Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: wisdom

The WIKiD Tools Algorithm

The WIKiD Tool algorithm provides a mathematical framework for analyzing dynamic data related to social interactions in a network and memorialized on a Blockchain. This example uses an analogy to the position / velocity / acceleration equations that some people may remember from their school days.

These types of relationships are important for measuring things like innovation. Ask any VC for a definition of Innovation and they’ll probably say “I’ll know it when I see it” or “it’s a good idea with an economic outcome”. Neither of these things are measurable until long after the innovation occurs which is not practical. However, if we could measure something that is closely related (correlates) with innovation, perhaps we could use that to measure the thing we can’t see.

A similar thing happens on Wall street – how do you measure consumer confidence? Financial analysts noticed that the price of some commodities track closely with consumer confidence so they use that as a proxy for the thing they cannot measure directly. This is called a derivative – something whose value is derived from the value of something else. Suppose we use the same idea to measure things like Wisdom, Innovation, Knowledge, Information, and Data (WIKiD)?

As engineers interact with each other to form transaction records, the blockchain records the chronological order of every event, so we can now correlate all events with respect to time.  The connections that are made may be analyzed for both quantity and quality (magnitude and direction). We can now use common mathematical tools from finance and physics.

We have established that the blockchain records the time function for all events to an immutable ledger.  In order to represent vector magnitude we’ll follow a well known analogy to the displacement-velocity-acceleration formulas from physics and associated Calculus.

WIKiD stands for:

(W) = Wisdom
(I) = Innovation
(K) = Knowledge
(i) = information
(D) = Data

Data: In general, we can define data as points placed on such a coordinate system. Each point defines a position in space and the time where an event is recorded. The distance between data points can be called “displacement”, because of the relative distance between the points. In the simplest sense, we can see that Data (D1) and Displacement (D2) share an analogy.

Information: When you draw a line connecting two points, or you draw a line approximating a cluster of points, the slope of that line on a graph provided information about the phenomenon under observation. Is it getting larger slowly? Is it getting smaller rapidly? In essence, the slope of the line represents the rate of change in displacement with respect to time and gives the observation its “velocity”.

This may be represented by the relationship simply stated as:

i = dD/dt

Information is proportional to the rate of change in the data with respect to time

It should be clear that we are defining ‘information’ as a derivative of ‘data’.  a derivative in physics is the same as a derivative in finance, that is “something whose value is derived from the value of something else” That said, we now proceed down the latter of derivatives.

Knowledge: The analogy between velocity and knowledge is intuitive. Knowledge is a phenomenon that may be modeled as the derivative of ‘information’. Strictly speaking, the value of knowledge is derived from the value of the information from which knowledge was created. It is intuitive that one accumulates knowledge over a long period of absorbing information and integral data. Education is the process of absorbing information from a printed page or screen, and combining that with other previously accumulated information to form knowledge.

Hence, the following relationship holds and is simply stated as follows:

K = di/dt =d2D1/dt2

Knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time

Innovation: The analogy between acceleration and innovation is also intuitive but a little more difficult to put to words  (that is why we use equations). Consider an child who is knowledgeable in riding a bicycle on pavement. Suppose that the child, for the first time, encounters sand on the pavement while also executing a sharp turn. During the ensuing deceleration, the child experiences a very high increase in knowledge about their environment within an extremely short period of time. In any case, the child is forced to innovate a solution. Likewise, the motocross racer is constantly innovating to adapt to the conditions of the track.  You can read a book about riding bicycles, but none can adequately describe the moment when the child must create the experience anew.

For the fact of innovation, we provide the following relationship simply stated as follows:

I = dk/dt = d2i/dt2 =d3D/dt3

Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time

Innovation Example: One of the gross errors that we make in business is due to the inability to differentiate an economic event from it’s constituent physical parts.  The classic example is innovation; Venture Capitalists often describe innovation as a new idea that has an economic outcome.  This is problematic because innovation is defined with one equation having two unknowns.  This is mathematically impossible to solve, except by laborious and expensive iterations.

The rational (mathematical) approach would be to test and observe high rates of change of knowledge in a community and use that as a proxy to identify the presence of innovation (as defined above). After that, the community may be tested for economic outcomes.  Unfortunately, I=dk/dt is not normally possible to observe in a hierarchical business structure.  However, when formatted and validated correctly, and applied to a network organizational structure, then I=dk/dt can be represented graphically and accurately identified even by a child.

Wisdom: When we think of wisdom, our minds conjure the image of an elderly person with a lifetime of experiences behind them. Somehow, our elders seem to be able to predict the outcome of a series of actions before those actions take place.   This is why we seek wisdom to lead our organizations and institutions.

Consider the manager of a factory floor who has 30 years experience. During those 30 years, they have seen many things succeed and many things fail. In fact, their experience represent a statistically significant sample of representative events that they have experienced in the past.   The wise manager is able to process new information with old information to predict the probability that the new idea will yield the desired results. The propensity for wisdom may be modeled as a time function in a similar manner.

W = dI/dt = dK2/dt2 = d3i/dt3 = d4D/dt4  

 Wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation with respect to time

In general we could say that Wisdom is the second derivative of Knowledge and the fourth derivative of Data. Similarly, Innovation is the first derivative of Knowledge and the second derivative of information, and so on.  In order to identify innovation, we would measure high rates of change of knowledge.  Wisdom would be proportional to high rates of innovation, etc.  The utility of these functions should be apparent.

Conclusion

The WIKiD tools algorithm provides a set of relationships for what are now considered intangible assets that are integrated by a time function.  The Blockchain provides the master schedule for the time function to be recorded, leaving us with a somewhat routine task of identifying rates of change in observable events.  

Shutting OFF The Lights On Big Data

turn_off_lights_19916160Big Data, Bigger Data, Not Neutrality, Mega-Mergers, Election Deform – BIG (fill in the blank)  spells BIG trouble for LITTLE (rest of us).  We don’t stand a chance against the tsunami of surveillance that is barreling our way.  Big Data is becoming it’s own feedback loop and, like shoving a microphone into a stack of tweeters, the noise is deafening.

