ValueWeb Communities

Making the Wealth Creation Engine


I believe that the ValueWeb concept will be the next organizing principle of business, governments, NGOs and other communities of practice and interest. Present organizational models and practices fail to meet the conditions of the modern workplace and markets.


These traditionally separated forms of enterprise (government and and private; profit and nonprofit; institution and community) will be more closely structured in three principle ways. First off, they will tend to operate more in the same way. More importantly, they will intertwine with each other to a far greater extent that we have seen (in the West) in the last couple of centuries. Third, almost no matter their location or size, they will most likely be part of global webs in some way - and, as nodes in those webs, they will be connected to many cooperating and competing organizations and networks. Nodes within them will be nodes in other webs. This complexity will require that ValueWebs and their components (networks, nodes, channels, clusters) operate by Patchworks-like rules. ValueWebs are best understood a Living Systems (Miller).


The ValueWeb Model is made up of four major components - each in themselves a network which can be a ValueWeb architecture on anther level of recursion. They are: the user (customer) network; the producer network (including supply chain); the investor network (including social investors) - and, the system integrator (management). No matter the size of a ValueWeb, these four components have to be in relative balance with one another else the web will be distorted and start acting in strange and unstable ways. The Networks themselves and made up of sectors (we call them “clamshells”) each with it’s own unique function. In all, there are 22 distinct types of components and sub-components that make up a mature ValueWeb. Each will “play” differently in any particular ValueWeb. Nevertheless, understanding the basic nature of these components is all that is required to start discovering how ValueWebs work and to engage in the design process of making one.


The purpose of a ValueWeb is to create and distribute wealth. Wealth in the broadest definition not just in narrow (UpSideDown) economic terms. And, the idea of equable distribution is to do it in the terms of each individual ValueWeb member. This is something a generic economy does not do to the level of fine graininess required by today’s circumstances. People become stakeholders of an enterprise for different reasons. An investor, for example, who is investing for long term revenue is different that one investing for rapid growth. A knowledge-worker looking for experience is different than one supporting a mature family with children in collage. Customers, also, can have different reasons for buying the same product. These interests can be come unnecessarily competitive. Their conflict can distort the enterprise’s efforts creating destructive long term liabilities. Sometimes financial markets cause a company to make decisions for short term results that they know are unwise in the larger scheme of things. This is but one example. Markets as a whole sort these kinds of issues out. Enterprises need to be able to do the same inside their own domain. Policy has to give way to internal markets and organic adaptation. In a ValueWeb architecture, the mechanisms exist that support all stakeholders in this process.


The definition of WEALTH is shifting. This is being driven by many trends. The amount of wealth, itself is a factor. Notice in the 2001-2002 turndown, despite layoffs and September 11, consumers continued to spend. This shortened the recession a great deal. The wealth creation in the last two decade has been tremendous. Despite theoretical loses when stock markets retreat, there remains great stockpiles of cash and credit. Where governments used to intervene to charge the economy, people now do it themselves.


Wealth creation tools are much more ubiquitous. 25 years ago if one want to do work requiring great computing power s/he had to work for the government, military, a university or large corporation. No more. Tremendous capability is available virtually everyone in the advanced countries. Shared computing over the Internet has accomplished tasks that used to take super-computers with large supporting organizations. This is a knowledge economy now and the tools necessary for knowledge creation are widely available and rapidly becoming more so.


The amount of available capital and the sophistication of investment channels is changing the landscape of business and NGO start ups. Incubators are progressively learning how to facilitate this process. This is not unlike the development of the great industrial research institutions of the 20th century. These feed a steady supply of basic knowledge and applications ideas into large corporations. WWII and the Cold War stimulated tremendous R&D which added to the flood of new products in the 90s. These processes of “enterprise-making” are now widely distributed - however, they are not integrated. The refocusng of corporations to their markets, the decline of defence related R&D, the relative decline of the government, university, business covenent that emerged from WWII has left and integration gap.


Great wealth-creating capacity exists. Greater potential is still latent, disconnected and sub-optimized.



Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
March 13, 2001



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posted: March 13, 2001

revised: February 17, 2002
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Copyright© Matt Taylor 1985, 1996, 2001, 2002



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