Becoming Awake

I’ve had requests from associates to map out the Awake ecosystem, so they can see how everything fits together. They’ve also asked for a bit of a reading list on how to approach the magnitude of what we’re building.

First, what is “Awake”?

Awakened Corp, dba AwakeVC is Awakened Value Co-creation, is a new private equity holding company. Our goal is simple: 10M tech investments, $10B deployed, 100M jobs. The original timeline was by 2030, but Coronavirus has accelerated the need.

Why Awake?

I used to joke – we make money as entrepreneurs, and lose it as angels.

This felt counter-intuitive. As veteran entrepreneurs and operators, we should be able to produce better outcomes for our investments. How come venture averages like 5% hits? The rest of the portfolio is basically total drag, and diversification is touted as the name of the game.

Having gotten frustrated with how investing works, I set out to build a new model. It coincided with my trajectory of building AI and fintech platforms for media and commerce.

Reading Interlude:

But really, why Awake?

The name Awake comes from meditation and such, a topic for a different space. But with the Awakening also comes an intense actualization of deep-seated desire and potential. Perhaps best explained in articles I wrote just as we entered 2020, quite nearly before COVID.

These two posts talk about the why a litte bit.

So Shoptype, which was designed after Quintype, is the Return of Monetization.

BTW, what is Quintype?

It is a company I founded in 2014.

In 2013, we sold Runa to Staples. At that time, it was number three behind Amazon and eBay by GMV. Prior to the acquisition, we were powering the likes of eBay and Groupon, not to mention Staples and many others. Hundreds of billions of dollars of monthly GMV through our systems in real-time.

When I decided to accept the Staples gig as VP Global E-Commerce, it was to take things to the next level. For a variety of reasons, it was not a compatible situation. This was a significant learning period for me, having realized the folly of selling an innovative AI startup to a company filled with folks that were optimizing things other than GMV and long-term profitability, the only way to build a big and sustainable business in today’s world.

So I left within a year to do things myself.

Media drives commerce

The truth is simple. The only reason Facebook (et al) makes money is because advertisers need us to buy things. We’re the shoppers.

Businesses pay Facebook lots of money to get at us using advertising.

And we hang out on Facebook to connect and to consume content.

So I needed an alternative way to reach people, because Facebook and Google are now way too expensive for anyone but the already succesful, or for the ones funded by Big Money. This is an arbitrage set up, but without software, data, AI, and massive traction, not an easy one to siphon.

Quintype is a “Shopify for Digital Media”, an end-to-end cloud solution for media operations, seamless suite of software for content creation, content distribution, and content monetization. We serve billions of page views each month across dozens of our premium publishers including the likes of Bloomberg and Fortune. Quintype is entirely native and entirely omnichannel. And omniscient. For instance, in India, ask Siri what Bloomberg headlines are, and the answer may well depend on your portfolio, among other things.

This is powerful, data is the new oil.

But selling customer data is a terrible way to destroy the trust of, well, your customers. Quintype customers own their data, and Quintype does not sell data.

So how to monetize? Paid content and native advertising is a mere tip of the iceberg.

From Quintype to Shoptype

While Quintype is the cloud of choice for modern digital media operations, Shoptype is the modern cloud for publishers and brands alike to monetize their audiences.

Shoptype is an implementaiton of the Awake Market Protocol.

It connects everyone, all market participants, into a new high-speed trading platform that settles in t-zero time. This new market operating system powers Main Street, real world trades, not just HF trading on Wall St.

Why are we doing this, and why is Shoptype designed as a Network Market OS?

Market Networks

Awake Market Networks co-create value for all their members. This is foundational, and by design.

Anyone anywhere in the world can make money help sell any product or service sold by anyone in the world, anywhere.

This changes the data and cash flows for any existing market that adopts such a market network. Instead of limited digital media sharing on “social networks”, an Awake Market Network shares everything, in a highly secure manner, allowing Total Optimization, and revenue share according to exact and actual contributions.

OS and Applications

Every operating system needs applications, without apps an OS is not visible or usable to the consumer. What kind of apps are we talking about?

Remember we started this whole thing with investing in new companies, and scaling them. So this question really is – where should we invest?

Also, we have built the base platform to democratize the market itself.