Nature tells us many things about how an organism responds to externalities.  For example, when a stand of trees encounters an insect infestation, they work in symbiosis with fungi and micro-organisms to amazingly communicate signals across distance and across species to develop compounds to arrest the attack.  Nature collaborates in magnificent ways with often astonishing results – survival of the collaborators.

The entire human organism is in this position today, we cannot attack our own do-loop without also attacking ourselves.  We must adapt a new one.   We must address the perils ahead by organizing ourselves in a radically different manner.  When threatened by inundation, we must also become fluid, mix with the tide, and change its composition from within.

The following presentation was delivered at Seattle University in April 2014.  This presentation demonstrates why – and most importantly –  how we need to re-visualize society, especially our own place in it.  We need to reorganize ourselves as a species to face these powerful new forces that ultimately threaten to smother the knowledge, creativity, and wisdom from our one and only planet.

Our objective with this video is to communicate to all other New Value Movement applications that there is a new form of organization that we can all adapt in order to integrate ourselves in collaboration outside of BIG Data.

Only 20 minutes – be prepared for a mind bender!

The Currency Hack

This is the final post of the Financial System Hack Series.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, the currency is the last hack, not the first.  Only after Zertify, Gamidox and Exoquant are established would it be possible to introduce a currency that could compete, if not hedge the dollar.

With Zertify we can estimate the probability that a collection of knowledge assets will be able to execute a business plan some time in the future.

With Gamidox, The Value Game is played where several communities interact around a shared asset such as a condominium, airplane, school, hospital, road, car, or any “product” that has socially redeeming value.

These interactions are measured such that we can assign “value” to the game with the Exoquant algorithm.

So taken together:

If we can predict the probability that the interactions carried out by communities of people (relative to a product) will have a known value in the future, we can represent it as a “cash flow” with a known volatility (risk).  Now, combining many interactions carried out by many communities around many products with known volatilities, we can pool the predicted cash flows into one large diversified cash flow.  Next, we can  cut the large flow into “bonds”, which we can extrapolate to net present value and to fund the community activities.  This very similar to the way that corporation form and raise money – except without the corporation.  While banks continue to issue Debt Bonds, communities will issue Innovation Bonds in parallel

Here is the hack:

In the old days everyone carried gold around with them to engage in trade.  Since gold was heavy, bankers let people keep the gold in their vaults and they wrote little chits that represented the gold.  After a while, people just traded the chits and it was no longer necessary to convert back to gold with each transaction.  Eventually, the gold standard was eliminated altogether and people just traded the paper that now represents their future productivity (debt), not necessarily gold.

The currency of abundance

Likewise, after a while it would no longer be necessary to convert the community currency into dollars.  As the dollar slowly starts losing it’s value under the weight of the debt load people will just trade community currencies.  All of these values are made visible and validated from Zertify, Gamidox, and Exoquant data.

The antigen will not be triggered because this is exactly the same way that corporations interact with banks to capitalizes and securitizes dollar debt, the difference is that we are capitalizing and securitizing community innovation by measuring data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom.  A currency of abundance can then replace the currency of scarcity.

Nothing Changes and everything changes

Corporations and government can continue activities to the degree that they produce socially redeeming value by simply purchasing innovation bonds from the people with their dollars – if they’ll accept them.

How To Overhaul GDP

Self-imposed exile, or land of opportunity?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period.  Simon Kuznets first developed the concept of the GDP for a US Congress report in 1934.  He immediately said not to use it as a measure for welfare. He later elaborated:

“Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”

Sheer Madness at best

Today, the concept of Gross Domestic Product is vastly flawed to the point where the tail now wags the dog.  GDP now determines what we produce, who produces it, where it is produced, when and how it is produced.  Further, GDP snuffs out vast amounts of intangible value simply because it cannot be measured as GDP.

Global Policy is not enough

Recently, The G-20 meetings resolved to a very interesting point; to redefine GDP by a new set of metrics.  This will be a long hard journey if done solely in the political domain.   However, if we can make a business case for it, the entrepreneurs will jump on board.  Then, and only then, can the landscape change as rapidly and drastically as will be required to turn civilization around equitably and peacefully.

Corporate Policy is not enough

The irony is that those who perpetrate GDP metrics may be those who would benefit the most from dumping it.  In the following article from FastCompany, How Intangible Corporate Culture Creates Tangible Profits, companies who learn to transform intangible assets to tangible value become more competitive over companies that do not.  The article cites Southwest Airlines as the first airline to strip down all “tangible” amenities, yet they succeed by replacing them with intangible value such as superior customer experience.

Policy, Corporations, Culture and Entrepreneurs need to act as one:

Interestingly, the FastCompany article talks a great deal about culture.  They also use the terms; “information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom” liberally throughout the text.  This is very inspiring to us at The Ingenesist Project because we use similar language to design and deploy business methods in industries as diverse as Aviation, Construction, and Philanthropy that readily convert between tangible and intangible value.

For Example:

  • The objective of Zertify is to replace the competitive incentives among communities and replace them with a knowledge inventory that matches mentors to protégé.  Teachers and students do not compete, they collaborate in order to be successful.
  • The Value Game creates an environment where one acting in the best interest of their collaborator, acts in their own best interest of value creation.
  • Our Exoquant algorithm provides a direct relatedness between information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom.

The New Value Movement

When we talk about the New Value Movement, we are trying to specify a new class of business methods that can literally “manufacture” the things that people actually need without any distinction between tangible and intangible.  People need a game that they can win playing by the same set of rules. People need food as much as the need love – there is no walled garden of human needs, except the planet we share.

Then we can measure what people actually produce with it

The New Value Tool

The New Value Tool is a repetitive simulation of The Value Game (described herehere, and here) that may be used to determine in advance the true value that may be created when people interact with each other around a shared asset.

The Social Charter

This should not be too difficult to envision since The Value Game plays out daily in the modern corporation where workers acting in the best interest of the corporation (the shared asset) interact with each other in various departments to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset – this is how corporations create social value; through the employment of people and the social utility of their products.

Obviously, corporations that fail to fulfill their social charter likewise fail to sustain value creation in a community.  Those that do, tend to thrive in the Internet Age. The objective of the New Value Platform is to enable communities to organize, as do corporations, except without the burden of corporate governance or the priorities of outside investors.

