Back at Qualcomm Retail Solutions in 2013, at the time our division was giving birth to its Gimbal Bluetooth Beacon offering, my office was next to Kevin Hunter’s. Kevin led Product Management (he is now the COO of Gimbal), I was the strategy guy, trying to herd the cats in our executive meetings with mixed success. Our interactions were mainly focused on him finding new ways to point out the excessive size of the monitor on my desk. One of the more productive conversations we had was brainstorming the best metaphor to explain the significance of this new Bluetooth beacon thing. Between us we came up with “Beacons are digital cookies in the physical world”. Not bad; web cookies provide context, recording the visits of a person on a web page. Beacons do something similar; they provide a trigger to map, not the click-path but the foot-path through a store. From that, analytics, personalization and marketing programs can be built. I’d like to claim the “cookie metaphor” was my idea. It feels like it was, but you know what they say, failure is an orphan and success has many fathers, so it could just as easily have been Kevin’s inspiration. I think I may have been the first to use the cookie metaphor in a major presentation.