What is the purpose of your intuition?
5 Big Questions on Innovation (from bpinetwork.org)

What is the next step beyond Web 2.0?

Outside of the venture capital community, today’s best and most radical ideas are getting shrugged off. Intellectual breakthroughs and creative pursuits, no matter how brilliant, are drowning in a sea of information overload and big data. Yet there is this one exception; the startup. This is why, as a creative intellectual and an artist, I am foremost a startup founder.

Not long-ago, rock bands were still being funded by labels because new music still excited us. Now new technology excites us and it is the startup that gets funded. The best startup has the power to change the world. If this potential to change the world is precisely what brings the big financial returns, then let’s think even bigger!

Web 2.0 happened 10 years ago and it’s time for another significant shift. I can point to an example of what’s coming next because I’m building it. The next phase of our online evolution goes beyond social media. Now begins the era of the alternate economy. It is entirely possible to create a virtual economy, featuring a virtual currency and even an element of direct-democracy, on a global scale and with minimal funding.

Consider the failures of today’s economic system. Most of us remain stuck in an outdated employment model. A job is one way to earn a living, but jobs come at a great cost to your personal freedom, time, and energy. There’s nothing inevitable about earning a living through a series of monogamous commitments to one company at a time. Jobs limit your potential for personal growth and only tap into a fraction of your capabilities. We can do better!

The social networking potential of the online world offers you that chance to create something better. Why not create a system that allows you to form mutually-beneficial relationships with new people? With a systematic way to meet and work with others based on mutual wants and needs, you can grow, gain experience, and ultimately earn more income just as you live in freedom. This concept can be the core of an alternate economy and we can call it the People Economy. While today’s Corporate Economy is structured around the relationships people have with companies, the People Economy emphasizes dynamic economic relationships between people with compatible wants and needs.

In this new People Economy I am proposing, users will be connected to all the right people. We can also plug-in a virtual currency to facilitate economic transactions in this virtual economy. Would a currency that is directly tied to the needs, wants, talents and skills of every participant in the economy not have the potential to strengthen against real-world currencies? A currency backing a better economy is simply a better currency!

Alternate Economies are about creating integrated, holistic systems to improve the way we live and work. As we listen to so many people complaining about or protesting governments and corporations; do we not recognize a market demand? Do we not see this deep dissatisfaction as a market opportunity to offer them what they want? What these frustrated people of the world (our customer base) are really asking for is nothing other than a better life! Our competition (corporate and government institutions) are too self-serving to accommodate their needs. We, on the other hand, can!

Today’s entrepreneurs have yet to understand that we are the ones responsible for creating a better world. No other group is willing or able. Each day we continue to tinker with million dollar ideas, we miss the trillion dollar idea that will improve the lives of billions.

Investors, too, have failed to comprehend the scale of this opportunity. The startup community has become rigid, overly-confident, and too dependent upon conventional wisdom. This has led to a failure to see the forest for the trees. Let’s go somewhere new. Let us create a new forest!

The entrepreneur and the investor may soon come to understand that we (and we alone) have the power to transform the world. No amount of success or influence is greater than in founding and enabling an entire economy. To build an alternate economy is to seize the opportunity of a generation.

Reprinted at bpinetwork.org

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Comments

Floyd

I'm not sure where to even go with this one... Have you stopped and asked why the corporate model exists in the first place? Historically where did it come from? Yes you point out greed and self interest and I won't deny the truth of those aspects. But on the other hand, I believe that what the market demands is what it has always demanded, security, stability, and on the other end, novelty and adventure. Corporate structures promise the first two, and for a while they have done a pretty good job at delivering. It is only now, as the monetary trends seem to move capital to greater concentrations (ring the death knell of the old trickle down model) in the hands of the already rich, that security is becoming more scarce for the vast majority.

The idea of jumping to a new economy or a new currency, or pressing a reset button on the old economy, sounds appealingly like a solution. However I find myself viewing this course of action with increasing skepticism. It sounds more like a dubious nuclear option every time I consider it. I'm afraid that the best it can provide is more of the same of what we've got just with different players at the top (or even the same players eventually).

Still, in the face of our approaching existential crisis as machines take over all of our jobs and leave us all trying to justify our survival to one another, your little experiment is still as worthwhile an endeavor as any other. Sooo I guess my point is to keep on trying, and realize that you along with everyone else including me, are blindly leaping into the unknown. The problems are way different than you think.

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