Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

social network beats search every time?

If there were only a choice between using my social network or a search engine to find a bit of information, for me the social network wins every time.

We are just at the very beginning of the creation of social networks online but combined with off line networks, whether it be looking for somewhere to stay or the right venture capitalist, social networks have proved the best results for me.

Of course the reality is that the social network and search and deeply intermixed and one without the other would be see a world with poorer information.

Watch out for impressive new social networking services, they are going to continue to be everywhere.

collaboration is the new competition

How many times have we heard economist to policitians espoucing that competition is the key influencer in keeping markets efficient and staving off monopoly tendencies. The classic story being how if a market is producing excess profits then that will encourage new market entrants in to share in those profit but the net effect is that prices lower and thus all end consumers benefit.

That is the economics of the market driven economy, the economics of the 'attention' economy will see collaboration as the new competition mantra by the attionomists and policitians. How will that story go?

An individual demands a new service. The current flow of service has never been asked for that service before, those with the skills and talents contribute to that new service by offering up their time. The service is delivered. Other individuals are inspired by the new service and add their demand. The colloborators devote more of their time to this new service. However, demand keep coming and it's not a mass flow for homogeneous service, these are individual, personalized service demands, new iterations or even new evolutions of the original. The existing collaborators can not serve all the demand, attention pricing does not increase because new collaborators enter to serve the demand, (time will have allowed for retraining of skills and automation of key limiting factors now in the new service creation) and all individuals receive the service they require.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the average paradox

The clothes manufacturers and retailers produce piles of the same products. Given this mass homogeneous economy I do find it interesting to observe that on any given day the individual choices produce no to same outfit next to one another on the streets. I call this the average paradox.

Friday, August 25, 2006

an economy content to deliver AVERAGE

The current economy is optimized to deliver 'average'. Mass economies of scale being the underlying economic rational, the pile them high, sell them low mantra. The economies of stock (think Just in Time, end consumer personalization), being the challenger.

I had an interesting conversation the other week that lead me to conclude there was another force at work too that was driving us towards 'average'. Scarcity is the constraining resource that the science of economics was built on. And while information, in my mind is limitless, the current economy sets out to minimize the availability of information, the logic being the less information there is, the more perceived scarcity is created and the end result is the ability to drive up prices. The case can be made that we now live in a world with unlimited resources, (we produce too many cars to clothing) and the current role of the corporate suppliers is to create the illusions of scarcity, while mass producing average, which they call maximizing profits.

That is the old game for the economy. We are now seeing the re-purposing of the economy to focus on LIFE. Life is unique, we are all unique. This economy is being grown from the grass roots up and is here and now if you want to participate.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Individuals ready for identity empowerment

A call to all identity visionaries, entrepreneurs and existing providers, stop all your technical to technical - business to business conversations and focus all that energy and talent on giving the individual the power to create their own identity. Let the individual users create the market, we will move faster, wider and thus create the environment for an explosion of innovation in this new market place.

Have the courage to take this path. Show leadership.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The empowerment industry

A whole new industry is going to form around empowering the individual. These businesses will provide indentity services, attention services, tools etc. The common nature of all will be that their goal will be to listen to the individual and to deliver the empowerment they need. It is highly unlikely that these businesses will be able to stride both empowering the individual and provide services to another business entity.

It is not because there services won't touch other businesses, they will do, many, maybe many more than exist today but that interaction will come from the empowered individual selecting to engage with a business to serve their demands.

Empower the individual

I have put together this set of picture to illustrate my view on what empowering the individual is about.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Center of the universe = The individual

That is the individual, living, breathing and real.

Not, a windows operating system.
Not, an attention operating system.
Not, an identity management operating system.

Us as individuals will tell what mix of the above and other services and tools we require. This will give the suppliers of such services the empowerment to do what they have to do deliver the demand.

I don't believe this world hardly even exists today. As for tomorrow? It will be the norm.

Pinko marketing = telling the truth

Tara Hunt gave a thoughtful presentation at the Attention Trust last night. What is PinkoMarketing? To me it is all about telling the truth. Tara sets out 5 guiding rules/principles guiding this new era of marketing:

1. Listening, listen to your customers, no out bound messages required whether they be advertisements on television, online or email etc.

2. Be community advocates, help your customers by listening to their feedback by participating with them

3. 100% authenticity, live with the highest of ethics

4. Think small, customers in the end of the day are individuals

5. Open source principles, empowering of individuals, no silos of data, no wall gardens to restict information flowing to the customer.

Tara is giving inspiring leadership as we enter this new era of honest information.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

P to T to B, NOT TtoT + BtoB Identity empowerment

I have been soaking in all the information I can on where the world is with IDENTITY management. I am greatly encouraged that there is lots going on and it only seems a matter of time before empowered individuals have control over their identity online and on land.

Encouraged that there is a lot of individuals passionate about making this service real and the amount of technical brainpower being applied is vast. I may be calling this wrong based upon my limited involvement in meetings on the subject but I feel all the technical chat is taking our eye of the individual. As the technical chats then evolved to business-to-business chats, e.g. OK, we agree this ABC protocol, then your business and my business will adhere to that standard and then that will open up value to the end user.

