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Tag: value game

The Game of Zero

The Game of Zero was developed in order to populate the knowledge inventory. The purpose of GOZ is to introduce a constraint to Curiosumé which produces an equal amount of supply and demand for knowledge assets. The reason for this is to incentivise the formation of a market between and among knowledge asset holders.

(The Game of Zero (GOZ) is a subset of The Value Game (TVG) which may be found by searching this site.)

In order for a player to advance in a Value Game, the claims that they make in forming their Curiosumé must be verified by another game player and registered as a combined transaction record on the Knowledge inventory. 

In order to create a dynamic market of data, information, knowledge, innovation and Wisdom, each player must register as both surplus and deficit knowledge assets (teacher and students).  A score of surplus (what one knows) must be balanced by a score of deficit, (what one wants to learn) in order for the player to create tokens. 

Introduction: As the name suggests, game mechanics are employed to move the production forward.  Incentives consist of a combination of intrinsic motivations as well as financial compensation.  A knowledge inventory is expressed from an ontology that brings context to interactions.  The two-way flow of information is expressed as a simple bell-curve distribution for states of knowledge ranging from teacher (+1,+2,+3 Sigmas) to student (-1,-2,-3 Sigmas).   

The Game of Zero gets its name from the only constraint that is applied:  each participant MUST have a total score of ZERO.

Formation of Knowledge Inventory:

Ontology is a difficult topic to address universally because every company, institution, and every affinity group has their own specific means and methods for defining themselves in terms of ontology. 

Example: the following is the Wikipedia Ontology:

Generalized Knowledge Inventory:

Top Level Wikipedia Categories   -3s -2s -1s +1s +2s +3s
General Reference       X    
Culture and The Arts       X    
Geography and Places     X      
Health and Fitness   X        
History and Events     X      
Human Activity   X        
Mathematics and Logic         X  
Natural and Physical Sciences         X  
People and Self   X        
Philosophy and Thinking       X    
Religion and Belief Systems X          
Society and Social Sciences       X    
Technology and Applied Sciences           X
TOTAL = 0 -3 -6 -2 +4 +4 +3
Absolute Value = 22            

Claim your Intellectual Property:

  • Earn Power by claiming your IP blocks. 
  • Increase your power by having each block validated by another participant.
  • Surplus refers to knowledge that you offer to others
  • Deficit refers to knowledge that you need from others
  • Rank yourself as you fit among the community of your peers
  • Positive and negative must balance at zero
  • Adjustments can be made at any time

Important: Each of the above categories likewise have sub categories for which the same constraint holds.  Below those categories may exist many more for which the constraint likewise holds. 

Absolute Values in each category may be analyzed as well for business intelligence.  The combined knowledge inventory will accumulate substantial value. 

Implications for Merchandizing platform:

The Game of Zero provides a way for the participants to increase their “stake” in the system.  By accumulation of Absolute Value, the participant increases their likelihood of gaining a more valuable position / winning a more valuable prize.

The network of participants can safely contact each other based on mutual interests of validating knowledge and information.  One buyer may want to alert other buyers of a good product or service based on their unique identifiers.

There is no incentive to cheat – If I lie about my knowledge inventory, this is the equivalent of spamming myself. 

There is no incentive to troll because any claims that are not validated by one or more participant of relevant profile can be ignored by the system.

Playing the Game of Zero

Most applications require a user to become familiar with a detailed set of rules that are necessary overhead for security (passwords), Identity (KYC/AML), terms of use, rules of engagements, limits and levers, means and methods, etc.  Each requires a mental investment on the player as well as a resource overhead on the application.

Video games are taught with a simple objective and just allowing the user to play at level 1.  Level 1 teaches the player the skills that they will need to be successful at level 2, which likewise prepares the player for level 3 and so forth.

The Knowledge Inventory: The Game of Zero requires that a player complete a detailed profile in order to accumulate “stake” in the community. The profile is anonymous which allows the player to use an avatar or any name that they choose. They can change their name at any time.  They can delete a profile and start again. They can even maintain more than one profile. Each of these freedoms has consequences at higher states of play, but at the beginning the player is encouraged to experiment to find their place in the community.  The system will allow them to do anything that they want except violate the rule of zero. 

The player will quickly realize that the game interacts with them based on the inputs to their profile.  If they create a frivolous profile, they will get frivolous results.  If they provide meaningful inputs, they will get meaningful results.  Once they realize how it works, they may abandon a profile at this early stage and create a new one.  Penalty for this is that they will need to re-start the clock (like starting on square one).  This is not a big penalty at the early stages, but at the later stages this will become a significant deterrent. 

The more stake that a player holds, the greater the payout will be from the system.  Payout may exist in many forms from prizes to targeted economic opportunities such as gigs, validations, contests, and paid product endorsements.  The value of the economic opportunity increases at higher states of play.

Higher States of Play

The Game of Zero forces that player to maintain a net state of ZERO across the entire spectrum of ontology. At higher States of play the players may also need to validate their claims in order to increase their stake.  If they claim to be a +2 Sigma Computer programmer, they will need to find another +2 programmer to validate their claim.  If they balance their expertise with a -3 sigma desire to learn the game of tennis, they will need to validate their claim with a tennis partner.  Other scenarios are possible depending on market forces.

The process of claims and validations builds social cohesion, community engagement, and value of the system.  Failure to complete transactions or validate claims limits the benefit of game play and may eventually upset the balance of ZERO. 

Each claim and validation becomes a permanent record cast in time and cannot be altered without a corresponding counterclaim, or deletion of the profile.  

Network Effects

The next level of growth will include a transformation from a strict e-commerce site to a networked platform. The following features will be added.

  • Branding
  • Encourage communities to interact with each other
  • Precision matching of “teachers” to “students” drives value creation
  • Targeted incentives
  • Formation of affinity groups and buying pools
  • Managed by algorithm

If the system is trained to behave like a network, then a simple valuation component will be reflected by the square of the number of nodes multiplied by the quality of each interaction set equal to the current linear valuations. 