Drag, Drop, and Dream

The New Value Tool is simple to use; just drag and drop from the Zertify Personal Knowledge Inventory into The Value Game and see what the Exoquant dashboard tells you about your simulation. It may take some practice at first to see how to make the numbers move, but soon it will become intuitive which scenarios create lots of New Value – and will likely sustain themselves in practice.  Scenarios that do not, will likely fail in a particular community and ought not be ventured to practice.

Community Algorithm

Exoquant provides a very simple algorithm relating the creation of data, information, knowledge, innovation and wisdom that govern the Value Game.  However, the weighting of these elements is a component of the “fuzzy math” that entrepreneurs bring to the game.  The empirical data resulting from the application becomes property of the players (community) as their “Secret Sauce” of value creation in their own uniquely optimum economic game.

On the path to a Social Currency

The New Value Tool May become an important system for analyzing existing ventures for optimum social value creation as well as predicting how collections of knowledge assets in a community can optimize their social value in collaboration with each other.  Eventually, the predictability of the outcomes will improve while diversification of projects will eliminate risks such that a social currency can be capitalized and securitized.

A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

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

Using the same players:


A Value Game For The Aerobics Instructor

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

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

Social Value Outcomes:

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

The Value Game Filters:

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

Social Value Index (SVI)

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

Data as a shared asset

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

At the end of the day: 

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

 

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)

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:

***

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 

This Is What I Believe

  1. There is a tiny flaw in Market Capitalism that can be easily corrected
  2. Technological change must always precede economic growth; we are going about the process of globalization as if economic growth can precede technological change.  We got it upside down, that’s all.
  3. Anything that can be made by allocating scarce land, labor, and financial capital can also be made by allocating abundant social, creative, and intellectual capital.
  4. For every dollar of tangible value, there is at least 100 dollars worth of  ‘intangible’ value that is really just ‘invisible’.
  5. The global debt is trivial in comparison to the invisible value that exists with no accounting system to represent it.
  6. There should be no economic incentive for anyone to make anything other than what they are most talented, interested, and passionate about.
  7. Nobody knows everything.
  8. Everybody knows something they can teach any other person.
  9. Students, by definition, hold an equity position in their teachers.
  10. Therefore, teachers should hold an equity position in their students – this will fix a lot of things.
  11. Nothing economic happens until two or more people get together and build something.
  12. Competition is over rated.
  13. Collaboration is under rated.
  14. All monetary things are valuable but not all valuable things are monetary.
  15. There is a perfectly legitimate market for everyone.
  16. A new currency will be the last thing that happens, not the first.
  17. You can’t eat Gold
  18. Information is proportional to the rate of change of data with respect to time.
  19. Knowledge is proportional to the rate of change of information with respect to time.
  20. Innovation is proportional to the rate of change of knowledge with respect to time.
  21. Wisdom is proportional to the rate of change of innovation with respect to time.
  22. If you want to create wisdom, go increase the rate of change of innovation.  If you want to create innovation, go increase the rate of change of knowledge, etc. Now, flip over the series 15-18 above.  See, you’ll do just fine.
  23. Money represents past, present, or future productivity – otherwise nobody would work for it (think about that ).
  24. Therefore, a currency backed by debt and a currency backed by innovation would become the mother of all hedge funds.
  25. Securitization is a miracle of scale if done correctly, a disaster of scale if not
  26. Time is the only valid basis of a currency.
  27. My singular objective and greatest aspiration is to make “intangible” value tangible.  I am confident that my children – and yours – will know what to do next.

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.

An Ode To Japan

A Familiar View From a Familiar Land

I was deeply moved by the events in Japan over the last several days.  I have spent many weeks over several years in that country from my work supporting All Nippon Airways with Boeing.  I have also experienced several earthquakes in Japan, obviously nothing like the most recent.

Throughout many of my writings, I talk about the integration of of knowledge assets, the integration of markets, and the integration of communities.  Yet here I reflect that there is likely no country as tightly integrated as Japan.  This is the reason why they are so resilient and will arise successful despite any adversity that they encounter.

Several years ago, I was in downtown Tokyo during a magnitude 5.4 Earthquake.  The central subway loop closed down and the feeder trains kept pouring people into the station – the streets filled to standing room only.

As the account manager for All Nippon Airways, I was amazed at the astonishing reliability that they achieved with the aircraft fleet.  Reliable airplanes are essential because transportation is tightly integrated; if the plane did not leave on time, the trains would keep dropping people off at the airport and it would quickly fill up to, again, standing room only.

I have worked with dozens of Japanese engineers.  They are an amazing group in themselves – they design for two or three levels of fault tolerance in all of their decisions because when things go wrong in Japan, they go very wrong.  Their airplanes are impeccable throughout despite severe service requirement. Airplanes leave on time or they are replaced, but they always deliver on their promise of safety and security. Many of the buildings are sacrificial; meaning that they may may no longer be useful after a big quake, but they will not fall.  The train station may fill up, but the trains won’t crash.

This mindset has permiated into all of their products.  Where Americans may see obsessive compulsive drive to higher degrees of quality for no apparent reason, the Japanese see solutions to problems that don’t yet exist.  They take deep personal responsibility for failures that are two or three levels deep in unlikely probability.

It is not surprising that the casualty numbers so far, while deeply tragic, are not what one would expect given the magnitude of the event – the Earth was knocked off it’s Axis by this temblor, but the Japanese were not.

I extend my deepest condolences to my many friends and colleagues of Japan and stand ready to help in any way that I can.

