Date: April 29, 2010

CRM (Mag) digs VRM

Got an email a couple days ago from Andre Durand saying it was great to see VRM making the cover of the May 2010 edition of CRM Magazine. Well, “cover” doesn’t cover it. Seems like about half the magazine is devoted to VRM, or to what Cluetrain (which in many ways begat VRM) still says, ten years later, about the independence, autonomy and centrality of individual human beings to the workings of a healthy marketplace.

The link above and behind the image goes to a .pdf of the magazine. I’ve hardly had a chance to look at it yet (and it’s hard to my old eyes using a laptop screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, which makes small print microscopic), but I just discovered that all the articles are here in .html form. Here’s the table of contents, with links:

This is a Big Deal. The original motives of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) were good ones, but far too much of CRM’s use by companies today is unfriendly rather than friendly to customers. The language is a give-away. Customers are “consumers” that companies “track,” “target,” “acquire,” “lock in” and “manage” as if they were animals or slaves. Not that CRM pros are bad people or slave-drivers. (Quite the contrary: all the CRM people I know are fine folks.) Just that with CRM, relationships tend to be under the control of the vendor rather than the customer. With VRM, customers are in charge of their sides of relationships with multiple vendors in the connected retail environment. Once this becomes real, the whole system — and the marketplace with it — changes. And it won’t change unless VRM and CRM work together. As the techies put it, we need AND logic, rather than OR.

The good folks at CRM Magazine see that. And for that we owe huge thanks to Tara Hunt, who made the original connections with CRM Magazine folks, and started conversations that fanned out to include many other folks doing good work in the VRM community. So, a big thank-you to her. Also to CRM Magazine for having the curiosity, vision and guts to look seriously at VRM and its development efforts — and to everybody in the VRM community for playing a part.

Lots of good work going on. Let’s keep it up.

Being a platform for your own health

In “Gimme my damn data!” The stage is being set to enable patient-driven disruptive innovation, Vince Kuraitis says,

We assert that to disrupt within a non-working system is to bark up a pointless tree: even if you win, you haven’t altered what matters. Business planners and policy people who do this will miss the mark. Here’s what we see when we step back and look anew from the consumer’s view:

  1. We’ve been disrupting on the wrong channel.
  2. It’s about the consumer’s appetite.
  3. Patient as platform:
    • Doc Searls was right
    • Lean says data should travel with the “job.”
    • “Nothing about me without me.”
  4. Raw Data Now: Give us the information and the game changes.
  5. HITECH begins to enable patient-driven disruptive innovation.
  6. Let’s see patient-driven disruption. Our data will be the fuel.

Well, to point #3, it’s more than just me. I wrote what Vince calls “right“, and that Dave deBronkhart (e-Patient Dave) also cites, when I was in the hospital and observed the system up close and personal, and found that others have been advocating Patient as Platform for a long time, though with different names. Kudos to all of them.

I have one small quibble, and that’s with the word “consumer.” Patients today no longer only consume. They produce.  What they want and need is more responsibility for their own health care. More importantly, a patient cannot be a platform if he or she is only consuming. By nature and definition, a consumer is a subordinate creature. It lives downhill from the flow of services. Platforms stand below what they support, but are not subordinate. They are the independent variable on which the variable ones standing on it depend.

For more along these lines, follow Adriana Lukas here, where (among other things), she has MINT, which stands for My Information Not Theirs.

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