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Definition Of Innovation

Figure it out as you go along.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

It is not as easy as it may seem to find a working definition of innovation. There are as many definitions as there are experts claiming to hold the secrets of innovation. The simplest definition of innovation that I could summarize based on top sources is as follows:

Definition of Innovation 1: A new idea resulting in an economic outcome.

The problem with this definition is that you cannot solve solve one equation with two or more unknowns. What is new? What is an idea?, and What constitutes an economic outcome? Finally, How can we identify innovation before it happens? These are significant barriers. I spoke with one VC about this problem and his response was:

Definition of Innovation 2: “I know it when I see it”

A definition is supposed to be distinct and precise. One should be able to predict, identify, or anticipate the object based on its definition. It appears that innovation can only be defined after the fact and not before, by most accounts. As a result, we treat innovation as if it were random or accidental or so unique that only a gifted few possess the ability to achieve it. This is important because innovation is the single most important determinant of achieving a sustainable economic environment.

Economics is the science of incentives. Calculus is the science of change.

When I was about 6 years old I got my first bicycle. It was a single data point sitting under the Christmas Tree. It came with a little pamphlet with lots of information on how to use it. My first attempt started just like the pamphlet described, until I crashed. The promise of stylish and speedy mobility was a strong incentive. Each time I crashed, my knowledge of bike riding increased at a very rapid pace as I developed new ideas about balance, coordination, and impact. I frantically innovated solutions to my problems until I was successful. As I progressed to bigger bikes and various motorcycles, I developed the ability to anticipate reactions to future obstacles based on a so called wealth of past experiences. I had developed Wisdom.

Toddlers can be readily observed innovating ways to carefully descend the stairs backwards on their tummy. This thought sequence repeats itself continuously throughout their formative years and into adulthood. A wise person is generally witnessed a great many outcomes and always seems to know what to do, when to do it, and why it should be done.

Hang on as this is going to get a little bit wonky:

Most engineers and scientists would recognize the following as a differential equation. The relationship between data, information, knowledge innovation, and wisdom are classic derivatives:

  • The value of information is derived from the value of the data
  • The value of knowledge is derived from the value of the information
  • The value of innovation is derived from the value of the knowledge
  • The value of wisdom is derived from the value of the innovation

This is the basis of the WIKiD Tools algorithm (Wisdom, Innovation, Knowledge, information, Data) developed by The Innovation Bank

Definition of Innovation 3: Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time.

I certainly don’t expect a call from Merriam-Webster or widespread agreement from the innovation consultants any time soon. What is important is that this definition does not contradict any of the other definitions. And, it can be easily expressed as an algorithm suitable for machine learning, with data points that can be identified, measured, and validated.

We can now go about he business of creating conditions where knowledge is allowed to increases at a very high rate. Innovation cannot happen in a vacuum.

The Holy Grail of Finance

Predicting the fact of Innovation before it happens is the holy grail of finance. While many corporations and venture capitalists are somewhat successful at identifying a single product that will produce an economic outcome, they do it at the expense of foregoing the ecosystem from which that product arose. As such, predicting the Return on Investment (ROI) may be easily skewed by ignoring the broader social consequences of the product. Deficiencies in data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are the leading factors in start-up failures, not innovation.

Using a sports analogy, competition is a good way at arriving at the best solution to a specific objective. But in order to arrive at a single winner, you must first manufacture 10 times more losers. While conflict and competition is indeed entertaining, this is a very expensive and inefficient way to go about meeting the needs of consumers, let alone a crowded planet.

Intrinsic Value

Innovation is ubiquitous, interconnected, and interdependent on a sequence of factors shared across diverse people and places. Innovation is the intrinsic characteristic of our species and wholly responsible for the advancement of civilization itself. Everyone groans about how money is losing its intrinsic value because of inflation, corruption, or runaway national debt. As a result, cryptocurrencies conveniently drop the idea of intrinsic value altogether. People look to government, charismatic leaders, academia, and industry to solve staggering systemic risk and environmental collapse – to no avail.

Yet, all along, there may just be an extremely simple and inexpensive way to represent the intrinsic nature of innovation as the basis of value that we can quite literally pay for our own preservation. The following chapters describe this method. Please join us at The Ingenesist Project

Means and Methods of the Curiosumé DApp

largeThe Mechanics of the Curiosumé DApp are extremely simple. In fact, perhaps the greatest challenge of building the application will be to truncate the features of Curiosumé to the simplest functional form.

Means and Methods of the Curiosumé DApp

The only thing that Curiosumé is really supposed to accomplish is convert a résumé, CV, or project description from an analog form to a digital form so that the accounting, production, storage, and exchange of intangible assets can be machine enabled in a meaningful and valuable way. Centralized applications such as Facebook and Google perform this job quite effectively within their fortress for sale to 3rd parties, Curiosumé will do the same for decentralized applications between two parties only where value is retained by the creators and owners of the data.

An analog to digital converter for knowledge assets.

Curiosumé is a “writer” that is given away free to the Commons, open sourced, and decentralized. Ideally, an independent instance of the totality of Curiosumé could reside on every device. Applications that import Curiosumé data are called “readers”. Readers will be developed by entrepreneurs to accelerate any number of business models that are otherwise unviable in the current economic paradigm or simply under-performing due to the friction of the current economic model. Reader application may be for-profit giving the network an incentive to maintain Curiosumé. How an entrepreneur uses Curiosumé could be a trade secret rendering many patents obsolete.   These Reader Applications may include Decentralization schemes (DApps), P2P exchanges, and community cooperatives.

As such, the preferred interface between the reader and the writer will be likely be more suited to the MaidSafe protocol of secure P2P exchange of data. This would be similar to other intangible assets such as music, art, and literary works. It is easy to imagine a persona of one’s life story to be a real-time literary work – if not, then it should be.

Converting knowledge assets from analog to digital form:

Step one: User tags themselves with URL’s from Wikipedia articles that best represent intentions to interact with their community.

Step two: User self-selects their placement on a spectrum comprised of endpoints: student of that content, and teacher of that content (Note; midway across the spectrum corresponds to degrees of collaboration).

Step three: Curiosumé creates a digital persona in a specific form

Step four: Export persona to “reader” applications for analysis and processing.

Howitworks

This is the extent of the functional requirements of Curiosumé.

Operational Requirements:

The operational requirements of the application are somewhat more complex. The following six conditions must me secured by the Curiosumé application. If any of these 6 tenets are compromised, the mathematics behind the applications will fail and the intended outcomes will be suboptimal.

1. All public and private Wikis should reconcile upward to a top level Wikipedia entry

2, Rankings must span a non-competitive “student-collaborator-teacher” spectrum

3. Users must be allowed to self-select their placement on the spectrum.

4. The data format must be uniform as;

5. Persona must be indelible to anyone except the owner.

6. Interactions must be anonymous until the point of transaction

These 6 Tenets are unpacked a bit more below:

The Calculus of Curiosumé 

In this form, clean data may be easily normalized for statistical inference while remaining anonymous until an actual transaction of personal data may be negotiated on a P2P basis.  In essence, the criteria described here will produce extraordinarily useful data.

Rule 1: This rule secures a commons based knowledge inventory.  Much like air, water, and Earth, the knowledge assets in the commons are visible components from which useful things will be produced as regulated by supply and demand for the same components.

