did not specifically mention this, what struck me most was hearing him talk around this emerging battle for control of people’s information. While this idea is not new, the reasons behind it may be new. As Money is losing it’s capacity to store and control value, human knowledge is increasing it’s capacity to store and control value – this is hugely accelerated by social media. The desperate attempt to control people’s information is really a proxy for the desperate attempt to control knowledge, therefore to re-control the value that money once represented.

Unfortunately, controlling information also destroys value.

People actively participate and share on social media to achieve levels, rewards, and status which is then sold to corporations in the form of predictive marketing by third party aggregators like Facebook. Some people become highly valued for their knowledge inventory of real-world game perils, influencers, and social mavens and become celebrities of the craft. Many develop the uncanny ability to assess the knowledge inventory of their opponents who get suckered into a virtual dual with predictable results.

Suddenly the News started sounding like one of Cory’s Science Fiction Novels…

Event Sponsored by: The Stranger

Enterprise Prediction Markets Summit

(Editor: I’ll be speaking at the following event on June 4th. If you are in the area or blogging issues in this genre of ideas, let me know and drop by. Look up the other speakers and you’ll find an extraordinary group of visionaries preparing to make this PM Cluster Summit a truly enlightening event.)

Enterprise Prediction Markets Summit:
Leading Enterprise Prediction Markets

Friday, June 4 2010 8:00am – 5:00pm

EVENT LOCATION: The Boeing Company: Integrated Aircraft Systems Lab Building 2-122, Conference Room #102L2 (Conference Center) 7701-14th Avenue South Seattle, Washington 98108 USA

EVENT REGION: US –Pacific Northwest


EVENT PURPOSE: This summit is for executives, directors, mangers, users and practitioners having immediate needs to apply collective intelligence networks and enterprise prediction market mechanisms to advance business outcomes through mastery of collective wisdom.


EVENT SPEAKERS: Dennis P. O’Donoghue (Boeing), Sharon Chiarella (Amazon.com), Arik Johnson (Aurora WDC), Dan Robles (The Ingenesist Project), Dr. Richard O. Zerbe, Jr. (Evans School of Public Affairs), Christel Alvarez, ConsensusPoint, George Neumann, George Daly Research Professor of Economics, (Iowa), Olav Opedal (Microsoft, Internet Security)


EVENT COST: $99

EVENT WEBSITE: http://pmclusters.com/Prediction%20Markets/SEA10.htm


EVENT CONTACT NAME: Jennifer Hulett

EVENT CONTACT PHONE: 714-784-0754

CONTACT EMAIL: Jennifer.Hulett@pmclusters.com


MUST ONE RSVP: Yes! No on-site registration

ATTIRE: Business Casual

BUSINESS CARDS: YES – Bring Business Cards


EVENT NOTES: The conference sessions are focused, practical and conversational. They are for executives, directors, mangers, users and practitioners having immediate needs to apply collective intelligence networks and market mechanisms to advance business outcomes through mastery of collective wisdom.


ORGANIZATION NOTES: The Prediction Market Clusters, founded in 2004, are the global industry commons and open community for prediction markets and collective intelligence networks worldwide. The open, agnostic network is a focused collaboration of vendors, academia, traders, users, developers, markets, regulators and stakeholders. The goal is to provide awareness, diffusion, adoption and pull-through for enterprise and consumer prediction markets. The Prediction Markets Cluster is the worldwide Next Practices network for collective intelligence networks practices, tools and theories.

PM Clusters

Prediction Market Clusters
http://www.pmclusters.com

Trading Money in for Value

Money is a convenient way to store and exchange value. Unless the world enters into a free trade agreement with Martians, Earth is the physical boundary of all existing value.

No matter what a monetary currency is called or how it behaves in the financial system, by definition, it can never represent any more than the value that exists on Earth.

Value is reflected by  “Market Capitalization” of corporation, Roads, Bridges, infrastructure, armies, education, food, real estate, and all so-called tangible things. Intangibles such as human resources, public assets, and shared natural resources are only valuable to the extent that people depend on those resources for survival. Not surprisingly, “tangible” means all things that can be controlled and “intangible” means everything else.

However, if you look at how all value is created, it all eventually boils down to human knowledge.  All control and influence over human knowledge boils down to the individual. All Value on Earth is stored between our collective ears.  In order to fully assess the global financial system, there must be a corresponding global inventory of human knowledge.  There is no body of any influence in the world proposing this as a means of defining solvency.