Management will then use this relationship to drive policy that concentrates on two things: Increases the number of participants and increasing the depth and breadth of engagement among the members.

Conclusion

How a Value Network Works

In business and commerce, value networks are an example of an economic ecosystem. Each member relies on one another to foster growth and increase value. Value network members can consist of external members (e.g., customers) or internal members, such as research and development teams.

Value networks enhance innovation, social welfare, the environment, as well as many other areas. Weakness in one node can affect the entire network. For example, if a development team is weak, the production team has a harder time creating the product, which can leave a buyer waiting for their shipment.

History: The Game of Zero was first identified by the author in response to requirements for managing the Summer Intern program at The Boeing Company between the years 1998-2002.  Later around 2005-2008 the system was studies for closing the knowledge gap at Boeing as well.  The research showed great promise and some parts of the work have been applied by the company.   Additional research and development was conducted through various companies and start-ups from 2008 until present.  The Game of Zero was generalized from the Boeing Experiments in private follow-on research and development as described in Curiosumé and The Innovation Bank.  Details of this history are outlined in the whitepaper.

New Value Movement Session Primer

Thank you for participating in the New Value Movement discussions.

I have compiled this post to help our panelists refresh the basics of The New Value Movement. This is the body of content that we are trying to improve:

If you find them difficult to follow, then that is what needs improvement.  I’ll do a quick review at the sessions as well.

We need to tell an epic story.

New Value Movement Session Primer – Total viewing time is about 33 minutes.

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SIBOS 2011 (6:39 minutes)  this video is the Launch presentation for the NVM delivered to financial industry professional at SIBOS Innotribe sessions in Toronto 2011.  It introduces ideas corresponding to the Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant applications.

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This next video describes The Knowledge Asset Inventory (5:30 Minutes) and corresponds to the Zertify Application concept.  However, the actual methodology is masked and I have not published this openly the web – this is the only secret we keep at this point. The actual methodology will be revealed at the session.

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The next video describes The Value Game; a system for accounting for new value (12:17 minutes); and corresponds to the Gamidox application. This was originally used to launch a start-up called Social Flights. However, there are several layers of informative examples in this video.

Next: The algorithm for monetizing (making tangible) of intangible value is described in the video below (5:30 minutes) and corresponds to the Exoquant Application.

Finally; predictions 2020 begins to lay out the scope of influence that alternate economics may have if done correctly. As such, this video (3:30 minutes) suggests the scope of audience that the New Value Movement narrative should access.

Again, thank you for your time, effort, experience, and intellect participating on this panel. Dear regular blog readers: please continue to leave comments or connect with me to get involved with the New Value Movement.

New Value Movement Session Primer

Where Competition Has Met It’s Match

(update; as of November 2012, The Monitor Group headed by Michael E. Porter, the subject of this article, declared bankruptcy ending an era of C-Suite omnipotence strategy thinking.  This article compares competitive strategy to collaborative strategy)

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The B-School staple “Porter’s 5 Forces” has been the mainstay of corporate competitive analysis since it’s creation in 1979 by World regarded Harvard Business School Professor, Michael E. Porter. Porter developed a model of industry analysis in his seminal book,  Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

In short, a competitive company’s position in a market is threatened by five main forces acting on the corporate asset:

  • new competition,
  • substitute products or services,
  • bargaining power of customers,
  • bargaining power of suppliers,
  • intensity of competitive rivalries.

Any changes in these 5 forces would be cause for the company to re-evaluate their place in the market … thus leading to healthy consulting practices for strategists the world over.

The Rate of Change

In the 1990’s critics began to argue that Porter’s 5 Forces thesis assumes that the forces are static and non-related.  At the time, the world was becoming more dynamic and more interrelated. For example:

  • Buyers, competitors, and suppliers can interact, and even collude.
  • Value cannot be created in the long run by constantly introducing barriers to entry
  • Participants in a market have the ability to plan and respond to competitive behavior.

As a result, they added another Force called “complementors” while introducing rudimentary game theory to explain the role of strategic alliances to the analysis.

Constant Change

Now in the year 2012, we routinely assume that all players can instantaneously access the same real-time dynamic market information from the cloud.  We readily accept that all players will collaborate massively with whomever they want from anywhere in the World.  As a result, we must assume that all five forces will change constantly and rapidly in real time.

Now imagine how 1990’s game theory would manage conditions where the company AND their competitors must continuously re-evaluate their position in a market under the circumstances of continuous change.  In effect, nobody has the ability to compete with each other, they are competing with the game, therefore, they are cooperating to keep the game in play.

Is Collaboration Underrated?

If any player tries to introduce a barrier to entry, THEY risk get knocked out while the game continues without them. In fact, value is created by applications that remove barriers … and brokers are punished. All of these factors cause the game to self energize and improve as players preserve the asset rather than consume it.

The Value Game

It should not be surprising therefore that Porter’s 5 forces now resemble what we call the Value Game that we have described here (and here, and here).  In the ultimate manifestation, however, The Value Game will play automatically through multiagent algorithmic game applications where tangible and intangible assets would be accounted equally in a Value Game. Individual would own, manage, and deploy their secret sauce of knowledge assets through their personal API that interfaces with the game that is most relevant to their highest abilities.

Where competition has met it’s match

Remember that little regarded fact of Capitalism: Markets are efficient where there is perfect information.  This means that if everyone involved in a transaction has the exact same information as everyone else, the true supply can meet the true demand.  Nobody ever said that this must be accomplished through competition especially if collaboration can do it better.

A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

In yesterday’s post, we outlined The Value Game for University Outreach where the graduate was the shared asset and the school administration, the alumni association, the entrepreneurial community, and the wider community were the players. Now let’s presume that the shared asset is a small business owner specializing in aerobics instruction.

Using the same players:


A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

Suppose that a popular aerobics instructor has 20 students and charges 40 dollars for an 8 class sessions. The local health food store will place 10% coupon on store purchases against the 40 dollar tuition for the duration of the class. If the student bought 400 dollars worth of food from the health food store in 8 weeks, their tuition for the aerobics course would be free.  If they spend more, then the aerobics instructor is paid more.