Rule 2: Students and teachers do not normally compete, rather, in the case of Curiosumé DApp, they represent “supply” and “demand” in a proto-economy. Collaborators represent factors of production in an economy where complementary knowledge can replicate a iterate – these are the engines that create value – this is the mining function.  These data will form a bell curve providing statistical inference to the commons where social value is mined in aggregate.

Rule 3:  The process of self-selection will be deeply personal to all participants and represents the individual mining of value for deposit in the new bank of intangible assets.  All this “mining” can be measured to form the basis of generalized reciprocity of social crypto-currencies.

Rule 4: The common format of of the Curiosumé output function will assure the ability to mix, match, exchange, discover, or test any scenario of social production imaginable.

Rule 5: Gives each person ownership of their data.

Rule 6: Not unlike Craigslist, anonymity until point of transaction is important for allowing people to view the public dataset and test their own participation to find opportunities for productive interaction.

Decentralized economy

Reader DApps:

When a match is made, a transaction can be negotiated.  However, this functionality is beyond the scope of the Curiosumé writer.  Instead, an innumerable amount of Readers will be developed by entrepreneurs to collect, form, and test scenarios negotiating the decentralized production of all useful things.

Innumerable use cases will create moderate generalized disruption across the current economic paradigm until a tipping point is reached where factors of production will flip from finite tangible to infinite intangible basis of account. Social priorities regarding what is invented and produced will be altered in favor of shared asset preservation rather than private asset consumption. Income equality, by design, will be normalized.  Collaboration will replace competition eliminating the need for over reaching controls and associated force.

Reader DApps

 

Is Curiosumé is a Bad Investment?

Burn MoneyOver the years we have identified several features of Curiosumé that every investor wants to change – but these are so fundamental to the operation of Curiosumé that to change them would make the application useless.

However, the follow-on applications could be so hugely profitable that we make the claim: “When hundreds of millions of entrepreneurs see the format of the data output from Curiosumé, they’ll know exactly what to do next”.  The hurdle is to build Curiosumé right while dodging the VC “gauntlet” of control.

Is Curiosumé a Bad Investment?

The following is a list of Curiosumé tenets that we hold critical to the development of the application and why each of these pass across the grain of traditional investment community to make the application difficult to fund:

A. The topmost ontology must belong to the Commons.  We specify Wikipedia, or other public databases for Curiosumé.  There will always be a strong tendency from investors to want to own the database or to define the ontology because there is a legacy ideal that this is where the value is. Private data, such as corporate wiki, can certainly be used to run Curiosumé, but MUST reconcile upward to the commons data base at higher order definitions. There will be a strong desire to own the ontology – we must resist this.

B. Non-competitive ranking system: This will be tough enough for the culture to accept – but we all must change ourselves at least as much as we expect others to change.  Our culture is steeped in tradition of competition; war, sports, even evolution (survival of the fittest), etc – all purport the necessity of competition. It was very difficult to find a suitable rating systems that did not invoke hierarchy and competition.  In reality, Nature exhibits many more examples of collaboration than competition, yet collaboration is not intuitive to the American psychology. We are not saying that competition is bad, it is just inefficient on a crowded planet because it manufactures more uncompensated losers than compensated winners.  There is always a strong tendency for investors to rank business components on a hierarchy – we must resist this.   There is a legitimate market for everyone.

C. Self-selecting: People must self-identify their participation in a community – a great deal of thinking, intention, and VALUE is created and deposited into the system through this extremely important process of self expression – this is where assurance is mined. The only way for it to work is to eliminate the incentive to cheat. The only way to eliminate the incentive to cheat is to eliminate the component of competition. If we eliminate the incentive to cheat then we can disaggregate hugely expensive vetting mechanisms that too often add crippling friction to a system.  There will be a strong desire by investors to rank other people in their own image and to sit on top of a hierarchy to control people – we must resist this.

D. “Learn-collaborate-teach” scale provides demand- production-supply metric. This is extremely important that the selection criteria provide these components that form factors of production for a proto-economy based on intangibles. Later we can design other non-competitive scales as they arise, likely as a smart contract application.  For now, there is so much baggage associated with competition in society that we should best stick with Learn-collaborate-teach scale for now.

E. Anonymity until the point of transaction: Big Data is valuable to the degree that it allows people to perform scenario testing with the community (commons) data. Anonymity allows for the benefits of big data to occur without any detriment of self-identifiable markers and associated moral hazards.  Like Craigslist – when two parties choose to interact with each other, they can then expose their identities in a P2P/block environment and communicate directly with each other equitably. There will always be a strong desire from investors to create a one-way communication channel (advertising, propaganda, control, etc) especially because Curiosumé data format will be near-perfect for targeted ads – we must resist this. However, advertisers can interact on a P2P basis with agents on a mutually agreed (economic) basis. This will be the interface to smart contracts.

F. Formation of the Asset: An asset can only be described as a [quantity] X {Quality} of /something/.  For example: . [100 gallons] X {potable} /water/ is an asset.  Likewise [2014] X {BMW} /SUV/ is an asset.  [2000 likes] X {Pepsi} /Facebook/ is an asset, etc.  Alone, “SUV”, “100 gallons”, “200 likes” are not assets and cannot be traded.  As such, from critical elements above, the ASSET must be defined as [A]X{B}/C/.

This is called a unit asset and represents a node in the network. A persona is then constructed from this node and its relatedness to the public database (wikipedia) Personas can be combined and all the nodes will remain attached and compared by degrees of separation. Degrees of separation will define relevance and VALUE. This formation must be indelible until the agent changes it – this makes it a good candidate for block articulation.

In summary, I have described at least 6 elements of Curiosumé that will always be rejected by traditional investors, yet are absolutely essential to the ability to set ourselves free from the oppression of market capitalism.  Is this a coincidence?

Is Curiosumé a Bad Investment?

Time to Kill Social Media

Kill Social MediaSocial Media is dying and it needs to be put out of its misery ASAP.  I have been in the social media space for many years and while much has happened, much has been lost.

There was a dream we all had in the earlier days that ‘user-generated content’ would evolve to ‘user-generated productivity’ and social priorities would change. The funny thing about economics is that nothing economic can happen until two or more people physically get together in time and space and make something valuable for each other.

I have seen this over and over in my own businesses. The Ingenesist Project (TIP) has global reach, high the engagement of important people, and a fair amount of notoriety – but after nearly 10 years, 500 blog posts, 60 videos and dozens of conference appearances, TIP has not generated a single penny of revenue.  But I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people many who have become close friends.

On the other hand, Coengineers is only a few years on and gets twice as many website views, we’ve toppled shady contractors, and publish an extensive catalog of engineering means and methods, and saved many shared asset communities from financial peril. But it is not until I physically walk into society and ask people face to face and ask “How can we help you?” that Coengineers generates revenue…. and, then we do generate revenue.  And I’ve met hundreds of people many of whom have become close friends.

Linkedin is worthless. Facebook is criminal. Google is downright creepy.

Again, nothing economic happens until two or more people get together in physical space and time to make something useful for each other. Yes, I know that software can be produced oceans apart, but what is that software about? It is always about something that happens in the physical space. It MUST eventually touch the ground somewhere in order to have an economic outcome to convert back downstream.  Big Data wants those relationships, they want them badly, they think that they should own them.  That is where the value is and Big Data wants to scale it.

ROI Rage

Nobody has ever been able to produce a reliable ROI on social media. It’s easy to get people to talk about something, but it is difficult to get people to buy something. Enter Big Data. According to Josh Sinell, VP at Merkle, “It’s [now] about determining what data we need to make something measurable and valuable happen, and then using that data to craft a strong offer, and delivering that offer when and where that customer is most ready to receive and act on it”.

