Meanwhile, Back at the Design Studio

Enough with the book reviews, already. Let’s get back to our design study.

Where were we? Oh yeah, Xpertweb: Peer-to-Peer viral microeconomy meme intended to attract loyal adherents by an unprecedented even-handed transaction protocol with superior open source e-commerce protocols, delivered using the subversive strong attractor developed by the open source movement – actually doing what it purports to do. Make the tool simple enough to use that your neighborhood butcher, baker and candlestick-maker can use real e-commerce. You know, like those burka-selling women in Afghanistan and Iraq:

  1. Every transaction gets a 1-99% grade and a written comment
  2. Payment is made only after the grade is given
  3. A low grade from the buyer may reduce the payment
  4. All buyers’ and sellers’ grades – given and received – are recorded
  5. Sellers may decline requests from buyers with a poor grading record
  6. No way to control the reports accumulated by the network
  7. Each Xpertweb user is mentored by a power user for training and support
  8. User pays mentor up to 1% of any transactions, based on the mentor’s support grades
  9. User pays another 1% to the mentor’s mentor.
  10. User pays another 3% to the 3 mentors in the support chain above the mentor’s mentor.

Oh. Had I left that last part out? The Xpert Web is based on the formula described in the HumanTech story on September 28. At HumanTech, each employee trained other employees who trained other employees, etc., and they all were graded by their clients for every temp assignment and were paid fees based on the population. Our hero Jeff Greenberg worked there for about 5 years and earned as much as $42,000 per month before management dismembered their Golden Goose.

Xpertweb is designed around the same algorithm with a twist: there’s no central accounting system to spread the money around. Instead, it depends on the aggregate actions of peers communicating with each other – an open resource analogy to the communal activities behind the open source software movement.

Carrot Yes, Stick No

Xpertweb proposes to decentralize what has never been done without a central accounting system. It’s designed to inspire, not direct the movement of  money among peers according to a set of published protocols.

Accounting Systems move money by putting it all in the hands of a central management. Employees are electronic records which have the right to receive money according to a formula which management may change at will. Behavior is compelled from participants because the accounting system owns the buyers’ money and controls the movement of every penny to employees and suppliers. As we know, management pays itself well to manage their accounting system.

Xpertweb records the events of a peer-to-peer transaction, whether it’s a sale or mentoring. The most important events being promises. At the end of the transaction, each party grades the other’s actions compared to the promises. One of the promises is to pay buyers and mentors as agreed. The data build an expanding web of money promised and money received.

Can it Work?

The design question is whether the web of promises so woven moves money as reliably as your average managed accounting system, dependent as it is on nothing more than the promises of its participants.

If you believe that most people are as effective (when their actions are public) at moving money when promised as are managers of accounting systems, then you have a bias for the Xpertweb protocols.

12:19:13 AM    

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