Awake and Private Equity

So let’s take an example of opportunities in the current pre-Awake, post-COVID world. The example is something we can all relate to – ordering food from restaurants.

Read why things were bad before 2020, and you’ll be able to see what is to come.

The opportunity is very simple. As usual, money is made either by bundling or by unbundling. The reason a large opportunity like this, 30% or 40% or even 50% arbitrage, or extraction, disappears on Wall St is that there is very little friction in the movement of money.

The reason Door Dash and Grubhub are able to extract so much for so long is that the friction in creating an alternate pathway for liquidity is simply too much. Awake removes many aspects of this friction, starting with technology.

Unification Protocols

Awake is a set of protocols that create unified networks from collections of nodes and networks. On the Internet, this implies the dissolution of data silos by the likes of Big Tech.

This suddenly means there is a way to not go along with the 2% or 3% average digital marketing conversion rates, and it means businesses no longer have to pay for a service that is ineffective 97% or 98% of the time!

This transformation is the platform upon which AwakeVC is built.

Awake is now launching market networks in dozens of categories, because businesses are creating new market networks for themselves and others, and are joining the existing ones to further expand their sales.

AwakeVC or Awakened Value Co-creation is a Network of Networks, a Market of Markets, or a Platform of Platforms.

Having come this far with us on this journey of discovery, let us step in a bit deeper to understand what Awake Protocols do, and why this is the right time for the emergence of this new market topology.

And how do we build this new model of the world? A world where not everything is upfront payment, but is based on a basic fabric of trust that we can do more together, than if we’re each just doing our own thing for ourselves.

In the old world, you needed upfront capital, and willing partners, and you’d need to hope you can find both.

This is in contrast to how things are in Awake Land, where creativity is the primary energy. Creativity leads to creation, aka products and services. By throwing in a little bit of math, you can create a pricing structure that works for you. By using a bit more math, one also builds in space for others to benefit.

And then you plug your catalog into the Awake fabric, and watch magic happen.

Investment Thesis

If you lean in, Awake will show you how to take your business from $1K MRR to $10K MRR to $100K MRR and to $1M MRR and beyond. AwakeVC will participate through the entire process, and the AwakeVC AI will automatically connect dots which you didn’t even know to exist. This is the power of the underlying Opentangle technology.

AwakeVC was founded in early 2019, nearly a year and a half ago, with a simple goal: 10M technology businesses, 100M jobs, 10 years time. It is clear we will need closer to 500M jobs this decade, thanks to COVID-19.

And we’re ready. We’re looking to launch Awake Media Market Networks across the world, by geography (such as Fargo Network (North Dakota), Loonful (New Hampshire), Colorful Network (Colorado), Frisco Network (Bay Area), Corner Network (starting in three cities in India), and so many others.

In the same vein, we’re starting global market networks across industry categories such as food, bevergaes, and wine/spirits, cannabis, fashion, video games and e-sports, financial products and services, real estate, education, mental wellness and healthcare, and dozens of others.

We’re also digitally transforming existing traditional or digital media operations such as newspapers, magazines, and any other community/audience business, by plugging in such networks into the Great Awake Market of 2020 and Beyond.

Know entrepreneurial folks who could benefit from this new approach of rapid digital value co-creation? Send them our way!

What next?

We’re just getting started. Awake Money and Awake Cash are coming soon, new protocols that transform payments, and lines of credit. Expect this in August.

Awake Me is launching, our answer to SSO/Universal Login/Password-Less/Contact-less Authentication, Identity Management, unlimited AI-powered Avatars, developer toolkit to launch new apps, and more. Expect this in June.

Awake changes how the Internet functions for Producers and Distributors.

And Consumers benefit the most.

Here’s to a new and improved Awakened World!

PS – and how did this vision change over the past twelve months or so? Here is the original design post, read it with this little caveat, and you’ll see we’re remarkably on track to build the future of entrepreneurship and Private Equity.

And the Awake Summary has not drifted much in the past year. We will start making more focused announcements over the remainder of this year, as we start launching our platforms one by one.

2020 is already different, and Awake makes it much more so.


PS – regarding the AwakeVC ecosystem map, that is coming soon, stay tuned!

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