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Keep Things Stupid and make the Cloud Smart

Menno van Doorn
September 04, 2013

personal-cloud-348x196 (1)Is this a story about QR codes? In fact it is. Doc Searls, visionary, author of the Cluetrain Manifesto of course, talks about Internet of Things in this video with CRM Analyst Ashley Verrill of Software Advice – a contact management company. I’ve worked with Doc before and coincidently we bumped into each other two months ago in New York. He immediately started talking about Internet of Things and the importance QR codes. If you think QR is so 2010, you might be wrong. . Doc Searls wrote an article for Harvard Business Review lately, called “Products as platforms” which lead to this interview.  Doc is well known for his Vendor Relationship Management concept (VRM) and foresees a crucial role of Personal Clouds. These are smart digital environments for all things personally important. The only thing you need is a QR-code to connect to it, no RFID. The Thing itself stays stupid, there’s no need to make things intelligent. Intelligence should be in the cloud. That’s where you want it to be. It’s your personal cloud that others (like vendors) can connect to if you want. This data-centric ecosystem can provide you with a lot more intelligence than a single “thing”. It’s as simple as it is convincing and relates to Mark Weiser’s 1996 concept of Calm Technology. Just as the PC, the internet, and the smartphone led to more personal empowerment and freedom and opened vast new marketplaces, “The Internet of Me and My Things” will do the same. The difference this time is that every product can become a platform — for real relationships, rather than relationships in name only.

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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