A positioning fail
by Doc Searls Sunday, November 24, 2019

One of the also-ran browser makers (not on the list to the right here) sent me a survey explaining how they are "introducing new paid subscriptions and would love to know what kind of protection" I would value. It has three plans, at $0, $5 and $14 per month, to "suit your privacy needs." Below that is a grid of ten kinds or levels of protection, each unexplained. Typically, they are called "Basic," "Plus" and "Premium." They also gave me a place to expand on the choice it wasn't clear that I made. Here's what I wrote, with some personal stuff subtracted:

Too complicated. Also too typical. Let me explain.

First, I'm fairly technical and a very involved in all this stuff*, and I'm not sure exactly what "Browser Protection" or "Priority Support" (among other listed things) are, and doubt that I (or anybody other than lawyers) will read the details if the description (which should be linked to under the headings in the left column) is longer than a simple paragraph.

Second, there are already too many variables for most people within and between all their browser choices. That's both within and between those browsers and their many possible add-ons and other connections (such as to VPNs and password managers). What's needed is a simple and global approach to privacy that comes *before* the browser, in some kind of master control the user operates for herself. See https://blogs.harvard.edu/vrm/2015/02/15/a-master-app-to-give-customers-scale/ , http://customercommons.org/2016/03/15/customers-need-scale-of-their-own/ , https://medium.com/@dsearls/customertech-will-turn-the-online-marketplace-into-a-marvel-like-universe-in-which-all-of-us-are-ea6adcfc94f1 and other pieces. You could rocket ahead of all your competitors if you start there rather than inside the highly competitive and mature browser field, where you're is a distant ... what, fifth? sixth? Instead, be the *first* in a category that gives users leverage they should have had in 1995. It's open territory.

*Look me up: https://www.google.com/search?q=doc+searls . Also http://searls.com. And if you want to talk, write me at doc at searls dot com. Glad to help.



I'll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, here's what the headline means.