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Tag: wealth creation

Is Wall Street Irrelevant to an Innovation Economy?

The most difficult challenge facing the modern creative entrepreneur is the funding of innovation. Likewise, the greatest constraint on an innovation economy is the funding of innovation. Having great new ideas is the easy part; actually building something around those ideas is hard work.

As such, the funding all of that hard work is the constraint on innovation economy. Traditionally, the “corporation” served as the legal entity within which all the hard work would be contained and the accounting system through which it would be financed. But even that arrangement does not work well enough to support a new economic paradigm for an innovation economy.

Is Wall Street Irrelevant to an Innovation Economy?

Our modern and supposedly efficient financial system in fact punishes innovation. If a company announces a new multi-year allocation of a substantial amount of money toward new innovation, stock price of the company is pushed downward since the funding would apparently be taken from today’s profits. The market would prefer to take their money elsewhere until the (now unfunded) innovation is market ready.

The prospect for the individual entrepreneur is worse. The modern and supposedly efficient banking system does not acknowledge an entrepreneur’s good idea and the work that they are willing to do to reach fruition.

So if most innovation (and the hard work of developing it) is self-funded, and all innovation (and the hard work of developing it) is the basis of all wealth creation, why do we need Wall Street? Ironically, the ‘revelation’ of the next economic paradigm is that Wall Street is ‘irrelevant’.

The opportunity for the future is to develop a financial system that does accommodate the fact of innovation and the willingness of entrepreneurs to do the hard work of developing it.

If taken in aggregate – the total wealth creation of all private innovation is obviously some positive number. If better data were accumulated regarding all the private innovation that is happening, then that positive number for overall wealth creation can be predicted within a range. The better the data are, the smaller the range for this estimate of net wealth creation.

If net wealth creation can accommodate the past and predicted into the future, then a cash flow can be assigned to all private innovation. If a cash flow can be predicted, then a bond can be issued backed by this estimated cash flow. This cash flow, while not actually realized can be expressed in terms of an IOU credit. These credits can be traded like money

Now it becomes in the best interest of a market to protect, nurture, and legitimize the innovators who are willing to do the hard work to develop the next innovation industries.

Is Wall Street Irrelevant to an Innovation Economy?

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 5: The Entrepreneurs

There is no shortage of entrepreneurs in this world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returning to the financial analogy:

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

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

While this may sound trivial, the implications are vast:

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

Economics is the science of incentives:

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

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

Simplicity that defies comprehension:

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

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 4: Institutions

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

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

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

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

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

First, let’s return to our financial analogy.

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

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

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

We are competing with ourselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the innovation economy will catches fire….

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

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

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 3: Knowledge Inventory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 2, Currency

Welcome to part 2 of the New Economic Paradigm series.

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

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

This module discusses the currency of the innovation economy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In finance and calculus, these are called derivatives.

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

The Fertilizer Economy

The bad, the good, and the ugly

The bad news is that United States has a global comparative advantage in producing bullshit. The good news is that we may actually be able to till it into fertilizer for the Innovation economy.

America’s financial crisis was caused by money created from money which was in turn a derivative of wild-eyed speculation in assorted proxies for real productivity, including real estate.  Stock prices were supported by imperfect information in a Tickle-Me-Elmo culture while broker fees are embedded in every conceivable transaction.

America has become a world leader in hype, marketing, lawsuits, and fantasy. None of these industries actually produce anything yet nobody can say they are not immensely creative, induce sweeping social movements, and their propagation demands extraordinary intellectual resources, flexibility, and adaptability.

The Theory of Comparative Advantage

It is not efficient for, say, Ghana to produce rice and Vietnam to produce cocoa. If they each produce their natural endowments and then trade the differences, fewer resources are expended to produce more goods.  This theory is the basis of global free trade and the efficiencies are irrefutable so globalization is here to stay.

