The Ideas-To-Value Funnel
This post is about PROSPECTING, first and foremost – it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It is NOT about getting morons to buy your worthless second-rate product. It is NOT about getting your share of a shrinking pie – although competition definitely matters and there’s a place for advocating, advertising and promoting a good idea – this process is about fundamentally increasing the size of the pie. At its core it is fundamentally a build-a-wealth-foundation-in-an-antifragile-manner approach that relies upon the simple construct of a funnel or sieve to look at the universe of ideas and to narrow the universe down to a practical set of things that represent the highest and best value of your time in terms of things that you can enjoy working on in order to accelerate the process of to provide legitimate value for others [and yourself].
The universe of what humans understand is constantly expanding but it will NEVER EVER catch up with the actual full universe of Reality. This process is fundamentally about falling in love with Reality … and diligently working at loving Reality as it really is going to be, not the fairy princess Reality that you hope Reality might be, not the shrinking hard Reality that you fear Reality might be, and certainly NOT the tiny, little narrow Reality that you’ve always thought it was … you must love Reality as the constantly expanding genuine Reality that Reality is always going to be in the future, even as you remain skeptical of whether you really know the true Reality or not. Prospecting is about being in love with and being one with Reality … discernment of true Reality is FUNDAMENTALLY a spiritual process of discovery. Since it is necessarily, outside-the-politicized-HUMAN-box, but within the constraints of true Reality, prospecting is fundamentally NOT a process of submission to the values of a cult or NOT a process of submission to the mores, rules and rituals of a cult.
I. Your perspective restricts your UNIVERSE of ideas
The FIRST restrictor in the funnel is about largely involuntary restrictions on your perspective. Instead of NARROWING this perspective – we want to think about works at EXPANDING your horizons and really achieving this is HARD. VERY hard.
How large is your perspective? You might imagine that it’s already pretty sizable and bigger than than your father’s perspective – you might imagine that it is absolutely YUUGE. It isn’t. Especially not when it comes to what your potential perspective could and should be, you have a smaller-than-average-of-your-potential perspective, at best, it’s maybe a 40th-percentile perspective … your “tiny dick” of a perspective might LOOK large to you, it just isn’t … it only appears that way because of your affluence-addled thinking.
Regardless of how large it is, it has to get a lot bigger. For example, your horizons necessarily have to be much LARGER than everything that you can merely Google … if you don’t routinely find things with NO SEARCH RESULTS on Google, you need to think about things that might expanding your perspective – Google’s world of indexed content is not only biased by the Google’s proprietary search (i.e. Google ad-revenue maximization) algorithm … the realm of what any corporately-restricted politically-correct dismissive mind-shrinking company like Google even knows about is far, far, far too narrow. The starting perspective of everything you can see on your horizon has to much be larger than Google’s – you must be capable of thinking beyond Google’s EVIL little search box and knowing that your perspective is too small is PART of what it will take for you to expand your perspective.
One of the necessary things you must do in order to expand your perspective is to stop wasting time fitting into human boxes … it’s beyond reducing the time you spend doing those non-value-added human activities you already detest but tolerate and accept, like waiting [at a doctor’s appointment, in line at a cash register, at the DMV], driving and paying attention to traffic … you may also need to reduce the time you spend watching TV, looking at things online, reading books, merely following other ideas.
You probably need to increase the amount of spend time in nature, hiking, walking, thinking, meditating, praying, fasting or engaged in the duties of extreme ownership of the your known material realm … it’s not just housekeeping, but that too – it’s about maintaining and optimizing, performing 5S activities and making hard choices to ELIMINATE baggage … fully OWNING your life in an extreme manner is HARD work … I do not recommend ingesting drugs, but if you train in an extreme manner like David Goggins your body is equipped to produce mind-altering biochemicals for perspective-enhancing biochemicals. Affluent humans avoid such privations – accordingly, human perspective is increasing bovinized – humans no longer [have to] engage in existentially-threatening treks across ice flows to hunt mastadons and experience gigantic increases in perspective – instead we are content to herded like cattle as long as food and free veterinary care are provided so that we never suffer. Never suffering or even failing to suffer on a daily basis has perspective-atrophying consequences – affluence is why you have a “tiny dick” of a perspective, regardless of how large Google makes you think your “little dick” of a perspective is.
The need to engage in extreme training, fasting, praying, meditating is NOT me-too been-there-done-that spiritual-shopping bucket-list material; this is about legitimate spiritual DISCOVERY that results serendipitous fashion when you get your mind tough enough to 60% of the perspectives that almost everyone misses because they do just like what Google does and quits at 40% or far less of what is out there. If you are serious about expanding your horizons, don’t waste your time in the narrowed-down, dumbed-down digital realm of Google or Facebook or Wikipedia – instead, increase the amount of time you spend in spiritual discovery and discipline to be able to do the training necessary for things like ultra marathons or attempting the type of extremely harrowing pilgrimages or quests for vision, eg the process of biking from Alaska to Argentina is NOT about seeing the scenery that you could find on Google Maps.
