This is how Chris Locke first
framed the Call of the Wild
This isn’t quite true yet.
Better grasping won’t make it true.
Making it true is something only we can do.
Not easy when we still see ourselves as “consumers”
Toffler saw marketing & markets
as opposed, way back in 1980
From The Third Wave:
“(The Industrial Age) violently split apart two
aspects of our lives that had always been one…
production and consumption…
“In so doing, it drove a giant invisible wedge into our
economy, our psyches …
It ripped apart the underlying unity of society,
creating a way of life filled with economic
The split in our psyches was
between producer and consumer
At work we forgot or
ignored who we
were at home.
So we “targeted,”
“captured” and tried
to “own” our very
our seats and
Meanwhile, the “value chain” model
is getting antique.
Management (CRM) isn’t enough.
CRM can focus, but it cant relate...
… as long as we’re just wallets with eyeballs…
… to be “acquired” and “managed.”
Free-range customers are better than captive ones.
What we need is VRM:
Vendor Relationship Management.
With VRM, we get to manage our relationships with
We get to set our terms.
We get to help vendors in ways CRM systems still
We get to help CRM actually relate.
I should be able to express global (and
logical) preferences outside of anyone’s silo.
IF I am calling for tech support,
THEN I don’t want to hear a
AND I am willing to pay X to
reach a human in <60 seconds.
I should be able to manage
my own health care data.
Instead of risking my life when I fill out manual
forms with names of diseases I don’t know
how to spell.
I should be able to issue a “personal
to whole markets, on the fly.
For example, send a message from my moving
car that I need a stroller for twins in 2 hrs…
— without going into a silo, or giving any more
than the required information…
— which mainly consists of being trustworthy
and having money to spend.
I should be able to manage my
relationships with vendors.
That means “agreements” need to go both ways.
My TOS should eliminate wordy TOSes from corporate
lawyers that nobody reads and everybody has to “accept”.
It means real relationships between truly consenting
Whether those relationships are enduring or transitory.
Kinda just like we have in the physical world.
We’re calling this VRM,
for Vendor Relationship Management
It tests the belief that markets can be truly free and open.
That every customer can be a “platform”.
We’re building tools that equip customers to be both
independent of vendors, and better able to engage with
We’re doing this at http://projectvrm.org.
Our first project is a new business
model for free media.
(that isn’t advertising)
Free media include…
Anything that’s either free on purpose or too easy to “steal”
Our first tool is the r-button:
a symbol of VRM+CRM
“I want to pay…
what I want.” And/or,
“I want to relate…
on my terms…
and not just yours.”
“This is my code’s way
of letting your code know that.
Even if you’re not listening. Yet.”
The relbutton can represent
three different states.
1. Intention to buy (and to relate).
2. Intention to sell, but also to
relate on your (the buyer’s)
terms, as well as your own.
3. Existing relationship — which
can be viewed and unpacked on
There’s no limit to data types
stored on both sides.
These can include intentions, transaction records,
preferences, memberships, “social graphs”,
shopping lists, existing agreements, whatever.
Here’s where you’ll see it first:
On a radio tuner for the iPhone and other
mobile Internet devices.
That provides a new business
model for media.
Starting with noncommercial sources.
And growing to include everything.
Starting with the music business, probably.
So, to sum up.
1. The customer is the new platform. This is how buyer
reach exceeds seller grasp.
2. Markets are relationships. Relating is the new frontier.
And a huge business opportunity.
3. The Intention Economy will grow around what we
actually want. Not just guesswork about that. Demand will
drive supply. Personally.
4. VRM will give CRM something much better to relate to.
5. Our work has just begun.
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