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Re: Our proposal

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  • minciusodas
    Cass, Great to hear from you! Good questions, good points. I m visiting with my brother Jonas and his family in Pasadena, California. He helped me think
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 6, 2002
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      Cass, Great to hear from you! Good questions, good points.

      I'm visiting with my brother Jonas and his family in Pasadena,
      California. He helped me think about our proposal, where is the income
      generated for the funder? Ultimately, it's from developing new
      markets. And we actually are much more focused on that then on "pure"
      research. So here is the title we came up with:

      Business Ecosystems
      for Developing New Markets

      Most of the rest of the proposal holds as before. A new idea is that
      our ecosystems are mini-markets that we help set up that can then find
      their right size. We're helping to spot opportunity and find the right
      scale for it. We can do this on the "nano-business" level, that is,
      work on much smaller scales than the large businesses can.

      I appreciate your critique because I'd like to head in this direction.
      Also, I need to think about how to measure the gain from new markets
      for our funders.

      Andrius

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      http://www.ms.lt
      ms@...




      --- In thinkingrelevantly@y..., "Cass McNutt" <listmail@a...> wrote:
      > Proposal to Create an Economy for Working OpenlyAndrius and All -- this is mostly just a ping to say "I'm back"... but also to note what I think this is a key distinction:
      >
      > - If we are a lab, why is it also a "sole-proprietorship) - this is something that seems picky perhaps, but were I a corporate person this would be a red flag for me - I would be expecting that this lab approaching me would be some more complex structure - probably a non-profit (educational institutions most likely) or a for-profit research firm - however I would be more comfortable with the non-profit research firm.
      >
      > I've personally had quite a bit of experience -- both good and bad, successful and failed -- with partnerships, proprietorships, and corporations. It hones the "we" thing like few things I know. I think a key distinction here is, is the lab yours (Andrius), or is it ours (collectively). While "both" is in some ways probably true, there's a rubber-meets-the-road reality of who "owns" the thing ---- debts, responsibilities, accountability, potential profits, risk, etc.... to the degree that it is a "thing." In that sense, this is a sole proprietorship. I personally think -- and I believe I shared this a long time ago -- that in order to accomplish the "network" and "collective" objectives of Minciu as I weakly percieve them, a non-profit (which really just means "all of our profits have been allocated to something" -- don't let the name fool you) structure would probably be best.
      >
      > BUT, that said, I hink what you're running into really is more a matter of what Isenberg says regarding networks:
      >
      > The best network is the hardest one to make money running
      > (see http://netparadox.com/)
      >
      >
      > So, is Minciu a revenue-generating service provider -- in which case it is accountable to those whom it serves, and whom in term are accountable to supporting it financially.
      >
      > OR
      >
      > Is it a cause to be supported because it generates benefit for the public at large or a segment of the public in particular... in which case; who should support it?
      >
      >
      > Much more could be said, but personal energy is finite.
      >
      >
      > Cass
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Shannon J. Clark
      > To: thinkingrelevantly@y...
      > Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 7:51 PM
      > Subject: RE: [thinkingrelevantly] Re: Our proposal
      >
      >
      > Andrius,
      >
      > Some quick comments and thoughts - not fully formed.
      > (see my post about why I respond quickly)
      >
      > - make it clear somewhere that we are open to other numbers - i.e. that the $250,000 is not the only number we will consider, nor is it an upper limit
      >
      > - The current form requires the web and web links to follow - not a completely bad thing, but it also points to a disjointed proposal in some regards - how would you present this in a PRINTED format? (from cover to cover that is) - not that you have to, but it is likely that to make it happen this will be required.
      >
      > - What does the Lab offer? - beyond "wonderful people" - what concretely do we offer?
      >
      > - What types of "problems" would we research? How would we match up to company's research goals? How can we demonstrate (in the proposal or as an ongoing fact) that we know what we are talking about? (MIT's media lab has this type of problem as well - but they have the brand equity of MIT helping them, and they sponsor events and make media appearances etc) - how would we balance that?
      >
      > - If we are a lab, why is it also a "sole-proprietorship) - this is something that seems picky perhaps, but were I a corporate person this would be a red flag for me - I would be expecting that this lab approaching me would be some more complex structure - probably a non-profit (educational institutions most likely) or a for-profit research firm - however I would be more comfortable with the non-profit research firm.
      >
      > - What do, I, the investor (assuming a company) get out of my investment?
      >
      > - do I get to pick your research topics?
