The term “Vetting” comes from the sport of horse racing where the animal is “vetted” by a veterinarian to determine if the animal is in suitable condition to race.  Today, there are many vetting mechanisms acting in society and communities.  Think of it as the referee that keeps the game fair.  This is important because if the game is not fair, people will stop playing.

Where the vetting mechanism fails, the system fails. This has happened in countless instances from the current financial crisis to nearly every product, market, environmental calamity, or political failure in recorded history – the referees who were supposed to keep their eye on the ball, did not. Likewise, where a vetting mechanism is effective, the system is efficient.

Today, we find severe problems in finance and government and people are investing their knowledge assets in social media as the place to “store and exchange” their present and future productivity – instead of deploying money or debt. As such, social vetting is taking many different forms to validate, qualify, and quantify knowledge assets in communities.

While the progression may not be noticeable, there will be a tipping point where the medium has built enough trust that it can support a currency. This new currency needs to be only a little bit more “trustworthy” than the currency it will replace. This is the point where knowledge becomes tangible.


Today, I have been reading a lot of posts related to 9/11 and the terrible events of that day.  The conversation lives.  It is propagated in every direction and expressed in so many different ways once unimaginable from editorialized news.

My memory of 9/11 was quite personal; I was the customer engineering account manager at Boeing – my customer was United Airlines.  I was fortunate to have worked with many UAL Pilots and Flight Attendants and their Unions; UAL lost 16 employees that day – I lost 16 friends.

I remember the anxiety in the aircraft business as the unspeakable was spoken, the impossible became possible, and the unreal became real.   My own identity was defined by commercial air travel and the safety and comfort of people and families.  The relationship between Boeing and UAL has always been profound; but the strain caused inside the industry was foreboding.

The fact that data could shift so rapidly called everything into question.   Relationships diverged, people no longer knew how to process the information that was available.  This gargantuan ‘outlier’ stained every single probability chart in existence – like a crater in a barren landscape.  The only clarity could be found in shorter time segments, before 9/11, after 9/11… but not 9/11.

“Google News” was one of the first information aggregation devices and was developed in response to one news junky’s need to know, as soon as possible, what is happening in the world of such micro-timing. As the subsequent political and economic swings overshot every rational stabilizing mechanism such as ‘checks and balances’, or ‘market arbitrage’ forces, the rest of us sought quicker and better ways to stay in touch with the events of the world.  This meant, quicker ways to stay in touch with each other.

Today, as 9 years of  “new time”  has been added to the risk equations, we can see the effects of radical cultural shifts; social priorities are gaining momentum over Wall Street priorities. While governments still wrestle with the old world order, a new one is forming in it’s place.  This new world has the power to perform many of the functions of corporations and government.  Can twitter catch terrorists?  Can Facebook entries trigger community awareness?  Can instant messaging deliver instant response?  How many lives are saved by Social Media?  I am not certain, but it is an important question to ask that age old question: Will good triumph over evil? or in economic terms; Is humanity self-correcting?

The convergence continues.  The next paradigm of economic development will continue on the micro-time scale as FB communities hit neighborhoods, Linkedin communities hit local communities of practice, and Twitter news armies grow.  Cooperation Capitalism will replace competitive Capitalism and social vetting will replace institutional surveillance.  Finally, a productivity backed currency will replace debt backed currency. Bring it on.


The term IPO conjures images of empire-making where a hot young company with a great product offers pieces of its future-self for sale to the public as a means of raising money without incurring debt.  The money is then used to create the next titan whose new jolt of growth is shared with all who participated.

Today, every annual report to shareholders touts the great team of people whose social, creative, and intellectual capital make it all happen, the worthy and stoic investors whose vision drives sound decisions, and the legions of happy customers who make it all worthwhile.

Essentially, an IPO is people buying into the productivity of other people.

Yet, the IPO is a strict and complex legal and regulatory maneuver that establishes property rights on these small pieces of future productivity – represented by “stock” in the company.

There are underwriters (usually a bank), battalions of lawyers, the securities and exchanges commission (SEC), brokers, insurers, re-insurers, institutional investors, private investors, and retail investors.  There is a full infrastructure supporting the facts of incorporation, disclosure, accounting, and proper management of internal “inside” information.  And, of course, there is a media /PR campaign.  All are integrated to keep the game fair, yet viable.

In the Age of Social Media

I could be wrong but it seems that such vast infrastructure appears a bit awkward if the end result is simply for people to buy into the productivity of other people.  This happens everyday in Social Media.  At some point, we really need to ask; why can’t an individual or a group of individuals raise money without incurring debt like corporations can?

In Social Media, people own and deploy their relationships,  communities, motivation, their knowledge, creativity, intellect, mentorship, leadership, teamwork, their network, and even their ability to form corporations – people own their time.  Social currency is backed by the scarcity of time and the availability of surplus knowledge.

All of the structural components of the financial system are appearing in an analogous form in social media; social vetting, social gaming, aggregation, influence, knowledge inventories, communities of knowledge assets, local social, global social, tag search, deep search, semantic search, stream of consciousness search, geolocation, mobile computing, multi-media, and many more innovations are being created and deployed everyday which literally serve the functions of banks, lawyers and legislation in an invisible economy.