Social Value Creation: How To Manufacture Wisdom

We call this wisdom

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 the “bell curve” in their mind.  This bell curve contains a statistical sample of all similar situations that the manager has witnessed, the variables involved, and a range of outcomes observed across their long and illustrious career…Ohhhmmmmmm

We Call This Simulated Wisdom

Modern HR systems try to simulate this wisdom through a series of innovations such as key word search, structured interviews, personality tests, and employee incentives. Now we can use Google (an information company) to derive sort of a proxy for wisdom as we assess search results in our own image.  Facebook and Linkedin go a step further by providing us with another filter through which to pass judgement upon a future employee or partner.  The problem is that the more we look into these systems, the more they deliver back to us a reflection of ourselves…Ohhhmmmmm

Social Media vs. Normalized Intellectual, Social, and Creative Capital

The Data need to be Normalized

The world has become so strange, complex, technological, and interwoven, that no single person can possibly posses such a vast and broad set of experiences as to arrive at an optimized outcome every time.   Innovation favors strategic combination of diverse knowledge unlike the Industrial revolution which favored identical packets of similar knowledge.  The Innovation Economy will require a completely new approach to social value creation.

The Social Credit Score

Not unlike the FICO score, the knowledge inventory is a collection of potential knowledge events where the social network is a reporting agency that has a vested interest in meaningful knowledge events. Unlike FICO however, the variables for knowledge can be infinite (think of the Dewey Decimal System).  Also, a Social Credit Score would respond to positive events rather than a finite set of negative “hits”.

The Percentile Search Engine

Instead of just returning information, this new search engine must return probabilities from which an entrepreneur may test scenarios related to the likelihood of executing a particular business process at a known time, cost, proximity, ROI, etc.

Example

Innovation Economics

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.

Valuation of Knowledge  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.

Business Intelligence Organizations can scan each other’s knowledge inventory and decide to compete, cooperate, acquire, or evade.

Knowledge management If a key person retires, the entrepreneur would simulate the knowledge that is lost and reassign people strategically.

The Secret Sauce  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. Over time, these algorithms will become 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.

Eventually, we will learn to manufacture wisdom …OhhhhMmmmmGeeeee

Calculus for Dummies and Capitalists

Mathematics Dysfunction Disorder

I am continuously astonished at the reactions I get from people every time I make a reference to mathematics, especially Calculus. Most people politely glaze their eyes over and stare at an inanimate object somewhere behind my head. Others launch into a diatribe of how the linear thinkers destroyed the world in the first place. Others will simply say, “I have [insert Deficit Dysfunction Disorder here]”

Puzzled by Limits?  Perplexed by derivatives?

The truth of the matter is that everyone already knows Calculus, they solve differential equations all day long – they just don’t know that they already know what I’m talking about.  If you take away all the strange terms, squiggly lines, and alphabet soup notation,….

Calculus is astonishingly simple


  • The Banker does not care about money, he cares about the rate of change of money.
  • The Stock Market does not care about risk, it cares about the rate of change of risk
  • The Politician does not care about votes, they care about the rate of change in votes
  • The Meteorologist does not care about weather, she cares about the rate of change in weather
  • The Pilot does not care about lift, they care about the rate of change of lift
  • The Gymnast does not care about motion, she cares about the rate of change of motion
  • The Artist does not care about color, he cares about the rate of change of color
  • The Doctor does not care about your health, she cares about the rate of change in your health
  • The Baker does not care about dough, they care about the rate of change of dough
  • The Farmer does not care about crops, he cares about the rate of change of crops
  • The Scientists does not care about data, they care about the rate of change of data
  • Google does not care about information, it cares about the rate of change of information
  • Entrepreneurs do not care about knowledge, they care about the rate of change of knowledge
  • Markets do not care about innovation, they care about the rate of change of innovation
  • Our children do not care about our wisdom, they care about our rate of change of wisdom

When people can learn how to understand what they are really doing in instead of what they think they are doing, then and only then, will we be able to see, and subsequently, build the next economic paradigm.  That is why I use mathematics and that is when Social Media Becomes a Science

The Capitalist does not care about value, they care about the rate of change of value

Social Capitalism and The Culture of Data

Data are the raw material of the next economic paradigm.  Data, information, knowledge, innovation, and wisdom are all related; but it all starts with data.

In order to produce anything valuable in the domain of social capitalism, the creation and formation of data is hypercritical.  The better the data, the better the information, knowledge, innovation, wisdom and culture that will follow.  Each stage of transformation along the chain reaction from “data” to “culture” is an opportunity for both great value creation AND astonishing corruption.

Data is King:

Yet data are often collected and processed with very little vetting.  We all know that information is most easily spun from the data collection process.  We know that bad knowledge comes from bad information, and we know that unsuccessful innovation comes from inappropriate knowledge.  Obviously, to be an unwise leader is to be unimaginative leader.  A failed culture creates failed data…and the circle completes itself.

Data is an asset:

On the other hand, the ability to collect data is often the most tangible intellectual property that an organization can hold.  It is easy to copy a patent but difficult to recreate the system that generates patents.  Excellent data results in excellent technology from the moon landings to the Internet. The trick is that all assets must contain two components; a quantity and a quality.  This means that some rigor is needed in the data collection process. When data are produced, the quantity is the “measurement” but the quality is the certainty or uncertainty that what is being measured is actually what is being observed.

Data Relationships

Phenomena such as art, politics, emotions, capital markets, and spirituality are difficult to measure because the item being observed exists as a function of the observer’s interaction with it.  Still, the quality of the data includes the certainty that all data were measured the same way AND some disclosure of the uncertainty that remains.  This is an area of great omission and where severe problems arise especially where the most people rely on the data to make decisions.  The term “comparing apples to oranges” is  a real problem and it is particularly elusive at very early and highly incremental stages of ideation.

Mouse goes squeak:

Often the people involved with the intensely small or incremental portion of the data design and collection process are the least powerful people in the supply chain.  Often they have the least say in how the data is analyzed and certainly have no visibility of what happens upstream.   It is tragically amusing that the dominant characteristic of most hierarchies is that each level of management “filters” the data from lower levels and delivers it to the next level where actions are authorized.

The Culture of Data

Social media is entering the human culture at an incredible rate.  Social media has also shown us what happens when the good data becomes the important information, which increases knowledge among the most people leading to increasingly effective innovation and changing the conventional wisdom about an increasing diversity of subjects.  Social Capitalism will replace Market Capitalism simply because the culture is superior.

Hint: Culture Produces The Data.