Meanwhile, the social media revolution is slowly introducing a global knowledge inventory to financial markets with effects that are becoming increasingly profound. In case you have not noticed, money no longer represents value, it represents the control of value.  Social media is disrupting who, what, when, where, and how all the value can or cannot be controlled.

With every new exotic financial maneuver, the monetary currency becomes increasingly divorced from the value of human productivity.  With every new advancement in social media applications, human productivity is becoming less controlled by money.  Watch the news – the battle fields are all about who what when where and how someone can control what is between your ears.

Not surprisingly, governments, marketers, advertisers and even academia are the first and most public victims of losing control of their message.  Their message is being re-written by forces outside their control.

This is serious – Don’t let anyone try to convince you that the value of social currency is not hedging the value of financial currency.

Today, we are on the cusp of the greatest revolution that the world has ever known. The control of money may go to the banks but the control of value will not.  It will happen when people decide it will happen.  Perhaps they already have…2012 anyone?

To Accelerate Serendipity, The Whuffie Factor

Tara Hunt; Future of Money and Technology Summit 2010

Tara Hunt; Future of Money and Technology Summit 2010

In 1999, Cluetrain Manifesto flipped everything we knew about online behavior on it’s head. The integration of information being published on the Internet reached a tipping point indelibly articulated for all time by Doc Searles: Markets are Conversations”

The Whuffie

In 2003, Cory Doctorow published Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom where he introduced the concept of Whuffie as a form of reputation currency that accounts for social value in a fictional future society. In Cory’s thesis, people who produce things that represent social value were awarded Whuffie. People who produce anti-social value were punished Whuffie. The twist was that everyone has equal say as to who is awarded Whuffie and who is punished Whuffie. In retrospect, the concept of Whuffie, stands today an important metaphor marking the beginning of the social media revolution.

The Whuffie Factor

In her book The Whuffie Factor (2009), Tara Hunt identifies the facts of a reputation backed exchange among real people, communities, companies, and social interactions – with all their associated human complexities. By the gift of wisdom or intuition, Tara’s choice of the modifier “Factor” is an important distinction. In mathematics, a “Factor” is a multiplier against some other quantity.

Social Capital

In Tara’s book, Whuffie is roughly synonymous with ‘new’ social capital – a hugely complex financial instrument that is currently emerging before the eyes of all practitioners of social media. In 2010, everyone still struggles to articulate social capital with a 1999 vocabulary of new conversations living in old financial markets. There simply is no word for the phenomenon of social media daily manifesting in so many new and valuable ways – it’s just too new.

Yes, Tara has critics, but most I believe are short sighted. The term “Whuffie” is as good a word as any, so deal with it. The term “Factor” is what Tara is really talking about, so lets move on.

Love ’em or Hate ’em, Whuffie is a Derivative.

From Wikipedia: a derivative is any agreement or contract that is not based on a real, or true, exchange ie: There is nothing tangible like money, or a product, that is being exchanged. For example, a person goes to the grocery store, exchanges a currency (money) for a commodity (say, an apple). The exchange is complete when both parties have something tangible.

If the purchaser had called the store and asked for the apple to be held for one hour while the purchaser drives to the store, and the seller agrees, then a derivative has been created. The agreement (derivative) is derived from a proposed exchange (trade money for apple in one hour, not now).

Infinite Possibilities

In short, the current value of the relationship is backed by the past and future value of the many other relationship(s) formed. The twist is that social media has vastly equalized people’s impact on the true value of relationships – this remains consistent with Doctorow’s thesis. Tara takes us a step further where the underlying asset can be generalized as simply “value” where the Whuffie Factor is a derivative against this value. This is consistent with Searles’ thesis.

Social Currency

In my opinion, The Whuffie Factor will become one of the seminal books of its time period. Indeed there are many excellent books in the genre of collecting, building, engaging, storing and exchanging trust, reputation, or influence in Social Media. What sets Tara’s book apart is that, like Doc and Cory, she had the guts to call it something real.

Elevate the conversation or get out of the way

Tara Hunt effectively nails this profound abstraction to the floor so that the rest of us can now walk through to define and articulate the Holy Grail of our generation; a true Social Currency. Bravo Tara, Bravo

To Accelerate Serendipity, that’s the Whuffie Factor.

