Friday, June 24, 2011

Purpose Landing on the VizPlanet© - Our Generation’s Sputnik Moment?

Courtesy: Google images customized within our prototype implementation

With our VizPlanet© article, that is being posted within the Management Innovation Exchange (MIX) site, generating some interesting follow-up questions within the MIX community, one of our readers, suggested that we cross-post it, within our blog to keep that momentum going. As it turns out, some of those questions, in fact, strengthen the case of our article, and so, we decided to incorporate them within our blog today. The most notable question being – is there a burning platform to call this revolutionary VizPlanet© idea, as our Generation’s Sputnik Moment?

The Answer is …..

The short answer is YES! Having said that, as we started thinking about the best way to present the compelling case for this burning platform – a key insight came to our mind – i.e. an insight from an article by Jared Diamond, assessing the impact of the increased rate of consumption happening among world’s population- as summarized in the picture below.

What does this insight tell us? The middle class boom of the developing world (more specifically the BRIC countries), that is being used by the western multi nationals, as the burning platform for their emerging market growth strategy, eventually might come back, and start even impacting their capital raising ability in the long run– especially, when those middle class populations, start competing for the limited set of natural resources, that are currently being consumed by their western counter parts, with a GH emission inequality ratio of 32:1. What do we mean by that? As it turns out, the emerging market growth strategies of most western multinationals, in a way, are a paradox because - on one hand, these corporations are counting on capitalizing the middle class boom happening within the developing world, to sustain and justify their double digit growth for the next 10 years or so - and, on the other hand, the same boom, eventually will end up increasing the competition for the limited natural resources (or cost of capital in financial terms)- and might even start reducing (or hurting) the quality of life, that is being enjoyed by all of us, perhaps not today, but definitely 10-25 years from now. In other words, no matter how we slice it, our planet’s current resource consumption pattern or lifestyle, is not at all sustainable and so, it is a no-win value proposition, for both the developed and developing world, in the long run.

As we present this argument, I hear someone pointing us to the progress we have made so far on developing those innovative sustainability solutions/strategies to reduce the carbon footprint (& hence reducing the resource uses) along with those efficient global capital/capability management strategies that have been instituted by most multinational corporations. While we don’t disagree with the intent and merits of any those strategies - most of those sustainability solutions/strategies, however, are still being centered around –just changing our personal choices, to reduce the carbon footprint, as opposed to changing our lifestyles in en-masse , before changing those personal choices. In other words, if we may use Prof. Clayton Christensen’s style of writing – most of our current sustainability solutions are stuck at the wrong side of the fork!

The root cause being …..

While we agree, that it is the right thing to do, to develop these innovative sustainability solutions (e.g. energy star programs etc.) to help reduce the carbon footprint at the personal/household/business levels, in our humble opinion, these solutions, do not fix the root cause of the issue i.e. -

  • "With urbanization happening at a faster rate than ever across the globe, especially, in the last decade or so - more and more percentage of consumers (& corporations) are continuing to consume and compete for the limited set of natural resources to sustain their current life style (& profit margins) within the natural realm, in spite of a compelling alternative purpose/virtual lifestyle, available for them within the virtual realm, in a fraction of cost, providing almost the same “look and feel” type of experience, emitting just a fractional percentage of the greenhouse gases.”

One might wonder why we have not been able to fix this root cause, in its totality so far! The reason, in our humble opinion, is the lack of a compelling motivation (or incentive mechanism) on the part of both consumers and corporations, to embrace the alternative purpose/virtual lifestyle - and rightfully so, we propose a “lifestyle-changing”, root cause fixing, systemic approach, that MOTIVATES both consumers and corporations alike, to come together under a Virtual Community Environment(VCE, henceforth pronounced as Viz), that is bounded together by a powerful “Purpose Score driven, Virtual Reality/Avatar/3D/Interactive Gaming technologies/Tele-Metry based VizPlanet© Platform”, as outlined in the picture above, (that was put together as part of our recent prototype implementation), that inherently compels all parties (specifically corporations) to stretch their value chain into the VizPlanet© realm, thus making it possible for them to provide value-add purpose bundles of products and services with relatively less number of resources. Not only that - this type of a stretched value chain, apart from increasing corporations’ economies of scale & scope benefits, also, helps us to preserve God given, limited natural resources for the benefit of the future generation. In other words – it is all about us, changing our life style and making a conscious mindset shift, where possible, to consume certain services within the virtual realm (thus reducing the carbon footprint in larger percentages), as opposed to continuing our current lifestyle within the natural realm.

Resource Pool Portfolio (RPP) Framework – to help prioritize the VizPlanet© Services

To facilitate such a large scale sustainability driven purpose movement, we have developed a Resource Pool Portfolio (RPP) framework by grouping the high value resource consumption assets of our planet into 25 resource consumption buckets, and let the framework itself, to identify the top 5 high potential candidate buckets of services (as numbered in the picture below) that can be slowly moved from natural realm into the virtual realm, as promoted by our earlier purpose innovation platform concept.