Meanwhile, the literature on the subject of innovation agrees that innovation is maximized as a function of endowments in social capital, creative capital and intellectual capital.  Silicon Valley is widely held as the poster child for emerging from the deep social movements of the 1960’s attracting an inflow of diverse people where high tolerance, creative art and music were abundant in close proximity to intellectual centers of Stanford and Berkeley.

Comparative Advantage for Innovation:

By the theory of comparative advantage, if a country does not possess a comparative advantage in intellectual capital, creative capital, and social capital, they would not hold a comparative advantage in an innovation economy.

For example; China has a huge endowment of intellectual capital and throughout history they have been an inspired creative force.  However, the current government thwarts social capital.  Therefore, whereas China has a comparative advantage in a manufacturing economy, they would not necessarily have a comparative advantage in an innovation economy.

Many other countries have endowments of intellectual capital as well as democratic governments, but cultural norms may still constrain diversity related to gender roles, social classes, lifestyle tolerance, or the acceptance of “outsiders”.  As such, they may have comparative advantage in a knowledge economy, but the relative deficiency in creative capital would inhibit a comparative advantage in an innovation economy just as quickly.

The Fertilizer Economy:

That said, the United States has a vast abundance and tremendous economies of scale in social capital, intellectual capital, and creative capital in comparison to any other country in the world.  The problem is that these assets are sequestered behind the corporate veil, suppressed from true wealth creation by the priorities of a financial system built to produce nothing except analyst expectations.  Like sugar calories, lots of energy is delivered, but sustainable health is not.

The harvest in the wind

The brokers, speculators, and marketers are not bad people – in fact, they are brilliant.  They are simply stuck with the wrong set of incentives.  The Ingenesist Project dramatically changes the incentives and promises a far better allocation of intellectual capital, social capital, and creative capital.  By making such assets tangible outside the construct of the Wall Street, the comparative advantage of the United States in an innovation economy will be astonishing.

Where there is fertilizer in the wind, Wall Street will lead. Where there is a harvest in the wind, Wall Street will follow.

Social Media; The Engine of New Economic Growth

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Business Models of the Future:

The great new social media business models of the future will be in the areas of “The Last Mile of social media” and “Social Vetting mechanisms”.   I have written about these two elements in the past.  However, this article will attempt to focus on how the future engine of economic growth can use social media platforms to power social capitalism.

The Last Mile:

The Last Mile of social media is where the rubber meets the road.  I can chat with people all over the world on Twitter and Facebook, but nothing happens until I walk out of the house and meet real people in real time to create a real business that really increases real human productivity.  If I can accomplish that, monetization is simple matter.

If everyone is harvesting ideas from all over the world, Last Mile technology is the key to bringing these ideas to the ground.  The new social enterprises will develop, support, enable, and service the structure for innovation in neighborhoods and communities.

Feel the Burn:

To understand the power of this paradigm; there is little doubt that the leader of the free world was elected by the Last Mile.  That is huge.  Now, when the Last Mile is in trouble with mounting layoffs, foreclosures, and wealth destruction, eyebrows are raised, headlines make the first page, and everyone is wondering what will happen in to the Last Mile.  In 1992, this author saw Los Angeles burn over a whole lot less than what’s coming down the pipes today.  This is not a game, this is very serious stuff.

Social Vetting:

Social Vetting, on the other hand, is less understood, but like a tornado there is nothing subtle about the forces that it can impart against the darkness of secrecy.  All markets become more efficient in the presence of an effective vetting mechanism, as such, monetization is a simple matter.  Conversely, the absence of vetting is the root of all corruption – as we are now painfully aware.

Begging for Mercy:

To understand the power of this paradigm; Facebook was recently brought to its knees by Social Vetting.  First, a social watchdog group noticed the change in the terms of service and set the dials on “viral”.  Facebook users organized immediately and lay siege to the core validity of a 3.5 billion dollar new media titan.  Within hours, Facebook was backpedaling. The 300 billion dollar marketing industry, ravenous for viewer impressions, was sent back to the drawing boardroom.  Meanwhile, legacy media spin took pot shots at Facebook’s inability to monetize the value it claims to create.  Again, this is not a game, this is serious business.

