XML iMarket Project Planning Meeting

Jon Bosak Jon.Bosak at eng.Sun.COM
Thu Sep 25 17:53:42 BST 1997

| The requirement of standard DTDs by all vendors and participants
| presumes that these are adequate to satisfy the differentiation needs
| of the various participants.  "Brand equity" is not sufficient
| differentiation.  Rather, one company may use more detailed
| characteristics than another company in order to differentiate their
| products.

I think you're missing the point.

What I as a consumer want to be able to do is quite simple.  I want to
be able to say, "Hey, I need a new jacket," sit down at my computer,
call up my find-a-product robot, enter my jacket parameters, and then
come back a while later to find all the jackets that fit those
parameters offered by all the vendors whose products I'm interested in
considering.  If the catalog scheme isn't standardized enough to
support this, then I as a consumer am not interested in using it.  If
one of the vendors differentiates itself by adopting a scheme of data
representation that doesn't allow this kind of transparent direct
comparison, then it differentiates itself right out of the class of
vendors I'm interested in, because if all it's giving me is the
ability to cruise its catalog in isolation, I can get the same
functionality from the printed version; it no longer participates in a
way that allows the net to add value to me as a consumer.

I'm not denying that vendors will want to differentiate their
offerings, but if they can't do it in a way that supports detailed
direct comparisons based on the differentia that I am interested in
*as a consumer* then they are simply not in the game at all.


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