Mr Omidyar, your work has been a great inspiration. You've allowed us to believe that I, personally, anyone, can make a difference, change the world, improve life everywhere. I've taken that to heart, and built a platform that can empower people everywhere to profit by helping each other, and improving our world.
I'd like to show you new kinds of networking tools, that are a natural expression of your innovative approach to philanthropy. Our business, Selfport, is properly contextualized in your portfolio at Omidyar.net.
Selfport is an entrepreneurial tool set that models profitable philanthropy. And we're talking not just corporate profit, but profit to the individual.
Selfport is designed to allow anyone to do good work through pursuing their own self interest. We can allow the individual to profit personally, directly, while creating mutual benefit, helping others, improving socio-economic conditions, the environment, education and health care.
To me, this is the key to a paradigm shift. It's like when solar energy becomes cheaper than coal, the shift happens naturally.
Profitable philanthropy is cool because you can drop either term, and it still works. It's like the peanut butter cup commercial, "hey, you got philanthropy in my profit!"
There is genuine charity happening all over the world. But self interest is natural. And our goal is to address world issues in the most effective way.
How do we best promote economic development, and improve standards of living? Directly connect personal profit to mutual benefit. Then the enlightenment part of enlightened self interest can develop naturally, without self sacrifice.
Imagine if seeing the big picture wasn't a prerequisite to doing the right thing? What if global cooperation was simply more profitable than ruthless competition, immediately? We could give people the breathing room to notice the big picture, that this is our world, life is our family, all systems are interconnected, while happily getting richer as a person or a business along the way.
You don't have to choose Selfport instead of something else. Although the scope is global, the business model is non-capital intensive, self growing, and designed to enhance all other good works.
I believe social networking and the emergent properties of internet and technology in general have set us up for a sea change is global business and economics, through improving individual lives. Let us show you how Selfport can help.
Can We Really "Save the World"
by promoting Social Media on Selfport?
Selfport claims to have cracked the code of micropayments, the holy grain of social media, to allow millions of Youtube producers, musicians, bloggers, vloggers, photographers and the like, to make a living from their creative work.
The key, says founder Kelly Evans, to succeeding where Meta Café failed, and the Youtube partner program has fallen short, is how users collaborate, promoting and judging the media of their friends, and managing businesses as micro sponsors of media makers and talent.
The promote feature on Selfport is like a cross between playing the lottery and making a playlist on Youtube. Since promoters can win cash and prizes, and get sponsored, Evans says they will generate funds to pay media makers and talent. Pooling these together with the P2P micro sponsorships of businesses, Evans says, will generate millions of new entrepreneurial careers in the social media industry.
But the company’s ambitions don’t stop there. Evans says social entrepreneurialism is the basis for a whole new global socio economic structure, with more opportunity for everyone. Building on the success of micro finance, and the newer experiments in crowd funding, and social lending, he says the company has a social investing component.
From the company literature, “The combination of peer investing, a micro angel system, with social business templates, allowing innumerable successful micro and min businesses, will lead to a world with more wide-spread prosperity, less political conflict, more stable economies, better health and an improved environment.”
Social Entrepreneurialism (a new form of microfinance, and social business making tools for everyone)
Selfport’s “social entrepreneurial tools” are set in a rich social network, and will offer a new form of microfinance, more like person-to-person micro-investment than micro-loans. It’s a for-profit (profitable philanthropy) business model designed to improve living standards anywhere in the world.
The goal is to quicken the pace of socio-economic development, through making microfinance and social business more profitable and accessible to everyone.
I’ve been asked what an entrepreneurial tool is. One of the most famous entrepreneurial tools is eBay. Other examples include Skype with Paypal, Youtube’s partner program, blogging with adsense, Second Life, Zazzle, eMachineshop, to name a few.
Kiva and Prosper allow interpersonal loans, but recipients still have to formulate a business, or use for those funds. Selfport will offer the tools to make businesses, so that more people can improve their circumstances with entrepreneurialism. These businesses could even be integrated with sites like Kiva and Prosper, to extend the scope of those services. The loan form of microfinance isn’t mutually exclusive from the new investment format Selfport offers.
Contests (people profiting through community made media)
One of the first entrepreneurial feature sets Selfport has rolled out is a subscription based contest platform. Entries include videos, writing, mp3s, etc. Businesses can directly sponsor (pay the subscription fee for) contestants, and pay incentives. Incentives, and mircro-payments for their entries, could be enough for contestants to live on. Other users can manage sponsorships, and get a percentage of the transaction. The percentages could become a full living.