      > - do I get privileged access in some form (to the results? to the research process? to the researchers/thinkers?
      > - do I get a fancy report (or reports?)
      > - speakers for an event I hold?
      > - PR points to point to? (don't ignore this, this can have extremely high value - in fact I would argue that you should aggressively approach firms with significent investments in Lithuania - whether or not they get much directly out of the research we do, they will benefit from the investment into that process, especially as it involves knowledge transfers to Lithuanians etc.
      >
      > What do, I, the investor (again assuming a corporation) have to give up?
      >
      > - money - clearly (details discussed later)
      > - time? how much time committement will this require (and whose time does it require?)
      > - secrets? - just what I am interested in learning about might be viewed internally as a trade secret - in fact the mere knowledge that certain firms are looking at certain areas may move markets/tip off competitors
      > - future profits? - can I profit from the results of my paid research?
      >
      > Again, these are just some quick thoughts and comments - not all of these points should be addressed in this proposal, but I think that most of them should be able to be addressed in follow up conversations.
      >
      > Shannon
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Andrius Kulikauskas [mailto:ms@m...]
      > Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 9:34 PM
      > To: thinkingrelevantly@y...
      > Subject: [thinkingrelevantly] Re: Our proposal
      >
      >
      > WWW.MS.LT The Minciu Sodas laboratory 2002.VI.25
      > Research Ecosystem for Generating Creative Synergy by Incorporating Outside Innovators
      >
      > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Invitation | Product | Company | Finances and Management | Plans for Growth
      > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >
      > Invitation
      > How can your company be the first to recognize promising innovations? Use your strategic vision to attract proposals that go beyond your current strengths. Set up a research ecosystem where you simultaneously foster and select those outsiders who generate the most synergy amongst your creative leaders.
      >
      > Product
      > Successful companies spend on R&D to generate opportunity. Risks are managed by estimating and averaging them. However, the most promising start-ups arise where the risks are least measurable. How can corporate R&D play the game of low-capital opportunists?
      >
      > Thoughtful companies spend a portion of their R&D budget, say 5%, on outside projects that fall within strategic interests, but go beyond current strengths. Unfortunately, there is no rational way to select the right projects.
      >
      > Instead, we propose the funding of a research ecosystem which would focus on people rather than projects. We set up this research ecosystem for you so that it simultaneously furthers and selects the best people. It includes:
      >
      > a.. A public declaration of your strategic interest.
      > b.. An open invitation to all who wish to pursue your strategic interest.
      > c.. A selection process that admits only those outsiders who are demonstrably constructive.
      > d.. An internal distribution of funds to creative leaders throughout your company as small scale budgets to be spent within this research ecosystem.
      > e.. A facilitated matchmaking of your creative leaders with constructive outsiders who might be of service.
      > f.. A simple market for handling payment for services performed.
      > g.. An outreach program to inform key outsiders of private opportunities to work for or with your company.
      > h.. A development program for those constructive outsiders who generate the most synergy amongst your creative leaders.
      > i.. A private presentation of proposals for you by those champion outsiders.
      > j.. A quantitative measure of the performance of your research ecosystem.
      > k.. A qualitative analysis of how performance might be improved.
      > Your research ecosystem will allow you to compartmentalize that R&D for which the risk can't be directly measured. You will foster and measure innovation with our help by tuning the ecosystem to grow the best opportunity. Your investment will project your strategic vision both within and around your company.
      >
      > Company
      > Minciu Sodas is an open laboratory for serving and organizing independent thinkers. We bring together our individual projects around shared endeavors. We remake our lives and our world by caring about thinking.
      >
      > Minciu Sodas serves your enterprise by integrating constructive people around your purposes. Our laboratory focuses our minds on the questions and answers that get things done.
      >
      > In 2000, we received $10,000 from TheBrain and MindManager to develop an import/export standard for software tools for organizing thoughts. We organized a working group of users and makers of such tools. We drafted a standard, which we pursued through the Infrared Data Association and the XML for Topic Maps Authoring Group .
      >
      > In 2001, we received $10,000 from Agile Media to organize and train a pool of web designers in Lithuania. We jumpstarted a thriving community and drafted engineering strategies for mass customizing websites.
      >
      > For your project, we develop an atmosphere where your purposes resonate. Amazingly, projects continue to build momentum long after funding has ended. Each new project adds new people and makes for new synergy.
      >
      > Finances and Management