The Ingenesist Project tries to string this all together with just enough specificity so that an alternate financial system will jump start itself and become both visible and available to everyone.

We’ll hold an IPO for Humanity

All of the infrastructure and the potential for people to produce things would remain intact regardless of what happens to the currency.  Think about what would happen if all the dollar based money system evaporated. The only safe haven for the storage and exchange of value will be in people and their communities.

The only thing missing is a system that can articulate social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital instead of land labor and financial capital.  This system can be built today.


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


In the 1960’s Superman comics, Bizarro World was a place where everything was the opposite as Normal World.  On the planet Htrae (Earth spelled backwards) lives Bizarro Jimmy Olsen, a Bizarro Lois Lane, Bizarro Superman, etc.  Of course, Normal World is the standard bearer for all that is great and good to the reader.

Normal Capitalism:

In the study of Normal Economics, currency always represent productivity – otherwise nobody would “work” for it.   Productivity is defined as: all the stuff we can make within a certain period of time. We measure it with expressions like “dollars per hour”, “miles per hour”, “5% compounded annually”, board-feet per minute, etc.

Abnormal Capitalism:

Suppose we were to describe a Bizarro currency as:  All the Time that can be produced within a certain amount of stuff.

After all, every living person is allocated a certain amount of time on Bizarro World.  Time is a scarce resource whose value is determined by supply and demand.  Time is not easily forged, debased, or counterfeited.  It makes for a perfect Bizarro currency.  Of Course the Bizarro Currency would be called the Rallod (Dollar spelled backwards).

Bizarro Capitalism:

In Normal Economics, land, labor, and financial capital are the factors of production called “Tangibles” while social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are called “Intangibles”.  By contrast, in Bizarro Economy, social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital are Tangibles while land, labor, and financial capital are the Intangible factors of production.

Of course in Bizarro World, it takes rallods to make rallods.  So if you want to get rich, you need to invest your time in one of two things: Saving time for other people, or reducing the amount of stuff they need to consume on their time.

Likewise, in a Normal Banking, an entrepreneur assumes that they have the Knowledge to execute a business plan and they borrow the money. In Bizarro Bank, the Entrepreneur assumes that they have the money to execute a business plan and they borrow the knowledge.

In Normal World, money is backed by debt.  In Bizarro World, money is backed by innovation.

What if we got it backwards?

Probably the most immediate concern is whether the Rallod can hedge the Dollar, or will the two planets collide?

Material based on video series here


The Knowledge inventory will become the most important element of Social Capitalism.  Today, knowledge is largely sequestered behind the walls of corporation in the form of titles, skill codes, resumes, job descriptions, certifications, and college degrees.  In order to predict the future, we point to the things that we have done in the past.

2nd Place is 1st Loser

10% of the country is unemployed and less than 10% are fully actualized in their profession.  Competitive forces drive the hiring manager.  The consequences of all business decisions eventually lead to win-or-lose market scenarios.  People compete with each other for promotions, the boss’s time, the corner office, or just staying off the unemployment line.  That is the only future anyone can truly predict based on the past.  It’s easier to predict the loser than the winner – so that’s what happens.

Social media is very different.

People are organizing themselves in a new form outside the construct of the corporation.  Linkedin aggregates intellectual capital, Facebook aggregates social capital, and You Tube aggregates creative capital.  Millions of blogs, Twitter, and a generation of search engines reassemble all these parts in ways that create social value.  People are not competing with each other, instead, they live on a bell curve.  They are seeking cooperation and collaboration. People use “like” buttons, tweet counts, and analytic data to “value” the quantity and quality of another person’s knowledge.  There are fewer losers, hence more winners,  because there are a greater number of  markets – not just one corporation.  Everyone is a corporation.

No Governance, no anarchy, no problem

Since social media is outside the construct of a corporation, there is no governance. There are lots of people trying to control only to experience diminishing returns.  Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook must tread extremely carefully on the landscape of public opinion precisely because of their dominance.  People use Facebook to attack Facebook, PowerPoint to attack Microsoft, YouTube to attack Google, and Twitter to attack everyone.  Retribution would be suicide.

The Last Mile of Social Media

Now, geo-location services are filling in the Last Mile of Social Media where communities will form to produce things that are tangible and real.  As a result, there is a sharp increase of interest in a form of currency that can represent this social value.  Some of this is because the dollar is losing its ability to represent people’s productivity.  So they engage a different economic system.

Social Productivity

The next great leap in Social Media will happen when people reorganize themselves in an external knowledge inventory, outside of corporations, and segmented in high granularity of knowledge assets in close proximity to each other.  Entrepreneurs can then assemble people in unique, efficient, and productive ways.   People will then build things for profit using a new currency – a new social currency.


Independence is a state of mind. Americans have always chosen independence – and they will continue to do so. It is often convenient to let ourselves trust elected leaders and the esteemed business titans to do what is in our best interest. Don’t be fooled, this is “trust”, not dependence.