Role play

In each of these examples social media responded effectively to an existing injustice.  This presents the dire question:  If the Last Mile and Social Vetting can have such a profound effect in the REACTIVE role, what would be the underlying dynamic if applied in the PROACTIVE role ?

The Engine of Economic Growth:

Consider this: Social media has no problem scaling up, rather, it has a problem scaling down.  The Last Mile and Social Vetting represents the compression cycle of the new economic engine.  The spark of innovation ignites the secret sauce to scale upward.  With a repeatable cycle, we can literally create an engine of economic growth cycling from down-scaling to up-scaling, and back to down-scaling, and so forth, forever.  Each combustion cycle literally pumps value into an economic system.

Master of Puppets:

I’ll let the reader now ponder the cause and effect sequences of this proposition.  But I will leave one hint: Wall Street becomes the servant, not the master.  As such, monetization becomes a simple matter.

Out of Cache; Will Work For Bandwidth

We can measure the time in minutes, we can measure distance in miles, and we can measure mass in grams – so how do we measure Innovation?  Am I missing something or is this possibly the most stunning omission in the history of civilization?  Who is keeping score? Where’s the referee? This is serious business, folks – the fact, factors, and factories of innovation should be in laser sharp focus to everyone right now, here is why:

The total US liability is estimated at 53 trillion dollars. Every US citizen must become more productive by $175,000 each to cover the invisible mortgage.   Government and corporations are not going to fix this problem – they will leave it to the kids to figure out how to make, mix, and measure innovation.

Natural Resources of Bandwidth

It is official; the United States has run out of bandwidth and we need to create more. The only way to accomplish this is an extraordinary expansion in the breadth, depth, and scale of innovation. This is a situation that cannot be rationalized by any conventional school of thought – starting with our definition for innovation.

The accepted definition for innovation is “something novel and useful”. I hope that I am not insulting any B-school professors or innovation guru’s but “something novel and useful” is already bankrupt as a definition for the only thing that can pull us out of this flaming tailspin of debt economics.

So let’s try something that the kids can do well (because they get to pick up the tab):

Innovation = Bandwidth Created / Bandwidth Expended

So there it is: a simple, clean, and effective:  If the number is greater than 1 we have a creation of wealth. If the number is equal to 1 we have a transfer of wealth, if the number is less than 1 we have the creation of more debt.

It should not matter how one defines bandwidth as long as the top number and the bottom number are measured the same way. If the kids can increase the top number, or lower the bottom number for anything anywhere by using their social, creative, or intellectual ability, alone or in groups, then they can become successful innovators.

Business case

There is a clear and rational business case for bandwidth – people will pay for it at a price relative to their own available bandwidth. Let’s give the kids a game they can win.  Let’s give them a score that they can keep. Let’s show them how entrepreneurs work, think, and play.

For the same amount of bandwidth expended, they can create more bandwidth for 10 rich people or more bandwidth for 1000 poor people. Let the kids decide. If they give some people more bandwidth at the expense of the bandwidth of others, they lose.  If they find synergies that act as a bandwidth multiplier, they win. Let the kids figure it out.

All we need to do is help develop standards to measure bandwidth.

It’s the least that our old people can do and a much simpler problem for our feeble minds to solve.  The Ingenesist Project specifies 3 web applications which if deployed to social media will allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible outside the construct of the traditional corporation – we believe that this may do the trick.  There may be others working on the problem too, we don’t care – at the end of the day, we all work for bandwidth.

