The most important Kickstarter ever

Fuse is more than a device and a smartphone app to go with it. The world is full of those already.

Fuse is the first product in the digital age that can blow up every one of the silos built to trap personal data and limit personal independence.

Fuse does that by putting you — literally — in the driver’s seat of your life.

Fuse is also the first product to show how your own “Internet of things” can be fully yours — and truly integrated in ways that work for you — without requiring that you become a serf in some company’s castle.

Fuse is an invention of Phil Windley and his team at Kynetx, who are committed to the freedom,  independence and self-empowerment of individuals: to making you a driver of your own life and your own stuff, and not just a “user” of others’ products and services. And to letting you be “social” in your own ways, as you are in your everyday life outside the Web.

This is why Fuse is Net-native, not Web-native (though it uses the Web too). This matters because the Net was created as a decentralized World of Ends, where every node can be sovereign and independent, as well as zero functional distance from every other node. The Web could have been the same, but instead it grew on top of the Net, along lines defined by client-server architecture (aka calf-cow), which makes everything there centralized: you’re always a client, and always at the mercy of servers. This is why the browser, which started out as a vehicle on the Information Superhighway, turned into a shopping cart that gets re-skinned at every commercial site you visit, and carries tracking beacons so you can be a better target for advertising.

Fuse drives under and away from that model, which has become terribly corrupted, and toward what Bob Frankston (sitting next to me as I write this) calls the “boundary less” and “permissionless” world.

If Fuse succeeds, it will be a critical first step toward building the fully independent vehicle for the fully independent human being on that same old Information Superhighway. And it will do that that by starting with your own car.

There are only a few hours left for the Fuse Kickstarter campaign. The sum required is only $60,000, and contributions have passed $50,ooo already. So help put it over the top. It could be the most leveraged investment you’ll ever make in the future of personal independence in the networked world.

More background in my first post on Fuse.

[Later, same day...] Goal reached:

294 backers
$63,202 pledged of $60,000 goal
Looking forward to seeing Fuse’s pudding prove the headline above. :-)

12 comments

  1. Mike Grace’s avatar

    Important distinction between Net-native and Web-native. Very excited for this project to come to fruition.

  2. Christian Gray’s avatar

    Had a great talk with Phil about Fuse yesterday and it could be a game changer… I backed it and I hope many others do as well.

  3. johan’s avatar

    2000+ characters and i still don’t know what it is?

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    It isn’t an “it,” johan. If you’re willing to take in a few more thousand characters, read back through Phil Windley’s blog. That should tell you plenty.

  5. JW’s avatar

    I read this entire article and I come away with no sense of what the product will do for me in straight, technical terms.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Did you follow the links, especially to Phil Windley’s blog? Plenty of straight and technical terms there. Some are new, but that doesn’t make them neither straight nor technical.

  7. JW’s avatar

    Just read the post by johan, who had the same complaint, and the obtuse reply. The article seems written specifically to hide and delay comprehension of what the product really is – your typical Marketing speak that says nothing specific other than a brand without meaning.

    What I actually thought htis was going into the article was software the eradicates your entire online presence if you decide to leave cyberspace. Facebook account? Wiped and deleted. Twitter? Wiped and deleted. So that no corporation can own you and your data. You have control and can choose what you allow web services to retain about your life to keep your dignity and privacy. THAT would be a product.

    This was a bad article that made me think the product was one thing when it is actually something else. To johan – it’s a product that appears to interface with your car’s computer. That’s not nearly as big a deal as owning your own data and refusing to allow web services to feel they own you.

  8. Doc Searls’s avatar

    JW & johan,

    Did you read Phil’s blog? Not trying to be obtuse. Just asking.

  9. JW’s avatar

    Yes, I read it after your article.

    Here’s the confusion: It is your second, bolded paragraph that makes this a misleading philosophical article which is non-specific, even etheral (detached from the real), to the product your actually trying to help. I am completely unaware of what “silo” means specific to the product because I am given no information about the product from which I can discern the context. And so the article becomes meaningless. That how I jumped to the much broader and wrong conclusion that this product was about some sort of social site control.

    There is a small group of web developers who created thehealthsherpa.com over a weekend to provide what the government couldn’t do over three year with hundreds of millions of dollars: Give people what they want up front – the details. They start with pricing whereas the government developers make you wade through an entire process before getting around to the pricing at the end. It behaves just like Marketing whose only purpose in life seems to be to obscure the details with ethereal branding jargon and make you wait until the bitter end for what it is and what it costs.

    This article’s fault is like that. Provide the real, tangible details up front and then get into the philosophical basis for the product for people who like that sort of thing. I understand the philosophical difference between an open API versus one that is proprietary and closed. But as you can tell, I lost patience because I was not told what the product really is up front. If there’s one thing I would teach the Marketing forces of the world, it is to not hide their product behind all that fluff and force people to endure non-specific text to get to what they really want – the price and the features.

    So what I’m saying is that if you want to help a Kickstarter, please get to the real, tangible, specific details first. Then have at all the fluff you want.

  10. Doc Searls’s avatar

    JW,

    Thanks for constructive criticism.

    I could have been more clear about what I meant by silo. I also think most readers would know, at least by inference.

    This isn’t an article. It’s a blog post. It’s also what I wrote in wee hours of yesterday morning, with little sleep, late in the funding window for the Fuse project. I wanted the post to help put the project over the top. I believe it did exactly that.

    It also wasn’t my only post on the topic. That’s why I also linked to the earlier one, which I believe was more specific than this one.

  11. Kevin Cox’s avatar

    Phil’s system is important because it is genuinely private. Fuse knows all about Phil’s cars but there is no other organisation that can access the information about Phil’s cars. Fuse has signed up to Respect Network and if Fuse lets data leak to others without Phil’s permission then Fuse will be liable to sanctions by the Community within which Fuse operates.

    Fuse is developed in CloudOS and because CloudOS enables peer to peer interactions the communications are between Phil and his vehicles.

    Phil’s wife should be able to pull her car from Phil’s Network and, if Phil wishes, others should be able to join Phil’s Network.

    The next step is to imagine instead of Phil’s cars being connected Phil can connect other data. E.g. his bank accounts, his financial dealings with the Car Dealer, and all his other financial transactions. We then have Phil’s financial vehicles all connected and Phil promises to report all income and expenditures on which he pays taxes. There can be a trusted organisations – also members of the Respect Network – operating a reconciliation system that reports to the government all unreconciled transactions involving Phil. Phil and the government and the reconciliation system sort it out between them without the government having to know all Phil’s transactions.

    This is an alternative to the world of constant economic surveillance. We watch ourselves and report our obligations to others. We do not need others to do it. We can be trusted because the system can be trusted to report when we do not fulfil our obligations.

    It is highly likely this approach (or something similar) will prevail over surveillance because in evolutionary terms it is fitter. It is fitter because it costs less to operate and build.

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