Mesh – This is based on the book, The Mesh by Lisa Gansky. One way of looking at it is that we want the hole, not the drill. It’s about shared resources, renting not owning and access trumps ownership.
When we share, it means we can use better, for instance, a group of neigbours could collectively own a snowblower. By sharing the expense and maintenance, they can buy an even better model, with more bells and whistles than they might alone.
Abundance – There is plenty for everyone, so share freely, no need to hide. Abundance thinking leads you to treat ‘competitors’ as collaborators, peers and resources. This opens the possibility of mesh thinking – like starting an industry group and bringing in speakers or other resources.
Yes, there’s a book for that, Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Reading this book I could believe in a time/society without money transactions. Now, before you scoff, think about this. We have the ability to supply everything we need for everyone, but we don’t have the ability to give everyone a job to pay for it. Riddle me another way to solve that one.
Long Tail – Chris Anderson (not TED Chris Anderson, but editor of Wired magazine Chris Anderson – yes there are 2 of them) wrote this book and we’ll be looking at another of his books later in this list.
The idea here is you don’t need millions of customers. A small group of dedicated, happy customers can give you a great living. It makes more sense to niche very tightly especially when you realize shelf space is not a limiting factor.
Selling to the masses is a difficult job best left to big business.. Your opportunity is in selling to special interest groups. For instance, we’re not business consultants, we’re not business consultants in the new ways of doing business, we are business consultants working with boomers who have owned businesses for a long time and are interested in learning the new ways of doing business.
Free – Yet another book by Wired Chris Anderson. I first listened to a free copy of this book. Chris argues that as the marginal cost of things approaches free, it will be difficult to charge for it. How many times have you come across something and were irked to pay for it, knowing the cost was next to nothing. That thing for me is Kindle books – when they cost more than the paper versions.
Of course for books, as in other forms of media, the cost is in the creation of the content, not the form. Increasingly, the revenue model is in the live performance associated. The book becomes a calling card. The Grateful Dead knew that decades ago. Give it all away – people will pay for connection.
Gift economy – This is closely related to Free and it means giving gifts without expectation of direct reciprocity; paying it forward; giving gifts instead of money.
With Free, I give you my Manifesto and you give me your email address; I give you my book and you hire me to speak at your event. With Gift Economy, I set my Manifesto and book free to the world and when I travel to your community, you want to help me. Ask Amanda Palmer.
Connection – People want to feel connected to others, we are a tribal people. If you really want to be a hero, help people connect to each other. Help your customers talk to each other. Intuit has done it by creating a forum for users to ask questions and get answers from each other. That sense of connection ties people into a community and makes them feel closer to your product.
It is also the business model of many to many. Ebay connects many sellers to many buyers and makes a little piece each time. So does Amazon and ITunes and Etsy. Any time you can connect people, you add value.
Curation – Make it your job to make sense of the world, to distill all the information out there into the most important and bring it together in a way that makes it easy for your people to access.
This presupposes you have a group that you consider your people. When you think in terms of a group who are your people and how you can bring them what they need, you will have created a very valuable business.
Art – Doing your art doesn’t have to be about painting, sculpting or music. It means putting your heart and soul into what you do. It’s about being passionate and human in all you do. Seth Godin talks a lot about this. He also uses the term ‘emotional labour’ that was first used as a way to describe the toll that Stewardesses pay to keep smiling through a long flight.
Resistance – aka the Lizard Brain, aka the Amygdala, aka that Critical Little Voice in your Head. You know the one, it says, “If that were such a great idea, someone would have done it already” or “Who are you to…” or “If you do that, people will say that you are…”.
Triple bottom line – people planet profit, means that it’s not only about the profit at all costs. The backlash against profit-at-all-costs has forced business to take responsibility for its human and environmental costs, too. Practices like cutting down the rainforest (the planet’s lungs) and exploiting people in developing nations are coming under attack by consumers and by attack we mean they stop buying. It’s another manifestation of the the desire for connection. If we are all connected, then what we do (buy from corporations) affects all of us.
Radical Transparency – comes from abundance thinking, that being transparent means that people will trust you more and understand why you make the decisions you do.
Do you have the guts to step out from behind secrecy? It opens you to people misunderstanding you, misinterpreting your motives because of their own view of the world. You need patience to explain, yet again and you need a thick skin.
It’s worth it, because it binds your people to you even more closely.
Social enterprise – This is an enterprise that has a positive social impact, it’s sole reason for being is not around profit. This must be baked into the culture, mission and operations, not just a veneer for the PR it offers.
It’s tied to the 3BL and it does not mean you can’t have great pay for creating high value. It means that the value you create is not just for the shareholders.