Business Plans of the Innovation Economy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Enterprise; Rating Systems

There is an ongoing discussion about the rating system for articles posted to a business oriented social network site that I belong to.  While am not part of the discussion, my one and only post to that site had been rated very low despite the fact that I am recognized internationally in the subject matter of that particular article.  I stopped posting articles to rated sites because the rating systems are flawed at the core of logic – Frankly, it’s too risky.  As the creativity, originality, or controversy of the post increases, the disincentives to sharing it also increases.  I don’t want my customers googling me to see this rating without also being able to google my reviewer.  No sour grapes – I’d wear a D+ from Stephen Hawking as a badge of honor.

The objective of any business/social network in today’s world should be to make human knowledge more tangible outside the construct of the corporation, such that it emulates a financial instrument – at the end of the day, it’s about the money.  Otherwise Social Networking amounts to active recreation – like guitar hero, or tubing; fun but somewhat trivial.

ALL financial instruments, without exception, are described in terms of a quantity and a quality.  ALL quantity and quality measures for financial instruments are statistical in nature – that is, they fall on some kind of “bell curve”.  This is true for EVERYTHING from a stock valuation to credit score to marketing demographics to health/home/life/car/business insurance, baseball players, GPA,  etc. – the bell curve is ubiquitous.  Whoever is not minimally familiar with the simplest basic concepts of a Normal  Distribution, et al, is at a severe and unfortunate disadvantage in the innovation economy. This is how the world of money is organized, this is what money is, this is what Wall Street does – for better or worse, like it or not….it is what is.

One obvious failure of most Social network rating systems is the linear 1-5 “stars”.  If there were 6 stars then at least we could have a leg up on applying the most valuable mathematical tools available from the world of wealth and value creation (hence, Six Sigma).  Second – the bell curve is not linear and the reviewer needs to be aware of this. 6 stars would mean that a post falls (in some measure) between 97%-100% of all similar level posts ever read by the reviewer. 5 stars falls in the 85%-97% range; 4 stars, 50%-85%; 3 stars, 35%-50%; 2 stars, 3%-15%; 1 star 0-3%.

If Calculus isn’t your thing, consider this – the bell curve rating system makes the reviewer really think about who they are in the process, the responsibility they hold in the rating of others, and the implications of their ratings – too high, or too low.  It would be good to know how many articles the reviewer has read and rated, the average of their ratings, as well as their own rating on articles published (is this staring to sound like EBay? – it should, at 25B market cap, they’re not silly people).  Social accountability does wonders for market efficiency and wealth creation.

Social Networks are ideally suited for correctly rating their own knowledge inventories so that when their members go out in the new world trying to make a living, it is known to all that they have been vetted by a respected community.  This increases the value of the member and it increases the value of the community in the market. Communities that empower and release great talent to a market actually empower themselves; Harvard, GE, Frank Zappa.  This has happened at the local level since the stone ages.

What about our competitive instincts? There can only be one winner and the rest are losers, aren’t all good Capitalists supposed to decimate thy neighbor? Always remember, it is all about the perfect combination of average assets, not necessarily the single excessive asset that makes product most valuable in a market.  The market for Toyotas is far greater than the market for Ferraris, yet each are competitive in their respective market.  The studies of ‘beauty’ discovered a collection of perfectly average features – in the eye of the beholder, consistent with balance and harmony.  So we’ll need to drop the win-lose culture on this one and worry about competing with the real threats that lie before us.

Sure, most people will complain about such a system because it is too complicated, too math-ish, not the easy tweet (OMG CUL8R!). But this is the reality of how money is organized – and disorganized (did I mention Wall Street yet?). There is no exception, there is no rational alternative – the world does not care if people agree with the way things are or if they understand the math.

Fortunately, once people learn to roll over this metaphysical speed bump, the rest is real easy as a vast world of possibility for generating extreme wealth in social networks will unfold before our eyes!!  Knowledge tangibility is the Holy Grail of modern finance but Social Networks are at risk of squandering this unique and historical opportunity to paint this empty canvas in their own image.  Act now, please – this chance may never happen again.

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