This begins with a trip down memory lane, it is for those it is said that if you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat it. We’ve explored this path before, but a short refresher may come in handy.
There was a time when life was simple (?) and we had to drive to stores to see products. And maybe we got direct-order catalogs sent to us in the mail. There really were fairly limited ways for folks to find out about things. Eventually, we would learn to do what we always do, get what our friends are getting.
So this was a simpler time of lesser things and perhaps less clutter, both in our homes, as well as in our minds.
And then eBay and Amazon really did start it all.
Anyone anywhere around the world was able to type in an online store URL, and peruse the catalog from the comfort of their chairs.
And the online merchants did the heavy lifting of getting the stuff to us. Brilliant!
And in the past 30 odd years, technology companies have sought to increase their dominance by finding ways to dominate the online market enabled by the Internet.
They have succeeded in quite the dramatic way, as we are about to see.
Over the next twenty years or so, Big Tech consolidated their positions. For instance, Google became the near default way to find things online, and Facebook became the de facto messaging and identity system for the Internet. Amazon, of course, became the starting point for online shopping for a very large majority of the modern Internet population.
And then in the past decade or so, a new phenomenon: social media influencers!
Suddenly, we didn’t need to go to the ubiquitous store URL in quite the same ways anymore. We simply discovered the coolest products and services as we hung around the Internet with our friends, family, coworkers, our neighborhoods and communities, as well as with everyone else online.
And when we discover them, we can click through to directly buy them, and enjoy them, no matter where we are around the world, such is the magic of Internet-enabled things.
This has moved our lives to the edge of the network.
Networks and edges. We live in the inter-network. That was what was promised, that everyone would be connected to everyone else.
This has happened, it is now possible to contact, follow, and exchange messages with anyone on the planet. And we do, everyday sending billions of messages to humans and bots, across hundreds of networks on the Internet, including Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.
And we now live our lives on these networks, exchanging information, goods, and services, directly from people we meet online. Or nearly: most of the networks on the Internet do a very good job of blocking this type of direct commerce, instead choosing a more extractive business model.
So they carved up the Internet. What was meant to be open connective tissue for everyone everywhere became a breeding ground for arbitrage networks – everyone with a technology degree figuring out ways to further feed the growing borg, and extract maximum value from the flowing liquidity of the underlying market. Make no mistake, Big Tech is coming for you.
And yet, in this transformation of the network, is the opportunity to level the playing field. Read on.
Just like we no longer need to go to physical stores or malls, we really no longer quite need to go to centralized stores any more, certainly not for a wide range of products and services. Instead, we discover them as we bounce around the Internet, which as we know, basically means all these social media platforms.
The move to the edge is a significant trend – we’re living in a world of messaging and posts. We text and Slack and Skype and WhatsApp and what not, and we see feeds and posts from friends and family and colleagues and businesses and non-profits and all manner of other communities. Influence is not something alien, it is merely what happens all day long subliminally as we “self-select” into affinity groups and into employers.
And it is how we end up buying this and not that.
And if this is such a natural thing, then how come we have to pay Facebook and Google so much to get the word out? And despite how much is spent on online advertising, how come average conversion rates are like 2% to 3%?
As a business, how come you can’t just pay for the 1% or 2% actual sales that happen online, rather than having to pay for all that ineffective marketing? What if you could go from a pre-paid model to a post-paid model where you only pay for sales commissions after the orders are delivered? Wouldn’t that be the most value-accretive to everyone involved, rather than rewarding platforms for ineffective results?
What if there was a way for businesses to pay anyone on the Internet to sell on their behalf, and pay them when sales actually happen? And as it usually might take more than one influencer to turn a visitor into a buyer, wouldn’t it be nice if the sales commission could be precisely split between multiple sales people? And, while we’re asking for things, wouldn’t it be nice if everyone got paid automatically when the order came through?
Awakening the Internet
Awake is a Meta Network Protocol, AI, and cloud platform that allows any individual or network on the Internet to create fair-value market networks. In practical terms, what this means is simple: Awake enables individuals or media companies to monetize their content and audience directly via real-world commerce.
This means that the tyranny of Facebook and Google and all the other aggregator platforms comes to an end. The One Internet, which is a single internetwork of many open networks, or supposedly open networks, would be whole again, allowing free flow of data, value, and money.
This relies on some new technology that we call Opentangle, and it enables a whole new way to sense and record data and knowledge within any network. This new abstraction makes possible a new type of network topology where data, attribution, and money flow freely between the nodes. These new market networks represent free market versions of what exists today, online markets that are easily arbitraged by the likes of Facebook and Google and DoorDash and all the other aggregators and the arbitration people who set up sub networks on the Internet in order to extract value from the underlying cash flows.
Awake Market Networks enable a new model of collaborative commerce. The fundamental model shifts to cooperation over competition, and this approach gives a 1000X size advantage to any organization that adopts this new technology.
An Awake Network benefits all participants – made up as they are of customer and influencers, participating retailers, and curated brands that offer authentic goods and services that the network is self-selecting into. These peer-to-peer model resembles the real world – how we live and work in modern society – in a way to optimize the system and the whole network – not one or two nodes in the network. It follows from the theory of constraints – if one node retains all the value produced, the overall throughput would be lower than if all nodes benefited commensurately.
The Internet is People. Facebook is People. Any network is made up of People.
And when people work together in a social manner to drive transactions, it is called Social Commerce, and has very little to do with social media platforms such as Instagram beyond being used as distribution mechanisms for information and pictures and messages.
Awake makes it so that social media platforms and other aggregators including App Stores that charge as much as 30% revenue right off the top, these extractive approaches are no longer needed in the Awake World.
In the same manner that Netflix stopped paying Apple 30% revenue share, Awake makes it so that you can instead launch a market network, coopting thousands or millions of people online to help sell your wares for a share of their contribution in helping sales happen. And Awake tracks and settles all orders and transactions in real time.
This massive scale cooperation on the Internet is possible thanks to the underlying technology that allows individuals to openly tangle with others, while still maintaining autonomous sovereignty. Each node keeps its data safe, everyone contributes to the overall economy of the market network, and anyone who creates value is recognized and compensated even as the economy functions.
Awake enables natural commerce across the Internet.
Awake is birthing the transition from the Center of the Network, to the Edge of the Network.
Awake is birthing a new type of Internet Entrepreneur, one who can stand up tall and say to businesses around the world looking for growth, “I am the Market, for I am the Network”.