Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: system

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

Social Vetting Makes Knowledge Tangible

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.

Will Social Capitalism Replace Market Capitalism? (Parts 1&2)

This video describes a set of predictions for 2020 based on an entirely new form of capitalism whose velocity and voracity will take the world completely by surprise. Nothing is sacred and nobody is immune, not Facebook, not Google, not Wall Street, not even Governance itself….

Part 1

Part 2:

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 🙂

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

The problem with the American Dollar is that it is backed by future productivity in the form of debt – that is, our “promise” to pay off the debt. We know this because if America signaled that it was not willing or able to pay it’s debt, the dollar would cease to be used as Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economya trading mechanism.

Innovation is also a promise backed by future productivity. By innovating in a new processes, method, system, or product today you are making a promise to increase productivity tomorrow.

Therefore, debt and innovation are blood brothers or mirror images of the other – they are both “currencies” (means of storing value) backed by future productivity. We can build a new economy around this concept which effectively weeds out the bad parts and keeps the good parts of the institutions and infrastructure that are already in place.  After all, two currencies backed by the same underlying asset  would be fully convertable

After all, the definition of a crook is someone who steals someone else’s productivity. May the best currency win.

Dollar vs Rallod-A Mirror Image Economy

Update: 03/2015  I recently stumbled upon this definition in a Gamification Wiki concerning the Rallod.  Thanks for the shout out!!

Rallod (Dollar spelt backwards) is concept developed by Dan Robles as a social capital currency which is based on the future productivity of innovation. He uses the Bizarro world featured in DC superman comics to provide an explanation of how his concept works. He distinguishes between normal economics revolving around Land, Labour and Capital and social capital which revolves around intellectual, social and creative capital. What is tangible in the normal world is intangible in the Bizarro world and vice versa. Robles believs the two worlds are mirror images of each other.

Visit www.badgeville.com to learn about the global gamification leader

Where is The Knowledge Inventory?

Knowledge marketsThere is no knowledge inventory of our communities. The is a STUNNING omission for a country whose only hope at climbing out of economic hardship is sequestered within the innovative minds of its people.

If done correctly, knowledge can behave as an asset of trade. This must first start with a comprehensive knowledge inventory. Like the human genome project, the knowledge inventory project must be a sustained effort.

Link to specification document

Calculating The ROI of Social Media

This video introduces a new way of looking at social media valuation. People find value in social media otherwise they would not do it. How is that value expressed as a financial instrument? If you engage your clients in the same currency that they are trading among themselves, the greater the likelihood you will realize the value of the new media phenomenon.

Open Letter to all Deep Web Researchers

iceberg80This Open Letter is directed to all Deep Web researchers, authors, developers, practitioners and people who have a great interest in what lies beyond the popularity contests playing out on the ‘surface web’.

I submit this letter in appreciation for the work that you do I also want to present an important application to your research for which you may not yet be fully aware.

As they say, beauty is only skin deep and the hard work of organizing the Deep Web offers an astonishing opportunity for the next economic paradigm. Very few people are aware of this.

Who are we?

I am the director of The Ingenesist Project, an obscure Think Tank in the Seattle area modestly funded by visionaries. Our job is to specify an alternate financial system that we loosely describe as an innovation economy built on a platform of social media.

Consequently, we also specify a new currency backed by innovation instead of debt. Innovation currency is very similar to debt currency since they both ‘represent’ future productivity. As such, these two currencies would be readily “convertible” in exchange – something that we all may need in the not-too-distant future.

Where do you fit in?

Essential to this concept is the relationship between data, information, knowledge, and innovation which we express as a differential equation. Here is a quick explanation – please bear with me:

We can predict the value of innovation by observing rates of change of knowledge. We can predict the value of knowledge by observing rates of change of information. But the most critical element is the ability to predict the value of information by observing rates of change of data. The most critical element in the next economic paradigm is the human interaction with data.

With that missing piece, a new financial system can then capitalize and securitize these “predicted future values” much like Wall Street does with social debt. Deep Web Researchers literally hold the key to ending the oppression of debt economics worldwide. No kidding.

What’s in it for you?

This is where your work gets us really excited: Google induced economic incentives that drove millions of entrepreneurs into the work of creating new information – and yet direct widespread monetization remains elusive. In contrast, human interaction with the Deep Web will unleash economic incentives that will drive millions of entrepreneurs to create databases. The difference is that new Data are the only thing that a market is willing to pay for – not the popularity contests. And wow, is there a market waiting for you.

I understand that you are all very busy given the magnitude and complexity of your work. If this letter speaks to you, then please speak with me. Let’s discuss how your work would be applied to this very important effort. I’m easy to find in the datasphere.

Thank you

Is Freedom A New Economic Paradigm?

A New Economic System of the country of Montenegro is based on complete and unfettered economic freedom; in other words, the elimination of all barriers to conducting business.  Is Freedom A New Economic Paradigm?

Veselin Vukotić ‘s paper titled Economic Freedom and New Economic Paradigm, offers a case study that enlightens us as to some of the core changes, some easy and some difficult, that any proclaimed ‘new economic paradigm’ would place on people, culture, politics, and the markets.  From this insight, perhaps we’ll see a new paradigm emerge.

Freedom; A competitive Advantage

Montenegro has achieved a competitive advantage in their Eastern European region by reducing international trade barriers, treating foreign and domestic concerns equally, reducing “contribution” fees and other taxes, reduction of public spending, affirmation of private property, and encouraging entrepreneurship.   Veselin Vukotić  also notes that the concept of economic freedom is a complete theoretical and practical expression of an idea.  He quotes Plato:

The difference between concepts is the difference between starting ideas!

Therefore, he concludes that the idea of economic freedom is freedom of an individual to conduct business (earn money), and that business is the key factor of a society’s development and individual wealth.  While we now know that unfettered capitalism breaks down at some point, he does accomplish something important – the elimination of all government as a defining element of freedom.

The Singularity Solution

We know it is often easier to solve a problem if we can remove certain elements, even temporarily, and analyze components individually.  Suppose we eliminate Government from the equation, corporations would rule.  However, corporations are made up of individuals, so individuals would rule…they would rule whom?  The logic also breaks down.

