The main difference between SENSORICA and a corporation is that members of SENSORICA are only remunerated if their input reaches the market. Corporations pay their employees per hour and are obliged to focus activities. In this context, passionate work that is not aligned with immediate business goals is restricted, which limits the creativity of the organization.
Google understood that passion is the source of innovation. They allow their employees to spend 20% of their time on personal projects. G-mail, Adsense, and Google News were initiated by self-motivated employees. 3M developed a 15% time rule in the 1950s. Other companies are trying it too, but not everyone can afford it. There needs to be a large profit margin to sustain this type of couture, taking into consideration that creativity and innovation are highly unpredictable.
On the other side, gift economies like Linux, Wipedia and other open projects are thriving on pure passion. The adverse side is that contributors are not remunerated directly and in a tangible way for their work.
SENSORICA situates itself somewhere in between. Everyone is free to engage in passionate activities, and everyone understands that not all activities will bear fruits in the form of successful products. In other words, not all activities will be remunerated in a tangible way; this is the gift economy part of it. The members that are more motivate by tangible revenue will adhere to collective activities that promise market success. That is their choice, and this choice is informed by internal systems of market analysis and strategy.
The value accounting system we are designing must be compatible with this idea. All activities are recorded in detail and are evaluated. The revenues form every product exchanged on the market are redistributed to SENSORICA's members according to their individual contributions to every particular product. These contributions are recovered from the database on logged activities. Some activities might be counted as part of a product a short time after their completion, for others it might take a longer time. Some input might never see the market.
The reputation and the role systems will also pick up data from the database of logged activities. For example, members that contribute to viable products on a regular bases will be recognized as being revenue oriented and major contributors to the tangible wealth of the community. Other members that are mostly driven by passion will be attributed other roles and will gain a different reputation. Non-tangible value is still value, and some of us are driven by it. And one cannot exclude the possibility that one day an individual passion-driven contribution can find itself at the core of a very successful product.
Revenue in SENSORICA is conditioned by market exchanges. This allows us to incorporate a gift economy within our model. Development can be market-driven or passion-driven. We get the best of both worlds.
See the first comment to this post for more clarification on the impact these new ideas have on our value accounting system.
Thoughts on Google’s 20% time