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Tag: reputation

The Invisible Hand of Social Capitalism

Living to work, or working to live?

Everyone knows what money is supposed to be – it is supposed to be a representation of human productivity, otherwise nobody would “work” for it, right?

It is also fairly obvious that money is not the only thing that represents human productivity. People work for family, community, reputation, love, recreation, art, music, etc.   These values are denominated in social currencies.

Working for Social Currency

Market Capitalism has deftly turned social currencies into consumption verticals.  People consume recreation products, family products, community products, reputation products, etc. The irony is that people are  foregoing all those things to drive off to work in order to earn the money so that they can buy back their family, recreation, and community. People are “working” for social currencies denominated in dollars.  The Mantra of Madison Avenue is to “Steal the thing that people love about themselves and sell it back for the price of the product”

Influence Peddling

Well known internet celebrities are getting sponsorships from some well known corporations – but not all.  The reason is clear – these people have the ability to influence the opinions and interactions of their community.  However, if the sponsor has a terrible product, that same influence can turn against the brand and the influencer in an amplified manner.  It is clearly in the brand’s best interest to match the product with the message of the influencer and vice versa.

Everyone is an influencer within their own knowledge inventory

A mechanical engineer can influence the professional community of engineers.  A math teacher can influence students.  A police officer can influence citizens.  A patriarch can influence an extended family. A big brother can influence a little sister.  Taken together and segmented across a hugely diverse knowledge inventory of human civilization, everyone is an influencer of everyone else.

Printing Social Currency

So instead of going to work to to earn money, people could just as easily go into their community to earn influence.  Brands can sponsor people based on their knowledge inventory to use, share, organize, and improve communities and products.   The most successful product will be those that help people to improve their communities. As such, brands and products will likewise benefit from stronger and unified communities.  Products that weaken, marginalize, oppress, or isolate people from their communities will fail.

The Invisible Hands of Social Capitalism

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something.  Strong linked communities will get together to build “economic” things. What they choose to build will become the value generation mechanisms of the future economy that will transform social value back into financial value.  Like Adam Smith’s invisible hand of Market Capitalism, the Invisible Hands of Social Capitalism will reward people for organizing themselves to make what they enjoy most and are naturally talented in producing.  We’ll call them “Recorporations“.

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.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

The Ingenesist Project prides itself in making certain predictions that often seem to manifest in some small way every day.  One of our most enduring suggestions is that social media will begin to replace failing institutions of government and industry.

OK, that’s pretty far out, or is it?

The Wall street Journal reported recently that new bond issues – sort of like collateralized debt obligations – are being developed without consideration for the credit rating of the assets forming the bond.  The justification is that credit rating did not predict or help avoid the last crisis, so what good are they?

Now here is the twist – a surprisingly “Social Media” style solution is proposed – and accepted by the market.  The bankers put their personal and corporate reputations on the line.  If you trust the banker, you can trust their bond.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

This sets up an interesting new game now that many bad banks are gone and public sentiment is turned against them. The new game is playing out in interesting ways.

  • The bank does not want to put their reputation in the hands of a 3rd party credit rating agency.
  • Investor wants to put their money into the hands of the person who actually hangs if the deal goes bad.
  • “Inside Information” has become so systematized; the banker knows things long before the rating agency.
  • A system had been built to “game” the credit agencies…lose the game and lose the risk?
  • Avoid government vetting regulation in favor of “social network” vetting.
  • Tactical advantage over corrupt competitors
  • It’s easier for everyone to understand – including the banker, investor, and bond asset.

This is a profound shift in thinking from only a few years ago and almost seems like a return to a bygone era; remember the old days when the banker was actually a member of the community where the bank invested their money?

There are some lessons to take home.  If don’t need credit ratings for corporate bond issues, do they need credit ratings for people?  What if all of these institutions adopt a social network based credit score?  What would that look like?  Social media by and large rewards high integrity and punishes low integrity.  The value of social media includes a component of risk reduction.  You would think that Banks, Insurance, and even homeland security would be all over this game.

Innovating Disruption:

What happens if your credit rating is divorced from your finances?  What good is your social security number?  How does this effect all the downstream users of credit ratings like insurance, employers, credit card companies, social security payments – if any? Much of what we’ll associate with the innovation economy is the disruption, if not outright destruction, of an impossibly unstable system of finance.

Is the Credit Score Obsolete?

That Pesky Little Problem With Market Capitalism

Technological change must always precede economic growth.  We are going about the process of market capitalism as if economic growth can precede technological change.  Somewhere along the line we have gotten the cart in front of the mule.

It seems that this situation can be fairly easily corrected – after all, it’s the same cart and the same mule.  All we need to do is get the same driver to point the same carrot on the same stick in the opposite direction; and the system should turn itself around.  Impossible we ask? Well, maybe not….yet.

The same species…

Economic growth and technological change are the same species; each is represented by human productivity.  If I take a loan to buy a house, the debt is “counted” as economic growth backed by my future productivity.  If I go to work and invent a method that provides a better way for people to accomplish something, that same productivity increases with my innovation.  They should hedge each other much like insurance.  The problem arises when we forget to count the mule.

If A = C and B = C, then A = B

If any two currencies are backed by the same standard, they should be readily convertible.  If Euro’s and Dollars are both backed by Gold, they would be convertible between each other and the market can simply choose to trade one or the other.  Arbitrage opportunities would keep the system balance.

This is the same case with debt and innovation; two currencies represented by the same standard, i.e., productivity.

What if a new currency was introduced and pegged to human productivity?  That currency would also be proportional to the dollar. Arbitrage opportunities between debt and innovation currencies would seek a balance. The two scorecards would hedge each other as they should.

It is going to happen eventually, why wait?

While this may seem odd to talk about one State, two currencies, it is not so odd to talk about what happens if the dollar fails.  People will start trading a different currency.   The Plumber will trade ideas with the lawyer who will trade with the doctor, carpenter, teacher, grocer, laborer, etc.  A computer enabled society will build a knowledge inventory of who knows what.  Reputations will arise thus organizing knowledge in the form of a financial instrument.  This social medium will be the tool that organizes trading schemes and establishing supply and demand.  An Innovation Bank will keep track of who owes what to whom and distribute wealth in the form of tangential innovation.  Venture “capital” will be the cheapest money in town – it’s like money in the bank for an innovation economy. This is in fact, the nature of society and largely the function it has served for thousands of years.

Little carrot on a big stick

The difference between now and any other time in history is that society is computer enabled.  Human knowledge has been held hostage behind the construct of “intangible assets” on a corporate balance sheet for too long.  There is a great deal of energy building up and it can now find a productive outlet through social media.  The best government policy is to accommodate what people will do naturally.  It would be extremely inexpensive to empower society to form an innovation economy to hedge market capitalism. People need a currency that is first and foremost natural for them to trade.   Later, Wall Street can convert and gamble at their peril. But first, point the stick in a different direction and the system will correct itself.

[The Ingenesist Project (http://www.ingenesist.com) has specified three web application which if deployed to social media would allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible inside social networks.]

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