The Customer as God: Doc Searls in the Wall Street Journal
21 July 2012 — Today the Wall Street Journal Weekend Review featured a front page article by Doc Searls, author of The Intention Economy and one of the Respect Network architects. Called The Customer as a God, the article is a compelling argument for customer empowerment, the tenant at the heart of the Respect Network. To quote from the article:
Since the Industrial Revolution, the only way a company could scale up in productivity and profit was by treating customers as populations rather than as individuals—and by treating employees as positions on an organization chart rather than as unique sources of talent and ideas. Anything that stood in the way of larger scale tended to be dismissed.
The Internet has challenged that system by giving individuals the same power. Any of us can now communicate with anybody else, anywhere in the world, at costs close to zero. We can set up our own websites. We can produce, publish, syndicate and do other influential things, with global reach. Each of us can be valuable as unique individuals and not only as members of groups.
Doc has long understood that giving individuals the tools to interact with companies as true peers in a win/win for both. This movement has come to be called VRM (Vendor Relationship Management), and it was the the inspiration for the development of the Respect Trust Framework and the Respect Network. We are working with Doc and the other Respect Network architects and Founding Partners (which now include Neustar and Swisscom) to build the world’s first trusted personal data network, where customers and companies can communicate and share information as peers over trusted personal channels. Empowered customers will lead to empowered companies and a healthier and more robust economy for everyone.