Archimedes said “Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I can move the world.”
For decades, big business has had a place to stand and move millions or billions of consumers. That place is mass media.
Now, with the Internet, customers have a place to stand as well. Sure, businesses of all kinds and sizes can also stand there, but that’s a good thing, because the Internet is a place designed to get rid of distances. Think of it as a giant zero between everybody and everything on it: a second virtual world that coexists with the physical one.
We need our own levers in this world. We already have a few, in the form of browsers, email, and ways to publish on our own. But we need new and better tools that make us both independent—able to stand on our own—and engaging, so we can do business.
- 1.1 Intelligent Personal Assistants
- 1.2 Intentcasting
- 1.3 Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS)
- 1.4 Privacy Protection
- 1.5 Databases
- 1.6 Messaging
- 1.7 Transaction Management
- 1.8 Online Dispute Resolution (ODR)
That’s in addition to hardware, code bases, protocols, frameworks and other forms of work.
Now, in Phase Two, we need to focus sharply on making levers for the Archimedes in each of us: ways we can move the world. For example, here are two requests that came up just in the last few days:
- A single way any of us can view and control all the subscriptions in our lives. Maybe it’s an app. Maybe it’s a dashboard. What matters is that it’s a single lever that scales across every subscription we pay for. Every magazine, premium cable channel, public radio station, podcast, whatever. One tool that scales across all of them—rather than as many tools as there are services we pay, each provided by them rather than by us.
- A single way any of us can view and control relationships and data flows between ourselves and all of the utilities and service providers that serve our homes. With one of these, we can see and compare, for example, energy and water uses over time, and easily reach and relate to any and all of our service providers. This too might be a dashboard of some kind.
This is in addition to the commercial relationship manager we’ve wanted with from ProjectVRM’s start ten years ago: a tool that gives us one way to change our contact information (e.g. last name or address) for every entity we deal with, in one move.
Those levers give each of us scale:
Ten years into this project, and the idea of giving individuals scale is still new, still odd. So, to help move both development and conversation forward, I suggest a new category, just for levers that give each of us world-moving scale: One to Zero, meaning One to the Whole Net. Abbreviation: 120. Hashtag: #120.
So, rather than asking if some product is an example of VRM, we can ask “Does that do 120?”
And let’s see how it goes.