There is one exception: what if all individuals were corporations and they ruled only themselves? Corporations are keeping government out of their affairs by keeping people off the books.  The solution is for everyone to structure their existence as a corporation contracting to each other for every conceivable business arrangement.  Heck, it only costs 40 dollars to open a business in the the U.S.

Self-regulating Freedom?

Knowledge would be shared freely, people would be paid for their productivity, diversity and strategic combination of knowledge would be rewarded.  Everyone would own their knowledge and would seek to accumulate more.   Trade barriers would be eliminated, taxes would be reduced, private property would be affirmed, and entrepreneurship would be encouraged.  Like a family, no corporation could become wealthy at the expense of another corporation for very long.

Would you be willing to pay the government to leave you alone? Is that Freedom or a new economic paradigm or both?

When Capitalists Are Really the Socialists

SocialistMickeyYikes…

Unemployment tops 10%.  Add in the under-employed, part timers, young adults trying to enter the job market, the ones who have given up or otherwise marginalized, and we’re well into the 15-20% range.

Mediated Reality:

When will people come to the realization that a new financial system is needed to represent the new social order?  When will people realize that they have in their possession the most important tool ever devised by humanity for the benefit of humanity?  When will they shut off the TV and reject the barrage of mediated reality that blinds them with propaganda at every turn?

Building The Social Economy

The following summary from Hannah Del Porto does a great job in identifying the State of the Art in Building The Social Economy.  Such “Thought Infrastructure” is essential to what will evolve into the next economic paradigm.  For years, we have specified an Innovation Economy Built on Social Media platform.  The thesis is published Here.

The key, we believe, is for the Social Financial System to emulate the critical components of the Monetary Financial Systems that support capitalization. Hence, “Social Capitalism” will emerge as a replacement for both Socialism and Capitalism.  We are deeply excited in observing this integration of knowledge assets

Thanks Hannah!!!

Building a Better Entrepreneur; Google 10^100

Google 10^100 award voting is Launched.  There are two sectors that we believe would have the greatest impact on the greatest amount of people; building a better banking system and funding social entrepreneurs.  You can’t have one without the other – if Google funds these two sectors in concert, the outcome would be incredible.

Build A Better Bank

In the old banking system we assume that we have the knowledge to execute a business plan and we go to the bank to borrow the money.  In the new banking system, we will assume we have the money and we go off in search of the knowledge.  Social Media is an excellent “public accounting system” for knowledge assets.

Our current banking system has gotten it backwards.

Technological change must always precede economic growth. The supranational currency may be backed by productivity and not debt.  Social media provides an excellent platform upon which to design such a banking system. People trade “social currency” at a tremendous rate.  This is evidenced by the amount of destructive innovation is occurring in many legacy sectors due to social media.

Better Banking Tools for everyone

“Partner with banks and technology companies to increase the reach of financial services across the world. Users submitted numerous ideas that seek to improve the quality of people’s lives by offering new, more convenient and more sophisticated banking services. Specific suggestions include inexpensive village-based banking kiosks for developing countries; an SMS solution geared toward mobile networks; and ideas for implementing banking services into school curriculums”.

Suggestions that inspired this idea

1.    Enable prepaid cell phone bank accounts for millions of people working in the informal economy
2.    Create a community-level electronic banking system for rural areas
3.    Build IT-enabled kiosks which provide access to financial services
4.    Create a single world bank or supra-national currency, uniform rules and transparent public accounting

Fund Social Entrepreneurs

Venture Capital is ridiculously expensive. Corporate innovation serves shareholders value over social priorities.  Some say that the financial risk of funding innovation is too high. The top ten reasons why start-ups fail are due to knowledge deficits, not money deficits.  A new banking system that trades knowledge as currency would solve this problem.

The key is to match most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit.  Google is perfectly able to build a search app for knowledge assets if there were an inventory of knowledge assets.  With the most worthy match, Risk can be reduced and new financial instruments can be developed such as the innovation bond, innovation insurance, tangential innovation markets, and destructive innovation transition contingency options, etc.

Help social entrepreneurs drive change

Create a fund to support social entrepreneurship. This idea was inspired by a number of user proposals focused on “social entrepreneurs” — individuals and organizations who use entrepreneurial techniques to build ventures focused on attacking social problems and fomenting change. Specific relevant ideas include establishing schools that teach entrepreneurial skills in rural areas; supporting entrepreneurs in underdeveloped communities; and creating an entity to provide capital and training to help entrepreneurs build viable businesses and catalyze sustained community change.

Suggestions that inspired this idea

1.    Provide targeted capital and business training to help young entrepreneurs build viable businesses and catalyze sustained community change
2.    Create a non-profit, venture capital-like revolving fund to invest in high-impact local entrepreneurs
3.    Send young American entrepreneurs to underdeveloped communities to help create small businesses that would economically benefit those communities
4.    Create schools in rural areas to teach local people how to become entrepreneurs
5.    Create a private equity fund to help immigrants in developed countries finance business development in their countries of origin

The New Reverse World Order

Bank-of-Wal-Mart-Note--40279The New Reverse Order

If someone can track your spending, they can predict your behavior.  It is also true that if someone can track your behavior, they predict your spending.   The next economic paradigm is simply a higher order of the same.

On the next higher order, if someone knows your “Knowledge Inventory” they can predict how you will manage changing conditions – that is, how you will innovate.  Likewise, tracking how people innovate exposes the development of new knowledge assets (the ‘gold-standard’ of conversational currency).

Everyday some new headline shows that we are getting closer and closer to that point – for better or worse – where humanity learns to manage an innovation economy.

Profound Issues Arise.

The following article about Wal-Mart adopting the debit card (Wal-Mart to Staff: Bye-Bye Paycheck, Hello Debit Card) as a means of issuing paychecks represents a quantum leap in the monetization of knowledge assets.  We expect many more will closely follow in one of the most important financial developments in financial history – virtual currency.  If food stamps can be delivered on a debit card, why not frequent flier miles, Disney Dollars, coupons, rebates, tulip bulbs, beanie babies, or a new global currency such as the Rallod?

