I’m sitting on the BART going to SFO listening to Empty Pages on my Droid, and every few seconds the song pauses and my Droid says its name in a machine-like voice. This means a message has arrived for me, probably from someone very dear to me, or possibly from a PR person pitching me a product. Either way it’s kind of nice.
I switch over to the Maps app when I get a GPS signal so I can see where I am. For the first time I get an idea of the route the BART takes through SF. When I’m home I have other things on my mind but when I’m on the subway it’s interesting to me.
While I’m looking at the map, a signpost appears with the name of a nearby business. Presumably they paid Google to get some mindshare. Was it specifically for me? Certainly not. But some day they will probably sell my attention. Want to get a message to Dave while he’s on the BART riding under SF? $5. Want to get a message to him while he’s walking the tradeshow at CES? That costs more.
If you’re important enough you shouldn’t even pay to use the mobile device. They’re going to make so much money from your attention. If you’re really important, thinking Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mike Arrington, they should pay you — a LOT — to use their device. Wow.
That got me excited. That’s what they have to be thinking at Google. And why not Twitter. Trying to think of a title for this post, I came up with The Mother of All Business Models. This is as far as I can see. A new economy. Nobodies pay, but important people are paid to use your brand cell phone/mobile device. I’m sure that’s the future. Might be horrible but we’re already almost there.