The implications of this statement are horrific (“Shock and Awe” comes to mind). But we can also look at it as a business opportunity – marketers are willing to pay dearly for clean data from anyone who can harness it. So what if we the people could harness our own data and place a big yellow tollbooth on the Big Data Superhighway?

Turning out the lights 

Curiosumé creates a public key inventory of all the things that people need. Then you create your decentralized private key representing your relationships, which you control. By looking at either key, some global data may be attainable; mostly the the stuff that serves society in general. However, your personal data is encrypted until you – and only you – combine your private key with the public key, then the secrets within are revealed.   This would effectively shut the lights out on Big Data. If they want to see your data, they will need to pay you directly for it.

The famous prophet Mitt Romney once proclaimed, “Corporations are people, my friend” But little do many of us realize that people are corporations too. So go ahead, kill Social Media.  Society may simply reorganize into something else, the sooner the better in my opinion.

 

 

The Institution Hack

In the first post of this series, we identified the 5 components of a financial system and suggested that Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant would serve to simulate their functions in a parallel economy before being adopted completely.

In this post we will identify a hack to the vetting institutions and players that are supposed to keep the financial game fair but are in fact complicit with it’s unfairness; these include Libor Scandals, Banks, Insurance, The legal system, etc.  Any institution that sets the rules of play, Gamidox will change the rules.

At first Gamidox resembles a classic MBA analysis and strategy tool called Michael Porters 5 Competitive Forces.  In Porter’s analysis a corporation competes within its own business environment against:

  • Competitive rivalry within an industry
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitute products
  • Bargaining power of customers

The Zertify Hack swaps out the competitive nature and installs a more efficient collaborative nature.  Revisiting Porters 5 Forces for collaboration, we can say the following would be true of the parallel economic system:

  • Collaboration within an industry
  • Collaboration with suppliers
  • Collaboration with new entrants
  • Innovation of improved products
  • Collaboration with customers

This is already happening.

Social Media is driving many social innovations that act as “institutions” would in the legacy economy.  For example:

  • Vendors use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems in nearly every industry.
  • Designers use Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) systems to collaborate Globally.
  • Social Media has spawned the field of Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) where the market tells the producer what to make and how to behave.

Community Relationship Management

But when we combine CRM + SRM + VRM we get Community Relationship Management (CoRM).  In essence CoRM is a Value Game.  Where customers, vendors, and suppliers all acting in the best interest of their constituents are in fact acting in their own best interest.  Cheating gets you thrown out of the game.  The combined analytics provide extensive data to the next hack called Exoquant.

Benign.

Gamidox is an organization that educates, creates, and deploys this new class of business methods where  Communities are encouraged to act in their own best interest when collaborating with other communities.  Jobs are created, things are produced, value is exchanged, and assets are accounted.  Capitalism remains in high gear and the hack will not trigger an antigen.

Playing The Value Game

The Value Game is played wherever 3 or more communities interact with each other to preserve a shared asset rather than consume it.  A Value Game can be built around any sharable asset such as a public corporation, an airplane, a high impact citizen, a condominium building, public infrastructure such as schools, bridges, and health care, etc.

However, A Value Game fails for asset and communities that offer literally no socially redeeming values (that is the point of social redemption, BTW)

The New Value Movement

The Value Game literally manufactures New Value.  As communities interact with each other around a shared asset, they teach and learn from each other – populating the Zertify Hack.  Several layers of vetting and conflict can be eliminated from an economy which will make all many forms of production and associated employment, run faster,  smoother, and more efficiently.

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.

***

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

The Value Game For University Outreach

The question that persist for many college and university administrators is what actions must they take to optimize all of their relationships in a manner that reinforces their own value to their community.

The Value Game is an ideal solution for this type of scenario (if you are unfamiliar with TVG, please visit this primer link).  The first step is to identify the asset. The recent graduate is the university asset because they are the customer and the product being advanced.  After all, the life worth of that graduate will reflect upon the institution that prepared them for professional service.

Next, we identify the players that will interact with that graduate over the course of their lives.

A* = The Graduate

  1. The graduate will interact with their Alma Mater
  2. The graduate will interact with their alumni association
  3. The graduate will interact with Their broader community
  4. The graduate will interact with corporations and entrepreneurs

Now, Let’s review each of the relationships and the economic incentives that drive them:

A-1: The graduate relies on the university reputation with players 1,2,3 as an extension of their own capabilities.

A-2: The graduate relies on the influence and success of prior graduates who hold an affinity towards each other in fraternal social networks.

A-3: The graduate will interact with their community for friendships, residency, recreation, and support.

A-4: The graduate will rely on strong and equitable employers / entrepreneur base where they may self-actualize as productive citizens.

Now, let’s review the relationships and incentives that each of the players has with each other:

1 – 2,3,4: The university has an interest in preserving the community because a motivated and educated workforce attracts opportunity far and wide in the form of business, travel, tourism and economic growth (Jacobs Externality).

2 – 1,3,4: Alumni seek to preserve the value of their alma mater because of the direct reflection upon their careers.  It is in their best interest to support the university, it’s graduates, employers and the wider community.

3 – 1,2,4: The community relies on the university graduates and alumni to provide equitable and fair innovations that provide sustainable living standards.

4 – 1,2,3: Employers compete globally for talented, stable and engaged employees and service providers who are attracted foremost by a vibrant entrepreneurial economy and sustainable communities.

Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom

The Value Game is now played by university administrators who direct university facilities, influence, and resources to bringing at least 2 of these four groups together.  Each time there is an interaction, the university will capture the data associated with the interaction.  That data can be compiled to form information which gives the university administrator knowledge about what their next action must be.  University feedback to the community will tell all of the players what interactions create the most social value upon which all players will innovate in their best interest.

As the game continues over time, the university gains the wisdom to understand the values of their assets and surrounding community. The community will act in the best interest of the other players as a means of acting in their own best interest (Social Capitalism).

Data is the ultimate shared asset

Over time, the University will become the physical “Search Engine” for data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom in a community instead of just a vetting mechanism for book learned material. The University can now deploy this wisdom to their own internal programs and curricula as well as becoming an external reference source for government, industry, and economic development.

*(The University of New Haven is in no way affiliated with this post except I (the author) am a graduate of the UNH Engineering school (go Chargers!) and needed a realistic example that probably would not sue me – thanks guys)

The Value Game Primer

This reference post serves as an introduction to The Value Game (TVG).   The Ingenesist Project will be posting Value Game Solutions to many specific scenarios that our readers and clients propose.  Having this post as reference will help those new to The Value Game catch up quickly.

The following 12 minute video gives some historical perspective of The Value Game as we have applied to the aviation industry (see SocialFlights.com).  This video also expands the idea to any shared asset and provides important insight as to how to generalize The Value Game across the economic spectrum.

Introduction to Value Games

  • The Value Game is a new class of business methods that manufactures New Value.
  • New Value represents all value that is not normally convertible to U.S. Dollars; i.e., creativity, community, sustainability, resilience, compassion, trust, etc
  • Currently, The Value Game begins and ends with dollars, however, all New Value created within the game is denominated in “social currency” which has no physical manifestation.
  • The Value Game converts between Social Currency and Dollars; i.e., business plans that are not viable in dollars may become viable when social currency is included in the bottom line

Building A Value Game

  • The Value Game starts by identifying any asset, tangible or intangible, that a group of people would share.
  • The next step is to find 3 or more communities that have a vested interest in the asset
  • The New Value Entrepreneur is able to discern which communities and which assets will interact successfully in a Value Game.
  • In general, once a value game is started, it will improve itself since only those who have a vested interest in the asset will continue playing.
  • Players that are inappropriate for the given asset and related communities, will drop out or find another value game
  • All players will eventually find and play value games that correspond most closely to their natural interest and passions.

