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December 24, 2007


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kevin jones

We own our information and our relationships (mylinkedin not their linkedin. I'm building a software company with those characteristics, btw.


Excellent, Kevin. We own what we negotiate?

kevin jones

we own what we contribute. and we can have multiple negotiations. in an attention economy with two way creation, the potential for the "workers" to own the marketplace of their creations is not infinite but it has far more potential than we've seen. crowdsourcing is opening up communications and value creation relationships that MNC's have not yet begun to see.
since this is related to how you establish value in a social stock exchange, i've been writing about it here, along with some other folks. http://xchangexchange.com/blog1/


Fascinating comment. A tough nut to crack, so steeped in market language.

I for one stand for the idea that the world we want is not for sale. What is ownership anyway? Is it a contract supported by corporate friendly law and a police force? I say we own what we take responsibility for, and we should get the opportunity to be responsible for things in proportion to the responsibility we have demonstrated in the past.


To what extent would you say that good legacy planning is about transferring responsibility to the next generation? Getting the heirs ready to be responsible stewards of assets whether they remain as private wealth generating capital or are transferred as gifts to the commonwealth.


How would you evaluate success in the transferring of leadership to a new generation? Would you look at the quality of their education, and how would you evaluate that? Would you look at the processes of leadership, and the availability of responsibility ladders where new leaders can learn from the last generations in real organizations with increasing responsibility and scale? I'm sure that the best practices happen someplace, but how widespread are they?

How are leaders selected? Can you measure or evaluate the effects of one method of selection over another? Maybe, but I think you are going to need some base principles for a foundation before you even start. I claim that our deepest problems as well as their solution revolve around the question of the selection of leaders. To the extent that the process is corrupt, incompetents and weaklings are selected as leaders, and corruption and mediocrity become self-validating tendencies we cannot succeed.

You would think that everyone, wealthy or not, would want the most competent and ambitious leaders to get the chance to lead. You would think they would have confidence that their own offspring would succeed in a fair world without tilting the playing field.


Gerry, transferring values, leadership, accountability, responsibility along with wealth is the hottest topic these days in wealth transfer planning. "The prepared heir" is the kind of phrase planners use. "Transferring values as well as valuables." The intergenerational transfer of leadership is particularly important given the Baby Boom and Bust. As the Boomers move on, they will be leaving many open slots in the nonprofit world, as well as in business.


Kevin, thanks. Will check out your link. This issue of ownership, management, and governance of an attention economy platform and its products seems mission critical. I tried to get a conversation going about it at Omidyar.net when it opened. But everyone said, "Shhh, don't be ungrateful. How nice the Omidyar's are to make us this gift." Now people can see that the gift of a platform, like Facebook, comes at a price. At O.net, the phrase that struck me as the most powerful was "Constitution." What is the Constitution of the polity?

Kevin Jones

on owning what we take responsibility for, i know some young post consumer types who took a long vacant lot and turned it into a community garden; veggies free to all, that they took some of, too. when the absentee owner found out, she put a fence around it. they'd sneak in to garden and she put out a guard. ownership matters. on o net, constitutions work for those accorded the right to vote. there was only one voter. billionaires who are so rich they don't need co investors never truly get their ideas challenged, many times. paul allen is another example.


Kevin, thanks, yes. Peasants call it Freedom to live on the estate of the billionaire and use the tools he provides to create the wealth he owns. "Look," the peasants say, "how generous is our Master!"


Exactly, Kevin. Actually the legal title needs to be enforced to keep it. An easement is established through use, and a garden "easement" would not really be different. The owner can probably re-establish title and access, but the plant wealth on the land is not part of the land title. The established garden would be legally owned by the gardeners, but they would have to move.

The principles of land "ownership" I have been developing would view all exclusive titles as being carved from the commons in the first place, and therefore the user of a resource should pay the commonwealth in proportion to the intensity of the use. Another principle is to defend the system against speculators, which would mean devising ways to have the increase of the value of real assets accrue to the commons, not the user of the resource. This is the idea that we should not sell what is the heritage of all of us for the exclusive benefit of as few, but to rent it for production use is another matter.


Seems like with the online commons we have a chance to prove out new schemes of ownership and use. I guess that is what Kevin is attempting? Particularly because we ourselves are both the farmer and the farmed when it comes to user created content and eyeballs sold in the attention economy. (Who owns my attention? Rupert! And he has capitalized it.)

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