The health food store already spends 10% of sales on advertising.  As such, the coupon is a superior incentive because it provides 100% ROI on the store’s ad spend.

Social Value Outcomes:

  • The health food store gains loyal repeat customers without advertising or spamming
  • The aerobics instructor earns an entrepreneurial wage making similar coupon arrangements with other health services, sporting goods stores, hotels chains, airlines, adventure tourism companies – anyone whose best interest it is to support her clients’ aspiration. They too benefit from loyal customers (anti-Groupon)
  • The Alumni Association would represent a network of clients, business owners, and database of persons likely to provide contacts, references, coupons, and advice to the aerobics instructor
  • The University can provide gym space, sponsorship, health education classes, and collect data such as; which coupons produce the highest yield for a given alumni product or service and player profile.

The Value Game Filters:

This particular value game automatically filters out the players that are not appropriate for the client.  In effect, the donut shop, tobacco store, or video game outlet would not likely benefit from playing this particular value game as their offering would reflect poorly on social values of the instructor and their coupons would not perform well enough vs. traditional advertising.  Instead, these products would find their own value game, if any.

Social Value Index (SVI)

The Social Value Index is a public statistic that compares the economic value (cost/benefit) of the socially integrated value game with the cost/benefit of the disaggregated advertising/spamming model which robs people of their time, passions, and quality of life.

Data as a shared asset

The SVI provides data that rewards this entrepreneur for doing what she is most passionate about; being knowledgeable and supportive of available health resources. The SVI rewards the store for enabling entrepreneurs in exchange for loyal repeat customers.  The Social Value Index rewards the network of alumni who align with their members (aerobics instructor) to deploy social currency to a community instead of spamvertising. The SVI rewards the University Outreach effort for organizing critical data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in the community.

At the end of the day: 

The Value Game is important because it allows entrepreneurial business plans that would not normally be viable under a purely monetary model, become highly viable when intangible Social Value (New Value) is added to the bottom line.

 

A Radical Twist on Crowd Computing

Social Flights is a Value Game. The objective is for communities to fill a private jet in both directions in order to achieve the best economics. This may be achieved through creative Game Mechanics where travelers, aircraft operators, tourism and hospitality vendors, and municipalities interact in their mutual best interest to perform a calculation in a radical twist on the concept of Crowd Computing.

But what if communities could organize themselves using their own data? This would introduce a great deal of innovation in order to solve a calculation that is otherwise performed by capital infrastructure such as structures, corporations, government, or in the case of Social Flights, a vast hub airport.

The Value Game is designed to be gamed by entrepreneurs where “True Value” is created through collaboration rather than competition.  

If Social Flights can create a game where people share an airplanes, imagine that the same game can be played with any shared asset from cars, education, health care, food production, and even public infrastructure.  Communities may perform the “calculations of economics” much like how traditional tribes allocate resources.  Enterprise lacking in “socially redeeming value”,  by definition, will fail.

So exactly how powerful are tribes?

As we all seen this year alone in the Internet Age, Social Currency can and does directly challenge dictators, militaries, financial systems, and governments across the globe.  People are performing Crowd Calculations – communities are Crowd Computing.  These ideas and many more will be highlighted by Innotribe at SIBOS 2011

Let me offer an analogy:      

The economy that is denominated by Money, is a system built on 5 pillars that are perform the calculations of finance and economics.  The pillars are integrated to support a financial system. These pillars are: a currency, an accounting system, vetting institutions, entrepreneurs, and consumers.

If any one of these pillars is broken, corrupted, oppressed or otherwise fails, the entire system falters. Enron presented a failure in the accounting profession. The mortgage crisis was the failure of the vetting mechanisms. Corrupt legal systems suppress entrepreneurs. Now the debt crisis is threatening the currency pillar.  The currency crisis will threaten the consumer.

Suppose that these five old economic pillars could be duplicated in a some different way and then integrated to form an alternate system for performing the same calculations.   It is no coincidence that many of the sessions at SIBOS2011/Innotribe correspond to the five pillars of such an economy.

Entrepreneurs: Social Data and Cooperation, Corporate Cultures 

Vetting mechanisms:  Banks for a better world

Accounting system; Big Data

Consumers: Digital Identity

Currency; Future of Money

Imagine this, if the organizations at Innotribe were to integrate to create a new economy that is only slightly more efficient the old system, they may become the mother of all hedge funds. Remember the dictator caught without social currency?  At least half the money in the world will convert, capitalize, and securitize in social currency.  We may not be that far off from that day.

The New Economies Track at SIBOS2011/Innotribe features the people and projects that are at the forefront of “The Big Integration” where the five pillars of a new economic system will integrate themselves to form a new economy to replace the old.  It all starts with entrepreneurs such as those featured at Innotribe 2011 trying to figure out new ways to integrate the five pillars of a new economy.

OWN Your Travel Game

Social Flight is unique in its purpose of organizing communities of people into powerful collectives who can influence markets, vendors, and especially prices. This opportunity arises because of extraordinary inefficiencies in the airlines, but also in advertising, communications, marketing and every industry where a broker stands between your intentions and a market for goods and services.

Why Google Plus?

It may take a while for most people to catch on to what Google already knows: nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something.

Suppose you set up Google Circles by Geographic location.  Essentially, collect your home town friends, your college friends, your family branches, your company headquarters, etc., by geographic location.

Of course, each place where you have been has it’s own set of circles for things to do, places to go, and events to attend.  Each place that you go is a market of goods and services that is willing to accept your patronage as well as the patronage of people in your circles.

Now suppose you overlay your data on your personal “interests” data: 

This data set can include National Parks, affinity conferences, your Alma Mater “away” games, and seasonal recreation, for example.  This affinity data may also include concert tours of your favorite bands, speaker tours of your favorite authors, sibling birthdays, or promotional campaigns for your company, etc.

These form your intentions:

By far the most powerful business intelligence data is for the product that you will buy next, the person who you will talk to next, the place you will go next, and the impression that you will receive next.  This data belongs to you – like physical property – and YOU should be able to determine who sees.