The New Value Entrepreneur

Just like with any business venture, it is up to the entrepreneur to identify and engage all of the right components required to build any enterprise; this is no different for Value Games.

  • The objective of the new value entrepreneur is to organize three or more communities to interact around a shared asset
  • The interaction among these communities acts to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset.
  • Each community acting in the best interest of the other community is, in fact, acting in their own best interest.

The material that references this post will help identify what types of assets are suitable for value gaming and what types of communities would make worthy participants.

The Ingenesist Project is currently building Value Games for clients in aviation, construction, education,  affinity groups, and social service communities.  Please let us know how we can serve your New Value creation enterprise.  

With Respect To Time

Yesterday’s post “This is what I believe” I make the following 4 statements:

  • Information is proportional to the rate of change of data with respect to time
  • Knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time
  • Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of  knowledge with respect to time
  • Wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation with respect to time

In clinical terms, this is called a “Differential Equation”

I always get a lot of questions about these.  Most people’s eyes glaze over as their expression goes blank with far off images of high school Calculus class.  Few people realize that these relationships are so common and so intuitive that we are all  performing “Calculus” in many of their thoughts, words, actions, opinions, observations, and conclusions about the world around us.

But, just in case there is any doubt about the pervasiveness of differential equations in our culture and thinking, listen to the experts:

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Move fast and break things” – Mark Zuckerberg

The idea here is that it’s OK to fail because this is how learning happens (rate of change of knowledge) but make sure you do it fast (with respect to time) because the objective is to innovate, not to not make mistakes.

honor your creativity and you don’t ever ignore it or go against what that creative image is telling you. – Lady Gaga

Here she is referring to the proportionality component of creativity. The magnitude of the inspiration (rate of change of one’s knowledge of a matter) is greater than all other thinking moments, but it is constrained in time (with respect to time).

“The Googly thing is to launch [products] early on Google Labs and then iterate, – Merissa Mayer, Google VP

Marissa is talking about Wisdom.  While innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge, wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation.  The speed at which Google can innovate is how Google creates wisdom of what to do next.

***

Here are a few more. See if you can spot the differential equation:

“What Mark worries about the most is the lack of change, the lack of innovation” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

“Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.”– Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.’” – Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, Vogue Magazine

All technology starts as a spark in someone’s brain”. – Nathan Myhrvold, Intellectual Ventures (hint: sparks travel at the speed of light)

“As people innovate and learn faster, they help generate new ways of performance improvements for everyone while progressing toward their own higher goals” – John Hagel, The Big Shift

Differential Equations are used to describe a vast array of phenomena in our physical universe.

These include the the forces of particles in motion, diffusion of medicine through cell walls, the decay of radioactive substances, and effects of gravity on bodies, weather, energy, chemical reactions, even the creation of money itself.  It should not be a shock then that bankers, CEOs, politicians, and all “investors” are not actually concerned with money, they are concerned with the rate of change of money with respect to time.

The question now becomes, why would their NOT be an algorithm for human values of knowledge, innovation, and wisdom when there is an algorithm for everything else with respect to time.  

Additional information can be fount here: Exoquant; an algorithm for Social Capitalism 

Growth Beats Austerity 100 to 1

Bridge Over Troubled Water - by Cairn

Suppose a team of 10 engineers designs a bridge that spans a body of water connecting two small towns and cutting 1 hour off the alternate route for 14,000 people per day.  Over the 75-year life of that bridge, those 10 engineers are responsible for 380 Million hours of increased productivity.

At 25 dollars per hour per person whose time is saved, 10 engineers create nearly 10 billion dollars of NEW VALUE.  As such, only 100 engineers and a 10 bridges could create the same amount of New Value as Facebook is worth in an IPO.

Now compare the Old Value of the engineers.

Suppose that during the course of those same engineers’ careers, they could each borrow (capitalize) around 1 million dollars in personal debt for cars, homes, credit cards, and family education – debt that they would need in their lifetime.

By the miracles of the fractional reserve system, their 1 million dollars may be multiplied into 10 million dollars of new money available to the financial system for distribution.  As such, those same 100 engineers would be worth approximately 1 billion dollars as economic beings in the Old Value economy.

100:1 Ratio

So in review, 100 engineers are worth 100 billion in New Value versus only 1 Billion dollars in Old Value.  Of course, I purposely picked an example that would make the numbers come out all nice and orderly, but the most important point is that New Value leverages Old Value by several orders of magnitude.

Only two possible outcome of the global debt crisis.

1. The first is for all the countries of the world to get together and lop 3 zeros of the global accounts balance sheet and reboot.  As such; 40 Trillion dollars becomes a quaint and manageable 40 Billion dollars.  If it happens quickly, that’s called hyperinflation.  If it happens slowly, that is called Austerity.

2. The second outcome is currently raging in Europe today with austerity protests toppling governments in France and Greece with the idea of growth vs. austerity.  New candidates are promising to “grow” the economy out of its crisis.  While this may be a bold and populist idea that is sure to spread, nobody knows exactly how it will be implemented without triggering number 1.

The New Value Movement:

By making so called “intangibles” tangible, vast amounts of  New Value can be added to global accounts balances which could stave off wholesale collapse of the financial system.  This will not be without hardship for some people; social priorities must drive Wall Street priorities, not the other way around.

We don’t have a financial crisis, we have a value crisis.  One thing is emerging as a certainty, new value leverages old value by several orders of magnitude  and The Value Game provides the capitalist model to access this astonishing wealth creation  – in case anyone is wondering.

The Facebook Basket of Goods

Facebook does not produce anything.  Facebook sells personal information to advertisers. This is not to say that Facebook is not worth a lot of money, but it certainly deserves a little perspective.  In order for Facebook to be worth anything, people must be doing things, making things, and organizing things – otherwise, there would be no need for the utility that Facebook provides.

Consumer Value Index

In order for people to do things and make things, there needs to be basic infrastructure like energy, clean water, telecommunications, food,  roads, bridges, and airports.  There needs to be housing, education, and health care.  There needs to be an effective and fair legal system, equitable political representation, and civil decency.

Debt or Human Potential

Facebook adds value to the human productivity potential that already exists.  It is precisely that invisible human potential that seems to be worth most of the money that Facebook commands.  When we estimate a value of 100 Billion dollars for Facebook –  an astonishing 99 times their advertising revenue – we estimate that the market believes that intangible value exceeds tangible value by a factor of 100:1; versus, say, Apple at 16:1 or Google at 20:1

Nothing economic happens until people get together to make something

Charles Munger, CFO of Berkshire Hathaway uttered these deeply foreboding words at a conference at Seattle University in reference to the Enron debacle;

“it’s bad enough when we lose the accounting profession, but dear God help us if we lose the Engineers”.

Suppose a team of 10 engineers designs a bridge that spans a body of water cutting 1 hour off the alternate route for 14,000 people per day (connecting 2 small towns).  Over the 75-year life of that bridge, those 10 engineers are responsible for 380 Million hours of increased productivity. At 25 dollars per hour per person whose time is saved, 10 engineers create nearly 10 billion dollars of NEW VALUE.  As such, only 100 engineers could create the same amount of New Value as Facebook is worth in an IPO.