A Vetting Zoo

The only questions that remain are related to Vetting.  By all accounts Social Media is developing into the mother of all vetting mechanisms.  Who controls the card? What system is it replacing? Who can pull money off?  Who charges fees to whom and why? Who gets the business intelligence?  What is the PR spin?  Can advertisers interact with the card to apply discounts and rewards?  What types incentives motivate what types of people and can it go on a debit card?

A Steep Departure

Each of these questions, and the companies they spawn, will live or die by Tweet and Blog – this is a steep departure from the past.  For example; 30 years ago, if every American were told that their social security number would be tied to a credits score that is tied to their driving record, employability, insurance premium, health care, mortgage rate, and, yup, their debit card – the cities would have burned in protest.

Nobody could have seen this future except those who designed it.  Today, the designers are you and I – see the future now, see the future here at Conversational Currency.

Trust as a Social Currency

The idea of trust as social currency is appearing in more articles, conferences, and books.  This is all highly consistent with the TIP thesis on Innovation Economics which describes the necessity of a vetting mechanism among the knowledge inventory as a means for the emergence of a currency in a market – that is, a conversational currency.  People need to trust the currency if they are to trade the currency.

Shefaly Yogendra provides some excellent insights below.  Keep in mind that American Culture does not have a monopoly on the definition of trust.  It should not be an American expectation to define the conversational currency in our own image.  Indeed, convertability of such currency will be, and must be, global.

I kept the analysis sparse on this article because it is a valuable exercise to form one’s own perspective on trust prior to diving into someone Else’s opinion.  After all, it’s your currency – you own it.  Good luck.

******************

by Shefaly (please see her Bio here)

Trust is a non-negotiable essential in business. The post linked here refers to web-based business-to-consumer interactions. But as social currency, Trust is the most significant in interactions amongst organisations, customers, employees and regulatory bodies.

Definitions

Wikipedia defines social currency as “information shared which encourages further social encounters“. Social currency is different from social capital which refers to “connections within and between social networks and individuals“.

Social currency – some characteristics

a) No distinction between ‘physical’ and ‘virtual’ worlds

b) No distinction between ‘individuals’ and ‘corporate entities’

c) No distinction between validity of negative or positive normative labels

Determining the value of Trust as social currency

a) Verifiable Identity and antecedents

b) Consistency

c) Reliability

d) Peer recognition

e) Value of the network

f) Individuality and collaborative consciousness

The original article can be found here and it elaborates on each of the points above.

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If it Quacks like a Buck…..

If it looks like a buck, and talks like a buck, and quacks like a buck – it’s probably a buck.

So when your money gets “free will” and starts walking out the door door, that’s bad enough.  When flies out the window en mass enabled by the same social media that  brings money in the door – serious management issues arise.  Should organization choose fight, flight, or cooperation?

Battle lines are being drawn:

  • “Among large U.S. companies, 33% have employees on staff to monitor e-mail messages — up from 15% last year, one survey found. The Proofpoint study also found that 31% of companies had fired workers who breached confidentiality via e-mail, and 8% had fired someone over a social-networking leak. The survey found 41% of respondents are worried about potential leaks via Twitter. ZDNet (08/10)”
  • “Marines banned social networking sites from their computers Tuesday due to security concerns, and the Pentagon announced a policy review. But Pentagon’s top officer will still tweet (Christian Science Monitor 08/05)

There are literally thousands of articles on this subject but none of the few that I read came to any conclusion, so I will:

Money is becoming intangible (cannot be contained) and Social Media is becoming tangible (has become the container)

The very structure of organizations is changing.  Trying to control the temperature of the room when the windows have been blown out will only destroy existing controls faster.  A completely new economic structure is emerging complete with new factors of production, incentives, institutions, accounting, and currency.

Swap or swamp?

Easier said than done?  Not really; all we need to do is swap the same methods that we use to manage tangible assets with those same methods that we use to manage intangible assets.  There are in fact people and organizations trying to do this (specifically this author) but you won’t find then in corporations anymore.

Companies have no choice but to understand migration patterns, flock actualization needs, motivation, and environmental issues.  Going from an economy where the corporate charter is only “to deliver shareholder value” to one of safeguarding the health and welfare of people and their property” is a huge leap.

The discussion of Conversational Currency is required to understand the underlying economic forces that drive social media and the emerging institutional structure for corporations to create value in a computer enabled society.

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 5: The Entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in this world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returning to the financial analogy:

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

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

While this may sound trivial, the implications are vast:

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

Economics is the science of incentives:

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

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

Simplicity that defies comprehension:

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

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 4: Institutions

In part 1, we introduced a new paradigm of economic growth; the innovation economy. In part 2, we identified information as the currency of trade for an innovation economy and we defined that currency’s relationship to knowledge and innovation.  In part 3 we demonstrated a structure for a knowledge Inventory that would enable an Innovation Economy.  In this module, we will discuss the institutions in social media that could keep an Innovation Economy, free, fair, and equitable.

In civil society, there are laws and regulations that protect our constitutional rights; these are essential institutions.

The legal system of the United States is extremely expensive, however, the expenditure is necessary to keep the society upright, productive and prevent it from falling into chaos.  Where a country’s legal system fails, so does its economy.  Entrepreneurs do not invest in places without a good legal system and where property rights are not protected. It is that important.  Investment abhors risk.

Arguably, the most important element of the Innovation Economy will be the vetting mechanism.

Fortunately, social media has the potential to serve this function; in fact in many cases it already does.  A feedback system supports Ebay ($35B Cap), community flagging supports Craigslist (40M ads/mo), peer review supports Linkedin (150M users).  These are not small numbers.  All markets must have a vetting mechanism in order to operate efficiently and if done correctly, social vetting has vast economic implications for an Innovation Economy.

First, let’s return to our financial analogy.