YOU OWN your intentions data. 

Now overlay your intentions over a map of services and vendors such as hotels, or NASCAR races any other Goods and services that someone may want to sell to you.  Today, these vendors are paying a great deal of money to advertise their message to people who may never buy the product or create an unnecessary, and possibly negative, impression on those  who would not use the product in the first place.

$400 Billion dollar yearly advertising spend

These vendors pay and extraordinary amount of money on business intelligence, Groupons, and social media campaigns trying to discover YOUR intentions data.

They want to know where you are, but NOW, you know who THEY are.  You have every bit of information that you need about them to sell them YOUR product: your intentions.

Now you can simply ask them to bid for your intentions data and bid for your business – this is exactly what a print ad or TV commercial hopes to accomplish. 

Who is ready to build these applications with us?

Are We Hard Wired?

Hardwired Control Matrix

It has been a challenging month at Social Flights.   Our soft launch story was broken by FAST COMPANY, then it was quickly picked up by  THE NEW YORK TIMESBLOOMBERG TV,  FORBESINC. TECH,  WASHINGTON POST, and MASHABLE, then picked up by various other magazines and bloggers across the web.

Huge Interest in The Business Model

Social flights picked up tens of thousands of hits and several thousand members within a very short period of time.  We also received almost a thousand RFQ’s for charter service and our web traffic rank according to Alexa.com is under 20,000 – better than any other private jet broker in the country, including NetJets.

I personally communicated with dozens of 3rd party entrepreneurs that want to plug into our value proposition and we are discussing multiple high value partnerships in North America and around the world.

Are We Hard Wired?

Introducing such a radical approach brings many challenges, especially in the area of customer expectation.  People are hard wired to schedules, and lines, and pat downs, and waiting, waiting waiting. Social Flights was never conceived to dictate on a market how they should fly and to where.  Social flights will certainly not take people someplace where they don’t want to go – like an airport hub for transfer.  Social Flights will never hold a passenger’s dignity hostage behind some hidden cost or irrelevant regulation.

Losing The Hard Wire

We estimate that Social Flights will optimize at about  2.5 Million members – or roughly 5000 people in each of 500 locations across North America.  At that point our service model will begin to “simulate” the selection and convenience of the commercial airlines.  Keep in mind – this system will “simulate” scheduled service except without hard wires.

5000 people X 500 places model

  • This is the point where there will be a high likelihood that 8-10 people will all want to go to the same place from the same place within reasonable intervals of departure times.
  • This is the point where fluctuations in price and schedule such as de-icing costs, landing fees, fuel cost, or seat cancellation policy can be absorbed across the whole system rather than an individual passenger load.
  • This is the point where ground support vendors will commit substantial discount incentives to controlled bundles of passengers.
  • This is a point where the data that is generated by The Value Game and held solely by the players becomes valuable enough to predict the outcomes of future Value Games.

Not An Easy Puzzle to Solve:

Social Flights is attempting to do something that has never been accomplished in social media with such high value shared assets.  We seek to answer the question: Can people organize themselves around the concept of “Value” much like we have organized ourselves around the concept of “Money”.  Based on our earliest readings, the answer is that people are not as Hard Wired to money as those who control money would like us to believe. Looks like they’d jump the first plane out of Dodge if given a chance.

Data: The Ultimate Shared Asset

People always ask me how The Value Game will work and how The Value Game will scale, and how The Value Game will make money.  These are great questions, albeit straight from the b-school crib sheet; good questions nonetheless.

At first glance, The Value Game as we are deploying in Social Flights looks like a rich kids party barge.  The idea is that people can share an airplane just like they did with that stretch limo on prom night.  Yes, the idea is the same – the jet is a shared asset and status on prom night is special.

The Value Game also produces a lot of very important data that is owned by the players.  So when the passengers arrive at their destination, their data can now transform the hotel into a shared asset. As such, a new Value Game plays again.  If the players own their data, and they only share it with the other players in the associated Value Game, they can command substantial value for the collaborative purchase of hotel rooms – or any shared asset.

Likewise, the players will need restaurants, tour guides, golf courses, concert tickets, entertainment, etc.  Their data – if they own it – is their discount coupon…like a Group Coupon, except relevant to the need and exercisable on-demand.  By the time the trip is over, their Value Game data can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in discounts for the individuals in a travel tribe if, and only if they own their data.

The next time they want to take a trip, their data is not only a discount coupon; it becomes a passport to opportunities that money cannot buy. In the End Game of the Value Game, data are the shared asset.  This works if, and only if people own their data and they can share or restrict it from view of others.

Seriously, think about that for a minute.

You give your data away for free.  Companies collect this data and they have no intention of sharing it with you.  Data is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Why?

Aren’t most life lessons about figuring out who is NOT playing The Value Game and avoiding those people and situations?

The Flight Of The New Entrepreneur

Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups

Entrepreneurship is the invisible hand of Capitalism.  Basically, this means that you can have all the Land, Labor, and Capital in the world, but unless you have entrepreneurs to interact with it, you don’t have much of an economy.

Social Contract Broker

Most social contracts are made today by Brokers who have the ability to connect supply and demand.  Brokers, for the most part, gain their influence from the natural or unnatural divisions that may normally restrain information from the supply side to the demand side, and vice versa.  “Social Brokers” are extremely important for exchanging information across different parts of a community that do not normally intermix.  However, such “Trust Economics” depends on a closed system where community accountability is strong.

Trust economics and an open economy are mutually exclusive.

In an open economy, the job of the broker shifts to the job of administrating social accountability – a completely different animal.  The moral hazard, of course, is that communities with great entrepreneurial potential are instead brokered for profit. Many “special interests” have crept up through the years in everything from banking, real estate, second-hand markets, international trade, airlines, politics, and even corporate M&A activity – that protect broker interests.  As a result, brokers create structured holes at the expense of social inter-cohesion.

A Different Approach

At Social Flights, we take a different approach.  We unite several completely different communities; travelers, vendors, and airplane operator around a shared airplane asset.  In the middle, we place a community leader – an entrepreneur who is enabled to see all the diverse connections and combine information in new and useful forms.

