And Then We'll Take It Higher

But You've Got To Start First

“Oh no we gonna rock down to ‘empire’ avenue
And then we'll take it higher”

An 💡 inspired by the 🎶 of Eddy Grant

Episode 48 of The People First Podcast Is Available.

A Future of Income

Have I got a deal for you. For just 1,917.38 you can buy stock in me. And why would you do that? Well for a start there are the dividends. On average I am currently paying 0.56 per share - every day. Over a year that is a 10% return - and that doesn’t take into account that my stock price is growing at around 12% per year. Where else are you going to get a deal like that?

I'm not making this up ... here are my charts.


And this is without trying. Literally! I haven’t ‘played the game’ for years, but with a little effort, I can easily see a 50% increase on price and triple the dividend - like my friend Greg. If interested, this is the exchange where you can buy the stock.

Now in fairness, the models and algorithms driving the market are pretty basic, but the fact is it works. People have been able to buy my stock on this exchange for around ten years - so it is not some new-fangled ‘shiny thing’. It’s here. Established. Working.

I was on the exchange for about a year when I had my first meeting with ‘Dups’ - a co-founder and their CEO. I was trying to understand where they were going. I had ideas and wanted to explore. BUT … my vision was not their vision.

Dups and his colleagues had created a game. A social game where your price, dividends and growth were driven by Empire Avenue algorithms that tracked your behaviours and ‘engagement’ on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram et al.

To keep it short and not to get into the flaws of the system (for example, it was (is?) a game that was in turn heavily gamed by some of the more sophisticated players). I was looking beyond a game towards the Future of Income. I felt strongly that this could be the very first human market place. Not to buy and sell people to own them - but to buy and sell shares in people to ‘launch’ them and be part of their success in the longer term. (Think what I talked about in last week’s newsletter - operating at scale.)

Photo by Suraj Gattani on Unsplash

Imagine if Empire Avenue - for indeed that is the name of the game (and now owned by Kred) could really track your activity, intelligently and it also connected to all systems such as personal blogs, libraries, book stores, google docs, email, the indieweb community, Trello, Slack, Mattermost, Github, Messaging apps, OneDrive, Dropbox …. anything and everything that we as people use and engage with, in the digital world, which is increasingly a reflection of the real world.

Imagine that using this as a foundation it built a profile of who you are with AI and Machine Learning. It sees not just who you are connected to - but who you engage with. Meaningfully, not just with like buttons, but with AI-driven semantic understanding, rating engagement with other people based on who they are, what was said, how it added to knowledge …

And around all of that, imagine that there is a stock market in human potential. Imagine a young student emerging, joining the market, so that they can raise money based on their record - and pay dividends back to their investors. As they grow their wealth, so do their investors.


In 1997 a banker called David Pullman created the Bowie Bond. Click through if you have never heard of it, but in a nutshell, Pullman created out of thin air

“one of the first instances of a bond that used intellectual property as the underlying collateral.”

All I am offering here is a mechanism that would allow anybody to package their ‘IP’ and use it to garner investment.

But, but but …

  • There are data and security issues. (That’s technology. It is being fixed.)

  • Not everybody will want to be part of this. (So don’t participate.)

  • What if you don’t want to commit 100%. (Just offer a percentage.)

  • This sounds like a return to servitude. (No it isn’t.)

But - It will never work because all this data is in silos. Ahh yes. There is that - and as long as Zuck and Jack and Sundar and Satya et al want to keep people locked in to their platforms to prop up their business rather than providing people real services, that is going to be a problem, but I think that’s changing. I mean you know it’s getting bad when Zuck announces in his earnings call that those bad guys over at Apple have changed the rules and that is going to severely impact his advertising revenue. He’s going to have to come up with something different - or Facebook dies.

It might sound crazy - but check out Profinda, a real company, growing, running and winning. No it’s not a stock market, that’s Empire Avenue - its everything I’ve just described that Empire Avenue is not. Will they merge any time soon? I doubt it. My point is that all the technology components you need to make this vision a reality exist. The need is clear. We need a different way of thinking.

A different way of unlocking human potential.

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If it’s ok for Purdue to invest in their students and make money, why shouldn’t we all be able to invest in everybody?

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Lao Tzu

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