December 28, 2007

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In her view

Nice to see this interview with Lisa Gates, one of our good friends back in Santa Barbara.

Tristan Louis is done with Palm. While his tale of tech support woe (ask for support, fail to get it, vow not to continue supporting the company), it does contain an interesting veer from the typical to the surreal: a tech support supervisor who claimed to be the company CEO.

The basic problem, as often happens with lame CRM systems, was that the company forgot that Tristan was ever a customer — even though he had been one for many years. I had the same problem with Dish Network last year.

So one advantage to VRM, as we build it out, is that customers can become trusted respositories of relevant relationship data. That way when the company forgets that somebody is a customer, the customer can remind them and business can proceed.

Meanwhile, Tristan is looking for a replacement phone and provider:

  I’m now shopping for another device and would welcome any recommendation. I also wouldn’t mind getting some information about how other people feel about tech support not only at Palm but also at other unlocked devices sellers. Is unlocked a category of the market that most vendors dismiss, reserving their best services for 3rd party mobile providers and is it something that might change in the future? I don’t know but what I do know is that I am now part of the group of people who must say: “Don’t ever buy a Palm device.”

Tristan’s basic request (for an unlocked device, presumably with some specific featurs) here is a personal RFP. Simple market logic is required: a request for a variety of specifics, broadcast selectively to providers of those specifics — without necessarily giving up any more information than the deal requires.

When helpful customers show up, suppliers are much more likely to help them.

This story by Dennis Howlett, on how spread and processed news of the Bhutto assasination, casts light on the continuing birth of The Live Web.

We also saw it a couple months back with coverage of the California fires near San Diego.

And it’s still early. It’s important to remember that. Everything on the Web is still just a prototype.

Here’s a Techcrunch story on a patent application by Tony Fadell, Senior Vice President of Apple’s iPod division. Under “Summary of the Invention”, it begins,

  A processing system is described that includes a wireless communication interface that wirelessly communicates with one or more wireless client devices in the vicinity of an establishment. The wireless communication interface receives a remote order corresponding to an item selected by at least one of the wireless client devices. A local server computer located in proximity to the establishment receives the remote order from the wireless communication interface and generates instructions for processing the remote order. The local server computer then passes the processing instructions to an order processing queue in preparation for processing of the remote order.

The comments below the story are worth reading, and a few are very clever. In any case, draw your own conclusions.

Mine is that this is a VRM move. If so, that makes it cool in my book. (Even though I’m no fan of software or business method patents. Still, companies like Apple are going to file them. It’s what they do.)

I also know Tony and like him a lot, so maybe I’m prejudiced a bit.