-
Strategies for a discontinuous future.












Wednesday, October 01, 2003
 


I took some flak from folks about saying that there are cool marketing applications of RFID. Let me take a minute to clarify.

I don't mean that marketers should have the ability to track your every move and transaction without your consent. That clearly won't add any value to you. What I mean is that RFID can be used for bonafide innovation in creating cool things that consumer value: like at the new Prada stores, where RFID on the clothes brings up images of them on the catwalk.

Toys like this create the 'magic effect' for consumers - which is incredibly useful in marketing today. This is because the marketing world has created a kind of cultural arms race for itself, where it constantly appropriates social meanings, and then is forced to discard them. How many of your favorite songs have been ruined by commercials? What is the best response if your competitors pursue such marketing strategies?

Well, one is to imitate. The other is to innovate. Almost everyone to date - even those most people credit with producing cool ads, like Volkwsagen - are imitators. RFID offers a major avenue for innovation.

That said, I also think that there is going to be a fundamental tension for a long time between privacy and business, because IT powers business, and it's good at, well, storing and processing information. I like to think of this along three dimensions: transparency, control, and relevance. In the US, we are kind of in towards the low end in transparency, and the high (or business end) end in control.

But there are unhealthy equilibria on either side of this. For example, in the third world, business doesn't know anything about it's consumers (because it can't afford to develop IT capabilities). So those guys are low in transparency, low in control, and low in relevance.

I think the sweetspot for consumers and businesses - and society in general is high relevance, high transparency, and low (or consumer) control. If you want to know why, read Arthur C Clarke's The Light of Other Days, cos this post is getting waaay too long.

-- umair // 12:26 PM //


search



new


input

due diligence
ventureblog
a vc
techblurbs
tj's weblog
venture chronicles
terranova
the big picture
gigaom
venchar
bill burnham
babak nivi
n-c thoughts
paidcontent
techdirt
slashdot
london gsb
mefi
boingboing
blort
hardwax
betalounge

ing
morgan
chicago fed
dallas fed
ny fed
imf
world bank
nouriel roubini

portfolio
contact

mail.
uhaque (dot) mba2003 (at) london (dot) edu

skype.
umair.haque

atom feed

technorati profile

blog archives