II. Sticky, monetizable ideas that, at minimum, lend themselves to loyalty programs and distributed peer-to-peer ledger database accountability
The second restrictor in this prospecting funnel is about narrowing your choices from your BIG PERSPECTIVE.
Specifically, the second restrictor is constraining the set of all possible ideas in the universe, to the set of ideas that are valuable enough that they could possibly make money. That might sound SEVERELY pecuniary, but you must consider several things: 1) Someone has to pay for this; there is absolutely no escaping that – someone must pay. If you don’t want to rely upon money that is coercively stolen from others, your overall process has to be financially self-sustaining.. 2) The first restrictor is NOT about what makes the most money; it is simply about whether you can see a potential path to monetization or not. 3) As you work the funnel and work the ideas, serendipitous discoveries will be byproducts of the process. As long as you are WORKING in the realm of IDEAS that are may be of monetary value to other productive human beings who have money [and not simply scams to get or take things from other human beings OR to merely be wealthy, powerful or famous], you will discover new things that are inordinately valuable to others, even those without money.
The realm of ideas that could be shaped into things that MAKE MONEY is larger than human can contemplate – it’s larger than the current global economy, since that economy is necessarily constrained by the centralizers of wealth, power and fame … the centralizers are not the tiny minority of people who are inordinately capable and thus justifiably hold most of the human wealth OR those who have most of the power OR those who have most of the fame. The centralizers are the sychophants who believe that the wealthy, powerful and famous should have even more wealth, power and fame AND, the galling and DEFINITIVE part is that, the centralizers believe that government’s monopoly on violence should be used to coercively concentrate even more wealth, power and fame.
This means that the centralizers are those would gladly do WHATEVER IT TAKES to suck the cocks of the very wealthy, very powerful, very famous in order to gain their favor, to be like them. The centralizers do not belong to a formal organization … it’s not conspiracy of the the Masons, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, Central Banks … the centralizers are aggressively engaged in their cocksucking out of respect – they want to suck cock in exchange for a perch next to throne, a seat at the table or a benefit-laden role in oppressing people, legally stealing assets and attention and generally squelching development of new ideas. The development of the centralizer CLASS is not a conspiracy, but an artifact of how humans are hard-wired for the innate depravities and failures of intelligence that lead to classism – human gregariousness leads to gatherings, sorting, pecking orders, and the lynch mobification of democracies that promotes the scum of impurities settling on the “top” … except the “top” is not a legitimate top, but an artificially-built Tower of Babel constructed from the toughest materials of human depravity.
Monetization strategies, therefore, should be constructed to serve ALL people equitably, but we should look at who can pay and why they would voluntarily choose to pay. The carrot, or “value proposition” is fundamentally about increasing productivity, increasing income. The stick, or what is withheld until payment is recievied is about monopoly … or market differentiation … matters – the money does have to come from somewhere; it’s always possible to give a good product away and there are very legitimate and shrewd business reasons for open sourcing a product, monetizing the more valuable offerings … open source is partly a defense against competitors, by growing your own herd of competitors [and perhaps staying a step ahead of them] AND as a way to interact with early adopters. But at some point, open source is also about just giving away ideas because you have so damned many of them!
To most effectively look at monetization, we need to look at HOW money works and why humans use money. Money has been the way human beings keep score. It will probably always be necessary for humans to keep score with some sort of loyalty system or way to incentivize participation. Enlightened monetization, therefore, is really a matter of removing the waste, fraud and abuse from the score-keeping systems humans use to track wealth. An example of a more efficient, robust and anti-fragile score-keeping system are the metrics used by Github. Earlier, but still important score-keeping systems were the reputation management systems of Ebay or StackExchange. Before that were things like frequently-flier miles, hotel loyalty programs and free-sandwich punchcards used by fast food vendors … before that we can look at things like Gold Bond stamps or Betty Crocker points.
III. Thiel’s Zero-to-One and laying the foundations for the the most scalable, biggest impact ideas.
The startup cookbook approach is the next set of funnels and sieves. There are seven big Questions that all potential business ideas must consider – these Questions effectively provide ways of winnowing down the massive amount of ideas we have in the hopper.
The Engineering Question: Can you create breakthrough technology (vs. incremental improvement)?
The Timing Question: Is now the right time to start this particular business?
The Monopoly Question: Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
The People Question: Do you have the right team?
The Distribution Question: Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
The Durability Question: Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
The Secret Question: Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?
AFTER we narrowed our list in this fashion, the next thing to look at is SCALEABILITY … that is basically the next heading.
IV. Scalability and antifragile community husbandry processes
Professional brand management and different social commerce strategies are starting to mature. We can look at what works, what doesn’t. What we are really looking at here are inclusive networks with built-in incentive structures (see above material) that go beyond merely spreading ideas, but enlist people to take them further, develop and extend the ideas for their purposes and yet continue to participate in advancing the value proposition of the general idea.
This stages gets to be partly about LETTING GO … not just giving others the opportunity to USE and OWN the idea, but encouraging them to hack something bigger.