Innovation. Ideas. Insight.


In Ideas on April 4, 2008 at 8:26 am

Reading Grant McCracken this morning produced a pleasant moment of intellectual hopscotch. He was talking about Intellectual Appliances and how once they are created, they help provide a shorthand for others that makes concepts easier to grasp and accept (Grant, I hope I got that right).

As an example, he related a story from Johan Peretti of the Huffington Post and their ‘Mullet Strategy.’ Was this ‘Mullet Strategy’ a new Intellectual Appliance, Grant asked?

Grant went on to say, “Indeed, this may be, metaphorically speaking, a good way to speak about many models now emerging as capitalism is renovated by the disintermediating effects of the new technologies.  Once established as one of the ideas we have “on call,” the mullet strategy may serve for many purposes.”

Now, here’s where it gets a bit meta: As I read the above, the word ‘disintermediating’ stuck out for me. I wondered if a related concept/term for Grant’s ‘Intellectual Appliance’ could be, ‘disintermeditation’, defined as the act of thinking about the effects of new technologies and their effect on the consumer-brand relationship.  

Disintermeditation is something smart marketers are already doing. But yet we all see examples every day of brands that haven’t taken the time to really explore the ramifications and opportunities presented by new technologies like Twitter, Flickr or even YouTube (which now seems about as new as sliced bread).

If nothing else, being a consultant and having the title ‘Disintermeditation Expert’ on your business card would be an interesting conversation starter. When asked what that means, you can say, “I help build and service Intellectual Appliances.” My guess is you’d be busier than another service repair man.


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