eDay2011 - Doc Searls
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eDay2011 - Doc Searls






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  • “ The return of power” is the conference theme; so I’m here to tell you about one source of power that will emerge in the next few years, and that’s the power of the individual customer. This is not just the power customers get from smarter phones and computers, or from social networks, but from new tools that are theirs alone. This is something I’ve been observing and working for personally, and there are many developers working on the same thing. The end result will be a whole new economy that will be very good for business, and for retailing in particular. To give you a a better sense of where I’m coming from, we’ll start with a brief review…
  • Why bother reading something written by the seller, gives all advantages to the seller and gives you only one choice?

eDay2011 - Doc Searls Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Liberated Customer is Good for Business
    • Doc Searls • @dsearls • 16 September, Emerce
  • 2. The captive customer is bad for business.
  • 3. We still believe the best customer is a captive one.
    • Our language gives it away.
  • 4. This is the language of what?
  • 5.
  • 6. We’ve built business to work like this:
    • Even on the Web.
    • In fact, especially on the Web.
  • 7. The Web we know is “client-server.”
    • It looks like this :
    Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more
  • 8. Think of a Web server as one of these: Server
  • 9. Think of a Web client as one of these: Client
  • 10. Now think of client-server as this kind of relationship: Client Server
  • 11. In the Web marketplace, it looks like this: Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more
  • 12. Each company has its own set of cow-calf relationships: Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more
  • 13. Helping manage this is a $16b business called CRM: Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more Server Client Client Client Client Client Client Billions more
  • 14. Client-server also causes weird legal effects, such as this stuff: You agree we aren't liable for annoying interruptions caused by you; or a third party, buildings, hills, network congestion, rye whiskey falling sickness or unexpected acts of God or man, and will save harmless rotary lyrfmstrdl detections of bargas overload prevention, or in the event of random siding management retrenchments, or Elvis leaving the building. Unattended overseas submissions in saved mail hazard functions will be subject to bad weather or sneeze funneling through contractor felch reform blister pack truncation, or for the duration of the remaining unintended contractual subsequent lost or expired obligations, except in the state of Michigan at night. We also save ourselves and close relatives harmless from anything we don't control; including clear weather and oddball acts of random gods. You also agree we are not liable for missed garments, body parts, or voice mails, even if you have saved them. Nothing we say or mumble here is trustworthy or true, or meant for any purpose other than to feed the fears of our legal department, which has no other reason to live. Whether for reasons of drugs, hormones, gas or mood, we may terminate this agreement with cheeful impunity, and there ’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Accept.
  • 15. Thesis: Free customers are more valuable than captive ones.
  • 16. So how to we get cage-free customers?
    • By giving them tools.
    • Such as…
  • 17. Give them tools for sending “personal RFPs” to whole markets on the fly .
    • For example, send a message saying you need a 200w 220->110 converter
    • in Amsterdam on a Sunday afternoon…
    • — without giving any more than the required information.
    • Scott Adams calls this “broadcast shopping.”
  • 18. Give them tools for managing relations with whole market categories.
    • This is loyalty on the customer’s terms.
  • 19. Provide tools that let customers set the prices they’re ready to pay.
    • And to escrow those payments at banks and other financial intermediaries.
  • 20. Provide tools for collecting and managing data from many sources.
    • We call these Personal Data Stores
    • (or vaults, or lockers)
  • 21. Provide ways for customers to assert their own legal terms
    • And to provide easy ways for both sides to make agreement as equals.
  • 22. Develop new forms of signaling, such as r-buttons:
    • The red button on the site ’s side is a signal that says,
    • “ We’re open to dealing with you on your terms.”
  • 23. Develop 4 th parties, to assist demand.
  • 24. We call this VRM, for Vendor Relationship Management
    • — Is how each of us manages relations with them …
    • at least as well as they think they ’re relating to us.
  • 25. VRM is a counterpart of CRM.
    • It can work together with CRM.
    • Or without it.
    • Either way, sellers will have to deal for real with empowered customers.
  • 26. Personal Data Stores:
  • 27. Personal RFPs:
  • 28. VRM technology providers:
  • 29. Oher VRM businesses:
  • 30. Free markets work best with free customers.
    • That’s why The Liberated Customer is good for business.
    • We’re going to get them anyway.
  • 31. Let’s talk.
    • http://projectvrm.org
    • [email_address]
    • @dsearls