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Doc Searls - VRM


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Published in: Business, Technology

Doc Searls - VRM

  1. 1. The Personal Platform Doc Searls 1
  2. 2. Thesis: A free customer is more valuable than a captive one. Problem is, we still think the opposite way. 2
  3. 3. We’re still in the era of the captive customer. On the sell side, we try to “manage,” “control” and otherwise “own” them. That’s why… 3
  4. 4. We’ve come to think a “free market” is “your choice of silo.” Slaves, choose your captors! 4
  5. 5. Alvin Toffler called the all-silo era “The Industrial Age” He said it would come to an end with the beginning of the “Information Age.” That was in 1980. 5
  6. 6. 28 years later, the Net is here, but… The Industrial Age is still with us. We’re still trying to “manage” customers. This is still the case, for example, with mobile phones. 6
  7. 7. What’s new is still old. Mobile telephony is fine. Mobile anything is not. Yet. 7
  8. 8. If you want mobile anything, you need a generative platform. Generativity happens when the platform is the opposite of a silo. It runs on anything, and supports anything. PCs are generative. The Net is generative. The iPhone is not. Yet. Meanwhile, why not? 8
  9. 9. Toffler gave us the clues, 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 … That’s why… 9
  10. 10. Who we are at work still wants to “manage” who we are at home. So we still “target,” “acquire,” “capture,” “manage” and think we “own” customers. Even though the Net has been around for awhile. And we all have mobile phones. 10
  11. 11. You see it in our CRM systems. But here’s the cool thing… 11
  12. 12. Humans are generative. They run on whatever they want. And anything can run on them. Well, not yet. It will when they’re enabled. How can we make customers platforms and not just eyeballs? 12
  13. 13. What we need is VRM: Vendor Relationship Management. VRM CRM With VRM, we get to manage our relationships with vendors. We get to set our terms. We get to help vendors in ways CRM systems still can’t… yet. We get to help CRM actually relate. For example… 13
  14. 14. I should be able to express global (and logical) preferences outside of anyone’s silo. Such as… IF I am calling for tech support, THEN I don’t want to hear a commercial message. AND I am willing to pay X to reach a human in <60 seconds. 14
  15. 15. 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. 15
  16. 16. I should be able to issue a “personal RFP” to whole markets, on the fly. For example, send a message saying I need a 200w 220->110 converter in Amsterdam on a Sunday afternoon… — without going into a silo, or giving any more than the required information… — which mainly consists of being trustworthy and having money to spend. 16
  17. 17. Mobile is where VRM is going to take off. Because it’s finally getting generative. 17
  18. 18. I should be able to manage my relationships with vendors. By my own devices. That means “agreements” need to go both ways. My TOS should eliminate TOSes from corporate lawyers that nobody reads and everybody has to “accept”. It means real relationships between truly consenting patries. Just like we have in the physical world. 18
  19. 19. Our first project is a new business model for free media. (that isn’t advertising) VRM CRM Free media include… Non-commercial broadcasting Blogs, podcasts Music… Anything that’s either free on purpose or too easy to “steal” 19
  20. 20. Our first tool is the relbutton: a symbol of VRM+CRM It says, “I want to pay… what I want.” And/or, “I want to relate… VRM CRM 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.” Its how VRM meets CRM. 20
  21. 21. 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 either side. 21
  22. 22. 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. 22
  23. 23. Here’s where you’ll see it first: On a radio tuner for the iPhone and other mobile Internet devices. 23
  24. 24. That provides a new business model for media. Starting with noncommercial sources. And growing to include everything. Starting with the music business, probably. 24
  25. 25. VRM makes customers into platforms. It gives customers an API, or a set of APIs. You can program goods and services — based on what customers actually want, and are in control of. 25
  26. 26. Contact jive: Find us at It’s still a wiki. I’m at 26