Instead of forming better brokers as a principle driver of economic growth, Social Flights introduces a Value Game that forms a greater degree of intercohesion among disparate communities simulating a closed economy within an open economy.

The Social Flights Manifesto

We know that there are millions and millions of entrepreneurs in our communities who can create tremendous value if they are given a game that they can win – or not get ripped off.  The underlying entrepreneurial force is that people will always combine several old ideas in new ways to create the new ideas that incite new actions.  We depend on entrepreneurs to drive these ideas and drive these actions.  For this reason, it is in our best interest to set them free and keep them free.

The Social Broker’s Commission: Social Profit

We create an environment where it is in the best interest for communities to share deep information in a closed economy where trust dynamics can take effect.  Then we provide a way to transport their trust economy into the open economy.  But it goes much farther than that – it goes as far as an airplane can take you.

(Note: this article was inspired by segments of two wonderful papers titled: Structural Folds: Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups, by Bala ́zs Vedres Central European University and David Stark Columbia University and Structured Holes Versus Network Closure as Social Capital – By Ronald S. Burt, University of Chicago)

Collaborative Consumption Is Here To Stay

There is a persistent myth that a “financial deficit” is looming to destroy all that fall in it’s wrath.  The only deficit is the inability for Money – as we know it – to articulate the value that is created in and by communities.

Social Flights is a new venture that combines cutting edge social technology with the universal truth that collaborative consumption of even the most complex system increases the efficiency of that system.

Social Value as a financial instrument

Social Flights attempts to demonstrate the inevitable – social value can and will be convertible to financial value. Social value can and will enter the balance sheet.  Social Value will not only impact the bottom line – it will become the bottom line.

The Invisible Hand of Social Capitalism

Social media is emerging as a dominant force behind economics, global politics, innovation, and community organization. Meanwhile; it is the art and science of finance that has failed to keep pace with technology.  Social Flights introduces a new class of business methods that can close this gap.

Social Flights sorts people and airplanes with data, not financial infrastructure.  The Value Game provides incentives for communities to organize themselves around travel and transportation assets.  So instead of forest-to-dump consumerism, a shared asset is preserved by a community for the greatest service life possible.  Social Flights demonstrates this with an airplane; however, a hotel, car, tour package, or a trade show/convention are quickly pulled into their own value game cycle given the airplane game playing out in proximity to them.  In fact all “assets” – social, intellectual, creative, or financial – can be pulled into their own value games in response to those acting around them.

Travel: An Ideal Benchmark Industry

We are starting with travel. Specifically, air transportation because of it’s complexity, high profile, and significance to most people and industries. Furthermore, corporate jets are beautiful, awe inspiring, controversial, and conjure the image of power and grace.  Most importantly, travel is pivotal enterprise and the best system for the diverse high-value transfer of new ideas to occur.

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something

The value of most commercial activity may ultimately become dependent on the quantity and quality of the data emerging from the millions of Value Games playing out in communities across the globe. Any and all shared assets – from public infrastructure to money itself – can be shared collaboratively in hugely profitable Value games.

New to the Public Domain

Nothing like this has ever been put together before so there is certainly much to learn.  Many people will fail to recognize where we are going with this. However, the rewards will be high and the implications will be vast if we are successful. There will be an extraordinary amount of knowledge to be share to the public domain.

Collaborative consumption is here to stay because it represents a higher value economy than forest-to-dump consumerism.  The financial deficit is simply the inadequacy of Money to articulate Social Value – not the inadequacy of people to be happy, creative, and productive in their communities.


The Future Of Money And Technology; Monetizing Intangible Capital

The following video series was recorded at the Future Of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on February 28, 2011. The name of this panel is Monetizing Intangible Capital. The speakers are Mary Adams (moderator), Art Brock, Greg Wendt, and myself. All six parts are posted below (8-10 minutes each) for public distribution, comments, and review.

I found this panel to be extremely interesting and especially valuable since these panelists represents an important cross section of professionals who are actually doing the hard work of designing, testing, developing, and producing specifications for the creation, storage, and exchange of what could represent a large percentage of the value in our global economy.  This discussion is not insignificant by any measure.

Mary Adams opened the panel with a remarkable statistic that 80% of our economy exists in the form of intangibles that do not necessarily show up in the balance sheet of the global economy – which is notably in crisis at this time.   Mary offers a working definition of Intangible Capital as consisting of 3 primary components: Intellectual Capital (the stuff between people’s ears), Relationship Capital (degrees of connectedness to a social network), and Structural Capital (tools, processes, and data).   Then, Mary adds a fourth category called Strategic Capital which includes planning, formulation, and scenario testing.

Mary then brilliantly guides the audience and the panel through 50+ minutes of high quality interaction addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time from the uprising in the Middle East, to Healthcare, Global Warming, Organic Food Production, and even the Internet Kill Switch – all these subjects become interconnected and relevant in this domain.

Art Brock introduces a set of very important ideas about how there is a vast amounts of “Value” that is not, and many never be, adequately articulated by a “monetary” system that exists today.  It is therefore necessary to capture value in a completely different manner involving higher forms of expression which, in turn, introduce a new “value system” that would better represents social priorities and the fair distribution of resources and associated wealth.

Greg Wendt introduces his work related to articulating the planet Earth as the “Meta Economy” under which the financial economy is merely a subset.  When accounted in this manner, humans are spending beyond our planet’s means to replace resources consumed.  As such, we cannot expect to arrive at a “Balanced Budget” by anyone’s definition unless we include a full accounting of Earth’s productivity.

I, myself (representing The Ingenesist project) suggest that there is a small flaw in market economics that can be corrected where the factors of production include a “knowledge inventory” rather that a material inventory of land, parts, and simple labor.  Such a knowledge inventory, if articulated in the correct format, can act as the basis of a social currency that may compete admirably with, if not fully replace, a vulnerable dollar based economy.