WIKiD Tools; A Futures Methodology

The forecasting methods that we are developing at the Ingenesist Project have become sufficiently vetted and organized that I have decided to formalize them for review by others. The “WIKiD Tools” method is fairly simple to describe and demonstrate, but be assured, it is a powerful method for predicting futures outcomes.

WIKiD stands for:

Wisdom > Innovation > Knowledge > Information > Data

All five of these elements are related to each other – in fact, each is derived from the prior element by integrating the tools of that medium.  For example information is derived from data by integrating the tools of the data medium. Knowledge is derived from information by integrating the tools of information medium, innovation is derived from knowledge by integrating the tools of the knowledge medium, etc.

Likewise, if I want to predict innovation, I look for high rates of change of knowledge in it’s medium….and so on for all five elements as needed.

The chart below helps demonstrate the WIKiD Tools methodology.

Slide05

The Hunter-Gatherer

About 50,000 years ago humans sustained themselves in a hunter gather economy. They would wander for food to eat and fuel to stay warm. Eventually they invented tools to trap their game and chop down trees so they no longer needed to expend as much energy and could remain relatively stationary.

The Agrarian

This led to the agrarian economy, the formation of towns, and the division of labor. A leisure class emerged to engage in philosophy and explore nature. New ideas were explored and the “scientific method” of observation and experimentation was invented

The Data Economy

With the invention of interchangeable parts in manufacturing, the industrial revolution became the dominant era of economic activity. The idea of industrialization separated production from assembly of parts. This allowed for greater efficiency and precision.

The Information Economy

The Industrial revolution generated a lot of Data and the invention of the integrated circuit turned these data into information – we now look back at the 60’s and 70s as the information age.

The Knowledge Economy

Widespread use of computers allowed humans to process the information in creative and unique ways – we now call this the knowledge economy.

Since there were many eras prior to this, we can expect that there shall be many eras following this – so we ask the question “what comes after the knowledge economy?

When we apply the WIKiD Tools Methodology:

We can say that each new era was derived from the prior era by integrating the tools developed during the prior era. We have seen the data economy in the industrial revolution, we have seen the information economy with Invention of the Integrated Circuit, We are in the midst of the knowledge economy with the advent of the Internet.

The next economic paradigm:

Now the tools of the Computer, software, and Internet connectivity are integrating around social media. From this we predict that an innovation economy will emerge by integrating the tools of the knowledge economy, specifically social media, mobile devices, software, hardware, and the internet.

The Wisdom Economy

Looking far far into the future, we can predict that the wisdom economy will emerge from an integration of tools developed in the innovation economy. The wisdom economy – with or without the current financial system – will have the greatest likelihood of achieving a sustainable human presence on Earth. Consequently, failure to achieve the wisdom economy presents an equally predictable outcome.

Let’s Argue About the Definition of Productivity Instead

Many arguments rage because of poor definitions to terms. If people cannot agree on a definition, they will not agree on much else. A definition should be definitive – here I will tackle 5 of the most elusive definitions that are at the center of much, if not all, global controversy: Data, Information, knowledge, innovation, wisdom

To state the obvious

It should be obvious that data, information, knowledge, innovation and wisdom are related. The test is simple: if you corrupt one of them, all the others become corrupted. The question becomes; how are they related?

Consider the following definitions

Allow me to provide the following 4 relationships:

1. Information is derived from the productivity of data

2. Knowledge is derived from the productivity of information

3. Innovation is derived from the productivity of knowledge

4. Wisdom is derived from the productivity of innovation

These relationships are very useful.

1. They include everyone, they exclude no one.

2. They are personal enough to reflect individual value system yet discrete enough to not contradicting the value system of another.

The question now resides in how we define productivity, that is a much simpler, more efficient, and far wiser problem to be arguing about. Besides, a singles solution solves 4 problems.

The Wisdom of Wisdom

1011442.largeObviously data are related to information and information is related to knowledge and knowledge is related to innovation and innovation is related to wisdom (whew!). But how are they related? What few people realize is that if you take out any of these components, the whole relationship falls apart.

data > information > knowledge > innovation > wisdom

For example, if data are corrupted, then everything that follows becomes corrupted; hence the advanced mathematical equation: “garbage in = garbage out”. Few people realize that at the end of the relationship, the wrong wisdom creates the wrong data and therefore “garbage out = garbage in” starts the process all over again.

Going from one component to the next is called transformation. If the transformation fails, no value is created. Google Transforms data into information. Human intellect transforms the information into knowledge. Knowledge is shared among other people and transformed into innovation. The success and failure of innovation is transformed into wisdom. Community wisdom, through the behavior of individuals, is transformed into data.

Entrepreneurs are concerned with transformation – this is where value is created. The entrepreneur identifies assets operating at a lower level and transforms the asset into a higher level. That is what entrepreneurs do.

The key to monetization is not coffee beans, it’s the transformation of $0.20 worth of coffee beans into a $2.00 Latte.

Transformation is where the most value is created, but it is also where the most risk exists. As such, it is the area where most entrepreneurial opportunity exists to manage risk, eliminate risk, diversify risk, and mitigate risk. To control the node of the transaction is to control the entire transaction. This is where the garbage enters. This is where the garbage is eliminated, this is where the garbage moves on. It’s all about the transformation.

Any asset that fails to change fails to remain an asset. Value is derived from the rate at which assets change. If I produce more in less time, I become more valuable. The RATE OF CHANGE in a phenomenon carries the most interesting and valuable information about that phenomenon. This is an important distinction that many people just cannot wrap their heads around – but they must if they hope to prosper in the next economic paradigm.

Transformation of the wisdom of crowds in social media is the next great opportunity, don’t trash it.

Treating the consequences, not the symptoms?

Problems and opportunities are moving very fast. Problems are often so complex and so integrated across the globe that no single person can accumulate in a lifetime the experience needed to manage effectively.  The “top-down” management structure no longer has a statistically relevant sample of prior experiences from which to make essential decisions. Actions without wisdom have unintended consequences for yet unknown victims.

The Wisdom of Management

Managers manage through experience.  After many years in an industry, they can observe a situation and compare it to prior situations that they have encountered either through experience or formal education.

