Vendor Relationship Matters


I went to Doc's discussion of VRM (vendor relationship management). We had a great discussion around a number of scenarios. There's Doc's (by now) famous rental car discussion. Dave Winer brought up Yahoo! Movies and Netflix and sharing data back and forth between them.

This kind of session easily turns into a discussion of how messed up most companies are. Doc summed it up thusly: "Living in a silo is self-destructive."

Doc said there were three pieces: transactions, intentions, and preferences. Avery Lyford boiled these down to three points:

  • What you've done
  • What you want
  • What you like

Intentions are crucial. It is antithetical to so-called "demand creation" marketing techniques like coupons or Spam. Big organizations have been doing this for years as RFPs or RFQs. I wonder how we keep managing our intentions from being a lot of work in the way that building RFPs is a lot of work.

Aggregating intention with a high degree of reliability is an activity that is salable. Lead generation is expensive. That's the thing that's worth money.