I was deeply impressed at how four highly recognized experts can approach a similar problem from four completely different directions and environments yet arrive at fully complementary set conclusions and subsequent solutions.  I encourage the viewer to watch the entire series as this is truly a rare meeting of minds.

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 1/6

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 2/6

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 3/6

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 4/6

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 5/6

Monetizing Intangible Capital Part 6/6

The Mashup of Gamification and Collaborative Consumption

I found an interesting article by Kim Gaskins at Sharable.net titled: Where the Game Layer Really Counts: Sharing & Peer Communities.

I sensed some resigned frustration from her as she reflected upon a somewhat trivial nature of current innovation in this new social genre called “gamification”. Predictably, in the end, Gamification amounts to little more than feeding the advertiser’s insatiable addiction to that extra dose of personal data coursing through the veins of unbridled consumption capitalism.

She is not alone.

In reading her article, I was, however, stuck with a particular stroke of clarity. Kim provided the following diagram showing the intersection of Social, Economic, and Environmental reality that she calls the best gaming opportunity for business and societal benefit.

This is a very important observation. Kim identifies the intersection of three “communities” and suggests that a game opportunity may exist.  Even though the article appeared in Sharable.net community blog, she stopped short of saying “This is where you put the shared asset”.  So I’ll say it for her:

This is where you put a shared asset.

At the Ingenesist Project, we developed something called The Value Game that we are testing in several different business models. The value game is very simple: Three communities are brought together to interact around a shared asset.  Each community interacting with each other, while also acting in their own best interest, would be acting in the best interest of the asset.  The result, we expect, will be the preservation for optimum utilization rather than forest-to-dump consumption.

Meanwhile, the fact of interaction between these communities creates “social currency” that articulates the true social value of the asset. Where social currency is readily convertible to financial currency, the paradox of market capitalism is broken.

Kim’s observation is important – she is talking about a marriage between collaborative consumption and gamefication.  People need to watch this mash-up very closely and we must innovate in this domain very rapidly.  We will need millions of value games playing out in communities across the world if we are to hedge the inevitable implosion of financial currency while also preserving our most valuable shared asset for future generations.

Thanks Kim – you are on to something very important.

A Grand Central Value Game

A Grand Central Value GameFew people realize that there is nothing new about the Social Graph.  Facebook did not invent it – in fact, Graph Theory is a branch of discrete mathematics that was first developed back in the 1700’s by a Swiss Physicist named Leonard Euler.

Likewise, Zynga did not invent Game Theory.  Again, Game theory is a branch of Applied Mathematics with origins dating back to the 1700’s in a paper by James Waldegrave.

A Graph Theory and Game Theory Mash-up

It follows that The Ingenesist Project is not the first to mix graph theory and game theory to form A Value Game.  While I cannot pinpoint the first example of this, I did recently find an article in American Heritage Magazine Invention and Technology magazine about what appears to be an excellent early example of A Value Game.

Not So Grand Central Station

In the late 1800’s, New York City’s Central Train Station was clearly not so grand.  It amounted to a huge surface train depot with dozens of parallel lines and platforms covered by a huge structure that filled with smoke from the old steam engines.  The train yard bisected 17 blocks of neighborhoods where soot and ash rained everywhere.  The station created widespread urban blight and health issues for dozens of city blocks surrounding the terminal.

Politicians and the Railroad Companies tried to correct the problems but every proposed solution created ten more problems.  Too many trains, not enough land, technological struggles, funding, traffic, property values, pollution, safety, collisions, politics, noise, fires, were only a few of the problems in conflict.

A Grand Central Value Game

Today, Grand Central Station is a model of ingenuity resulting from a brilliant and engaging solution to a complex problem.  A remarkable Engineer named William J. Wilgus had created something that looks a great deal like a modern Value Game.

A Grand Central Value GameThree Dimensions to A Value Game

His first challenge was to pay for the construction of a new station.  His second challenge was to build the station without closing the existing station.  His third challenge was to not use any more land.

His solution was to bury the station.  He made the walls of his underground structure strong enough to support large buildings (now skyscrapers) above.  He then used the huge real estate market gains to finance the project

Grand Central Valley Game:

In this case, the very important railroad station was the shared asset.  Player 1 was the community (politicians) surrounding the station, player 2 was the real estate market, and player 3 was the railroads.  Each acting in their best interest collaborated to arrive at a solution to what was considered an impossible problem.

With the advent of Social Media and collaborative gaming technologies, “Value Games” may be created to solve many of the world’s most complex problems while also releasing vast amounts of value to a social system simply by reorganizing the same players on a three dimensional playing field interacting around any shared asset.

The Value Game Plays The Valley Game

(The following is a draft of the unveiling presentation for The Value Game at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on February 28th 2011)

Hello;

The Ingenesist Project is developing a new class of business methods that convert social value into financial value, and vice versa.  The premise is that when people cooperate to do useful things, they can also create an amazing amount of social value.

Historically, we have seen how each of the great eras of human civilization was derived from the prior era when the tools of that prior era became integrated.  Like when the wheel, wedge, and pulley integrated to become the printing press.  Great social transformation followed.

So it is that integration of tools that we are most interested in.

Today, we can see this drama playing out across the Globe as people integrate the tools that were created over the last 30 years. People are reorganizing and in doing so they are directly challenging the power of financial currency with equally powerful social currency.

So it is inevitable that a conversion factor between social currency and financial currency will arise.  And that, we believe, will mark the next economic era.

So we developed something called The Value Game that we believe will help build the social infrastructure for the creation, storage, and exchange of social value.

The Value Game is a new class of business methods designed to specifically create social value.  The rules of the Value Game are very simple.  The Game Starts and Ends with money but all of the new value created in the game is denominated in Social Currency.

A Value Game is created by assembling 3 or more communities around a single shared asset in such a way that their interaction with each other relative to the asset creates social value.  In this form, social value can then be more readily converted to a financial value.

To demonstrate this, we helped launch a new company called Social Flights.  The objectives of Social Flights are to aggregate a large fleet of Private Turbine powered Aircraft and deploy them to the Social Graph instead of the Hub and Spoke system used by the Commercial Airlines.