Photo Source/Credit; Jesse Lara

Future of Money and Technology Summit; Non-Quantifiable Exchanges

The above video playlist consists of the full 6 parts of the expert panel discussing non-quantifiable exchanges as recorded on April 26 2010 at the Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco. The complete video is about 55 minutes. I encourage you to watch it because very few discussions about the future of money approach the subject with as much experience, introspection, and clarity as this historic panel has.

This is not another doom-gloom room – but a truly optimistic model of a future financial system built on a platform of social media. These panelists represent some of the top thought leaders, visionaries, and practitioners in the area of “Local Social” – where nothing happens until the rubber meets the road. It was a great privilege for me to be a part of this esteemed group.

Panelists:

Tara Hunt; Social Media Strategist, Author: The Whuffie Factor
Daniel Robles, Director, The Ingenesist Project
Micki Krimmel, CEO; NeighborGoods
Chris Heuer, CEO, Social Media Club

Moderator: Tara Hunt

The future of Money and Technology Summit is one of the most important conferences to emerge as a result of the accelerated innovation and organizational re-structuring forming as a result of increasing constraints on the global financial system. We all look forward to another excellent conference next year!

Two Sides Of The Social Value Equation

There are two sides to the Social Value Equation – the creation of social value and the destruction of social value. There are countless examples where innovation destroys the value of prior technologies. There are also many instances where “progress”, perhaps in the form of a freeway or public structure, divides a community where strong social bonds once acted.

In the presentations that I give, I often cite the value of a bridge over a waterway. The bridge may cost 50 million dollars to build and maintain, but it increases human productivity by 50 billion in the life span of the bridge. We often cite a factor of 1:1000 for the valuation of the dollar to social currency.

Contrary to that, Jane Jacobs (renowned urban theorist and community activist) may argue, the bridge (and roadway) may divide a community or neighborhood. Where the community may once have been scaled for foot traffic, the new boundary may require a car to circumvent. The new road may divert old commercial traffic in many ways that are bad for a community. In such a case, the social capital destroyed by the bridge is in fact the dominant financial outcome.

So here I am, I just destroyed my own best analogy to demonstrate a point. Without vetting the complete transaction in the form of social currency, net “progress” of any kind is as easy to leverage backwards as well as forward at a rate of 1000:1.

Communities that seek to stop a disruptive development program will often organize to protest urban development decisions. Unfortunately, they are usually up against a calculation of economic impact that is dominated by dollar denominated currency. Without a “Social Currency” of their own, quantified and convertible to dollars, communities are doomed. Law suits will play out in the same manner where damages are non-quantifiable, and therefore non-existent.

Jane Jacobs also writes that a community that can place a value on their social currency – although I do not think she explicitly called it that – and can act to preserve value or increase value by their actions. Many communities from Greenwich Village to Boston have thrived under a social currency diverting projects away from sensitive communities. The Big Dig went underground in Boston much like the The viaduct replacement project will do the same Seattle. Granted, the Seattle project mainly preserves water and mountain views for million dollar condos, this concept, in fact, would be more critical to poorer communities than wealthy ones.

Obviously there is no way to impede progress. All innovations destroy prior value in the creation of greater value. The danger is when Wall Street priorities can dominate Social Priorities. Capitalism, for all the greatness it creates, is amoral. Capitalism is committed to dollar currency, and devoid of social obligation except to the degree that obligation is profitable – that is where social currency converts to capital currency.

Through the magic of the fractional reserve system, Banks create money backed by debt vs. deposits at a factor of 1:1000. Therefore, the convertibility of social currency with a capital currency at a similar factor of 1000:1 is essentially the only effective way to convert Social Priorities into Wall Street Priorities.

Facebook Derivatives

It seems ironic that people are using Facebook to urge others to quit Facebook. If they take their own advice, they would no longer be able to give their golden advice to others. If we took their advice, we would not be able to heed the advice of others in this matter.

Is Facebook too big to fail?

The human race is becoming a super-organism of connectivity. Companies like Facebook are duplicating the functions that governments have performed – by various methods with diverse consequences – since the dawn of civilization. There is nothing new about Government organizing society and pandering to corporations. There is nothing new with people protesting governance. There is also nothing new with forms of governance being replaced by an evolution of human consciousness.

