It’s no secret we hold Doc Searls in high regard around here. Just glance at our May 2010 issue, dedicated to the notion of vendor relationship management (VRM) he helped establish when he cowrote The Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999.
“He could have retired on the merits of Cluetrain alone,” says Denis Pombriant, founder and managing principal at CRM consultancy Beagle Research Group, who laments the Berkman Center fellow is “largely unheralded for his work.” But Searls is still at it, and the effects are beginning to take root. “Doc continues to influence…business leaders and continues to break new ground with ProjectVRM,” says Christopher Carfi, vice president of Edelman Digital. “He’s a true visionary in understanding how customers and companies will work together over the next 10 years.” Altimeter Group partner Ray Wang agrees. “Doc’s a visionary about what’s next in relationship management,” he says. “Groundbreaking work on VRM will hit in three to five years—and he’ll be working on the next thing.”