I agree such chats are necessary in creating a new service but I feel this strategy is too disconnected from the end user, or individuals that are seeking to manage their identity for themselves.

Here is what I would like to see more of: Individuals are the starting point. We are demand the convenience and the promise of more personalised services and control our identities is a path we want to pursue to get to that value. The demand is here and now but what are we doing with it today? Nothing? We have to wait for until all the TtoT (technical to technical) stuff has been worked out and then for the businesses to act upon those changes. We are dis-empowering individuals from getting directly involved. I feel we could have a much stronger market adoption time line if we get individuals more involved today.

Here is a suggestion: The browsers all offer to remember our identity e.g. usernames and passwords. Why can we not release an identity service that is controlled by the individuals not the browser company today? The service would provide the 'glue' that would automate my log in to all the website I use today. OK, that's the win, no release of personalised information to the website to invite a personalized service as the standard are not complete at that level.

So, in connection with the individual use of the service we can aggregate the user power for website of share interest e.g. at and that will show them that XX thousands of people are expressing demand. This will force change at the speed of the individual i.e. true demand and not of those of the technical standards or business deals. This expression of demand is missing for the current market I feel. If I am wrong please send me link to the sites that provide me with this expression of my empowerment.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Expectations & future mind warfare

How do we decide what we are going to do in the next second, minute, hour, day, tomorrow, weekend, next week, year in year out until the next second does not appear?

I think it will take the whole lifetime of this blog to answer but I want to focus on the role Advertising plays in the context of the question above.

My economics studies taught me there were two type of advertising, 1. Provide product/service information to the market, 2. Provides information to persuade demand to choose between products/services. If I recall rightly, the hypothesis is that the second adds no economics value to the wider economy, infect it could be argued it will reduce the size of the overall economy as scarce resources are allocated to create no.2 type advertising, labor, capital, natural resources and time.

By way of a sweeping generalization most income from Internet businesses is in the form of ad's. Well, those are the revenues I am going to focus on. Ad sense, introduced by google, on one hand can be seen as the savour of the Internet economy, a way has been found to make an internet business sustainable, more than that it is a corner stone of an investment portfolio with its Fortune 500 status. Question, is ad sense and the others, yahoo, msn, myspace etc. offering type 1 or type 2 advertising?

It's type 1. Millions upon millions of clicks on ads up to billions of dollars of revenue therefore, it must have provided the individuals with information that they were looking for.

It's type 2. These product/services are already 'real' and are competing for the right to be consumed. In short, they are adding to the cost of other individuals products and diverting scarce resources away from the 'fathering of mankind'.

Both right?

I feel the answer lies in the hands in each and every individual. Do you set out with the goal of building an experience you have aleady envisioned or are you at the mercy of others to influence the future decisions forming in your mind? If you can be persuaded to change via ads is that alright? Even if you know what you are seeking to create, ads can still provide information that will help you create the unique experience you would not be able to create on your own.

Individual empowerment and control suggests and I am of the opinion that type 2 advertising will soon disappear from economic models. What does this mean for ad based businesses? They will go out of business right? Could do, but the smart ones will realize they are in the individual empowering business and the ad income was a stepping stone route they chose to take along the way. The years ahead will tell if that evolution can be made or will a new start ups, pure to the individual empowerment vision arrive and take over?

Individuals will decide.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I was initially surprised to read this blog posting at the Attention Trust about a member re assessing their commitment to the concept of Attention. However, after some thought I understood their issues and I believe two factor will help the advancement of the attention cause.

1. More debate on the intellectual concept of attention.

2. More practical relevance to every day lifestyles and to business.

I'll expand on point 2. in the context of my start up . Lets assume we have launched our service and are empowering baby boomers to live their chosen lifestyle and to minimizing their risk of developing chronic heart disease. It's working great for the boomer and they hear of another new start up that is providing a cancer prevention service. From the baby boomers point of view they have invested a lot of time to capture their lifestyle data and bio profile that is used to personalize the delivery of information that supports their chronic heart disease prevention services. If we did not adhere to the concepts of Attention: the data belonging to the individual, they probably would not sign up to the cancer prevention service. Why? This is obviously not an optimal status for the baby boomer and that is a lost opportunity for the start up. Maybe even to the whole of society as the start up fails due to lack of demand due to the structural silo isolation of the data held at our service. This is not the world we want to create, therefore, our service will enable the baby boomer to export the data they want and import it into the cancer prevention service. Both businesses should also enable the baby boomer to combine the logic of our software and User Interface to create a seamless and easy to use service and experience for the baby boomer.

I believe we need to build a whole portfolio of practical uses for the individual and business. focuses on the mortgage market and provides an exchange of all attention data.

More examples will follow.

The Individual




Identity: Read Kaliya Hamlin's, Identity Woman blog to find out more about her and other efforts to empower your identity online.

Attention: It your attention, own it and empower yourself with the help of the Attention Trust or Interra Project.