Products as Avatars for a Service


Summary

Products are becoming mere physical manifestations of the services behind them. This is an important step in creating a world of social products that cooperate on your behalf.

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I've read three interesting articles recently that describe an idea I think is very important: more and more, products are merely the physical manifestation of a service. As a result, even traditional product companies are seeing new revenue as they shore up their products with services. They're also discovering the unique requirements of delivering software services.

Note that there's a strong M2M thread here. As companies who haven't been in the business of connecting devices to the 'Net before jump in, they're turning to M2M players to provide the infrastructure for that.

The result of this is that we're getting things connected to the Internet. What's not happening--yet--is connecting products to each other. I've taken to calling those "social products" after hearing Marc Benioff use that term. I don't know if that's what he meant, but that's what I mean.