There is much confusion on this model, so don’t make the mistake of taking it literally, you will miss the value of the model. In fact, the model is not the important part, it’s usefulness is to help you change the way you think about business in the future. I was asked what the top 3 points of the Open & Free Business Model were, and I found myself struggling to answer the question. Mostly because there are more than 3 important points, but what a great question. So I have worked through this a bit and now I’m sharing it with you.
I have said many times, this model is not about what we do, a task list or a bunch of action items, it’s about how we think, how we think about business in the next 3 – 5 years, and how it will impact our lives. Having said that, we still have the question of risk, and what level of risk each business can afford should things not go as planned. The Model is actually secondary to how we think or percieve business in the future. Because, if you don’t believe that technology and younger generations want something different than you are offering, it doesn’t matter what I and countless other’s are trying to prepare you for.
The customers of tomorrow want a few things they couldn’t get in the past, control, and businesses are hard pressed to ignore them now that the world is flat. The business world is being forced into a change it doesn’t really want or know how to do, and more importantly, they don’t want to lose control. Not being in control means KAOS, but that’s what consumers are looking for, and it’s where they are.
The Top 3 Points I list here may change from time to time, but the larger picture is that all businesses will need to be Social & Mobile, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face don’t you think? But this model requires a new way of thinking, a new way of how we view open & free, the mechanics or chronological steps are secondary to it’s success. It’s not a rigid plan, it flows, and it’s paying attention to it’s consumers, more importantly, it’s listening.
1.) Attention Is The New Currency. We will all pay with attention, we’ll share, we’ll talk about, and we more than ever today, want attention. Businesses have been clammering for attention since the beginning of time, but now, we the people are in control of who gets that attention. Corps can no longer tell us what’s what, we now have options, and it’s only the beginning. Give a positive experience that is well packaged, and you will have greased the path to getting attention.
2.) Seamless Paywalls, provide access first before demanding payment. People are exchanging ownership for rental or FREE, or what feels like free. Free is hard to compete with, so don’t. The lower the cost, and the easier you make it for a consumer to purchase will win. Someday soon we all will pay rent with FaceBook or Twitter Credits, we will make day-to-day purchases with them as well. It will get easier to pay, and we may never go to a bank again in the near future to make deposits.
3.) Create or provide more content / value than you consume. The best way to be found when the rest of the world arrives here online, is to have large amounts of data (content), useful data (content), people always come back to places they find useful. This data will need to be well tagged in order to be found in the future, if you can not be easily found, you will be ignored. That includes individuals and businesses. Content should be free and be allowed to freely distributed, afterall, you are trying to get attention.
That’s three points, but there are many others, like Growing Bigger Ears, but it’s not that important because the top 3 flow out a handful of other points. Remember, your customers are fickle, and younger generations are constantly regrouping on the fly, making it impossible to control them for any length of time. The Paradigm Shift is between the ears, it’s important to understand that you will have to unlearn what you think you know about business in the future. Oh, Two other points of interest, experience & packaging, give consumers those two as if they are one and see what happens. Check out what Nine Inch Nails did with those two together.
Giving Consumers More Control is paramount, If You Don’t, They will get it from someone else. Corporations and businesses at all levels will have to learn how to trust the people formerly known as consumers.
I’ll be sharing these points and many others on why the future of business will need to leverage the open & free business model, at the World Futurist Society Conference in Vancouver this Saturday morning at 8:30.
I hope you find this helpful, and I would love it if you left your thoughts in the comments area, have a great day!