The Shared Asset is the jet.  Player 1 is the traveler community.  Player 2 is the community of private aircraft operators. ,  Player 3 is the community of entrepreneurs at the flight destination.  The True Value Calculation compares the true door-to-door cost of using Social Flights versus other alternatives such as commercial airlines.

For example, flying between two smaller cities like Bellingham Washington and Vail, Colorado.  A Commercial flight would take close to 14 hours traveling through two hubs.  A fully utilized private flight would cost about twice as much but can make the flight in 3 hours.  So right off the bat, the True Value Calculation issues a par value between alternatives.  So if your time is worth less than, say, 70 dollars per hour, you are better off taking commercial airlines.  But if your time is worth more than 70 dollars per hour – for whatever reason – then you should take the private flight.

Now, a hotel in Vail may say – wow, here is a group of 10 people staying 5 days. They can divert advertising budget and issue a 100 dollar “discount coupon” to everyone in the group. Now the par value of the private flight is reduced to 60 dollars per hour. Next, Ski slopes, restaurants, bars, and services will deploy Coupons against the airplane lowering the par value toward closer to middle class incomes and certainly well within the business class of a commercial airline.

Things will get really interesting as people start gaming the game. The more demographic information that the traveler provides, the greater the likelihood that more and more vendors will issue them a discount coupon – which they can even resell on Craigslist.

In effect, why would someone let Facebook sell their information when people can sell it their selves?  Why would vendors pay for advertising when they can find the perfect customers directly?  Why would a manufacturer pay a retailer when the community can sell it for them?   Here we see a great deal of financial value can also be articulated in a Value Game.

Theoretically, we could build a Value Game around any shared asset from zip cars, public infrastructure, energy production, education, natural resources, even the totality of human knowledge, etc.

But for now, let me introduce Allen Howell, Chairman of Social Flights who will discuss how this new business method is developing in practice.

Social Flights should be very interesting to many of the people here because it integrates several of the hottest properties in the Valley; Travel, Coupons, Gaming, and Social Media.  Each of these communities have seen astonishing valuations lately so it will be interesting to see what happens when they, in fact, become integrated.

So please welcome Allen and I can take questions while he sets up.

How To Play The Value Game

The Value Game is a new class of business methods that converts financial currency into social currency and vice versa.   The benefits of the Value Game are innumerable since social currency is the only true alternate means of storage and exchange for value that can hedge a weakening dollar.

The rules of the game are really quite simple

  1. The Value Game Starts and ends with Dollars (financial currency)
  2. All new value is created within the game is denominated as “Social Currency”
  3. Value is created from 3 or more communities interacting with a shared asset

How to build a Value Game

In order to build a Value Game, the social entrepreneur finds an asset that people are willing to share, and then identify three or more communities whose interaction with the asset creates social value.  The following are 3 Case studies currently under development at The Ingenesist Project:

Example 1: Social Flights is a new startup that aggregates private jets and deploys them to the social graph.

  • The shared asset is the Jet.
  • Player 1 is the traveler,
  • Player 2 is the charter operator
  • Player 3 are Local vendors who issue discount coupons against the airfare.

The traveler creates “time-value” by avoiding commercial aviation and developing their social graph.  Charter operators penetrate underserved markets.  Entrepreneurs supply relevant services to a known client instead of advertising.

Example 2:  High Net Worth Individual (HNWI) Reputation Management System. This business method helps influential persons improve their reputation in a community.

  • The shared asset is a shared reputation.
  • Player 1 is a HNWI.
  • Players 2 are the community organizers associated with a social cause.
  • Player 3 are social media gurus.

The HNWI adopts a social cause by exerting their political/financial influence in favor of the cause.  The Social media guru uses this content to demonstrate their ability to move search engine results, which enhances their on-line influence.    The community organizers receive social influence, managerial knowledge, and financial support for social cause.

Example 3: Collaborative Production. A Socially Important Film Project needs $250K to fund production and estimates 5 Millions views at distribution.

  • The shared asset is the final product film
  • Player 1 are the film producers
  • Player 2 are the Community that will benefit from the film’s production
  • Player 3 are product vendors selected by the community

The community provides detailed demographic information about themselves and their buying habits and the film producers processes these data for anonymity.  The film producers sell $1K options to 250 select corporate vendors for the right to issue a “Groupon-like” device to the 5M viewers of the film. Select vendors use the demographic data to target their message. The people who fill out the demographic surveys can purchase the Coupon for themselves or sell to other people for profit. Sales occur in lieu of advertising. The interaction between these communities produces social value in favor of the vendors, the film producers, and the benefit community.

Gaming The Game

As people learn to build The Value Game, they will innovate new and increasingly creative ways to leverage shared assets and interact with communities for profit.  Given the magnitude of the financial problems in the US, several hundred thousand Value Games will be needed to provide people with their daily needs for education, health care, municipal services, energy, transportation, food, etc.  After a while, the need to return to dollar currency will diminish as the value of the dollar itself diminishes under the weight of the impending debt burden.   As such, The Game will be Gamed by The Value Game.

Intrinsic Banking

Paper money does not have intrinsic value

Paper money has no intrinsic value. The word “Intrinsic” means: something that belongs to the essential nature or constitution of something else. The ‘intrinsic brightness of a star’ is a common definitive statement.  Synonyms of the word include: built-in, constitutional, hardwired, immanent, indigenous, integral, inherent, natural, etc.

“Society” is intrinsic to economics

The Bank is an important institution for vetting social value. Despite the observation where it seems money is created out of thin air, traditionally a bank looks into a community of people and their talents to identify “social value”.  This is the likelihood that a person or group of persons can execute a specific economic outcome in the community.  Then the bank provides them with a tool called money to represent and facilitate future productivity in the present time.  So it is not really “thin-air” – it is simply invisible social value.

Little Bank on the Prairie

In the old days, the banker was a member of the community and could judge social value on any number of intrinsic social characteristics such as social status, leadership, family values, education, personal habits, and community participation. Later, the credit score became a proxy for social value through the analysis of public data (where “public” became the proxy for “social”). The credit score was then assumed to convert social value directly into financial value.

