The Power of Pull


David Siegel

This week on the Technometria podcast, Scott and I talk to David Siegel, the author of The Power of Pull. David talked to me one or two times quite a while back about identity as he was researching this book, but I didn't really know what the book was about or why he cared about identity. In appreciation, he sent me a copy of the book when it came out and I left it sitting on my desk for a number of weeks before I picked it up. When I did, I was blown away.

I'm certain that the podcast won't do justice to the material in the book--you have to read it for the full impact--but maybe it will give you and idea of why this is such an important work.

For years, we've heard about the semantic web and mostly it's been a bunch of talk about RDF, ontologies, and so on. David's talking about the semantic web, but he does it by telling us how our lives will change when data is portable and systems can manage it without constant interaction with us. These changes--and they're inevitable--will change everything from health to commerce to how we play golf. What struck me as I've read the book was the shear ubiquity of the impact.

The title, Pull, comes from the central idea of the book that more and more people will pull things to them, rather than being at the receiving end of a push. I wrote about what that will mean to commerce in a blog post called Building Fourth Party Apps with Kynetx where I borrowed Doc Searls metaphor of the sewage pump as an apt descriptor for the current regime.

When I think of the changes that the Internet has caused in the last 15 years, I'm amazed, but I also realize that we're just getting a good start. There are myriad changes yet to happen and David has done a great job in this book of laying out what the next set of changes are likely to be, why they'll happen, and what it will mean for individuals and businesses.

The bottom line: this is the most interesting tech book I've read in a long time. I bought eight copies and spread them around the office because I wanted everyone at Kynetx to read it. You should read it too.