An effective manager can identify an issue, determine the probability that it will become a problem, and discuss the consequences of action or inaction.  Then they make similarly calculated decisions that either solves or manages the consequences of the problem.  The depth and breadth of a manager’s experience is called wisdom.

Duplicating Wisdom

In order to duplicate wisdom in a laboratory, scientists generate statistical events.  By duplicating a scenario 20-30 times, a range of outcomes becomes statistically relevant for predicting future outcomes and identifying the way things can influence the outcomes.  The idea behind the peer reviewed journals is to display the experiment to everyone for vetting.  If it survives vetting, it becomes part of the human body of knowledge until otherwise challenged.

Managing consequences

The rate of change has become extremely high and problems too complex to manage. Vetting mechanism are breaking down like levies against the dam in industries such as Banking, Insurance, automotive, medicine, education, environment, etc.  We are in a crisis of consequences where we can no longer manage the symptoms, only the consequences – forget about curing the disease.

Social Media: The Operating System of an Innovation Economy

The business plan of the new millennium will be the art and science of making information “less imperfect”.  In a condition of perfect information, everyone associated with an issue has the same information as everyone else.  Perfect information is what makes markets efficient and decisions rational.  Agreement is perfectly mutual, supply and demand are perfectly aligned, all risks are perfectly predictable and cause and effect are perfectly transparent.

Wisdom of Crowds

No single human can accumulate enough experience in a lifetime to manage the totality of human problems.  Perhaps the wisdom of crowds could be used to simulate one person that does.   This cannot, however, be a random collection of people acting in haphazard process.  The challenge is in finding the correct group of people who collectively replicate a condition of “perfect information”.  Then we must transform the perfect information into knowledge.  Finally, we need to transform that knowledge into innovation through entrepreneurial activity.

The Social Imperative

Social Networks need to form complete and detailed inventories of resident knowledge cataloged on a ‘bell curve’.  Social Networks must codify social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital so that scientific methods can be used to predict and assemble unique collection of knowledge assets that capture statistically relevant collections of experiences. That unique set of knowledge assets must then be deployed precisely in a market.

By all indications, this is the direction that the integration of social media is trying to go.  It is now our social imperative that it gets there.

The Second Impression of Social Media

As we move away from the ROI valuation model for social media and adopt a more dynamic ‘options’ analysis, a different picture emerges.  People are trading options; that is, the right without the obligation to exercise an action.  The next economic paradigm will emerge as a function of people exercising their options.

What are you doing here?

On the surface, there appears to be a lot of ‘feel-gooding’ on linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, etc.  It is easy to brush them off as trivial, non-productive, and delusional.  I often fall victim spending too much time on these devices and have asked myself, simply: “why?”

Computer Enabled Society

At second glance, however, I have personally developed a few extremely profound, important and valuable relationships through “computer enabled society”.  People who I have never met in person have stepped way out on a limb to help me along.  As a result, I have given these people the option to access my network and they have done the same for me.  Our common purpose makes each relevant and valuable to the other and each are willing to support, mentor, and elevate the other.  We exercise options together.

Impressive Results

The distinction is that what once was a “first impression” – firmness of handshake, fashion, and physical appearance – has become the “second Impression”.

What was once the “second impression” – intellect, wisdom, talent and generosity – has become the “first impression”.

People exercise their options accordingly; first impressions leads us to action.

Evolution or Revolution?

Social media does not care if you are rich, poor, young or old, beautiful or homely.  It does not care about the color of your skin, fat or thin, physical ability or disability.  It does not care what kind of car you drive, clothes you wear, or the size of your home. Or does it?

For every revolution, there is a corresponding evolution.

The New Economic Paradigm; Part 6: The Business Plan

The objective of this series is to contain what we know about social networks within the construct of the financial system.  The intention is for knowledge to behave, and thereby trade like a financial instrument.  In prior articles, we discovered the currency, the inventory, the institutions, and the entrepreneurs of the next economic paradigm.  This module will construct the business plan:

A business plan is the blue print for the construction of enterprise.

Like the construction of any tangible asset, an inventory of parts is assembled in strategic proportions.  The ability to accomplish this gives the enterprise a strategic and competitive advantage in a market.

Business failures are knowledge failures

Most enterprises will emphasize design, or service, or performance or price in their proprietary secret sauce of market success.  The question becomes, what quantities and qualities of strategic components allow the new enterprise to create a positive economic outcome.

Most business failure are due to knowledge deficits such as the inexperienced management team, a poor assessment of market conditions, under estimating the amount of money needed, under estimating a competitor, loss of a key employee, or the poor understanding of the technology, etc.  These are knowledge problems not financial problems.

Prediction is the quality of knowledge:

To solve the knowledge problems is to decrease the risk of innovating and increase the predictability of innovations. To decrease the risk will decrease the cost, and increase the availability, of venture capital.  To increase the predictability would increase entrepreneurial activity.

The Unit Business Plan:

The business plan of the innovation economy is very simple; it starts with the single transaction between two people.  The lender provides information and the borrower combines the information with their existing knowledge to create more knowledge.  This single transaction has a value of 1 unit of currency and we call it a unit business transaction:

The Parallel Circuit:

Now we will assemble these single transactions in many combinations.  When we combine two unit transactions in a parallel circuit.  This represents a brain storming session between two people.

The Percentile Search Engine matches the person with the most worthy knowledge supply to a person with the most worthy knowledge demand. The transaction is a simple conversation and the outcome is a prototype process, system, method, or iteration.

The Series Circuit:

The next transaction type is modeled as two unit business transactions occurring in a series circuit.  This represents a product development cycle.

Each cycle of these transactions is an improvement to the business objective. Each time the transaction occurs there is a net increase of new knowledge and therefore an increase in value.  New options are created.  The conversation stops when the product is ready for the market, cancellation, or next physical iteration.

The transaction is recorded as an event between two known persons of known knowledge inventories.  The transaction is stored in the intellect of the participants and becomes their property in the form of a knowledge asset represented by the things they create with their knowledge.