You are worth what is measured

We need to ask ourselves what is more efficient; making things that act as a proxy for the things that we are trying to sell, or measuring the real value of things that we make.  Perhaps Facebook would be worth 10 Trillion dollars on such a balance sheet.  Maybe Facebook would be worth nothing if true value were in fact measurable. Who knows?

Well, that’s exactly the problem – nobody knows.

Facebook acts as a proxy for human productivity, just like money is a proxy for productivity, but with no intrinsic value itself.  Perhaps this explains their Wall Street convertibility.  However, if we backed Facebook with New Value of human potential, rather than a basket of debt-able goods, perhaps we would not have a financial crisis to deal with, just a value crisis.

I wonder what Charlie Munger would say

Gambling With New Value

What if the origin of political division in this country could be traced to a simple glitch of the generally accepted accounting practices?  Let me explain:

The Economist magazine recently wrote an article in favor of airlines unbundling fees; Ancillaries; You Know They Make Sense

“By charging fees, once neglected baggage service departments have become star revenue performers for airlines. Department managers can now justify new technology and equipment. Where before, baggage service only represented a cost, it now provides millions in revenue”.

In other words, charging money for baggage essentially transfers this service from the liability column to the asset column of the accounting statement. As a liability, it can only atrophy under the weight of austerity measures.

And Then The Carousel Starts Spinning

What happens next is quite remarkable.  The airline PR machine twists this into a veiled statement of American individuality, claiming “freedom is about having choices” and touting themselves as the protector of all that is good and great in America.  Then, they BLAME the traveler for expecting that mustachioed Soviet-era entitlement to unlimited [baggage] service.

Just give it a French name 

Passengers will continue to complain about being nickel-and-dimed, but it may be that they are making false comparisons … “When a la carte shopping is successfully implemented, it’s not an evil method. Quite to the contrary, it’s the ultimate compliment to the consumer—it acknowledges their right to choose.”

Roll in the legislators

The resemblance to political discourse about a whole myriad of issues is uncanny and would make anyone suspect a larger conspiracy.  But what if the problems are real simple? What if the genus of political division in this country could be traced to a simple but widespread accounting anomaly?  There is no accounting system for human values.

For example; consider the fact that Motherhood does not count in American Gross Domestic Product, but Day Care services do.  So in order to stimulate economic growth, legislators subsidize day care so a parent can go to work while in the same breath witholding services if the mother “fails” to work. Don’t forget to always blame the customer when things don’t go right.

Gambling With New Value

Similar paradox never seems too far from key social issues such as education, health care, Internet privacy, Immigration, International Trade,  Homeland Security, even Banking and Finance Reform:

From Fox News coverage of the JPO Morgan 2 Billion dollar loss:

The basic problem is that regulators have been working for the last two years to define the difference between hedging and gambling, and can’t. Either the rules would be too severe and shut down banking, or would permit reckless risk taking that could take down a huge bank, and potentially put the taxpayer on the hook to pay off depositors through the FDIC.

A hedge acts on both sides of the accounting balance sheet while a gamble does not.  What if that’s what it’s all about; all the fighting, and slander, and division, and prejudice, and injustice, and violence, etc., caused by a simple accounting system problem.

When we do not have an accounting system for human values, we can only gamble with them.  To hedge, New Value must be must be tangible.  The problem is simple; it is a failure in the accounting system for New Value Movements.

New Value And The Future Of Money

The 3rd Annual Future of Money and Technology Summit was held in San Francisco on April 23rd, 2012.  This was my 3rd appearance at the Summit and I must say that #3 was one of the most profound experiences that I have had a conference.  FOM&T is possibly one of the most important conferences of its kind.

Lunatic Fringe

Several years ago, many ideas that are now becoming mainstream were fringe topics at best.  At one time, the very idea that intangibles may in fact be immensely tangible, drew razor shards of broken glass from the KM community toward anyone who ventured toward such a claim.  Then, modern events such as Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street demonstrated a direct challenge to very tangible “guns and money” brought by new ways of organizing communities around intangible assets.

The fringe questions of today become mainstream questions tomorrow

Now, what happens if we turn that concept into a means of producing the things that people really need instead of producing things that people don’t really need? What happens when people interact around a shared asset – either tangible or intangible – will they work to preserve the asset or consume it?  What if an economy arose where the Earth is the shared asset?  What if an economy arose where the individual was a shared asset? what if Both happened?  What would that look like?

A Value Game

The New Value Movement Panel came together around those ideas.  When I set this panel up, I created a value game – each of the people has something to gain from the success of the others on the panel.  This  panel shared an intangible asset in the form of a conversation.

The outcome was movement – a new value movement. Please watch this video and contact me with your thoughts – I am deeply interested in your interpretation of what happened here.
Thank you.

I hope to see you all at the next Future of Money and Technology Summit

The New Economy Movement

The following 7 minute talk was presented at the Innotribe Sessions at SIBOS 2011 conference in Toronto Canada.

Here I identify a serious omission in our form of economics which may  inhibit the ability for currency to represent the things that people do and make. I also introduce how a new class of financial instruments could re-connect currency with productivity thereby reintroducing vast amounts of value into the tradable asset (currency) pool.

What if the solution to the great complexity of economic collapse is actually fairly simple – and we don’t find it?  What if the new economy is going to happen whether we want it to or not – and we are not prepared?  What if the tipping point to the New Economy is already past – and we are not in the game?

The only ones to blame would be ourselves for not building the obvious.

The Inevitable Next Economy

The Human Productivity Chart:

Human civilization has progressed through many stages.  Each stage arose from the “integration” of the tools developed in the prior stage.  Believe it or not, the next economic paradigm will arise from the integration of the tools being developed in the current stage of human development. Let me explain:

Hunter -gatherer:

We started as hunter-gathers who traveled from place to place to follow animal migrations and seasonal flora.  People would collect fallen branches and burn them for heat or cooking.  Then people started to sharpen rocks that could be used to hunt food better than a dull rock. They sharpened rocks to chop down trees for warmth and shelter.  Soon they sharpened rocks to till soil.

The agrarians

The arrival of the agrarian age came when the arrow, the axe, and the plow were integrated; that is, the output of one became the input of another – allowing people to conserve energy and increasing productivity. The emergence of communities led to the division of labor as people specialized their skills. People soon developed tools and techniques for forging metals, building structures, and harnessing of forces such as wind, sun, water, and domesticated animals.

City-states

The arrival of City-States arose when division of labor, harnessing forces, and transportation became integrated.  Spare time became available to experiment in ideas such as governance, laws, civil services, and currency. Travel allowed for trade of goods, services, and the spread of knowledge across great distances.

Philosophers

The age of philosophy emerged as the leisure class, knowledge exchange, and civil law integrated such that people began to question existence, spirituality, and test theories about the observations that they constantly witnessed in the natural world.

Scientists

The scientific age emerged from the integration of tools developed during the philosophical age.  Written language, mathematics, geometry, came together as alchemists attempting to turn lead into gold, instead created many other new and useful things from the elements. Astronomy, calculus, the scientific method, and modern finance were born.

Industrialists

The industrial age emerged as an integration of the tools developed by the scientific age.  Eli Whitney demonstrated the “interchangeability of parts” paving the way for modern production. The printing press and cotton gin demonstrated the scalability of machinery while capitalization and securitization of value (finance) allowed a merchant class to allocate land, labor, and capital.

