I recently held a workshop and some of the smartest people in my community were there, great things happen when smart people meet, all you have to do is get out of the way. The workshop was on the topic of how to give your content away and generate revenue, the open & free business model, or free content business model. We discussed what was happening out there on the interweb, and we talked about what it meant to each one of them. The reality is, many of us are still trying to find our way, and most of us don’t know someone with arms length that has figured it out. Maybe it’s not important, maybe it’s more important to participate, build your plan, and then work your plan.
One of my goals in 2010 is to help 100 businesses with the new (old) business model, to show them which direction the tidal wave is coming from, and then help them ride it rather than get wiped out because they were looking the other way, Denial to foresight. When talking to business owners, the Internet is still just an add-on to their existing business. The concept of a social business or an open business is so foreign to them, a glazed look comes over their eyes after a few moments, which tells you they don’t understand. I suspect, many of these business owners don’t want to look stupid, or be viewed like they don’t know, so they act like they do. But when a business owners says ya I need to learn this stuff can you help me, I get pretty passionate about sharing and helping them.
I can tell you this, if you find business owners with an open mind, with a little humility, a desire to improve, feel they aren’t using the Internet effectively just yet, be gentle, then share the future with them before the details of what to do next. The future is actually easy to see if you’re looking at the world of business with the right perspective. Being out of the box means you are willing to adopt new ideas, it doesn’t mean you make poor decisions. Some things are right under your nose, like cell phones, everything is going mobile. In the future this mobility will be embedded into everything, your prescription glasses, contact lenses, even our blood stream once Nanotechnology matures. Our automobiles will be driven by computers not us, they will have sharper senses than we do. It’s already happening, just look around, the challenge is that this technology is not in the mainstream. It’s over most of our heads, so we tend to stay in and work with things we understand. Why, we are wired to be in control, being out of control feels like CHAOS, so we are very uncomfortable in it. The open & free business model promotes that chaos, we don’t know how to embrace it and more importantly trust it.
The best way to learn this new way of doing business is collaborate, to connect with those who are working on it, understand it, and show you how to get comfortable with the chaos. Is to create an environment where people can succeed, it’s as simple as putting a team of smart people together in a room and asking some key questions, then sit back and listen. Just get out of the way and take notes. When smart people meet, great things happen.