As business re-invents itself, as it stumbles into the future, much of what we know to be tried and true is no longer working. As trust of big brands and certain industries continues to shrink, we need to consider newer ways of building that trust we took for granted. In 2006 Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine shared in his book, The Long Tail, Free is a business model. Jeff Jarvis writes about the model in his book called, What would Google Do? Gerd Leonhard talks about putting things out there, in the jungle, give much of your value away, where getting paid is a walk of faith, if you bring value, you will get paid. He has some interesting insight in his talk The Price of Freedom, he explains why ‘free’ content can still pay in the long term. I may be over simplifying the free model, but there is a bigger model to discuss, and it is related to the free model, it’s far bigger and a much more interesting model to consider.

People want something that allows them to participate, something of value that can’t be simply copied, something scarce that is worth paying for, but want to try it, taste it, smell it, before they hand over the cash. This is a faith walk because you don’t know where or if the money will come, it’s a YES / NO / MAYBE, complete ambiguity, complete faith in the consumer. Even if you are not giving it away outright, you may be letting them have access to it, to your product, your service or platform. The key word here is platform as I discussed in an blog post a few days ago.

We are entering a society that doesn’t value ownership, we would rather rent it or borrow it when shared, long before buying it. The longer you sit out here on the NET, the world gets smaller, you find like-mined people much quicker, and some are sharing the same message you may be sharing. That doesn’t matter, each of us has a voice, each of us has something of value to share, each of us sees things differently, our voice matters, so share your take on things. Give yourself away, let people rent you and your content. Build a platform that can’t be ignored, then share it.

I came across an interesting TED talk by Lisa Gansky called, The Future of Business is The MESH. In this talk she shares that access will trump ownership, that a brand is a voice, a product is a souvenir, we are in the pursuit of better things to easily share. The need for aligning value with the true cost. I love finding new people sharing the same message you find here on this blog, and I love sharing their work with you.

Here is Lisa’s talk, it’s a short 15 minutes, enjoy!

The world of business is struggling to re-invent itself, the comfort zone of executives paralyzing corporations everywhere is coming to a point of no return. With the shift from baby Boomers to Zoomers, the business handbook is about to be thrown out the window and rewritten by these fine young business cannibals. They will cannibalize the very business models that succeeded the last 100 years, only to be thrown out or completely rewritten. The Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y generations are doubling over in pain from the paradigm that is taking place. We are moving to Cloud Computing & The Power of One.

Ten years ago I shared at a conference, that one day Microsoft would have you save your documents on their servers, today we have Microsoft Office in a web based format, and you are saving your documents out there on the Cloud. Now I had no idea what it would look like, but it was predictable. Google Doc’s has you doing the same, not too mention all the other tools you use for free at Google. Google has us, just like Neo in the movie the Matrix. We just can’t help but use Google’s FREE tools, search, Google Earth, Google Maps and so on. Google has figured out how to get our attention, they came to us, they made themselves available to us 24/7, and they did it without making us spend a dime. The Cloud is here and it’s going to get better, stronger and safer. Think about the power you now have because of Google, they have shown you how to take control, they have shown you your true power without telling you.

We have also moved into a new generation of entrepreneurs, we the people are getting the power back again, back from those who have kept us in a fragmented state. The Power of One is unparalleled here on the Internet today, and it’s just beginning. Social Media for some reason woke the world up, and yet, being Social is not new. We’ve been doing it for centuries, it’s just different now, it’s been transform into a digital realm. We are now driven indoors, we can do things today we couldn’t do before, and no each one of us has power we didn’t have before. The challenge with that power, we’re still not sure what to do with it. Sure, some individuals are making good use of this power, but for the most part, the world still doesn’t know they have it. This Power of One.

When speaking or doing workshops, people are so confused by the power they have in their hands, and when you share a few things they have the power to do, they say they don’t know how. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility, it could be that is the underlying fear that immobilizes people. The power of converting mass market to mass niches, which in turn takes the control away from the very people that have kept we the people in a fragmented state.

In the book, What Would Google Do? , Jeff Jarvis writes, ” Advertisers, manufactures, retailers, media companies, and politicians find it convenient to see us as masses. It’s the essence of their business, their efficiency, their reach, their economy of scale. We are their critical mass. So for them, our new found power to stand out and act as individuals, to coalesce into networks of our own, and to rise above them in Google searches — is a supreme irritant, even a threat.”

The shifts, the paradigm shift we all must go through is a painful one, as we move to the cloud & the power of one, we are a threat to those who want to keep control. To keep you coming to them, to pay for things kept behind walls, to force you to act in a manner that makes you feel sold. Those days are over, the marketplace is now becoming Open & Free, where Open & Free is a Business Model.

The Cloud is a very useful tool, and it will get better. The Cloud will also assist in giving you power you’ve never had before. You do have control, just open your eyes, remove the fear, and let your voice be heard, because the world is listening unlike they ever have before. So speak up, use the cloud & you will be one of the many known as The Power of One.