In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town.  But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized; now a Saudi Billionaire can lend money to a young couple in Boise to buy their first home – and neither is aware of the other.  The credit score is responsible for the creation of great wealth because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money to invest in enterprise.

The credit score is statistical in nature; it isolates about 30 or so indicators of your financial activity and puts them on a bell curve relative to everyone else.  These include how much debt you have, how much your assets are worth, your income, etc.  These ratings are run through the FICO Equation and out pops your credit score.  Anyone can now predict the likelihood that you will default on your obligation.

All of the data that feed FICO are collected from public records, your employer, and the people who you borrow money from because these same organizations have a vested interest in a system of correct credit scores.

We are competing with ourselves.

It is interesting that you and I do not compete for our credit score because it is not a ranking system. On the other hand, with no credit, we are invisible and the system shuts us out.  With bad credit, the system shuts us out. We lose some freedom and privacy, but we accept these terms well because they provides us with tremendous benefit to finance a business, automobile, or a home without needing to save cash.

Now we will draw the comparable analogy from the social media.

In the old days, the hiring manager was the person to know if you wanted to get a job.  They would read your resume and compare it with “bell curve” in their experience about what has worked or not worked in their past.  This worked great in the industrial economy, but it falls far short in the innovation economy.  Innovation favors strategic combination of diverse knowledge where the Industrial economy favored identical packets of similar knowledge.

Not unlike the FICO score, the knowledge inventory is a collection of statistical variables and the social network is the reporting agencies who have a vested interest in a system of correct values.  Unlike FICO however, the variables are infinite and it responds to positive event input.
Social networks are by far among the most exciting and important new technology for an Innovation Economy.

Social networks must now evolve to become the vetting institutions for knowledge assets.

All the pieces are almost in place; now we need to develop a new type of search engine.

The Percentile Search Engine is generic term for the ability to make statistical predictions about all types and combinations of knowledge Assets in a network. Conceptually, the percentile search engine is where all of the equations that we use to analyze financial assets are now applied to knowledge assets.  The main characteristic is that the search engine returns probabilities for the entrepreneur to test scenarios.

For example; an entrepreneur may want to know if her team has enough knowledge to execute a business plan.  Perhaps the team has too much knowledge and they should try something more valuable.  Maybe the team does not have enough knowledge and they should attempt another opportunity or accumulate training.

The search engine can look into a network and identify the supply and demand of a knowledge asset. If it is unavailable or too expensive, the search engine can adjust for price, risk, or options that may emerge at a later date.

Talent will bid up to their productivity value, and brokers will bid down to their productivity value.

Competitors can scan each other’s knowledge inventory to compete, cooperate, acquire, or evade. If a key person retires, the entrepreneur would simulate the knowledge that is lost and reassign people strategically. All of these scenarios can be examines prior to spending money. They can be made during the project cycle, or after the project is completed.  Lessons learned can be used to adjust the algorithm perfecting it over time.

For example: companies such as Disney and Boeing both use Engineers, each would have proprietary algorithm of knowledge that represents their “secret sauce” of success. These recipes can be adjusted and improved to reflect and preserve the wisdom of an organization.

When the innovation economy will catches fire….

Over time, these algorithms will far more valuable then the Patents and Trade Secrets created by them – this will allow technologies to be open sourced much more profitably and shared across more industries.

In the next module, we will talk about the entrepreneurs.

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 3: Knowledge Inventory

Welcome back to the New Economic Paradigm Series.  The objective is to develop an innovation system that emulates the financial system.  In order to do this, we look for the social component that could best duplicate the function of the closest corresponding financial system component.

Part 2 discussed the currency of trade.  Part 3 will discuss the inventory of knowledge assets.

Most companies have an inventory of every nut, bolt, rivet, or panel that they need to build something tangible.  In innovation economy, we will need to have an inventory to assemble knowledge assets so that we can build something tangible and support the currency.

Your resume is like a book about you.  Conversely, every book that you have read has become part of your knowledge inventory.

Every experience you have had, every conversation you have participated in, every new idea that tried, successful of failed, is part of your knowledge inventory.  The things that you like to do, things that you do not like to do, and things that you do not know are part of this inventory and the way it is organized in your consciousness.

The Dewey Decimal System is a way to catalog information in books. Keep in mind that The Dewey System is archaic; however, it does provide us with some key insights:

From our earlier definition; to organize information is to organize a proxy for knowledge and innovation.

The decimal classification structure has a great advantage for the computer and mathematical analysis.  Additionally, tens of thousands of librarians are fluent and most people in the US have at least a minimal familiarity with it.

For a quick review, the body of written information is divided into 10 main categories.  Each main category is divided into 10 more categories and each of those are divided into 10 categories – and this can go on forever.

It is useful to note that the Dewey Decimal classification has a bias toward the three factors of production for the innovation economy; Social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital:

Most resume reading programs just pick up key words, so why have any other words?

Your resume can be a series of Dewey numbers instead of words and computers can tag the numbers as they do key words today. For example:

302, 307, 330, 607, 17, 500, 519

If your mind were a library and you attempted to map it all out, one would see that everything is related in some way – intuitively, this is what defines you. If we looked into your world, we would discover a huge network of experiences, books read, lessons learned, and people encountered.

We would find a system of knowledge rather than random facts that you have organized.  Your likes and dislikes would be reflected in what you do and do not want to do. Everyone is different – nobody is the same.  Everyone innovates, everyone has knowledge, and everyone shares information.

If we add some mathematical symbols and Boolean logic, perhaps we could capture the system of knowledge a little better. Your resume may now look like this:

{20,12};[302 AND 307], (330):[607 AND 17] OR [500/519]

Now need to make this look like money.  Before our knowledge can behave like a financial instrument we need to add one additional factor – the quality of the knowledge.

In American society there is a persistent ideology of winners and losers; there can only be one winner and the rest are losers.  We rank things in a very linear way; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.  Our culture is to protect one’s position at all cost, shield away all attackers and decimate our competition.  This way of thinking was effective in the industrial economy, but today it keeps us from understanding how knowledge actually exists in a community.

