Adriana Lukas posts insightfully about how we are Reaching the limits of silos, not networks, which she wrote  in response to Noah Brier‘s Metcalfe’s Plateau, to which I also responded with Pulling the scales from our whys. It was fun to find Bob Metcalfe himself (inventor of Ethernet and a fun guy) amongst the commenters, pointing to Metcalfe’s Law recurses down the long tail of social networks, preciently penned two years ago.

Joe Andrieu does some deep VRM diving with More on Level 4 Platforms. On what it means to be open, he writes, “If a single entity or group owns the platform, it isn’t open. If there are barriers preventing users from accessing or developing on the platform, it isn’t open. If you can’t, with reasonable effort, improve the platform itself, it isn’t open.” [Later…] Joe has a good follow up post on user-driven search.

In Predictions: What Technology will Replace, Jeremiah Owyang includes this:

“Outside” Sales teams could be replaced by Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) s where customers define what they want, companies respond.

Bart Stevens points to this excellent piece by John Hagel on the advertising bubble.

Eve Maler says relationships are complicated, and includes good links to follow in the midst.

Ben Laurie says “the next generation of identity management systems and will only flourish if people can freely experiment with it”. VRM needs that.

In e-sourcing place, Alan Buxton posts Have you heard about Vendor Relationship Management? Among other things he says,

The concept is intriguing, but it looks like the project/movement is made up purely of marketers and internet mavens. And looks like the people involved in the project are trying to reinvent from scratch something that corporations have been struggling with for years. There don’t seem to be any people with real experience of being professional vendor managers. If anything the opposite is the case.

I appreciate Alan’s interest, but I also thought that was an erroneous claim, and said so (among other things) in my comment below the post. (It’s #3. Can’t find a direct link.)

In How Do Customers Communicate?, Jay Deragon begins, “The voice of the customer is getting louder, more effective and targeted”, and cites a white paper (that’s behind a highly annoying and bad-CRMmy registration wall, so I won’t link to it) that says, “Customers now have the resources to communicate and interact how they want, when they want, from wherever they want—creating a cultural shift to an always-on, always-connected society.”

Stephen Lewis says “in the end, keeping your business under your hat gets you nowhere”. Unless you’re a criminal like Meyer Lansky, one subject of Steve’s post, and a criminal whose business was by necessity hat-contained. One of my own favorite lines, however, comes from Hyman Roth, the character based on Lansky who was one of Michael Corleone’s unfortunate victims in The Godfather, Part 2. “Hyman Roth always makes money for his partners”, Roth said. He was played by the great actor and teacher Lee Strassberg, nailing an accent that is so perfect for its time and place that it still gives me chills to think about it. (My father had that accent, as did Frank Sinatra and many of the older characters (pronounced “carac-tas”) in The Wizard of Oz.

Anyway, VRM is about customers making partners of companies, and making money for those partners. Among other things.