Information

The age of information formed from the integration of tools created by the industrial revolution.  All that machinery created a tremendous amount of data.  Computers were developed for processing data creating information that could be used to make productivity more efficient.

Knowledge

The Knowledge age emerged from the integration of tools developed during the information age. The Internet vastly accelerated the amount of information available from which knowledge could be applied as factors of production in physical systems from weather prediction, space travel, medicine, and new ways for people to organize their selves.

Innovation

The innovation age will emerge from the integration of tools developed by the knowledge age.  So called “social media” is creating thousands of platforms upon which people reorganize themselves around interests, affinities, relationship, and commerce.  As these tools integrate; that is, when the output of one tool becomes the input of another tool (and vice versa), a new economic paradigm will emerge.

Wisdom

Keep in mind that the agrarian economy and all previous stages are still with us today. Keep in mind that elements of future economies also exist today.  Keep in mind that the US dollar has not always been the currency of trade nor should we expect that it will always be with us in the future. We can assume that the productivity inherent in people and communities is not dependent on the currency, rather, currency is dependent on it.  Time is the only scarce resource and everyone has an equal amount of it.  As such, time is the only true currency.

Who is Awarding The Disruption Badge?

There are some big names getting involved with “badges”.  Modern ideas about badges arise from incentive used by the gaming community to indicate achievement.  Historically, however, badges are older than money itself. Recently, badges are gaining attention in the area of education as a means of indicating achievement.

Badges are steeped deep in our economy and culture

When people write their resume, they “badge” themselves with the names of the companies that they worked for and the schools they attended.  They badge themselves with the market brands of the products that they worked on.  They badge themselves with the trademarks of the technologies that they applied.

People even badge themselves with corporate ideals such that “chronology”, “reasons for leaving” and “no blank spaces” are somehow rational proxies for intellect, creativity, and team working skills. We need a behavior platform, kids. Passion, family, and purpose are merely business disruptions.

There are several directions that this can go

The first is the inevitable collusion between badges and branding.  I am still scratching my head over AMEX hijacking the “Social Currency” badge.  Other badges (or logos) are considered among the most valuable assets that a company can own from Microsoft certifications to the Chuck E Cheese Rat … badges have value – with their own branch of the legal profession to prove it.

The second direction can be quite disruptive to branding.  For example it can cost well over $100K to wear the Harvard “Badge”.  Meanwhile Steve Jobs literally ridiculed Stanford to their collective face(s) with the idea that diverse combinations of knowledge assets are what set the innovation enterprise apart from the old guard.

What if the college degree badge is irrelevant? 

Who is to say and engineer in not an engineer until they take on $2000 more debt for a course in Western Civ.  And, if not Western Civ., then what course denotes the ascension into engineerhood?   A physics major that rules video games, kite surfs, plays in a punk band, and writes decent code is equally, if not more likely, to create a new industry than someone with a CS degree from MIT. Where is that badge?

Badges should be disruptive

What happens when it is no longer important to have “Google” on your resume? Why is it so now? What happens when being a Princeton drop-out is no better or worse than being a drop out from State U?  What happens when people are recognized for their passions and the things that they are naturally good at?  How can a credit score extrapolate success from measuring failure? What happens when there is no badge for the color of one’s skin, physical appearance, or family connections.  What happens when Brands are accountable for the people who wear their badge instead of the other way around?

Badging already exists and in order to improve anything, badges must be disruptive.

So, who is awarding the disruption badges?   

 

Supply and Demand for Knowledge Assets

If we follow the Wall Street accounting model, the supply and demand for knowledge assets are cast against the factors of production; land, labor, and capital.  The typical corporate human resource department looks to the community for labor units within commuting distance to a factory, and who are willing to rent their time in exchange a minimum amount of money.

But Land is Obsolete

Technology has made the idea of “land” as a factor of production almost obsolete.  Knowledge assets travel over the Internet and can be deployed and organized in many ways across long distances without a factory.  Indeed there are server farms and automation houses where things are made if needed – but these are hardly factors of production as they once were.

What exactly is a Labor unit again?

Machines have replaced much of what we once called “labor”.  I am sitting at Starbucks where a smiling robot is the only thing missing from the age of automated lattes.  The social, creative, and intellectual capital required to create, design, maintain, and serve the technology is what ushers us into the knowledge economy and the associated innovation economy.

Capital is arbitrary

Everyone knows that money is created out of thin air when someone allocates their future productivity to the bankers balance sheet in exchange for a place to sleep.  When this game loses its entertainment value, “capital” as a factor of production will also become obsolete.

The Supply and Demand for Knowledge Assets:

Knowledge assets are deployed by teachers and replicated by student.  Teachers represent the supply of knowledge and students represent the demand for knowledge.  In between these two extremes are collaborations – that is, varying combinations of teaching and learning that ultimately results in a productive outcome such as a latte, automobile, or computer program.

If we sample a population of knowledge assets across some geographic area (Land) we would expect to find something that looks like a bell curve.

If the bell curve has a different shape, this tells us what things can be made and what things cannot (Labor).

So when people allocate their own productivity, they are in effect assigning their productivity to a community balance sheet (Capital).  They are saying “this is what we are willing to make because we have the freedom, liberty, and we intion to pursue our happiness”.

Hardly a Wall Street model.

The result is that the social, creative, and intellectual assets of people must now replace Land, Labor, and Capital as factors of production in the new value economy.  Trying to produce anything less would be inefficient in a Capitalist system – perhaps some may have noticed as much lately.

The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

Engineers are notoriously bad at organizing themselves – or maybe not. 

Engineers tend to stay to themselves and are rarely mentioned in the domains of media, politics, Hollywood, banking, medicine, or law.  Traditional engineering societies are weak and sparse.  Nobody even thinks about paying them royalties for the satellites that carry our smart phone signals.

Some say that Engineers can’t see the forest through the trees.  Others say that Engineers have little tolerance for banter, conjecture, diatribe and all the triviality of mixing with the rest of the world.  Yet, few can argue that Engineers are the ones we all need to show up every day to keep the water clean, the airplanes safe, the code logical, and the law enforceable.

Money is backed by productivity, otherwise, nobody would work for it – think about that for a moment. 

Why would anyone work for something that does not represent what he or she creates?   However, few people notice that productivity is the domain of engineering.  The machines that they create, the bridges that they build, the code they write, and the infrastructure they lay exists for the sole purpose of supporting human productivity.

Whose money is it?

So why are most engineers strangely silent in the emerging discussion about new economies, alternate currencies, and the New Value Movement?  Who are these people and why should we care about them?  I attended a lecture with Charlie Munger, CFO of Berkshire Hathaway who stated in reference to the Enron collapse “it’s bad enough when we lose the accounting profession, but dear God help us if we lose the Engineers”. Charlie cares.

We call them Geeks – but what is really going through their minds?   What would happen if they did organize – or are they already?  Where will they hide all the Value that bankers can’t find anymore? Or has the game already changed? Remember who inherited the hamlet of Hamelin.

New Economies at SIBOS; The Metacurrency Project

The New Economies Panel at SIBOS Innotribe this year in Toronto represents the most important elements of a new economy which many people believe is emerging to replace the old one that continues to crumble around us.

The common message of New Economy movement is the vastly expanded definition for the term “Value’ – far beyond that which can be articulated with money.  Very few organizations hold this idea as explicit to their DNA as The Metacurrency Project.

