LinkedIn, as a business-oriented social networking site, in my view, can create conditions to allow most of its users, that is, all registered identified professional talents, to willingly co-found a wide variety of virtual microenterprises, and project teams (such as fashion design) through freely inviting, communicating, negotiating, and contracting.
LinkedIn, of course, can also allow those self-organized virtual project teams and virtual microenterprises (or start-ups) to show and promote their skills and abilities to its other users, namely, all registered non-virtual companies. At the same time, all registered non-virtual companies are allowed to release related project/task demands to above virtual teams and virtual microenterprises (or start-ups) too.
And LinkedIn, similar to government, can establish a set of rules and procedures (even including tax and tariff laws and revenue model) for above virtual microenterprises and non-virtual companies to efficiently operate online by effectively integrating following fourteen function modules (i.e., main sections of this business-oriented social networking site), including talent profile, self-organizing and co-founding, business registration & licensing, financial service, business cluster, exhibition and auction, invitation for bid, international trade, intellectual rights, arbitration, credit reputation, sharing and creating, management of rules, risk management, into a whole indivisible network operating system.
As a result, a special online economic zone, where entrepreneurs, microenterprises, start-ups, project teams, and non-virtual companies, are all, can be established formally.
Then a wide variety of professional talents can be turned into virtual entrepreneurs, co-founders without any cost and risk. Just as Gary Hamel says, talents can set their own goals, design their own job, pick their own colleagues, approve their own expenses, or chose their own boss.
And then knowledge and ability can directly become capital without any helping from other economic resources, such as loans.
So we have a really knowledge economy, where knowledge and ability can play a most important role, even the only one.
The principles and means used in this article can be applied to lots of Fortune 500 companies.
First, despite having very strong desire to start a business, many people with necessary skills and knowledge can not make their dream come true as there is no startup capital to pay for office space, permits, wages and so forth.
Second, in many cases, due to lower level of management, small and medium-sized businesses actually want to hire a sophisticated project team rather than one to two talents. Their desire for hiring a mature project team can not be met, because there are no recruitment agencies and recruiting firms to do so in fact.
Here are fourteen main sections (i.e., function modules) which can be systematically integrated into a real business-oriented social networking site for solving above two problems.
Section 1 Talent Profile
Each professional talent registered by real identity can truly list their professional certifications and skills and try to proof them by using a book, a project, a case, an event and so on.
Take me, for example. My on-line pseudonym is Aaron Brook, I have published four books on business management in China. I think I am very creative. I look forward to closely cooperating with you.
To keep in mind that all information a talent provide must be absolutely true. Otherwise, those talents who have provided false information will face serious results in latter “credit reputation” section.
For making it easy to search, all talent profile needs to be classified by location, profession, age, etc.
Section 2 Self-Organizing and Co-Founding
Here each professional talent, based on different interests, goals, skills and professional certifications listed in section1, can freely invite others to talk, to plan, to discuss how to work together, how to share profit, how to contract, and how to form a project team, or a microenterprise (start-up).
To be effectively and efficiently Self-Organizing and Co-Founding, LinkedIn would better offer a series of collaboration templates, procedures, and contract specimens for talents to choose.
Section 3 Business Registration & Licensing
Other than being virtual and free of charge, all rules and processes is basically the same as government.
For establishing a good operating order, LinkedIn need to provide an electronic business license (including Business Trade Name, Employer Identification Number, Business Tax Identification Number, etc.) to above microenterprises (start-ups) and project teams.
Section 4 Financial Service
For the sake of security and regulation, LinkedIn should ask all its registered project teams and microenterprises (start-ups) to:
1 Sign electronic contracts for all their businesses they are allowed to do within this business-oriented social networking site.
2 Be sure that for efficient regulation, all electronic contracts signed by project teams and microenterprises (start-ups) must be preserved into Linkedin’ online banks.
3 Only have a current account on Linkedin’ online banks, of course without any fee for them to establish it, for them to make or receive payments.
All above microenterprises (start-ups) and project teams must obey those three rules. If not, they will not only face serious results in latter “credit reputation” section, also lost the protection from Linkedin.