We need to switch to a bell curve distribution for knowledge assets because it better reflects reality and eliminates unproductive competition; there are no winners or losers, just different markets.

There is a perfectly legitimate market for a Porsche as there is for a Toyota.

Statistical distributions are used extensively in finance to value financial instruments; we need to do the same now for our knowledge assets. To make financial sense out of our random world, we must classify knowledge assets on a bell curve.  Consider the following resume:

{20:95%,12:80%};[302 AND 330]70%:(607 AND 17)80% OR [500/519]90%

This person is a specialist in Social Interaction and economics at the 70th percentile related to educational research at the 80th percentile. She (or he) has a Background in applied mathematics and physics at the 90th percentile. She (or he) is a trained ethicist at the 75th percentile, philosopher, and artist specializing in musical theory and orchestration at the 50th percentile. Fluent English and Spanish

Now, we have a system of numbers and symbols represent the knowledge of the person in a tangible manner.

Keep in mind that this is only a demonstration, however, we see some key advantages:

1.    The Inventory is Infinite and expandable to any field of knowledge
2.    Paints a picture of knowledge and not simply a list of information about a person.
3.    Machine enabled, programmable, and readable.

Now, all of the tools, methods, and equations in the world of banking, finance, and insurance can be used to combine, amalgamate, and diversify knowledge assets in an innovation market.

Your resume can now be combined with other resumes to represent the collective knowledge of a community.  This expression carries all of the information that an entrepreneur needs in order to estimate the probability that the community can execute a business plan.  We will discuss predictive characteristics extensively in future modules.

In the next section, we will talk about the institutions that exist in our communities through computer enabled society which will keep this game free, fair – and most importantly, equitable.

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 2, Currency

Welcome to part 2 of the New Economic Paradigm series.

In part 1 we determined that money represents human productivity and the only way to sustainably create wealth was to innovate.

Then we identified the flaw that money lives in a complex and integrated system while Innovation does not, rather, innovation is isolated, random, non-integrated and subservient to the financial system.

This module discusses the currency of the innovation economy.

A Currency is anything that serves as a medium of exchange, a stored value, and a standard of value.

We  all know that Dollar denominated money is a medium of exchange – but it does not represent gold or silver or even oil, it represents human productivity.  Money, and therefore all financial instruments store value related to human productivity.

When we look into society throughout history, everywhere people are trading information and ideas with each other at some velocity.  The Internet and social media (machine enabled society) has sped this process up to incredible rates.  All of this information adds up to something because obviously things get built and stuff rolls off assembly lines.  Furthermore, people act on information obtained from each other to produce things.

The currency of trade for the next economic paradigm must represent this “stock exchange”

Intuitively we know that information, knowledge and innovation are profoundly related to each other.  In fact, if you don’t have one, you can’t have the other two.  Our currency of trade must represent all three; information, knowledge, and innovation.  Therefore, we need to redefine these terms in a manner that relates them.

First we must define ‘information’. That’s easy, information is facts and data.

Next we need to define ‘knowledge’ in terms of information: Any good teacher can tell you that information must be introduced in a certain sequence and at a certain speed in order for the student to learn. Knowledge is therefore proportional to the rate of change of information.

For the purposes of this analysis, we will use the following definition:  Innovation is defined by the rate of change of knowledge where knowledge is defined by the rate of change of information.  For example; everyone has had an ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment during a brain storming session, or after making a mistake, or after witnessing a profound event. The AH-HA moment represents a very high rate of change in our knowledge that occurs in a very short period of time.

According to this definition, every idea,  conversation, dream, design, sketch, or discovery experienced and shared between two or more people is an innovation.

Math students can see that this definition sets up a differential equation that we can use to model the innovation system computationally – something that cannot be done with the current definitions.

Now let’s look at the “economic outcome” part

The factors of production for the industrial economy are land labor and capital.  Entrepreneurs allocate these three factors in different combination in the formation and growth of corporations.  If any of these factors of production are missing, dysfunctional, or corrupted – the corporation stops producing.

We have learned that in the knowledge economy, the location of knowledge work is highly mobile – so “Land” does not have the same significance for making things as it did 100 years ago.

What about labor? Knowledge workers analyze situations, manage many variables, and create unique solutions.  They do not really produce identical knowledge pieces like a machine operator or a production worker.  Everything they see and do becomes part of their relevant knowledge set: 24/7/365. The idea of an 8 hour day and pay-by-the-hour are no longer relevant.

Capital is money needed to build future structures, buy machines and to pay wages. Today, money provides access to information. The current economic meltdown demonstrates that where the information is corrupted, the money is corrupted – and so becomes everything connected to the money.

We now see that many old economic principles do not work quite as well in the new economies. Yet, the Land, Labor, and Capital theory is still the foundation of much of today’s corporate, academic, government, financial, and social thinking.

Using our definition for innovation, we can see that the innovation economy will emerge from the rate of change of the knowledge economy.  Today we are witnessing an astonishing growth in social media and a breakdown of traditional media for the dissemination of information.

The factors of production for the new currency are Intellectual Capital, Social Capital, and Creative Capital.

Intellectual Capital is also called Human Capital – and suggests that concentrations of educated and motivated people attract investors to employ them and invest in the communities where they reside.  This investment attracts other intelligent people who in turn attract more investment thereby creating a cycle of economic growth

The Social Capital Model suggests that people acting in communities can create better solutions, greater accountability, and more economic growth than management, governments, or bureaucracy can induce on their own.  Examples of Social Capital include Civil Rights Movement, community watch organizations, Democratic Government, Social Networking, and notably, recent political changes events.

The Creative Capital model, suggests that engineers and scientists think more like artists and musicians than like production workers – their ideas come 24/7/365 – and that an environment of tolerance, diversity, and openness promotes creative output.

A Currency is anything that serves as a medium of exchange, a stored value, and a standard of value.

In the current financial economy, the currency is a dollar.  The rate of change of the currency is called appreciation, depreciation, or “interest”.  The rate of change of interest is the growth rate or compounding. These are very familiar conditions in finance and the basis for a company’s stock price.