Few can deny that the Sun delivers all value to our Earth.  The Mass of our Universe provides the rest; Gravity, Motion, and time.  In this context, money is a trivial device that simply articulates the relatively archaic things that humans can manage to conjure and horde from the vast natural resources that are delivered to us for free.

The idea that Energy can exist is many forms cannot be separated from the fact that Value can and must also exist in many forms.  The challenge that we face as a civilization is to build an economy that articulates all Value completely and truthfully.

The Metacurrency Project has become a Worldwide conversation expanding the definition of value and building systems to articulate such value in communities, companies, and society.

I had the opportunity to meet Art Brock at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco earlier this year.  Art represents a very important voice in the discussion of new economies at SIBOS/Innotribe on September 19-23 in Toronto.

We look forward to seeing you in Toronto.  If not, then thank you for continued interest and participation in the important subject of New Economies.

Why This Bubble Is Completely Different

I had a discussion with one of my partners that we need 2.5 million users and Social Flights will manage itself.  The partner said, “You mean 2.5 million dollars”.

No, I said, “I need 2.5 million users”.

The partner said tersely, “No, I really think that you need dollars.”

Again, I replied, “I need users…. “

This went on for a while until we both got it: The value of Social Flights is contained within the users, not within the dollars. After that, the conversation could progress in a meaningful way, priorities found their place, and the teams found their roles – including the investors.

Nothing economic can happen until people get together to build something

Financial analysts are aghast at the magnificent valuations that social media applications are delivering; P/E ratios of 1000, valuations of 100 dollars per member, billions of dollars per billion time hours in game play – these are not the ratios that they teach in B-school.  Is this crazy or does it make perfect sense?

The Great Rapture

While highly unlikely, suppose the Almighty Father called upon all good and pious dollars to ascend unto heaven in a glorious rapture of currency – on a single day, all money disappears from the face of the Earth.  What would be left?  What happens next?

At least for a little while, I’ll still be sitting in this café typing a blog post.  The value of the education and social network of the person who I will be meeting for lunch will still be intact.  The value of the roads, bridges, schools, and highways would remain intact.  The value to teachers, firefighters, and doctors will remain.  The sun will shine and gravity will continue to act on matter.  The money may go, but a LOT of value remains.

No Such Thing As Free Lunch

Of course, things will quickly devolve when I tell the café owner that I can’t pay for lunch because my money has been raptured. Of course that would seem like a relatively minor problem given the fact that their money has been raptured too.  In fact, so has their supplier’s money, and their Bank’s money.  Obviously, there can’t be a bail out because the government has no money either.

Each of us would probably stare at each other for a few minutes until somebody asks the other, “well, then, what do you have that I can use?”  Once that conversation is exhausted, we’ll move on to  “Who do you know that has something that I can use?” Etc.

The mother of all hedge funds

If this were a game, the person that knows lots of people who do useful things would stand a greater chance of being served lunch than someone who is isolated and disliked – no matter how much money they once had before the rapture.  Likewise, if you have a lot of money, what “Bank” would you put it in?  What “Stock” would you buy?

This bubble is different.

It may be that the dollar is in a bubble and the true value of our economy is stored and exchanged in communities of people enabled by social media.  Those magnificent valuations in social media companies may actually reflect true value and act like a huge hedge fund on currency in the absence of any other plausible financial instrument.

As our noble politicians continue to play their game of chicken with the productivity of honest, educated, and productive Americans, they fail to see the polarity shifting away from money and into “true value”.

The value is in the people, not in the dollars. now we can have a different conversation about how to manage ourselves.

Control The Information And Control The Game

Social media is progressing in a direction where the SM application controls your information – not you.  This is a game that you cannot win unless they let you win.  Social Flights changes the rules by letting you control your own information.  As such, we are growing in popularity among entrepreneurs who are looking for a game they can win playing by a new set of rules.

Social Flights is comprised of 2 components; Social Flights Corporate and Social Flights Travel Tribes.  The corporate application provides vertical integration while the Travel Tribes provide horizontal integration.  Each is hugely dependent on the other, but the travel tribe is where the value is.

Vertical Integration involves information technology; the collection and formation of system data.  This is the information that helps groups stay in contact with each other giving the origin community a portal into the destination community (and vice versa) for a given flight.  This helps airplane operators schedule flights, and it helps communities become attractive to entrepreneurs and other communities.

The horizontal integration is where information originates and terminates.  The Travel Tribe disseminates information on the ground at both the origin and destination.  What happens in a Travel Tribe, stays in a Travel tribe.

The most important aspect of data and information control is the ability to restrict it from communities who are not part of the transaction. Nobody else can know where you are going except you and the airplane operator – that’s what makes the game private.  Nobody needs to know how much you are paying for a hotel room or travel service except you and the service provider – that’s what makes the game valuable.  Nobody needs to know what you are doing on the ground except you and your friends  – that’s what makes the game social.

A Value Game depends on the control of information.  If someone else controls the information – they control the Value and there can be no game. They also control the use of information and the information technology.  Don’t take this point likely; whoever controls the use of the information also controls the technology (vertical integration), not the other way around.   Technology is deployed to the game – the game is not deployed to the technology.  So, if you control the game, then you control the usage and the deployment of the technology; i.e., you control the value.

(Diagram credit and reference:  Seven Faces of Information Literacy in Higher Education by Christine Bruce)

Can Advertisers Curate Themselves?

 

Get Real by Playing for Real

At the end of the day, any ad campaign needs to get real people to take real and tangible action.  Ideally, the advertiser wants to see the real effectiveness of a campaign in real numbers.

The Value Game is applied to a new jet charter start-up called Social Flights and offers an opportunity for advertisers to become part of the experience of the traveller, rather than a distraction to everybody. Instead of paying a website for click throughs, the vendor can pay the traveler directly to “click through” a catalog of products.  As long as your product is relevant to the travel experience, the traveller will be interested and engaged.

The Game is to be relevant and this is where Social Flights helps create the playing field.

Social Flights will collect data about a travelers intentions in a fully open agreement.   Travelers submit this data to the game with the explicit understanding that vendors will compensate them with relevant discount coupons.  Data are normalized so that the traveller is anonymous in every respect while still providing very rich intentions to the vendor.  Vendors can now target their value proposition with great precision.

What’s a Travel Trader Game?

This sets up a game where the traveler, when presented with many options, will plan their trip and influence their friends based on the perceived value of the options presented to them – it’s like holding properties on a Monopoly(TM) Board.   As the travelers play the game, the vendor is being discussed, researched, and propagated all across the web in real time and in real context with a tangible experience as the travelers decide what activities to pursue.

Win twice: Let People Game the Game

When someone “clicks” on the vendor proposition from their “experience environment” of travel, their intention to be interested, informed, entertained, and fulfilled by your product is much higher than in a off-experience “forced” impression.  When they compare, and even trade, coupons with their friends, a negotiation happens which influences a group of people.  These negotiations lead to discussions all across the Internet.  These discussions mean different things to different people so a fresh pool of customers is always on tap for the next round of play.

Why let Facebook own YOUR game when you can own it yourself?

Social Flights allows travelers to sell their data to vendors who, in effect, compensate the traveler with discount “option” that can only be exercised if the traveller (and their friends) makes a purchase.  Advertising is essentially FREE until the traveler exercises their discount option.  Even then, the advertiser has all the information that they need to determine the quality of the effectiveness their campaign and the effectiveness of a competitor’s campaign.  No matter whether you are the traveler or the vendor, how you play the game becomes YOUR intellectual property.  Patent that Facebook!

