After great deliberation and deep contemplation, I am going to write a book on the Open & Free Business Model – The Future of Business. I am escaping to the sunny warm, no, HOT climate of the Okanagan in British Columbia for the next 4 days to get started. I don’t know how long it will take but, I would like you to be a part of the journey and my book.

In my mini-workshops I always ask participants what questions haven’t been answered or what else they were hoping to learn. I also have them fill out a Feedback form for the purposes of improving the mini-workshop. Keep in mind, the mini-workshop is only 4 hours long because one can only absorb and retain so much information in one sitting. You do get a workbook to take home, and the content shared is only available via PowerPoint to those who attended the workshops for later review.

Some of the great things I love about holding workshops is, the people’s willingness to dig in, the sharing of ideas, the discussion of possibilities, and the creativity that flows out of each person, it’s far too much excitement to contain. How I’ll be writing this book, I tend to start with the easy stuff first, and then move on to deeper issues and questions, and that’s where you come in. I would like to answer your questions, questions you might have on the Open & Free Business Model, better yet, if you know of good examples of businesses using the model, so I invite you to leave them in the comments for the world to see. OK, you can send your questions via e-mail to if you want to remain anonymous. If you’re not sure what the model is, that’s OK, I’ll be posting more about it as I go along, you can ask me anything related to the topic or what you think the topic is, and I’ll do my best to give you answer.

So what will I cover? Firstly, what the model might look like for you & your business, then I will touch on what I see coming in the next 3 – 5 years, I’ll look at trends and then talk some facts on what’s really going on. Mostly, I will try to give many examples of businesses that are having success with the open & free model, some don’t even know that’s what they are doing! It’s my hope that when you finish reading the book, you will have a better understanding of what the open & free really means, you’ll be able to come up with some creative ideas for your business, and a simple way to implement your ideas. Of course it’s easier said than done, the workshops are the best way to tackle the confusion. So I will try to make the book much like the workshop, so you can do it on your own.

I thank you in advance, please send questions & examples via e-mail

THANKS FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE, HEY  – I’m Writing A Book, Go Figure EH! (Ya I’m Canadian)

The old business model of a closed / control is failing us here online, we truly believe that if we are in control, put things behind walls, force people to pay first, we will create new money and all will be well. Not true. The new open & free model is somewhat the opposite of that model, your product & services are out in the open for people to try and use, then they will buy. Recently, media futurist Gerd Leonhard put his products out there for you to freely download and use, and announcing the payment model for his new iPhone & Android mobile apps: pay what you think it’s worth. Would you do this, you will in the future.

I can tell you first hand that most business owners are scared to death of this model, but what they don’t realize is, they will create more new money with this open & free business model than they believe they will. Now I am not saying there isn’t a need for controlled models, I am however saying, here online it can’t be maintained and have it survive. Gerd Leonhard stated in a presentation he made March 2nd, 2009, “Rights-holders / Content-Owners have the choice: Control + Declining Revenues or ‘Open’ and New Revenues “.

This is only one example of someone embracing the new open & free business model, he is trusting his marketplace, his following and current strategic business alignments to provide revenues. Social Currency (trust) is the key here, your brand must be trusted for this open & free business model to succeed. It’s not that simple, you must be open, transparent, and have integrity at all times. This sounds great but is a lot of work, maintaining this kind of model can’t be done with the current closed business model. The current model relies on control, fear and you not pushing back. We are moving to this model, it’s going to happen, why? You won’t tolerate the old control model, you want access first, you want to try before you buy, you will dictate how business is done. Eventually.

If you write a book or make a product and try to position yourself under the old model, you have to jump through all the control mechanism hoops. In the open & free business model you just make it available, you may not make money from the book immediately in terms of sales. You will however realize revenues by monetizing around the book, consulting, coaching, teaching and or maybe even get hired because of your insights and know how. Your book must be good of course, you must bring quality in order to get the attention you need to realize the levels of revenue you desire. Attention is another form of currency.

Chris Brogan is all about making business human again, he also knows you will help him drive that process. You may not know it, but you want business to be human, not a system making you a number. You want to feel human, be viewed as human, and most of all, you want to feel important. Chris knows we are all after the same thing really, he is helping you see it, we want to make a difference, and make the world a better place, we all want to feel important. The problem has never been the desire, it was the how do we do it. Social Media has opened the door for you to exercise what you didn’t know how to do, you now have a way to express yourself and make it happen. You will and are shaping the future of business, the open & free model even if you can’t see the bigger picture right now.

Eventually you will make it happen, Control Is Dead!

One of the down sides to monetizing Blogs and websites is, they try to capture as much of your contact information as possible upfront, including credit card details. I understand why, but it also operates on the assumtion mode or that you will forget that you signed up and gave all that information. Next thing you know you are paying for something you didn’t want anymore. I’m sure I’m over reacting but, I get miffed at sites that say the 1st month is free but give me your credit card information before we give you access.

I won’t name names because just about every site selling a service or product practices this model and it really needs to be re-thoughtout (is that a word?) further in my humble opinion. I rarely sign up for services that practice the credit card collecting up front, if it’s a trial then they can come back to me when the trial is about to lapse. These days trying before buying is an even better way to go, especially with the new Social Media environment claiming transparency practices.

In the day and age of transparency & trust, we should think about the message being sent when asking for credit card information on the marketing of ” The 1st Month is on Us”. If that’s true, let us sign up and try it, if we want it, come to us later and ask us to stay on and then ask a payment method. I know you think thats bad business, but really? I think the opposite, it would tell me you are so sure of your product and you are willing to lose me if its not a good product or service. Of course this doesn’t work with all products and services but, if you are offering a trial opportunity, then make it just that, don’t charge or ask for creditcard or payment method up front.

If it’s FREE! – Don’t ask for my credit card!