The Next Wave of Innovation in Social Media?

First; Facebook itself has no value other than the value of the people and their networks. As such, Facebook behaves like a financial derivative – it is not the actual item of value, it is simply a utility contract representing value.

Second; Facebook can only deal in information – it cannot deal in “knowledge”. Your information is a derivative of your “knowledge”, not the knowledge itself. The real value of a social network is in what lies between the ears of the members. Therefore, one way to encrypt the information is to encrypt the knowledge.

Third; Suppose that your “resume” were coded as a list of numbers and operations representing the quality and quantity of the things you know. Suppose the people in your network were also coded in a similar fashion. As such, your network, would be a combination of these codes. If you really “know” someone, it would be easy to find them. If you don’t know someone, it would be impossible to find them.

Fourth: The game changes because the incentive now is to “Mind Meld” with real people. Marketers can only then profit by telling the absolute truth about what the product is and the affinity that the product serves – anything else defaults to a “no-sale”. The person can then set filters to be notified of products and services that can make them more productive in pursuing the things that they love and care about – their community.

An Emerging Evolution

Many People cite Cluetrain Manifesto (1999) as the start of this higher consciousness. Cory Doctorow introduced a concept currency called the Whuffie (2003). Tara Hunt, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Seth Godin, Clay Shirky, Jay Deragon, and many others expanded the idea of trust and reputation in the formation of social capital and associated social reorganization. As these ideas are reconstructed, especially in a form that is independent of the construct of the Corporation, Social Capital is emerging as a highly complex instrument – not unlike a derivative.

If not human knowledge, then what?

Now we notice that Facebook, Whuffie, and Wall Street Dollars are all built on derivatives where the underlying value is human knowledge. That is where all the man-made value on Earth is stored, period. The value stored by Human Knowledge hedges all bets. Nobody has a monopoly on it, but everyone is trying to figure out how. To do so would be to destroy it.

Code knowledge to set it free.

Despite all of the grumbling about Facebook, Wall Street, and all issues Political, there is a clear path toward a higher purpose in all of this. We should ponder this and be quite grateful.

m-Via; Social Currency and Technology

m-viaIf necessity is the mother of invention, then the Future of Money and Technology Summit 2010 was Paul Revere. There were many innovations that seek to change banking as we know it using a new denomination called social currency. This article (and more to follow) will identify the difference between two business methods – one that squanders social currency, and one that liberates social currency.

m-Via, is a money remittance company focused on allowing consumers to use any mobile phone to make international money transfers. m-Via focuses on the huge flow of remittances from the US to Mexico. I am personally directly aware of the challenges related to money transfers across international borders specifically Mexico; bank fees, extra ID, teller costs, time, risk, conversion fees, etc.

It is obvious to me that M-Via is looking very closely at how, why, and when people interact with a the banking system. The Banks are doing the same thing. The difference is that Banks seek activity thresholds and then design limits that seem to trigger artificial and exorbitant fees. Instead, m-Via seeks to reduce the friction in the transaction to meet the lives, schedule, priorities and concerns of the customer.

m-Via is trading in social currency

Banks are squeezing the least deserving by charging hidden fees for services that cost them nothing. For example; most people transfer small amounts of money on a steady cash flow schedule. Most people can’t spend the time to travel to a western Union on one side on each side of the transaction where travel expenses and security issues may be a constraint. Money is often redistributed among family members once in the target country. This is the reality of people, not an opportunity to set artificial thresholds to drive profit.

Paying money to a bank for the privilege of paying money to the bank…what?

m-Via drives a social currency by reducing risk, increasing yield, and helping people organize in the manner that suits their reality – not that of the banking industry. Most people who need money, don’t necessarily have the ‘money’ to absorb high transaction costs of time, risk, and inflexibility. Current banking practices extol a high social currency cost that amounts to “negative” interest rate against the consumer – in other words, people need to pay the bank in order to pay the bank to use the bank.

m-Via is already seeing a week over week growth of 15% in participation. I expect this growth to continue especially as many other technologies arrive to build out the infrastructure of transactions and business methods that are supported by a social currency.

Disclosure; m-Via was a sponsor to the Future of Money Summit and Technology but has no formal relationship or position in the Conversational Currency Blog.

Who Is Quantified by Whom?

abacusWhat is a Non-quantifiable Exchange?

