Distributed Business Service Discovery

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Henrik Bierings billede
Henrik Biering
lør, 23/04/2016 - 23:27
#1 Distributed Business Service Discovery

The Internet was initially designed to connect servers to network endpoints. In order to support this purpose smart network protocols and the distributed Domain Name System (DNS) were carefully thought out. As a result of this "due diligence" no single company has achieved an effective monopoly enabling it to charge significant fees for establishing links between arbitrary clients and servers.

Up until now the internet has not had similar distributed mechanisms allowing businesses and people to freely discover and interact with each other. As long as neither companies nor individuals have a direct internet identity it is simply not possible to systematically discover them. Instead of solving this generic problem, the task of keeping track of people and companies was left to private intermediaries - now known as "platforms". To participate in the market making process of a platform both companies and individuals must register - either implicitly as with Google - or explicitly, as in the case of Amazon and Uber. Due to the inherent "Network effect" of such 2-sided markets, platforms often achieve monopoly status in their respective fields, leading to high costs for users, typically in the form of fees of for business users ranging between 10% to 30% of the traded value.

For a long time I have thought about how distributed mechanisms for the business layer of the Internet could be created to obtain a similar vendor independence as we have enjoyed in the technical infrastructure. The attached documents (Discussion Paper, condensed Teaser and Slide Presentation) describes a practical opportunity to realize this. Additionally we have initiated the open source project OpenDiscovery which will implement some of the basic components for an ecosystem based on distributed business service discovery.

The two key elements of the proposal are:

  1. Allow companies to enter a URL pointer to their "Business Service Records" in their company's public record in the same way as a domain registrant can point to the DNS record for his Internet domain.
  2. Enable users to make fully data driven purchase decisions (analytics conducted by or on behalf of the user) rather than being presented to a single or few select options that optimizes the profit of a particular intermediary.