Simply put, those purpose consumers (with a history of consuming/applying H&W P&S’s, consuming/reducing green energies, thus leading a purpose lifestyle, in body-soul-spirit dimensions with a higher purpose scores), who choose to consume all of their commerce and content services, using our VizPlanet© Platform, not only get a better value for themselves, but also, facilitate the noble cause of reducing the natural resource consumption rate by a substantial percentage. In other words, VizPlanet© platform, over a period of time, reduces the carbon footprint, by a substantial percentage (& hence operating cost as well) as captured in the three KPI’s of the RPP framework, thus increasing the profit margins of corporations as well.
Solution Options within the VizPlanet© Platform
With that said, the sustainable long term question that needs to be solved within the purpose reform context is – How do we change our lifestyle by resetting planet’s end-to-end resource consumption pattern and by moving some or all of the resource intensive commerce/content services from natural realm into the virtual realm – using one of the five options identified below

  1. Brick and mortar platform along with a purpose score enabled vanilla online channel (current model with just addition of purpose scores based content and commerce services bundles).

  2. Brick and mortar platform with a purpose score enabled vanilla online channel along with a third option of Purpose Score based VizPlanet© Platform in asynchronous mode i.e. near real time synchronization of SKU’s and content.

  3. Brick and mortar platform with a purpose score enabled vanilla online channel along with a third option of Purpose Score based VizPlanet© Platform in synchronous mode i.e. real time synchronization of SKU’s & content - and so potentially replacing the newly constructed brick and mortar platforms

  4. Brick and mortar platform with a purpose score enabled vanilla online channel along with a third option of Purpose Score based VizPlanet© Platform in synchronous mode i.e. real time synchronization of SKU’s & content with lot more value-add services like personalization and so eliminating the need for the new brick and mortar platforms, especially in the developing world

  5. 100% “one-stop-shop” VizPlanet© Platform in synchronous real time mode eliminating all commercial real estate platforms(remediate the brick and mortar real estate for other services where virtual services are not possible to provide)

Having said that, by no means, we are suggesting that any of these options, will replace the current solution(s) in totality – rather, we suggest that these solution options, among many of the other experimentation solution options, has a great potential to compliment the current solution options. In other words, our solution is an experimentation option – with a potential to become the stepping stone, for the long ranging solution(s) within the 5-10 year purpose reform road map.

In closing, our hope is that sustainability experts, will pay a closer attention to our experimentation based solution options, given the fact, our VizPlanet© approach (including its ancillary platforms like VizMall©, VizTV©, VizDiner©, VizBev© etc), not necessarily, just solves those sustainability challenges, but also, it provides a better value (price) proposition for all parties, with an "almost similar look and feel type shopping/consumption experience" of their brick and mortar platform counterpart, thus motivating corporations and consumers to consume more and more purpose bundles, with an intention to increase their purpose scores -resulting in a win:win value proposition for all parties, in the long run!


  1. Hello Charles,
    Charles Prabakar,

    This is a great post. I published almost two years ago a presentation entitled "The cost of poor vision on companies", in which I showed the costly outcome of such practices. Poor vision and poor purpose dissipate the efforts and never generate a win/win solution. Your post shows this fact very clearly and proposes a great approach in which it is possible to align the various interests.
    I am preparing a presentation on why insects such as ants form a raft to avoid sinking. The survival interest is the overriding concern. Unless each ant sticks to its role in the raft the whole group of ants would sink. Your post gives a real life example of this fact. Unless we see collectively our survival as part of the environment survival and health we shall all sink. There must be a grand purpose that binds everybody for our efforts to align and come to fruition.

  2. Another insightful comment as always you bring up a great point – yes it is true - while a single ant struggle to float on water, a group of ants apparently bind together and float effortlessly for days. Just also learned that using time-lapse photography and mathematical modeling, the Georgia Tech team apparently found that the secret behind their success – i.e. Collaboration!

    What more metaphor could be more apt for Purpose Innovation other than “ANT RAFT” – given most of the Purpose Innovation ideas, in fact lynches around collaboration, and so, I have started learning lot more about ant rafts, in last couple of days, and eagerly waiting for your presentation as well!

    Meanwhile, let me quote some more insights I learned from Georgia Tech study - you perhaps are already aware of this, and so, apologize in advance, if I am jumping the gun – and I quote –

    “By freezing the ants, the Georgia Tech team observed that fire ants construct rafts when placed in water by gripping each other with mandibles, claw and adhesive pads at a force 400 times their body weight. The result is a viscous and elastic material that is almost like a fluid composed of ant “molecules,” researchers said. The ants spread out from a sphere into a pancake-shaped raft that resisted perturbations and submergence techniques. To determine how this is possible, Tovey and the team tracked the ants’ travel and measured the raft’s dimensions. They found the ants move using a stereotyped sequence of behavior. The ants walk in straight lines, ricocheting off the edges of the raft and walking again until finally adhering to an edge, Tovey said. The ant raft is water repellent because of cooperative behavior. The ant raft provides cohesion, buoyancy and water repellency to its passengers. Even more remarkable, it is self-assembled quickly, in less than 100 seconds. It is also self-healing, meaning if one ant is removed from the raft, others move in to fill the void”.

    In closing “self bundling using the power of purpose causal chains and self-healing using the power of purpose scores” are in fact the key characteristics of purpose innovation – and, ant rafts, seem to be reflecting those characteristics 100% - and so, I could not wait to read your presentation. Regards, Charles