The Social Network:

Now if we combine the parallel transaction with the series transaction we have what now looks like a network.  In practice, we know that strong networks of people freely exchanging ideas make organizations better, smarter, and more efficient.  Networks are where knowledge and community wisdom is stored. A network is fault tolerant, if one person leaves, the network survives. For a relatively small input into a network, we can produce a large output of new knowledge – we have a learning organization.

However, in society, these interactions are largely accidental; people meet at Church, Starbucks, and Social Events or by word of mouth. Other times, these interactions are concentrated inside a single community of very similar people such as a technical conference, group meeting, or lunch buddies and are often not well diversified.  More recently, interaction is self selecting through social media devices such as Twitter, Linkedin, Craigslist, Biznik, and Meetup, etc.

What if the social interactions could be made less random and more intentional?

Suppose interactions be designed with a specific purpose by the entrepreneur as a means toward producing a unique outcome. The Innovation Bank will combine people of complementary knowledge assets in a calculated manner in order to arrive at specific business approaches and applications.

What if Innovation could be made less random and more intentional?

The Multiplier Effect:

A special case business plan is called the Multiplier Effect. In effect, building a network of applications from a network of knowledge assets.

Suppose that a company owns composite material technology for use on aircraft.  Since the company specializes in airplanes, they have no intention of pursuing other applications such as recreational equipment, energy production, or health care products.

The Innovation Bank:

Suppose that the company could deposit this asset in a bank and collect interest.  The Search Engine can scan the business landscape to find persons or organizations with a worthy knowledge deficit in the area of your technology. The originator holds the option to see what those other companies invent and hold the right to use their new ideas in an aircraft application. 

Contracts manage those options.  Those contracts are social contracts and they can be traded.  They are a form of currency – or stored value.

In the event of a cyclic downturn, instead of “laying off” knowledge assets, people can work in tangential industries where they will continue developing – literally putting “Knowledge in the Bank” – to be called back to their original company when market conditions improve.  A mobile knowledge asset increases in value and continually becomes smarter and more productive over time. This is not socialism, this is not capitalism, this is Ingenesism – from the root word: Ingenuity.

Market Efficiencies:

With an innovation Bank, a company can reduce their Research and Development costs and create additional revenue in a tangential innovation market.  Millions of people are being layed off work from corporations – billions upon billions of dollars of innovation potential is being squandered.  With reduced cost and risk of innovation, The new American corporations will specialize in inventing, networking, and applying new ideas as their primary revenue source.

Who Owns Your Content?

The epiphany:

Something very interesting happened when Facebook changed their terms of service.   People who use the Facebook platform (for free) organized themselves using the (free) platform to threaten the core validity of the same (free) platform.  This could not happen in any other industry.

Saving face?

Ownership is largely characterized by the ability of one party to restrict the access of another party.  Judging by the results of this uprising, it seems that for all practical purposes, the users own their content and their impressions no matter what the TOS says.  This is a very strong argument for the tangibility of social, creative, and intellectual capital.

Ownership Economics:

The fact that people own and care for their content is what makes Facebook work.  Ownership is an extremely powerful force that drives intense participation and  innovation.  People will attend to their property, improve it, make it valuable, and create value for themselves and those around them.  Really, when was the last time you washed a rented car?

Historical perspective:

Most history books present the Homestead Act of 1862 as the product of a wise and benevolent government seeking to reward worthy citizens of a great young nation for populating the vast Western territories.  But that is not really true. Most of the land was already occupied by squatters who arrived disheveled, found a nice spot, built their small cabin, and farmed or hunted to sustain themselves.   They could not be evicted or charged with trespassing because a “jury of their peers” was also composed of squatters.

Problems arose when squatters could not borrow money to improve the land because they did not hold a title to it.  Legitimate landowners could not value their property if the land next door was untitled.  Border disputes resulted in gun battles.  Stealing was rampant. The children of squatters could not inherit the land without proper title. There was little incentive to produce anything beyond sustenance. When services and capital projects were required to support the increasing population, there was no tax base.  Not unlike Facebook, this new frontier could not be monetized.

Wisdom in Government; not always an oxymoron:

Perhaps the greatest moment in government came with the realization that it is impossible to change the behavior of people, rather, the best strategy would be to accommodate what they are going to do anyway.  So they legalized the squatters and gave them deed to their land. The occupants could sell or capitalize as they wished.  Investment capital flooded the region and entrepreneurs improved the land and created enterprises.  The government could then collect taxes proportional to the productivity of the citizens. The result was the development of the Western States as economic powerhouse that we know today.

Use it or lose it:

A very similar opportunity is presenting itself to Facebook and now the road to monetization should be crystal clear.  They should go out of their way to create terms of service that protects the rights of each and every member to own and control their content in its entirety, forever.

Next, Facebook should develop applications that allow advertisers to bid for impressions directly with the users compensating them for their time.  Users will build profiles that attract those seeking opinion, knowledge, feedback, wisdom AND SALES related to their products.  Users should be able to control every aspect of their content including any means that they can dream up to legally create revenue from their social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital.  Facebook should develop a knowledge inventory of what users know and make it available to others like a “Public Library or knowledge assets”.  Then they should develop applications to match knowledge surplus to knowledge deficit, etc. Let the trading begin.

The answer in their face:

If smart people can make money using Facebook just by doing what they are going to do anyway, they will flood the system with the most tangible forces in nature; social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital. If Facebook can’t figure out how to monetize the asset staring them in their face, they will soon encounter a more powerful competitor – their own users.

Web 3.0; An Elephant Never Forgets

The opportunity for America reminds me of the elephant that is convinced since birth that the slender rope tying him to the fence post is stronger than he.  When the elephant grows up, he still believes the rope is stronger even though the elephant now has gained the strength to pull the whole building down.  Americans are the 8000 pound elephant in the middle of the room.  The question on everyone’s mind is: what will the elephant do next?

Throughout history, economists have determined the structure of business, enterprise, and commerce and wisely the government complies.  With remarkable success over the last 150 years,  corporations had been the source of most innovation sufficient to support the value of a currency.  Fortunately, the corporation had become the center of economic policy while the knowledge inventory within them have been fenced inside the accounting term: “intangible assets”.  Unfortunately, our corporations can no longer innovate efficiently enough to support the debt. Witnessing GM facing up to this very question, while the government manufactures money like taffy, seems a lot like feeding sugar calories to an elephant that is too big to fit out the door, dead or alive.