      > The Minciu Sodas laboratory is a sole proprietorship of Andrius Kulikauskas, Ph.D. , a dual citizen of the USA and Lithuania. From 1998 to 2002 he invested $70,000 to develop the laboratory. He excels at clarifying the essence of a system, and organizing people around a vision.
      >
      > Minciu Sodas draws on the talents of thirty active members. Several of our leaders are available for work through our lab:
      >
      > a.. Peter Kaminski is the founder of Yipes, NanoSpace, NETCOM Online, and PDIAL.
      > b.. Shannon Clark is a creator of Information Extraction tools using Artificial Intelligence.
      > c.. Alex Shapiro is the inventor of the Touchgraph interface.
      > d.. Raimundas Vaitkevicius and Algis Cibulskis are organizers of our growing team in Lithuania .
      >
      > Plans for Growth
      > We are seeking $250,000 to fund a research ecosystem. Our laboratory attracts wonderful talent. We want to demonstrate that enterprises can benefit from funding individual thinkers. ( View projections ).
      >
      > We're approaching enterprises that need to cultivate partnerships.
      >
      > a.. Corporations that want to achieve strategic interests through shared public endeavors.
      > b.. Governments and non-profit organizations whose mission is to build up the public wealth.
      > c.. Start-ups that need to flesh out their ideas and develop a business context for them.
      > d.. Project managers within large corporations who need to show their projects' potential.
      > e.. Political leaders who wish to encourage public participation to get things done.
      > f.. Corporations who want their independent thinkers to express themselves and integrate themselves.
      > We are looking for a funder with a vision.
      >
      > a.. A bank dedicated to clarifying life's big decisions.
      > b.. A software maker dedicated to reorganizing life's experiences.
      > c.. A pharmaceutical company dedicated to prescribing quality of life.
      > You benefit, as an R&D expense, from learning how our research ecosystem can function as a marketplace, sustaining itself, justifying itself, and rewarding investments. We can then work with you to set up and optimize research ecosystems dedicated to strategic endeavors.
      >
      > Vision is pursued through change. Change comes from a minority. No status quo can directly reward those who go against it. Supporters must come from outside.
      >
      > Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. noted that a healthy organization lives within a larger movement. The same is true for an enterprise that brings together workers and their families, customers and suppliers, shareholders and managers, neighbors and regulators. Your enterprise can apply its integrity to energize the larger movement that will work openly for change. Our research ecosystem gives many shapes to working openly: consultations, assignments, fellowships, associations, partnerships.
      >
      > Our research ecosystem pumps outside talent amongst knowledge workers. Talent challenges us to care to think: When to follow rules, when to break them? When to invent, when to implement? Support change, or initiate it? Learn or innovate? Act or direct? Inspire others, or motivate ourselves? Share knowledge, or reinvent it? Our funder gains slack: a ready pool of talent, a vehicle for projecting corporate values, and an open space for forming strategic partnerships.
      >
      > We have analyzed six marketplaces for open source software that arose in 1999. We are most similar to SourceXchange, the brainchild of Hewlett-Packard's corporate IT department, which wanted to shield contractors from the complexities of its contracting process. HP wanted to outsource all projects that didn't need to be part of HP's intellectual property. They wanted access to great talent, and a time-to-market advantage, but they needed a predictable market. HP wanted their competitors to be able to participate as well. HP approached O'Reilly Associates, offering some funding as well as dozens of projects in the $5,000 - $40,000, six man week to four man month range. Brian Behlendorf was chosen to lead CollabNet , but SourceXchange was overshadowed by CollabNet's portal for collaboration. CollabNet now hosts specialized developer communities sponsored by Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, etc.
      >
      > We've concluded that our research ecosystem should harness for our funders the passions of our participants. We'd like to harness the energy of our working group to develop a network of software tools for augmenting our thinking. For example, Hewlett-Packard might sponsor work to explore how large-sized printers could be used in conjunction with tools for organizing thoughts. Their purpose would be to open up new markets to increase sales of such printers. Hewlett-Packard would give its own researchers budgets to spend at our laboratory, to publicly explore use cases, promote ideas, attract industries, invite feedback.
      >
      > Such work is best done openly. We have attracted the talent, and have a blueprint for our economy . We need $125,000 to fund our laboratory expenses for one year, and $125,000 to pump our research ecosystem. We are looking for a corporation with a strategic endeavor around which we might organize our economy. We would then work to attract other corporations. Alternatively, we are looking for an investor who desires a sizeable return from each such economy, and would benefit from close ties with such corporate endeavors and partnerships.
      >
      >
      >
      > Andrius Kulikauskas
      > Direktorius
      > Minciu Sodas
      > http://www.ms.lt
      > ms@m...
      > +1 (773) 651-3785
      > Chicago, Illinois
      >
      >
      >
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