For decades, the supplier had the power (of information). The supplier had the knowledge of the product or service, its applications and communicated that in terms of features. If the supplier had tested use cases (particular applications in particular situations), the solution was ‘official’. Alternative use cases discovered or even invented by customers were labeled ‘aunauthorized’ by the supplier. The supplier communicated unidirectional and customers trusted the supplier as a source of information. In fact, they had to in the absence of other options.
For another reason, the supplier was in the lead educating -if not patronizing- customers. We come from an industrial area where there was a shortage of products, materials and goods. Manufacturing and distributing physical goods is costing time, energy and money. This limits applicability, availability and distribution.
The power is now to the customer for one crucial reason. Information is transparent. Internet has liberated information. We are now in an information area where there is an excess of information. Information is freely available and can be created and distributed at virtually no cost. The value of information is not defined by quantity but by quality. Accuracy is an important parameter of quality.
The power is to the people that know how to use information wisely.
The next chapter explains why te power has shifted to the customer. Go here.