In the innovation economy, information is the currency.  Knowledge is the rate of change of information, and innovation is the rate of change of knowledge.

This will become a very familiar and useful relationship in the innovation economy.

For example, innovation is difficult to measure directly.  However, we can measure the rate of change of knowledge as a proxy for innovation.  It is difficult to measure knowledge.  However, we can measure the rate of change of information as a proxy for knowledge.

In finance and calculus, these are called derivatives.

In the next module we will discuss the inventory and accounting system for an innovation economy.

Next Economic Paradigm; Part 1

Technological change must always precede economic growth. We are going about the process of Globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change. This is the singular flaw of market capitalism that needs to be reversed.

The Next Economic Paradigm will be an Innovation Economy. Unfortunately, this will not be delivered by corporations, Government or Academia. There no single person, country, ideology, or philosophy that can meet the challenges of the future alone – everyone will be required to participate because everyone has a stake in the outcome.

The Ingenesist Project outlines a very optimistic future. The problems ahead have a relatively simple solution that can be implemented today using existing tools and infrastructure. These tools acting in the right system can have profound impact on future economic growth and the sustainability of our resources.

The Ingenesist Project identifies a core problem:

This is the human productivity chart. Every time humans invent better ways of doing things, they become more productive. Where more people are more productive, the economy gets bigger. This is a fact.

About 50,000 years ago, humans began to make tools using tools and innovation increasing exponentially. Tools made hunting and gathering easier. As farming developed so did the emergence of cities. When people could produce more than they needed, they had time to think about things like philosophy, art, astronomy, written language. This led to a scientific revolution that continued to make new observations about the world. These observations were applied to systems that made people still more productive. The industrial revolution followed. Industry produced a lot of information. The ability to process that information using computers led to the information revolution. Soon people began seeing new trends among the information, facts, and data. This ability largely defines the knowledge economy that we see today.

Obviously, There were economic “eras” in the past and there will be more in the future; of this is not the end of human economic development. Something else will happen after the knowledge economy. This next economic paradigm is not easy to see.  Many people have a sense that civilization is changing – it must change.

Looking at the productivity chart, we notice a few interesting trends.

  • Every level of economic development was derived from the prior level of economic development.
  • That transformation was achieved by integrating the tools that were developed during the prior economy.

The two greatest tools in the knowledge economy are the Internet and Social Media. The Innovation Economy must integrate these tools.

Now, this is the Human Gross Domestic Product Chart. This is obviously very similar to the productivity chart except that the bottom axis is labeled with Global Gross Domestic Product over the same time period. The global GDP of 50,000 years ago was about 200 Million in current dollars.

Today, the Global GDP is about 65 Trillion Dollars.

If this curve was to continue, and it can, the next level of economic development could easily value in the Quadrillions. However, this cannot happen without some adjustments to the current system:

The only way to create more money is to increase human productivity and the only way to increase human productivity is to Innovate. This is the guiding principle of an Innovation Economist.

The problem is that the financial system is highly organized while the “Innovation system” is nearly random.

Economic growth with “money” as the scorecard lives in a complex, global and highly integrated system where billions of dollars circle the globe daily at the click of a mouse.

By contrast, human innovation lives in the patent system which is extremely slow, static, and prohibitively expensive. Of course, innovation certainly happens in places like Silicon Valley, Government Laboratories, Universities, and let’s not forget the proverbial “Steve’s Garage”; but these sources are not integrated and they do not behave like a system – except at the mercy of the financial system.

Innovation is market driven, markets should be innovation driven.

It is clear; there is no Innovation system to match the financial system in speed, efficiency, and integration. The objective of the Ingenesist Project is to specify an innovation system that integrates the tools of the knowledge economy into a structure that mimics the financial system. If it looks like money, it will behave like money and people will trade it.

The Next Economic Paradigm must duplicate the same 5 essential components as today’s economy.  These 5 components interact with each other as a system.

The 5 Essential Components of an Economy

1. A Currency to store value

2. An Inventory to account for the storage and exchange of value

3. Institutions that are supposed to keep the game fair

4. Entrepreneurs to do the “fuzzy math”

5. Business Plan or philosophy such as “Capitalism”

If any of these pieces are missing or corrupted, the market will fail. All 5 of these elements must be operational and integrated in order for a market to be efficient.

In the next several articles, we will go through each of the 5 elements and develop the corresponding knowledge system that will be integrated as we create the structure of the Innovation Economy.

If you give people a game they can win, they will play it all day long. In this regard, human behavior is highly predictable.

Business Plans of the Innovation Economy

There is no shortage of money in the world but there is plenty of risk. Most business failures are due to knowledge deficits such as the inexperienced management team, a poor assessment of market conditions, underestimating the amount of money needed, underestimating a competitor, loss of a key employee, poor understanding of the technology, etc. These are knowledge problems not financial problems, yet they can sink the most promising companies.

To solve the knowledge problems is to decrease the risk of innovating. To decrease the risk of innovating will decrease the cost of venture capital. Decreased cost of money to innovate will induce innovation economics.

With a computer enabled knowledge inventory in the correct format and a Percentile Search Engine that returns probabilities on strategic combination of assets, the business plan of the innovation economy becomes very simple; The Innovation Bank does one thing very well over and over again – it matches correct knowledge surplus with the correct knowledge deficit at any point in time for any strategic reason. This process is then repeated over and over in infinite different combination.

The first business structure is made up from two single knowledge transactions arranged in parallel – like a parallel circuit. This arrangement represents a brainstorming session between two or more people.

The Percentile Search Engine matches the person with the knowledge supply to a person with the knowledge demand. The transaction can be as simple as a conversation, sketch on a napkin, or white board flow chart. Each time the cycle goes around the new ideas of one person ignites a new ideas in the other person. Each time the transaction occurs, there is a net increase of new knowledge. The conclusion is usually some tangible action, system, or method. The conversation stops when no new knowledge can be created in either person – or when people just get tired (rate of change approaches zero).

The entrepreneur is very interested in the outcome of these conversations and uses the Percentile Search Engine to select, regulate, modify, adjust, analyze, and record the transactions. The Percentile Search Engine is used again to select diverse participants for the parallel business structure with the intention of producing a specific outcome.