This feature set is intended to make a community produced media/entertainment industry more profitable to more people.
Community media makers can not only win money, but earn too, if they choose to make their content premium. Views then cost credits, a form of micro-payment. The reason this will work where other attempts at micro-payments for media have failed, is because credits are acquired by becoming an official “promoter” or “judge” of media. These are also contests, in which people can win and earn money for skillfully engaging with videos, music, writing, art, etc.
Contests can include music, dance, writing, graphics, reviews, documentaries, social businesses, green business and lifestyle, open mail (a feature that encourages people write to public figures or officials), broadcasts, educational videos… it is a long list.
Businesses can sponsor users on a local basis, so sponsorship works as a local form of advertisement, and sets the stage for many 1000s of people to win every month. And since players can win on a “most improved” basis, it levels the playing field…it is a meritocracy in which anyone can win. Anyone who wants to sing or dance or review restaurants or singers or whatever has the potential to win, and the motivation to play. Social business contests
I want to emphasize the social business contest. Muhammad Yunus said for years he has been recommending contests of this sort. Using our locality based format, every city in the world could have dozens of social businesses, which could get promoted through our site, and supported through our sponsor tool, by conventional businesses, such as, say HP, or eBay.
Contestants, sponsors and managers get access to members-only wiki areas. In the case of social business, this works something like the services Endeavor or Ashoka offer, but is more open than the Ashoka fellowship program. In the case of, say, music, the members wiki offers services to help musicians advance their careers…some of which are tools that Selfport itself offers.
Other Entrepreneurial features events There are other entrepreneurial tools that are connected to the contest feature. For instance, events: users can create events for profit. Events can be of any sort, but by linking to the contests, users can spontaneously generate content. Again, events could make users a living wage…and help small venues too.
e-learning, teaching, consultation, etc. There are various tools of this sort. Most important are e-learning and consultation tools, which also have applications for improving health care. These combined with our special rating system make a paradigm where education can become life-long, and knowledge can be a sort of commodity.
NGO and government program integration Existing non-profits, charities and government projects are integrated into Selfport with their own profiles. Our internal money system (integrated with Paypal) allows for convenient donations. Supported non-profits can show up in user galleries, which provides value to conventional business, as well as enhancing the visibility of the non-profit.
NPO profiles increase transparency and public interaction with charitable projects. Non-profit projects again link to games, with contests for travel documentary makers, focused on non-profits or social businesses.
Integration with the web 2.0 and mobile landscape, and other businesses
The Selfport model is interoperable with existing business in many ways. Many of our tools work as modules, which can also run on Facebook, Open Social, iPhones, etc. Businesses and users can make branded networks based on our software, similar to Ning, but with more profit components, and better integration with other networks.
Existing businesses can own all or part of components such as contests (eg, social business/Ashoka, or Music /CD Baby, or Sony), which they can brand and even run at unique URLs.
To give a sense of scale, since we are aiming to improve living standards for billions of people, 100 million would be a modest success. But if 100 million people each earned $10k average through Selfport, this would produce $30 billion in revenue, which could then be recycled through our platform to expand and offer opportunity to more people.
phenomenon, a trend, I want to point out. It's a cause for real hope and optimism about the way the world is headed, and not just because these people are a political weather vein, but because they have actual resources.
I'll let cynics argue if this is business as usual. To my mind, it is clearly happening, and the interesting question is not if, but why.
Some people say that the pictures from Apollo, seeing the earth as a whole, changed in an instant the way we view the world. Buckminster Fuller also used this moment as a milestone, not only of our psychology, but in technology.
He said at that moment, the pieces of technology had finally been assembled that can allow everyone in the world to prosper.
Of course, Bucky always was ahead of his time. But maybe not too far. Maybe only a generation or so.
As the pace of technology quickens, I hypothesize, the rich and famous are increasingly devoting themselves to good works because they can.
Today we see through new media into people's lives all over the world. We seek to analyze complex systems like the weather and eco-systems. We see our direct impact on these things with ever more clarity as our impact grows and our tools of observation and analysis improve.
And at the same time, technology, business and inventors are producing an ever greater menu of solutions to problems as we identify them.
Depending on how you tilt your head, we seem to be on the verge of an unprecedented disaster, or an unprecedented golden age.
And an increasing number of us are beginning to get the idea, "I, personally, can help to tilt the balance from one to the other."
Not only are we identifying the problems, from poverty and economic development, and the environment, to health and education, but we are getting excited as we see so many solutions, so close at hand.