It is likewise unwise to underestimate the independence movement – independence from corrupt currency, independence from fossil fuel, independence from corporate greed, independence from divisive politics, independence from endless war. Just when everyone thinks that Americans are up against the ropes, they come up with an idea so radical, so creative, and so astonishingly consciousness-altering, the rest of the world just shakes their heads in collective disbelief.

That is where we are today. Something extraordinary is about to happen in the way Americans organize themselves. Nothing is sacred, no one is immune. The next economic paradigm will alter the course of civilization.

All stages of human development were derived from the prior stage of human development by integrating the tools of that prior stage. For example, the agrarians integrated the tools of the hunter-gather such as using the chopping rock to till a field for planting – and so forth. Likewise, the industrial revolution integrated the tools of the scientific revolution; mathematics, chemistry, and engineering. Earlier this century, the computer age integrated the tools of the industrial revolution, etc.

The next economic paradigm will be derived from the Knowledge economy by integrating the tools of the knowledge economy; these are The Internet, Social Media, mobile communications technology, etc…

Americans will chose Independence every time.


A Troll is a member of a race of fearsome creatures from Norse mythology. Troll mythology is, in fact fairly complex but seems to resolve to common images of Neanderthal type people living under bridges who extort money from passersby, steal babies, and fear God.

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion [Wikipedia].

In the Intellectual Property world, a troll is an individual or business that holds patent or copyrights with no intention of developing the IP and every intention to enforce against infringement by those who do develop ideas.

Naturally, we seek to anticipate the future usage of the term Troll in a context of Social Capitalism. We can say that someone who was in a position to constrain Social Capitalism has the potential to engage in troll behavior.

The troll does benefit from the eventual success of traveler passing through the constraint; however, they create an unnecessary or non productive friction in a market. This can kill many business plans as troll fees and uncertainties need to be factored into the risks of doing business.

I am reminded of a legal system that facilitates litigation over education, negotiation, and cooperation. Social media has an inherent self-policing aspect that may threaten “regulators” in law and government who seek to hold exclusive vetting privilege over a social market.

I am reminded of advertisers who put lipstick on the pig by pretending to play up the whuffie, trust agent or engagement vibe, but instead lay Astroturf and buy up social media outlets. Spam is spam is spam.

I am reminded of Internet service providers that purposely slow down a connection and charge for speed that costs them less to keep open than to slow down. I am reminded of the demise of unlimited data packages for mobile Internet – now that the user is an addict, pull back the dosing in exchange for compliance.

In short, a social capital troll is any person or organization that seeks to CHANGE the online behavior of an individual and their community rather than EMPOWER the individual and their community to do what they would have done in the absence of the troll.

Fell free to add more for future posts on this subject……..


In an earlier article (Cluster Funk) I argued that Industrial clusters can lead to stagnation, vulnerability to external shocks, and the erosion of social capital. Since I’m not one to complain without also providing an alternative, this article argues that the future will favor technology clusters rather than industrial clusters.

Make it up as you go along

Technology clusters serve what we call the tangential innovation market – or diversity innovation dynamics. Don’t worry if you have not heard of these things, I’m making this up as I go along.

For example; composite materials technology is very useful in many applications like aircraft, medical devices, transportation, recreation, and even musical instruments. The airplane company has no intention of building cellos and the automobile company has no intention of building snow boards.

Why compete when you can collude?

As non-competing industries, they can readily share technology and people. The system is naturally diversified and inoculated against stagnation, shocks and silos; if one industry encounters hardship, people and capacity can shift easily to another industry preserving knowledge and expanding social networking benefit while the damaged industry heals or dies off. Corporations may not like this idea, but social networks should.

The Ingenesist Project goes a step further by modeling the business structure of tangential innovation markets as an integrated financial system. Suppose and Originator Company has a promising new composite technology idea but is unable to meet the ROI requirements of their stockholders? Today, such innovation would be shelved. In an innovation economy, tangential markets are factored into the business case.

New applications of social media will identify other industries that would be most worthy borrowers of your technology, if developed. The Innovation Bank can estimate the return on investment that can be expected through the tangential market as if it were another customer. The additional revenue projection would allow the originator to meet the ROI requirement prior to committing development funds.

Intellectual Property can be managed with contracts enforced through social network vetting. The originator can hold an option to see further development conducted by tangential users effectively multiplying their R&D reach and further adding to the expected return.

Then something magical will happen. At some point, the value of the tangential innovation market would exceed the value of the origination market. The originator will begin to specialize in pure innovation as a primary product and airplane applications as the secondary product. As all industries in the technology cluster begin sharing technology among each other, R&D costs and risks are effectively spread across industries. As risk is diversified away, the cost of venture capital approaches single digit rates.

Then, another magical thing will happen. As the mixing of people and ideas accelerates, the definition of corporate boundaries will become more fluid. Ownership will exist in the form of contracts among entrepreneurs now defined by social networks, options, and derivatives in a diverse innovation enterprise.

While the boom bust cycle of Industrial Clusters has brought us a great distance in economic development, technology clusters in an Innovation Economy supported by social networks may turn out to be vastly more efficient at economic growth without the perils of Cluster Funk.