Game Over

The first law of Gaming: If you can’t win a game playing by the rules, stop playing the game, or change the rules. It would seem that Egyptians would add a corollary “Change the Rulers”.

This is not trivial.

Billions of people are walking the planet Earth with the nagging feeling that they cannot win their game playing by the rules they are given.  If America was once the shining beacon of opportunity where hard work and perseverance were the main ingredients of success, and Americans are feeling that they can’t win playing by the rules, then you can expect two things to happen:  People will stop playing the game, AND the rules will change.

Interactive Entertainment

Looking on the sunny side, we see Gaming companies achieving astonishing valuations in Silicon Valley.  What is even more remarkable is that a similar thing is happening concurrently with Travel, Coupons, and Alternate Currencies.  Many people stand back aghast at the sheer size of some of these bets; $120M for Tripit, $5B worth Zynga, $6B for Groupon, $50B for Facebook.  The Market capitalization of Apple ($320B) is almost 2 times greater GDP of Egypt ($188B).

It would be foolish to underestimate the value the gaming component – now called “Interactive Entertainment” – as enabled by the Internet.  Gaming is an extremely mathematical science where designers predict the probabilities that a player will favor one strategy over another.  The better these prediction become, the more interactive and, ostensibly, the more entertaining a game becomes – at least to some people.

The Calculus of Gaming

It is no coincidence that the calculus of gaming and the knowledge assets deployed to the gaming industry are functionally identical to financial and marketing industries such as banking, insurance and demography.  Banks set the price of money based on the probability that you can pay it back (credit scores).  Insurance companies set the price on premiums based on the probability that you will experience a loss (actuarial data).  And Demographers predict what you will buy and who you will vote for. After all, a Bank is really just a game that bets that you will win and an insurance company bets that you will lose, and demographics keeps the game, well, unfair.  But together, they all hedge each other’s risk, not yours.

Watch The Integration, closely

From prior articles; The Travel industry is a proxy for how and where ideas are spread.  The Coupon Industry influences human behavior to accelerate the disruptive innovation and to create new value simultaneously. The Gaming Industry will define the rules by which the new game will be played and provide the ability to predict when, where, and how to value social capital. When the integrated is complete, the ability to capitalize and securitize a new social currency (next article) will emerge to hedge, and then replace, the dollar.

Game over.

***

(Editor’s note: The above post is #4 in a series [1][2][3][4][5] introducing The Value Game to a new class of business methods.  The first real world application is Social Flights; a collaborative production / consumption game being deployed to the market.  If this works, the new business method class will be generalized throughout the economy to catalyze the convertibility of social currency.  Please join us at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on february 28th 2011 where we will unveil the work to the technology community)

The New Value Movement

I believe that it is important to make a distinction between New Currency and New Value. The potential for confusion is high but the implications of getting this wrong could be catastrophic.

The Storage and Exchange of Value

A currency is a social system designed to store and exchange value.  Value is what people make when they do things together.  Not so obvious is that a particular type of currency may not be very good for storing and exchanging a particular type of value.  It is obvious that dollars may adequately representing the physical value of a computer, however, those same dollars may not be very good at representing the social value of a community using computer systems to interact with each other.

The New Value Movement:

From yesterday’s post: I have encountered hundreds of people developing social currencies with increasingly creative and constructive methods because their community is important to them. People are trying to solve the great puzzle of  human division because their community is important to them. People are trying to resolve the constraints in natural resources and the limitations on our planet, because their community is important to them.

The New Value Movement is precisely that; a movement to articulate, store, and exchange New Value arising from technological advances and NOT adequately served by the existing financial system that enabled those technological advances in the first place.

The Total Value is the True Value

The idea of New Value is not to replace the current financial system, rather, the net total of value articulated by both systems exceeds the maximum value that traditional money alone is capable of processing.  Convertibility between New Value and old currency will be conducted using a yet unknown New Currency that many now call “Social Currency”.  When the total monetary system can articulate the total value of the Earth AND it’s human resources, only then can an organic set of priorities be delivered to a market.

The New Currency Movement:

On the other hand, the image of a New Currency often evokes the wholesale replacement of an old currency brought about by the collapse of a financial system, hyperinflation, destruction of the factors of production, the introduction of some unforeseen peril, induced volatility, political risk, nationalization, war, terrorism, famine, plague, pestilence, etc.,…Obviously, the differences between the two movements could not be more stark…

A Clear and Present dAnger

It is also apparent that the traditional financial system has become fragile and it must never be in the best interest of anyone to benefit from increasing this fragility. The Internet and emerging social media technologies have finally integrated the tools that people need to organize themselves into New Value economic developers. However, during the transition, individual people or groups will hold the power to both stabilize and destabilize.

The danger is that a new currency ideal may seek to benefit from the premature collapse of the old currency system. This is not creating new value, this is the transfer of value by the abuse of power against the very system that supports that power. This is precisely the flaw that the new value movement is trying to correct.

Fungible Coupons And Collaborative Production

When we think of coupons, we imagine that most contradictory statement “Buy now and save money”.  Obviously most people recognize that spending is NOT saving but the objective of this apparent contradiction is to project the idea of “value”.  So what is value and exactly how valuable is someone’s the idea of value?  Is Value Fungible?

Inventory management tools

A coupon is a powerful inventory management tool that is made up of several parts.  The first part is the face value, often called “retail price” – this is the price that the retail market is willing to bear. The second part is the discount value which is the actual price of the offering based on a vendor’s need to move inventory.  The difference between the two numbers is the “Value Proposition”.

Public Stock Exchange

Alone, that would be a very simple form of currency creation.  By limiting the number of coupons precisely to the amount of inventory that is subject to liquidation, the coupon becomes a fungible instrument.  If the supply is limited, then people will trade the coupon value that they hold (but don’t need) with people who hold coupon value for other items (that they do need).  Or, since the value proposition is denominated in dollars, they can trade the coupon for dollars up to, but not exceeding, the retail price.  After a while, people will literally form a “stock” exchange out of the community inventory of goods and services represented by coupons.

Most enterprise can expect to spend 10% – 30% of their revenue on advertising.

The third and often misunderstood component of a coupon the friction value – a negative number.  This is the cost of producing the coupon campaign (marketers and printers) as well as the cost of advertising, distributing, and processing the coupon. Finally, there is a certain amount of social friction associated with redeeming a coupon such as clipping, organizing, and presenting the coupon to the vendor.  Rebate schemes will often introduce so much friction that the buyer gives up or forgets the expiration date, etc. On the other end of the spectrum, Groupon often exceeds the inventory intended to liquidate and increases cost of liquidation.

Social Currency

In a coupon economy, we can initially define social currency as the absence of an “anti-social” currency.  We can say that social currency is equal to the coupon’s original value proposition (denominated in dollars) minus advertising friction.  We can make this assumption based on the fact that social capital can be deployed in a community INSTEAD of advertising.

Collaborative Production – when the community decides what to produce

When advertising friction is removed, it becomes a very simple matter to make coupons fungible. In the event that the dollar collapses, people can easily switch from the discount currency to the value proposition currency, i.e., social currency.  After a while, social priorities will drive wall street production priorities instead of wall street production priorities driving social priorities.

Believe it or not, the key to financial sustainability may just be in the wholesale elimination of advertising. The Value Game by Ingenesist project is designed to correct this market friction.

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