It's really the greatest adventure of all time, the greatest opportunity. Dinosaurs couldn't have done what we can do. Pharaohs and kings of yore couldn't have ushered in a golden age of prosperity for all people, for all beings in the world. Not even maybe.
But we can. Maybe. It is worth a try.
It's not just a matter of responsibility. The rich and famous are devoting themselves to improving world conditions because it is an opportunity. It is the Grail quest of our time. And the grail is real. We can actually do this.
And we are not alone. It is a trend bigger than us, but including us. Standards of living have been improving dramatically since the technology boom 300 years ago in England. Earlier, the technology boom of agriculture sped us towards improved lifestyles.
The technology boom of today is like those, but it is the big one. If we manage it correctly, it could make life great, not only for every person, but for animals and plants and even bacteria.
But right now, in the face of this potential golden age, 5 billion people live in poverty, 1 billion are desperate, eco-systems are in crisis, even people in the first world face dire problems. The issues are not ho hum.
So why are the rich and famous hearing the call? There are big problems. There are solutions. The consequences are huge. Failure would be dire. The prize is unimaginably good, for everyone.
If you have a $billion or the social capital of a star, there is no question that you can influence the outcome of this important game.
The tools of Selfport will put the resources in every individual's hands to help solve these world sized problems, and in the same way as for the rich and famous, for whom good work can make you even more rich and famous, or at least no less so.
This is the proposition our world offers us today. For the rich and famous, the course of action is a no brainer. Let's extend that same obvious opportunity to personally wrestle with dragons to everyone.
The big evils are no longer people. Maybe they never were. They are circumstances, and we can tame them.
note worthy characters: Angelina Jolie, Richard Branson, Pierre Omidyar, HH The Dalai Lama, Larry Page, Bono, Madonna, Ray Kurzweil, Muhammad Yunnus, Jeffrey Sachs, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Buckminster Fuller, Opera
Selfport is like a Space Ship One for global socio-economic conditions. That is, it's a business vehicle designed on a budget, to prove that we can fly beyond the bubble of economic scarcity.
The Council of Elders can consider projects based on merit, on needs and innovative solutions, rather than constituencies or shareholders. Through Selfport we propose lasting solutions to many of the interconnected problems of our world and time, from business, politics, and the environment, to education, health, relationships and lifestyle.
As a product, Selfport is not mutually exclusive from any other work to produce these great Goods, that are, by default, our collective mission in life. In fact, it is an open platform, designed to enhance all other wholesome endeavors, of individuals, businesses, NGOs and governments.
So, as you have said in your own business life: It's a great product. It may not work. But it's based on good research and solid logic, so it's definitely worth a try. And in this case, all the more so, since the cost is next to nothing, relative to the potential reward.
In business, you have been a role model. Internally, you've made Virgin a thriving eco-system for employees. Outwardly, your flamboyance has been not only entertaining, but successful.
You've imagined a Virgin world. Selfport can help. We can set a world stage where anyone's position and accomplishments are limited only by their dreams and ambitions.
How will we do this? Profitable philanthropy. Mutual benefit. Selfport is a tool set to foster what we call "massively parallel entrepreneurialism."
Selfport is a fractal business model. Anyone in the world can profit through unique expressions of businesses modeled by Selfport.
In an immediate sense, our strategy is rapid growth, through pure capitalism, and engineered serendipity, making something the world wants and needs, and driving attention through a buzz of events that revolutionize the relationship between entertainers and audience.
As a businessman, we would welcome your challenge of our profit potential, market research and promotional strategy. As an elder and philanthropist, we would like you to evaluate a reward potential of improving billions of lives, easing political tensions and facilitating adoption of sustainable technologies.
The difference that you could make to this project is incalculable, just by your nod of approval, or some simple gesture, like jumping off a cliff with us.
To prove my sincerity, my drive to realize these opportunities for the world, I'll give you the details in free fall, or in any other way you choose, to make me feel like my life is at stake.
I already feel that way. This is my life work and mission in life. So even though we are projecting unprecedented profit, in the billions, this goes well beyond any ordinary standard of business, or personal reward.
I think you will find Selfport worthy of consideration by the Council of Elders, and look forward to presenting it to you.
This is an introduction to the Selfport business. Prior to launch, it provides initial information for possible partners or endorsers.
For those who take a further interest, on-line and personal presentations are available. However, business plan details are in password protected areas.
Hi, I'm Kelly Evans.