The term “Non-Quantifiable Exchanges” was the title of a panel session that I attended at the recent Future of Money and Technology Summit. In researching the subject, it appears that a “non-quantifiable exchange” is more notable for what it is not rather than what it is. Case in point – after the precursory Google Search, the term and a modern definition does not exist – but the room was full !?!?!

With all of the talk about cloud sourcing economies and romantic notions of emerging organic currencies, it would seems that people could just get along fine without a central mechanism for storage and exchange of value. Instead, each individual would assess the value of the transaction in terms of what it means to him or her. Currency could then take the form of a person’s reputation, productivity and general usefulness for assessing value and helping others to do so in their community (reference)

If it’s not an asset…or a liability, then what is it?

Traditional valuation systems for businesses immediately start tugging at a host of standard assumptions for measuring “performance” – many of which are no longer meaningful. Land, Labor, and capital cannot be deployed to the same efficacy whereas social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are being liberated to social media with astonishing results.

Nobody can produce an accurate ROI for social media, however, social media presence is becoming a substantial factor in the valuation of a company.

Likewise, reverse access to personal information about customers on Facebook is both the lifeblood and poison of new engagement marketing. The general public have become “external intangibles” to the business plan – where the heck is that on a balance sheet?

Goldman Sachs claims that those who bought their worst subprime products were sophisticated investors whose obligation it is to understand the quality of the underlying components. Their defense is that the customer failed, not the system of disclosure.…what? How long would Dell last if this had been their response for poor quality?

Cloud Economics or Inversion System?

Vapor is quantified by the balloon that contains it. A cloud is quantified by the weather system that surrounds it. The atmosphere is quantified by the mass of the planet and it’s proximity to a sun, and so on. Therefore, the term “non-quantifiable”, and the word “exchange”, are mutually exclusive. If there is an exchange, there is quantification.

Suppose I was to suggest that value stored in social currency may exceed the value stored by financial currency. The paradigm shift now becomes, who quantifies whom?

Social Currency and Anonymity

The subject of privacy and anonymity are again rising up with the latest move by Facebook to integrate updates across the Internet onto the Facebook platform.

Conspiracy theories about Facebook and the CIA continue to flourish.  Meanwhile, the marketing and advertising industry seems poised to reboot their dwindling influence under a new cloak and dagger of social media data hustling and predictive demographics rather than playing by new rules of engagement.

Money is one thing and value is another.

I am astonished that people willingly and freely give up huge volumes of information about themselves when they really don’t have to.  In earlier times, marketers and advertisers would pay a great deal of money for far less information that people give them for free.  People do not understand the value that is stored between their ears or how easy it would be to set up an alternate economy that trades in social currencies.

If advertisers can pay someone to cold call me, to graph my data across the web, or sneak around my social networks, then they can certainly pay me to answer the phone.

The Ingenesist Project specifies an Innovation Economy built on the platform of social media.  While that thesis is extensive, let me summarize that the primordial soup of the Innovation Economy is called the Knowledge Asset Inventory.

Anonymous assets

One essential element of the new economic paradigm is the ability to combine knowledge assets so that innovation becomes predictable and therefore capitalized. However, a side effect is that such code makes the individual containers anonymous.  Marketers will have to pay you to find you.  here is why:

Now think about it this way – if you remove 20-dollar bill from your wallet to buy a Latte, you do not know (nor do you care) whether the last transaction performed by that 20-dollar bill was a donation to a charitable cause or a drug deal.  The dollar bill is anonymous – but you, as an asset, are not.

Social Currency is a Social Imperative

Dollar denominated money is a system to control social currency at a leverage factor of 1000:1.  Take away the dollar currency, and the leverage disappears.  Add a social currency and the national debt disappears.

Almost as a bonus, it is an absolute impossibility for marketers and advertisers to store and exchange value denominated in a social currency without extraordinary changes to the way they engage their clients….like, uhm, …don’t waste our time.

If we are smart, we can shut down the privacy issue in a hurry – anonymity of knowledge assets is the key.

Future of Money and Technology Summit

I was invited to present at the Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on Monday April 26. Representing The Ingenesist Project, I’ll be seated on a panel with two very important futurists; Chris Heuer and Micki Krimmel discussing non-quantifiable exchanges. The ever esteemed and respectable Ms. Tara Hunt will be moderating the session.

