This afternoon at 4:30 I’ll be talking (though not alone… it’s a discussion, not a lecture) at the Ethos Roundtable in Cambridge (the new one with Harvard and MIT, born in 1630-something; not the older one The topic will be The Intention Economy: What happens when free customers prove more valuable than captive ones.
Are you tired of carrying around “loyalty cards” for retailers who speak to themselves about “acquiring,” “owning” and “controlling” their “relationship” with you? — and do little more than clog your wallet and slow down checkout lines?
Are you tired of login and password hell? In the everyday world you don’t have to become a “member” of a store to shop there, or to click “accept” after not reading “agreements” that are anything but.
Wouldn’t it be cool to rent exactly the car you want (for example, one that seats six and has an AUX input for your iPhone), rather than whatever the rental car agency decides to give you?
If you answer Yes to any of those questions, you should know about VRM, for Vendor Relationship Management. It’s how we manage them at least as well as they manage us.
VRM tools are being developed right now by a community of developers and other volunteers, organized around ProjectVRM at Harvard’s Berkman Center and led by Doc Searls, the originator of the VRM concept and a fellow at the center.
That same pitch would also do for the VRM Event in Amsterdam on Thursday. I’ll be there too. Big thanks to Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald and friends for putting that together, even as Maarten continues to withstand medical insults in the midst.