The second business structure is made up from two single knowledge transactions arranged in series – like a series circuit. This arrangement represents the product development cycle.

Again, the Percentile Search Engine matches the person with the knowledge supply to a person with the knowledge demand. The transaction is a simple conversation and the outcome is a prototype process, system, or method. Each step in the series is an improvement to the method. Each time the transaction occurs, there is a net increase of new knowledge. The conclusion is the development of the system, business plan, or method. The conversation stops when the product is ready for another iteration or the market. The Percentile Search Engine is used again to select diverse participants to continue the series business structure with the intention of producing a specific outcome.

The entrepreneur is very interested in the outcome of these iterations and uses the Percentile Search Engine to select, regulate, modify, adjust, analyze, and record the transactions.

Now if we mix the parallel and series circuits, we form what looks like a neural network of parallel and series networks. Now, we are squarely in the regime of “designer” Social Networks. Participants are paid in micro-royalties instead of wages. By definition, a relatively small input produces a very large output – if it can be captured.  This will be the source of wealth creation from the new corporations of the Innovation Economy.

We determined in an earlier chapter that information, knowledge and innovation are related as mathematical derivatives.  The accounting system will identify innovation by measuring the rate of change of knowledge transfer within a social network.  Any number of current methods, systems, or innovation consultants can deal with this.  Similarly, in order to identify high rates of change of knowledge in a social network, the accounting system will measure high rates of change of information.  This too is quite simple using common systems, methods, consultants and tools.  No new infrastructure is required with the exception of the knowledge inventory, percentile search engine, and innovation bank.

The entrepreneur can now do what they do best; identify assets operating at low productivity and reallocate them to areas of high productivity by running them through an innovation system.  Remember, most businesses fail due to knowledge deficits.  To reduce or eliminate these risks will make the fact or innovation predictable and therefore negotiable.

Social Media; the Integrator of the Innovation Economy

Where are the gray suited diplomats holding each others forearms against a world map backdrop vowing to correct the world’s innovation system?  Where are the politicians joining across party lines about how to inject 700 billion dollars to fix the nation’s innovation system?  When will the Federal Reserve Chairman find the flaw in our national innovation system?  Hey, when will someone notice that we don’t have a national innovation system?

Schumpeterian Economics argues that corporations represent our nation’s innovation endowment. However, the primary function of a corporation is to make money, not explicitly to innovate.  Sure, they innovate if they must – most likely to beat down a more innovative competitor.  But, as soon as bad times hit, most will shift money from R&D to marketing.

If we look back only 400 hundred years, everyone on Earth lived on an average of about 500 dollars per year.  Then the innovations from the prior 2,000,000 years started to converge.  Counting backwards; the knowledge economy was “derived” from the information revolution, which was derived from the manufacturing revolution which was “derived” the Industrial revolution which was “derived” from the scientific revolution, which was “derived” from the agrarian economy.  Each revolution “Integrated” the tools of the prior revolution; The Knowledge economy integrated the tools of the information age and the information age integrated the tools of the manufacturing economy, etc.  By the way, the term “derived” is related to the term “derivative” – the primary hedging tool integrated in our current financial system.

Each economic revolution was marked by a tremendous increase in human productivity – we no longer need to milk our own cow. Victoria trades a dollar’s worth of her time as an airplane engineer for a dollar’s worth of the Robert’s time as an agricultural engineer.  Bill Gates is worth 50 billion dollars because he increased the productivity of a minimum of a billion people by a minimum of 50 dollars each.  I save 5 dollars in gas by not driving to the library when I can just search Google or Wikipedia.

The only way to “make” more money is to increase human productivity and the only sustainable way to increase human productivity is to find better ways of doing things.  Anything else is simply a transfer or redistribution of money.  Both are important – but often we confuse them under the same terminology: “making money”.  Or, we reverse the two by literally making (printing) money and then transferring it to corporations under the assumption that they will innovate enough to support everyone else plus the debt.  This system worked great for many years and in many political forms – it brought us from living in caves to a 65 trillion dollar global economy.  But like the economic revolutions before it, the current economic structure will soon give way to a new paradigm as we are forced to reach for higher productivity.

What the brilliant economist, Joseph Schumpeter did not have in his time was the technological breakthrough of Computer Enabled Society.  Taking a hint from the past; the new economic paradigm will be derived from the knowledge economy by integrating the tools developed during the knowledge economy. That is why we now have Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube – and all the rest.

Everyone agrees that information, knowledge, and innovation are profoundly related.  In fact, we can say that knowledge is derived from information and that innovation is derived from knowledge.  The new paradigm will be called the Innovation Economy and it will arise from the integration of the tools of the knowledge economy using social media. We see terms like open-sourcing, crowd sourcing, social networking, groundswells, innovation exchanges and a host of new Social Media Internet applications.  All of these have one thing in common; the tangibility of human knowledge.  This is the Holy Grail of modern finance and it is not a coincidence – it is now within our grasp.

In the past, human knowledge was only tangible inside the construct of a corporation – the corporate structure integrated knowledge assets to make things people want and need. However, with Social Media, knowledge assets will become tangible outside the corporate structure and integrated by knowledge communities, social networks, crowds, groundswells, etc. Knowledge communities will mix, combine, interact, and share knowledge; inevitably the end result is innovation – to make things that people want and need. These knowledge communities will become the next “corporation” acting directly as the integrator of human knowledge.  Ironically, Social Media “outsources” management.  Traditional corporations will not disappear as the agrarian economy never disappeared – they will just integrate.

Ideally, Wall Street is a simply a horse race where money is bet on corporations to fund innovation.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We don’t need a new financial system; we need a new and improved innovation system.  We have the technology; all we need now is the “integrator”.  The Ingenesist Project is the only viable comprehensive integrator now being proposed.  Perhaps it is not perfect, but the next economic paradigm will be certainly be derived from its improvement.