What the economists and many of the great visionaries of out time do not anticipate is the emergence of computer enabled society and the tangibility of knowledge outside the corporate structure through developments of social media.  Web 3.0 is supposed to bring us a semantic web – a computer program will be able to read the elephant story above and determine whether it is about education, zoology, macramé, Interior decorating, taxidermy, building demolition, or cliché old business metaphors.   Perhaps this is our little rope tied to the post as we wait for Mother Corpora to provide solutions.  Get a grip, the only computer that can read, classify, and extract a thousand words for any photograph is between our collective big floppy ears.  Web 3.0 will be semantic alright, except by the integration and capitalization of human knowledge through social media.

We spend billions on a human genome project to inventory our DNA, but nothing to inventory the knowledge as it exists naturally in society.  We will build statistical models to forecast weather, elections, click-throughs, insurance, demographics, and mortgage risk; but nothing to predict the value of various combination of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital in society.  We have search engines that match most worthy blog to most worthy keyword, but little to match most worthy mentor to most worthy apprentice.  The top reasons why start-ups, businesses, innovations, and markets fail are due to the wrong knowledge in the wrong place at the wrong time. It seems that if we solve the knowledge inventory problem, then we can solve the innovation risk problem.  That, in turn, will solve the money problem which solves the elephant problem.  We need to release the great “intangible asset” into the wild world of tangibility and trust that it knows where to go.

Sometimes it just takes someone to give us permission to do things differently.  So here I go: human knowledge is the most perfect, predictable, flexible, and valuable capital asset in our world.  Knowledge can become far more tangible than anyone could have ever imagined. Information, knowledge, and innovation are profoundly related – separated they are useless, integrated they are wisdom.  Everyone on earth innovates every day, period. The vast majority of people will do the right thing given the right incentives.  With the next development of the Internet, we will have the tools to organize ourselves in a far more efficient manner than the command and control structure of a traditional corporation.  Management can be outsourced too. Corporations respond to corporate priorities, social networks respond to social priorities.  Which one sounds like a business case to curb global warming?

The Ingenesist Project specifies three web applications which if developed and deployed to social media will allow social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to become tangible outside the construct of the traditional corporation and inside social networks.  Just because people have never organized themselves in an open sourced innovation economy before, does not mean that they never will.  But once they do, well, let’s just say that an elephant never forgets.

Social Enterprise; The Vetting Mechanism; #1

I read many articles with rants like “all this social network stuff is cool – but show us the money”.  Innovation Economics offers a way to see new markets and new businesses that are currently hidden by “the old way” of doing things.   This article is part of a series called ‘Business Plans of the Innovation Economy” which will identify ways that Social Networks can command huge markets and drive vast revenues – if, and only if, they align themselves in a specific way….

Managers manage through experience. They observe a situation and compare it to prior situations they have encountered. Through a process of intuitive (statistical) analysis, they calculate the probability of success based on the success or failure of prior experience. This is the reason why managers are often older and also why youth correlates with inability to manage.  The depth and breadth of one’s experience is often called wisdom.

Today’s problems, business opportunities, technological change, and competitive strategies are so complex and so integrated across the globe that no single person can accumulate in a lifetime the experience needed to manage at what is called a Pareto Efficiency. A Pareto Efficiency, named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, is an economic condition where a one’s actions benefits at least one person while leaving no other person less better off.

The problem with the “top-down” management structure is that the “top” no longer has a statistically relevant sample of prior experiences from which to fully understand the probable future outcome of their actions – the consequence is that someone always gets screwed (Pareto Inefficient).

The concept of Pareto Efficiency may be what people are today inadvertently calling “sustainability”.  I recently saw the movie Syriana with George Clooney about the petroleum industry in the Middle East.  It was a convoluted mix of 5 different stories.  Each story had its hero doing what they thought was in the best interest of those they represent – “the common people”.   Yet the combination of actions carried out by these heroes was absolutely disastrous for all of them.  So no matter how benevolent one’s intentions are – and I believe that most corporate managers are acting in the highest integrity that they know – this systemic failure of knowledge will always hurt someone, continually adding to those already at the fringes.

The world of imperfect information is therefore the enemy of sustainability.   Perfect information is when everyone associated with a business transaction has the exact same information as everyone else.  Perfect information is what makes markets efficient and decisions rational.  Agreement is perfectly mutual, supply and demand are perfectly aligned, all risks are perfectly predictable and cause and effect are perfectly transparent.

It follows that any business plan that simply improves information in a market can command revenues proportional to the degree at which market efficient is improved.  For example; Ebay owes its 50 Billion dollar market capitalization to the feedback system which supplies improved information in a market.  Carfax, The FAA, Craigslist, Democratic Government – all have vetting mechanisms that make their prospective markets more efficient.

Likewise, when the vetting mechanisms fail, the market fails.  I attended a lecture once with Charlie Munger, CFO of Berkshire Hathaway.  Regarding Enron, he said (paraphrase) “It’s tragic enough when the accounting profession goes bad, but God help us if we lose the engineers”.

This brings us back to management.  The business plan of the millennium will be the art and science of perfect information.  We know that no single human can accumulate enough experience, however, we also know that perfect information can reside in many people – it is simply a matter of finding the perfect group of people who collectively possess perfect information.

This relatively simple task is entirely and irrevocably the domain of Social Networks. Social Networks are sufficiently enabled by current technology to perform this essential and highly lucrative task – if and only if they align themselves accordingly.  Social Networks need to hold a complete and detailed inventory of resident knowledge.  Social Networks must cooperate to codify social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital so that computational methods can be used to assemble unique collection of persons holding unique collections of experiences. That unique set of knowledge assets must then be deployed precisely in the market, ideally targeting specific transactions.

If Real Estate Agents can command 6% of a gazillion dollar housing market and bankers can take another huge chunk – and not even do a very good job at providing perfect information – only to get bailed those at the fringes.  Social Networking have a moral, ethical, and entrepreneurial obligation to compete in the sustainability game.

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