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The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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a must-read book ” TechCrunch
Doc Searls has written a very thoughtful book on the intention economy and the promises it holds for both vendors and customers.” Forbes
Searls’s vision raises provocative questions for companies and for marketers.” strategy+business magazine magazine
This is a thoughtful, well researched book with a compelling thesis and call to action for marketers.” Decision
a brilliant piece on free markets and the Internet” Linux Journal
Do yourself a favor. Read The Intention Economy by @dsearls. It’s a very quick study in what VRM means for both brands and consumers.” Business 2 Community (business2community.com)
The fine distinction between consumer and customer is at the heart of this insightful look at how some companies, like Trader Joe's, are moving in the direction of the "intention economy," where the desires and needs of individual customers primarily determine what the vendors offer.” Fort Worth Star Telegram
it’s fun, insightful reading for anyone interested in becoming self-actualized, liberated customers.” SocialMedia.biz
Finally a thoughtful, hype free book worth reading about digital marketing, the relationships we have with vendors, and a vision for a better future where we have greater control of our personal data.” ZDNet
ADVANCE PRAISE for The Intention Economy:
JP Rangaswami, Chief Scientist, salesforce.com
Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.’ That’s the way the draft of the US Government’s planned Privacy Bill of Rights begins. If you want to understand what this really means, then Doc’s book is the place to start. In fact, if you want to understand anything about what’s really happening with customers, this book is for you. An excellent read.”
Seth Godin, author, We Are All Weird
Profound, far-reaching, and one of those books people will be bragging about having read five or ten years from now.”
John Hagel, Co-Director, Center for the Edge; coauthor, The Power of Pull
This book provides a much-needed road map for a profound shift in global markets. Vendor Relationship Management will turn markets as we know them inside out. Searls, as the key architect of this new movement, provides a compelling view of both why and how these changes will occur. You cannot afford to ignore this book."
Esther Dyson, angel investor
From Doc’s mouth to vendors’ ears! Doc Searls describes the economy the way it should be, with vendors paying attention to individuals’ wants and needs. I see a few such business models emerging, and I hope Searls’s book will incite a rush of them.”
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., co-authors of Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage
Deliciously skeptical of today’s business models, Searls paints a compelling picture of the future. And if you’re a business manager, The Intention Economy is essential reading. Think of it as an API for dealing with empowered customers. ”
Clay Shirky, author, Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus
No one has a better sense of the changing relationship between vendors and the rest of us than Doc Searls. In The Intention Economy, he explains the networked economy and your place in it, whoever you arebuyer, seller, advertiser, user.”
About the Author
Top customer reviews
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He has been a tireless advocate for the notion that information about your life, your actions, and your preferences has value... and that you should both control that value and get a piece of it.
I've been lurking on his Project VRM list for a few years, and the ideas shared there have helped me understand issues that may seem a little abstract at first glance - some are revolutionary - but they may well drive the future of business and our society.
Don't even think of betting on Big Data, working in marketing, starting a business or investing in a company without reading this book.
Every chapter in this book is a revelation on an important topic, from the coming collapse of the advertising bubble, to the need for customer-based contracts instead of the current lopsided boilerplate contracts of adhesion, to the Internet as a managed commons, which can support individuals owning their own data and negotiating with an open market for what they need: based on their own intentions, rather than from some expensive (in money and effort) algorithm devised to mine their data and ferret these out. Who knows their intentions better than the customer?
The new economy, based on fourth-party brokers that act on behalf of the customer --not the vendor--will be open (newcomers welcome, no silos allowed), efficient (no more guessing intentions, transactions are knowledge-full), effective (allowing vendors to work together), and it will bring the Internet closer to its potential as a free exchange of knowledge that can also support innumerable transactions and contracts. In the end, this is also a story of a work in progress, as Doc and others have already started to build software services to explore this new economy. This is an important work, that announces what could, and I would argue, should be a new direction for an Internet enabled economy.
As a bonus, the work is extraordinarily well written at the prose level, and is not simply a blog-to-book. Each chapter adds substantially to the overall argument. I cannot recommend this book too highly. I am encouraging friends and strangers alike to give it a read.
I would also submit that there are corollaries to the commercial vendor/customer relationship that Doc's logic and services would help improve. How much better would civil society be if the intentions and the capabilities of citizens, and the problems they face, were announced in this fashion to their local governments? How much more effective would continuing education be if the student could announce the skills they require to the world and have multiple offers for training? The Internet as a managed commons (Doc does a great job of advancing Lewis Hyde's work on the commons) extends to many facets of our social interactions, not just those that involve transactions for money. Doc does talk about micro-transactions, but there are also new efforts to enable a sharing economy that would benefit greatly from these services.
He provides a great perspective on the evolution of online systems and highlights a "long wave trend" towards systems that provide users more control over their online data. Such systems incent users to provide more accurate data about themselves, and therefore enable vendors to better serve them. This creates a virtuous cycle that has the potential to unlock tremendous value and protect privacy.
He also highlights a path for the next wave of software innovation on the internet that is important for marketers, technologists and business people.