From the FMTS website:

The Future of Money & Technology Summit will bring together the best and brightest thinkers around money, including visionaries, entrepreneurial business people, developers, press, investors, authors, solution providers, service providers, and organizations who work with them at the convergence of cash and commerce. We meet to discuss the evolving money ecosystem in a proactive, conducive to dealmaking environment.

What I find especially interesting is the incredible collection of technologies for the storage of value and the amazing group of entrepreneurs corresponding to the exchange of value in future markets. The definition of currency is something that is used as a medium for the storage and exchange of valuable. As such, it would be quite the understatement that the FMTS will be a valuable experience.

A great deal of thought, planning, and money has gone into these ventures and now they are together in one room. This can only be attributed to the increasing inability of the current financial system to function as an equitable means to store and exchange value that drives entrepreneurs to new conclusions.

When I witnessed the Mexican Devaluation, the social reaction was to empty out the local WalMart. Those “goods” such as clothing, appliances, and furnishings became an intermediate currency that stored the prior day’s peso value for exchange with tomorrow’s market. The same is true for most financial crises with significant devaluation events in recent history.

The clear and present difference is Social Media.

We now see people busy at work to replace the old currency with improved systems and tools for the storage and exchange of value before the actual calamity arrives. In effect, the new systems are hedging the old one.

It will take many years for the implications and importance of events such as the Future of Money and Technology Summit to make it into the case studies of the major B-school curricula. Ironically, that does not mean that real history is not being made – or shall I say, old history is not being re-made.

So please consider joining us at the conference (details). If you are attending, please, please, please, find me and let’s talk about everything. As always, thank you dear reader because ultimately you are the only reason that people want to talk to me 🙂

Twitter Me Elmo

Elmo

Dorothy the goldfish is imagining Elmo reading his Twitter stream… and what would it say? Who would he follow? And who would follow Elmo?

Elmo; “Computer, who’s following me on Twitter? Starbucks, Microsoft, and WalMart? Hey wait, Twitter is selling advertising. What’s up with that? Let’s ask Mr. Noodle.”

Mr. Noodle (in mime) “Everyone is promoting something on Twitter otherwise nobody would use it.”

Murray Monster: “Hey, I thought that Twitter was supposed to give everyone an even playing field. Otherwise, nobody would go to school to learn how to actually produce anything. Ovejita!!!

Ovejita (translated from Spanish): “Yeah, everyone spends time and energy building social capital in their community. Now Twitter lets rich guys can come along and just buy access. Why then should the rest of us work so hard?”

Big Bird: “Sponsored Tweets allow Brands to buy a seat at the head of the line. What about my Tweets? Does this build or diminish my social equity?”

Grouch: “Yeah, isn’t that great, Twitter is built on social currency. Now you don’t have to produce social capital, you can just buy in. Watch the social currency devalue!!”

Count Von Count; “ah ah ah, I can count the people leaving Twitter, ah, ah, ah… 50, 40, 30, 20 million,… ah ah ah”

Abby Cadabby; “I’m comfortable with who I am in a pink dress and can just cast a barrage of nasty Tweet spells on those unfair Tweeters”.

Baby Bear: “The only ones who really benefit are National and International Brands – what do they care about what happens here on Sesame Street, let alone in the forest where grandpa bear still lives?”

Grouch: “Quit complaining, the big Twitter moments will be revolutions, airplane crashes, assassinations, natural disasters, celebrity indiscretions, political extremisms, etc. I know that only the most respectable Grouchy brands will jump into any trash can that’s burning with eyeballs….can you say Voyeur?”

Burt and Ernie: “Who said Voyeur?”

Gordon the Shopkeeper: “Then there is the subject of conflict of interest. Can a brand dispel, displace, or disproportion negative Tweets by purchasing out the social media space? Will Mr. Hooper’s store have to buy tweets just to be stay in business?”

Elmo: “Thanks guys. If Twitter makes a little bit of money and goes public, they will eventually want to make more money and more money and more money until people are fighting over the next Christmas Toy Craze. Will this invite a competitor, a disruptive technology, or speculators? Let’s ask a Baby.”

Baby: [confused look]

Elmo: “Thanks baby, What does the future hold? Even Elmo has to worry about profit margins on character marketing. It’s only a matter of time before I will Tweet and my tweets will be followed – but the question becomes; by whom?”

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