The terms “proxy” and “intrinsic” are not the same thing.

“Brightness” is not a proxy for stars any more than “stars” are a proxy for brightness.  Yet, the distinction between intrinsic banking and proxy banking remains indistinct. An Intrinsic bank would be characterized where social value is intrinsic to the creation of financial value.

It’s all about Value

We created The Value Game as a new class of business methods to transform financial value back into social value – The Value Game performs the mirror-image effect in an economy as the credit score.  The value game increases the social value of the community enterprise by converting monetary value into social value.  Only then can the Credit Score sustainably convert social value back into financial value.

Who wants to become a Trillionaire?

The point of this discussion is not to slam banking, rather, it is to demonstrate that intrinsic banking does not formally exist – yet is must exist as a direct balance to traditional banking.  As such, intrinsic banking is at least as “Valuable” as the banking industry itself. Today we are entering an age where society MUST come up with a NEW way to store and exchange VALUE. Whoever really get’s this and pioneers Intrinsic Banking today (what it means, what it creates, and why) will become as mega-wealthy as traditional bankers, in the future.

The Future of Social Currency

The Branded Debit card has long been a staple of the vanity financial services industry.  Having your favorite football team, alma mater, or non-profit proudly displayed upon your purchasing prowess is a clever offshoot of those printed checks of days gone by.  Now, in the age of social media, YOU are the brand. Your product is your information and the information that passes through your social graph.

Self-branding

The most valuable asset is not who you’ve known in the past – many of those relationships are played out.  Rather, it is whom you will know in the future.   Your future connections are where all new innovation will be valued – all the decisions that are yet to be made and all the intentions yet to be acted upon. The only metric that can accurately predict this is your knowledge inventory; what you know, what you are talented in, and what you enjoy doing.  You are the future maker.

The Social Credit Score

Money Matchmaker

The function of a Bank is to match most worthy money surplus with most worthy money deficit. In the old days, the banker was the person to know if you wanted to be successful in town because they did the matching. But with the emergence of the credit score, the “banker” became digitized.  The spread of the credit score is responsible for great wealth creation because many more entrepreneurs could borrow money in the present to increasing human productivity in the future.

The Credit Score

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. 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 predict the likelihood that you may default on your financial 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 people do not compete directly with each other for our credit score because it is not a ranking system, it is a “normal distribution”. However, with no credit, people are invisible and the system shuts them out. With bad credit, the system also shuts them out. People are also willing to give up some freedom and privacy, but they accept these terms because the credit score provides tremendous leverage to finance a business, automobile, or a home.

The Knowledge Matchmaker

The Value Game specifically transforms financial currency into social currencies where value increases by human interactions in communities. Then, the social currency is transformed back into a financial currency or stored in a yet to be determined social currency. The efficiency of the Social Value Creation Process can be vastly improved with a Social Credit Score.  The objective, like the financial credit score, would be to match most worthy knowledge surplus to most worthy knowledge deficit.

The Social Credit Score

There are two forces that need to be combined to produce a credit score; the reporting of social activity and the independent variables that constitute social activity. We already see some elements where search engines report your social activity and we have seen a few unsuccessful attempts to use Twitter as a proxy for social productivity. Neither are functional but the nascent social credit score system will eventually improve.  But why wait if we already know what needs to be done?

Something else needs to happen

Not unlike the FICO score, the Social Credit Score is a knowledge inventory for social, creative, and intellectual assets that a community of people collectively hold. The format of the knowledge inventory must be assembled to a bell curve.

Next, a new type of search engine must be developed that can process the knowledge inventory and statistically match most worthy surplus of knowledge asset with most worthy deficit of knowledge asset given a set of business objectives. Then and only then can holistic transactions take place which can redefine human economics in social currencies, i.e., where knowledge really is an asset.


80/20 Rule: The Value of Human Interaction

If an IPod is shuffling in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

This is a standard philosophical riddle that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. Alexander T. Jackson, one of the great minds of the 20th century, may have said that, “View points of this riddle differ based on the perceived definition of the word ‘sound’, often confused with the definition of the word ‘hearing’.”

A $300 Ipod is shuffling in the forest and nobody is around to interact with it, does it have value?

This philosophical riddle also raises questions regarding observations and knowledge of reality.  Viewpoints in this riddle differ based on the perceived definition of the word ‘money’, often confused with the definition of the word ‘value’.

To this question, Wall Street would say “Yes”, but Main Street would say “No”. In fact this brings into question the order of how we assign value in our world.

Suppose we constructed the same riddle for any physical asset such as a bridge, house, airplane, computer, car, university education, insurance policy, Marketing Department, tennis shoe, police officer, trumpet, leaf blower, FaceBook, Twitter, Linked In, fungus cream, guacamole, anything at WalMart, etc…..

Value of human interaction

Before long, we notice that the value of nearly all products and services is wholly derived from the value of human interaction with the object.  So where exactly is the true value of our economy, in the object or in the human interaction?   Wall Street would say “object”, but Main Street would say “human interaction”.

Credit Score

In finance, the credit score was established to assess the human interaction with a financial instrument called debt.  Yet, in the above example it is relatively clear that the vast majority of value created is dependent on human interaction with products and services that may or may not be financed with debt, not the debt itself.  It would seem that a social credit score and a knowledge inventory would be more appropriate way to assess the true value of economic activity. But where do we start establishing such an index?

The Social Value Index

We’ll start with a baseline 80/20 rule first identified by an Italian Economist named Vilfredo Pareto.  In our rendition, 80% of the true economy is created in the form of social value and 20% is created in the form of financial value.  Keep in mind that Dr. Pareto also defined a concept called the “Pareto Efficiency” for social resource allocation. This refers to the end-state of an economic game where no player can become better off without also making at least one other player worse off.

The objective then, is to design Social Value Games that are 80/20 (social vs. financial leverage) compliant and Pareto Efficient then, test the hypothesis and improve it toward optimality.

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