Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Global commerce and market partitioning in a ubiquitous computing and communications context

Posted in business and convergent technologies, macroeconomics by Timothy Platt on December 28, 2009

I have been writing about a range of issues that connect into ubiquitous computing and communications, and the impact that this will have. I have just scratched the surface and have not even done that much for some very important topic areas. One area that I have missed is the simple fact that increasing access globally does not just mean increasing access for people in the less developed and bottom of the pyramid countries. It also means increasing and even creating from scratch, access for all disenfranchised people and all who face barriers and impediments to participation.

I had a very interesting email exchange with a colleague who is blind just before Christmas and he was sharing information with me about his computer hardware and software enablers with software text readers and the ability to speak into his computer and have his words converted to written text – plus increasingly so much more.

Henry Ford is famously known for having observed that you could buy one of his Model T automobiles in any color you liked, as long as you preferred black. The world has been shifting away from a one size fits all, unitary marketplace to one of expanding options and opportunities. This posting is about global marketing, but more than that it is about the merging of local and global, with increasing numbers of people having an increasingly global reach, while at the same time seeking and achieving a clearer, more direct access to all of their local too, and where ever they are and regardless of whether they have ever been there before or know that local place on their own. At this same time this posting is about the fragmenting of the marketplace and the shift towards marketplaces of one with more and more personalized for each of us.

How is the completely fragmented, fully personalized marketplace of one going to be managed by businesses as they seek to keep track of all of those new micro-markets? I have been posting about Web 3.0 and about massive databases in several postings so far, and both from the perspective of increasing reach and capability, and from the perspective of personal privacy and information security. There is, of course a lot more that could be added on this.
How can individuals tap into and benefit from the very real strength of collective bargaining power in the market where larger markets traditionally get more attention and faster, more positive response than tiny ones do? That, I have not touched on though I will share some thoughts on it here.

Markets can and do overlap and even individualized micro-markets when viewed for all details can have a lot in common across communities. Power in numbers can come from the power of these areas of overlapping and congruent concern, interest, priority and buying power.

In a ubiquitous computing and communications environment, where markets are increasingly individualized, much if not most market analysis for general business planning and strategy purposes is going to have to start with redefining market in a new way. The demographic market of market analysis and business planning and strategy is defined by areas of overlap and congruence across wide pools of individualized personal micro-markets. I will add that networking and the multidirectional nature of ubiquitous computing and communications are the glue that will help people find others of like mind, interest and priorities in defining those demographic markets. Demographic markets, analyzed as aggregate models of collective behavior will self-assemble through networking and other individualized and collective exchanges between individuals.

And with that I partition market per se into two new terms:

Micro-market: the market of the individual with all its personalized details
Demographic market: the market of the group, the community and the crowd that is subject to both analyses as a whole and as a collection of micro-markets.

Both concepts and approaches are crucially important in an interactive online context, and with capability to both collect and organize vast amounts of data at all levels from individual to demographic this is where marketplace advantage will be defined.

We are all part of many communities and at the same time we are always members of them as unique individuals as well. As soon as we all start talking and with genuinely empowered voices both ends of this spectrum matter, and even the antithesis of Henry Ford’s dictum does not begin to approach our emerging reality.

I was just on the phone for an hour or so with a colleague who is organizing a multinational cultural event to bring art and its fruits from many, many places to many, many places. The points I attempt to raise here apply to the commercial marketplace but they also apply to culture and communication in general and not just in the per-item-monetized context of the business-driven marketplace.

The next posting in this series is going to be an open letter to the United nations, and more particularly to the UN-GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (where ICT stands for Information and Communications Technology).

One Response

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  1. Timothy Platt said, on December 31, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Just as a point of clarification, this posting is Business and convergent technologies 21 in that category and in the series Ubiquitous computing and communications – everywhere all the time. I was trying to keep the posting title from growing too long so I kept the series designator out this time. I will identify the next entry in the series as Business and convergent technologies 22 in its posting title and add this comment in here to try to limit any possible confusion. Tim

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