I want to talk to you not just because of your money making muscle, but your heart muscle. Our company is about making a lot of people a lot of money by improving lives.
Selfport is an entrepreneurial tool set in a social network...entrepreneurial tools for the masses, designed to improve living standards in a thriving or a depressed economy.
Social networking is fun, and it's all the rage, but you can't make a living doing it. With Selfport you can, anywhere in the world, on any scale.
Popular sites like Facebook and Youtube still look for revenue primarily based on advertising. Our business plan outlines non-ad based revenue in the billions.
Microfinance has entered the public eye since Mohammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Prize. So people will naturally grasp our extensions on this principle.
But Selfport is not just about making money. It's also an evolution in entertainment, that people in the era of iTunes and Indie labels will easily understand. And our tools improve on reality tv. On Selfport no one looses, more people make more money, and the line between audience, judges and players blurrs, a lot!
How will we stand out in the crowd with a site that looks like a mashup of Myspace, Youtube, Kiva, Prosper, and any number of web 2.0 apps?
For one thing, we can seed our site with a lot of good performance content, from all over the world, for a moderate investment, that can immediately turn to profit. We can use Myspace and Youtube, and so can all our site members.
One of the few ways people have made money on social networks is using them to market their businesses. Our site will BE their business.
I am a founder of Evans Data Corporation, the leading market research firm in software development. I know what makes business work. But I am equally motivated by spiritual work. Selfport can turbo charge capitalism with soul.
If you can spare a few minutes, you can get a comprehensive download. What's at stake here? Not just profit, but significantly improving lives on a global scale. Please take a gander, then you tell me, hot air or not.
Your Majesty, thank you for your work to improve inter-cultural relations, and individual conditions.
Let me briefly outline my proposal, for a solution to help solve the problem of negative cultural stereotypes.
When we look at other cultures with fear and anger, it not only cuts us off from a wealth of cultural beauty, and inter-personal relations, but fuels on-going conflicts that stunt economic development in every country, hurts the environment, and prevents life from improving for people all over the world.
We need a long range, lasting solution, that can also help improve international relations and personal conditions as it grows.
What's the source of the problem? I suggest: economic scarcity. Other problems grow out of this over time.
There has never really been a scarcity of resources. For instance, all power, even oil and coal, comes from the sun. And there is plenty of sun. The scarcity has been our ability to cultivate resources.
Throughout history, and now at an increasing tempo, technology has been making the tools to use resources more efficiently.
The problem is, we still collectively think in terms of limited resources, which leads to hoarding, predatory political and business strategies, which produce rhetoric to justify those practices. It is much easier to exploit or attack people we hate. Over time these negative ideas get accepted as truth.
The solution is to increase wealth, access to resources, for every individual, including everyone from the poor to the already rich. The idea of equalizing wealth will never work, because it will always be opposed by those who already hold wealth and power. So the solution is simply to increase wealth for everyone.
Is this possible? It's not only possible; it's inevitable, unless we turn to grey goo. Today, millions of people live better than the richest people did a few centuries ago. We can make a world where billions of people live better than billionaires today. It's win win.
The ultimate resource is the individual: the mind and heart, and the body that supports this precious life. It is not only the resource, but the object of resources. Life quality is the point of economy, and working with resources.
Historical political and business structures were an improvement over animal life, but have been far from ideal. Now, just as we are poised to get more clean value from the sun, we can make a quantum leap in how we cultivate the value of the "self," and return and circulate that value, with synergistic effect.
In the same way that we are making tools to more efficiently use sun, soil, plants and water, Selfport is a tool made to more efficiently maximize the value of the individual person.
It is a web based, entrepreneurial tool set. As you point out, sites like Youtube can already help to foster dialogue and mutual understanding. Selfport builds on the benefits the web offers us. And one of the most important of those features is that the web is international.
So Selfport promotes this cultivation of prosperity through inter-personal relations across countries...direct, person to person international relations, unfiltered by media memes that can perpetuate negative stereotypes. These will break down when we not only meet each other face to face, but can directly work together for mutual benefit.
What does Selfport need to succeed? Attention. Use. We'd like to demonstrate these tools to you, and how they can support causes you care about.
Selfport can extend the reach and benefits of microfinance, and can promote, speed and spread education, so it fits with your work.
We are laying the ground work, behind the scenes, for the rapid growth needed to thrive in a competitive business world, and reach enough people to significantly improve conditions widely.
Please consider offering us an hour or less of your time, to prove the potential viability of this platform.