I’ve lately been posting under Dave Winer‘s threads, using an OPML editor. One of Dave’s latest posts bowls right up a big VRM alley, as he says in this tweet here. That alley is Intentcasting.
From my reply:
In the VRM development community, we started out calling the latter category “Personal RFPs,” but in the last few months we’ve started calling it Intentcasting. (Scott Adams of Dilbert fame called it “broadcast shopping.”)
A partial list of intentcasting developers is listed here.
An intentcasting scenario ten years hence is described in my Wall Street Journal essay from July. Let’s make it sooner than that.
Also take a look at this video demo of an intentcasting scenario, produced by @HeatherVescent for Innotribe, the innovation arm of SWIFT, the Belgium-based nonprofit that transfers $trillions per day:
That involves the Digital Asset Grid, which was demo’d two weeks ago in Osaka at SWIFT’s Sibos conference. A number of VRM developers have been involved with that, as well as myself. The main two contributing to the prototype, and there to demo it at Sibos, were Phil Windley of Kynetx and Drummond Reed of Respect Network. Phil has a nice rundown on the session.
A huge thanks to @Petervan for leading the whole project, over the last two years.
Here’s the current list of intentcasting developers at the ProjectVRM wiki:
|AskForIt † – individual demand aggregation and advocacy
|Body Shop Bids † – intentcasting for auto body work bids based on uploaded photos
|Have to Have † – “A single destination to store and share everything you want online”
|OffersByMe † – intentcasting for local offers
|Prizzm †- social CRM platform rewarding customers for telling businesses what they want, what they like, and what they have problems with
|RedBeacon † – intentcasting locally for home services
|Thumbtack † – service for finding trustworthy local service providers
|Trovi intentcasting; matching searchers and vendors in Portland, OR and Chandler, AZ†
|Zaarly † intentcasting to community – local so far in SF and NYC
I know there are more, and that the descriptions need updating and de-bugging. That’s why I’m listing these here. Write to me with corrections, or fix the wiki yourself. (If you’re not known to it, you’ll need to go through the registration thing.)
Two pieces in today’s Boston Globe worth checking out. Pun intended.
First is “Some markets bagging self-checkout: Cite problems and variables with system,” by Peggy Hernandez. Second is “Scan on a mission: Stop & Shop’s new smartphone app works as a super-fast self-checkout,” by Jane Dornbusch.
I’ve played quite a bit with self-check-out, and with Stop & Shop’s SCAN-IT! in particular. While I rarely find myself moving faster through check-out by doing it by myself, I do see the advantages for both customers and retailers. As Mike Grimes, CEO of Modiv told Peggy Hernandez, “Self-checkout is what you make of it. True customer service means choice. Albertsons and Big Y took that away from their customers. That is very likely not a good move.” Indeed, the report begins with news that Big Y is giving up on the self-checkout experiment. Didn’t work for them.
Stop & Shop seems quite committed to SCAN-IT. (I’m leaving off the exclamation mark, as I do with Yahoo.) Their shopping carts come with a metal holster for SCAN-IT’s scanning gun. And using the thing is almost entertaining. (You can also scan with your iPhone or Android.) From the story:
Both the app and the hand-held scanners keep track of your purchases — and you. The app knows where you are in the store. The result is that coupons tailored to your preferences and location pop up on your device as you shop. This has a creepy Big Brother feeling, but you get to save 35 cents on the jar of mayonnaise on your list.
The problem is, guesses about what you might want are made not only by your location in the store, but on your purchase history. Meaning that the pile of crap food you bought for a school picnic last Summer still looks to the store’s system like something you’ll want to buy over and over again. So, up come the coupons.
One of these days I’ll put up the photo essay of my tours of stores, including Stop & Shop, for the book I just wrote. The book tells the story in text, but the pictures are also telling. Stay tuned for that.
There is a lot of synergy between Ray Fisk‘s Customer Liberation Manifesto (in Service Science) and what we’ve been doing with VRM over the past few years. His focus (as Professor and Chair in the Department of Marketing at Texas State University-San Marcos) is on services. What’s so refreshing and welcome about his Manifesto is that he gives full respect to the customer as an independent entity who can (and will need to) lead in the dance with marketing. He writes of “enabling the customer century,” and tells readers, “Liberating service customers requires that service scholars and service organizations adopt a customer perspective.” And I love this graphic:
(Reminds me of the series of pyramids in this talk I gave at Kynetx Impact recently. Start at about slide 6.)
There’s more good meat in Ray’s Manifesto. Enjoy.