Section 5 Business Cluster
As with online directories of businesses, here all above microenterprises (start-ups) and project teams can be classified into a variety of business categories, namely, business Cluster, such as web design, and accountancy services.
Each business Cluster can also be further broken down a few subbusiness clusters.
Section 6 Exhibition and Auction
After co-founding, registering, establishing a current account on Linkedin’ online banks, and being classified into a business cluster, a project team, or a microenterprise (start-up), eventually, can start to create, to invent, to show, and to sell their skills and works to registered non-virtual companies on LinkedIn now.
Section 7 Invitation for Bid
As the name implies, here all registered non-virtual companies can invite all related virtual project teams and virtual microenterprises (or start-ups) to take part in competition making a bid for a specific project/task.
Please note that like virtual microenterprises, all registered non-virtual companies is also asked to obey three rules mentioned early in section 4.
Section 8 International Trade
This kind of international trade refers to those businesses which occur between its users, above virtual microenterprises, and non-virtual companies identified and registered in different languages and countries.
The rules and procedures for this kind of international trade are largely equal to those for physical economy.
Section 9 Intellectual Rights
While above microenterprises (start-ups) and project teams run in a virtual social networking site, relevant intellectual rights they create should be protected as much strictly as in physical economy.
Section 10 Arbitration
To ensure the fair and transparent, all arbitration of commercial disputes in this special online economic zone must be held by an independent third party.
Section 11 Credit Reputation
Credit reputation can be seen as the core for this special online economic zone to operation at low costs and high efficiencies.
Once someone is confirmed to violate a rule made by LinkedIn, or someone is found to have participated in fraudulent acts defined by LinkedIn, then there must be a bad impact on individual credit reputation to influence his or her businesses.
Section 12 Sharing and Creating
This section is designed to make a space for all above virtual project teams, virtual microenterprises (or start-ups), and registered non-virtual companies to question, to answer, to communicate, to explore, to debate, to learn, to improve continuously, and to keep up with the pace of change in market.
Section 13 Management of Rules
We should pay close attention to the distinctions between “management of rules” and “management by rules”.
“Management of rules” means LinkedIn not only need to establish a set of rules, but also need to build a check-and-balance system to ensure rules’ fair and science.
As previously said, from day-to-day operations’ perspectives, LinkedIn is similar to government. So to be sustainable, based on related information Linkedin’ online banks provide, LinkedIn may need to collect some percentage of operation revenue that above virtual microenterprises receive in the course of their normal operations.
In addition, LinkedIn can also help government to collect taxes online, such as sales tax, similarly based on related information from its online banks.
Section 14 Risk Management
There is no doubt that risk management is an indispensable part of this special online economic zone's day-to-day operations.
The risks mainly come from two aspects. One comes from the IT system itself, the other comes from the operation management of this special online economic zone.
Following brief description about fourteen main sections, I want to emphasize once again that none of fourteen main sections can be divisible from a whole system.
1 On the old LinkedIn, it is individual skills that single talent promotes. But now on the new LinkedIn, it is integrated skills that each virtual project team, and microenterprise (or start-up) promotes.
We all know a "whole team" greater than the sum of several talents
2 As more and more virtual project teams, and microenterprises (or start-ups) get sophisticated, they can not only provide a lot more services to non-virtual companies, but can also work together to offer consumer good or final good，for example, a design team, a marketing team, and a accounting team can cooperate to offer clothing.
Hence non-virtual companies’ human resources budget can be reduced sharply. Meanwhile, business management and operations will become very simple.
Certainly, bureaucracy in non-virtual companies at the same time is busted.
This special online economic zone is really a whole new economy, a real knowledge economy, where knowledge and ability can immediately become capital without any help from financial capital, even become the only capital, or at least become the most important capital.
What’s more, as knowledge and ability can immediately become capital, college students who like Bill Gates want to start a business will not be necessary to quit their school.
1 From old opinion over Business Registration & Licensing.
2 From relevant governmental agency involved.
1 Try to reach a consensus on above fourteen main sections with business-oriented social networking site like LinkenIn.
2 Co-found this special online economic zone based above fourteen main sections.