Tangible Knowledge; Options and Contingencies

In order for knowledge to become a tangible asset, we need to come to grips with the fact that human knowledge is fluid and mobile, whereas a condo or a piece of machinery is static.  A machine can’t walk away if it does not like their management.

With knowledge assets, the typical “Return on Investment” (ROI) model breaks down.  When assets have a mind of their own, there is no reliable way to calculate ROI without somehow corralling the asset inside some form of closed contract, a corporation, political system, social class, or by introducing barriers to exit, etc.  In the modern financial system, human assets are held tangible by debt obligations – today many people go to work in servitude of debt, not in creation of new ideas.

An option* is the right, without the liability of obligation, to exercise a decision in the future.  Human interaction accommodates this valuation model quite readily; it’s called free-will.  Therefore the option valuation model is an adequate method to assess knowledge assets as a means of making them tangible.

The value of a financial option can be calculated if one knows the following 5 variables: The asset price, the strike price, the date of maturity, the risk free interest rate, and the volatility – or, the odds on the bet.  By contrast, the ROI model requires us to know basically the same things; the cost today, the strike price (future sale price), the date of maturity, the risk free interest rate, and the probability of success – or variance of the expectation.  The equation is just a little different.

Individually, human behavior often appears chaotic and irrational, but in aggregate, we know that human behavior is really quite predictable.  If you put similar people together, you get similar ideas.  If you put extremely different people together, you get extremely unpredictable ideas.  If you put strategic combinations of people together, you should be able to predict the variance of the ideas.  This is all the information we need to place a value on our bet.   If human behavior is predictable, it is tangible.

Suppose we enter into a ROI venture and it fails miserably; the market was wrong or the product was wrong, or the people were wrong, etc.  Even though the investment failed, the knowledge accumulated from the attempt can be exercised in many other projects in the future. While the Patent may turn out to be worthless, the knowledge gained by the team can be used over and over again.  Each person gains a statistical data point in their experience set with which to assess comparable situations in the future.  This is an option and this option has value.  If the team were disbanded without somehow capturing the inventory of new knowledge assets, a very valuable set of options becomes squandered.

Some companies such as Google, try not to kill an idea, they morph the idea into something else.  Free-range knowledge tangibility must achieve those same objectives.  Today we see people building networks on Linkedin – this activity resembles the collection of options on future opportunities.  People post on social media to see and be seen by other knowledge assets as a means of collecting more options for their careers or actions. People would not be doing it if there was no intrinsic value.  The next big leap will happen when knowledge tangibility is married to the financial system through the direct valuation and capitalization of options.  Did I mention there is an equation for that?

The Ingenesist Project specifies a method and system for knowledge inventory that would produce a variance for knowledge assets.  The Percentile Search Engine would pull knowledge assets in combination that diversify variance into a highly predictable surplus assets and deficit assets.   The Innovation Bank would match most worthy surplus to most worthy deficit.  As such, the Innovation Economy itself is now a most worthy option for supporting a feeble financial system.

The ROI model is the mother of all squandered knowledge assets – the very same assets that are really purchased on a project, successful or not, are often willfully abandoned.  All of the parameters of an option valuation model can now be met with social media and The Ingenesist Project integration methods. Free-range knowledge assets can then be directly financed toward business objectives.  The idea of an innovation economy based on knowledge tangibility is well within our grasp technologically, culturally, and systematically.

Social media has an astonishing opportunity to integrate social, creative, and intellectual knowledge assets to trade that single most important part of the puzzle, tangible knowledge assets.  I suspect that this outcome will depend on whether these new tools are treated to an ROI valuation model or on an options valuation model.

* Italic used for clarity

Economics of Innovation

Every time humans invent better ways of doing things, the economy gets a little bigger. This is a simple idea. The cave dwellers discovered that they did not have to travel as much hunting and gathering if they could sharpen a rock enough to chop a tree down for firewood or for spearing animals.  That same tool helped them to dig holes to plant seeds.  By growing food and domestication animals, they could stay in one place and conserve energy.  By living in cities, the division of labor led to more efficiency as the farmer, metal smith and rancher bartered their services.  Enough surpluses were created so that a leisure class was free to develop philosophical thought leading to early scientific principals.

After a while, the invention of the printing press greatly advanced the availability of formal education.  In the Early 1800’s, Eli Whitney stunned the world first with the cotton gin and then with his concept of “interchangeable parts” where he disassembled ten working muskets, scramble the parts and reassembled ten working muskets.  What seems trivial today lead to great advances in the industrial revolution, becoming further refined in the manufacturing economy.  Computers then ushered in the Era of Information followed by the knowledge economy that we live in today.

At each stage, there was a quantum leap in human productivity and financial wealth.  Obviously the two are related.

If we look at this history from the big picture, we notice that each level of human development was derived from the prior level by integrating the tools of that prior level.  As such, the knowledge economy was derived from the information era by integrating the computer tools leading to the Internet.  The agrarian economy was derived from the hunter-gatherer tribes by integrating the wheel, wedge, and lever into agriculture and livestock.  The industrial revolution integrated scientific principles from the Renaissance. This is fairly consistent.

If we look at this history from a microscopic view, we see that no single idea drove human development, rather, billions upon billions of little ideas from many diverse sources combined in unique ways to form larger ideas which then combined to form even larger advances eventually leading to those big innovations that we see as the milestones above.

Also, we notice that the over time, rate of change at which these ideas have been combining is getting faster and faster.  The hunter-gatherer phase lasted 2 million years, The agrarian age lasted about 40,000 years. The scientific revolution lasted 1500 years.  The knowledge economy is barely a single generation in play.

These are important concepts because later, when we build a mathematical model for the next economic paradigm, we will use a few tricks of calculus called the “derivative” and the “integral” to describe how things change over time so that we can measure and analyze productivity and wealth creation in the new economy.

Finally, we ask, what comes after the knowledge economy?  There are two things that we can be certain of.  The next great leap in economic development will be derived from the knowledge economy by integrating the tools that we developed in this knowledge economy.  I strongly suspect that computer enabled society – or social networking will have something to do with it.

Welcome to the Innovation economy.

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