A lot of words are misunderstood, that’s a given, but here online there are two that really mess people up. Now, I see tough times ahead for TV, Newspapers, Magazines, Music Stores, Book Stores and so on, these are the obvious ones. In fact, most major corporations are trying to figure out how to make these two words work for them. The problem isn’t the words, the problem is in the past, it’s called the Industrial age.
Remember when Social Media first came on the scene, your boss heard the words Social Media and freaked out. The picture that came to mind was people standing around a water cooler and not working, just shooting the breeze. I’m certain that is still a problem in most businesses, but they are dead wrong. Yes, Social Media is misunderstood, but those aren’t the two words I’m talking about now.
The two most misunderstood words are, Open & Free. Open & Free is a business model, and they are completely taken the wrong way, much like Social Media was and is still today. Open means many things, here online, they can mean, open systems and transparency. Free does not always mean free literally, but sometimes it does, and that’s where the rub is for business owners.
Open & Free are trying to achieve a balance the same way Sharing vs Piracy is trying to gain credibility. The problem as I mentioned earlier is, old thinking, we have to unlearn most of what we understand in the old business model of control. How you ask. The best way is to hire someone like myself that sees the world of business online as it will be, not as it is. I don’t mean someone who is guessing, someone who can show you in a methodical way that makes sense, in a simple way you understand. The future of business is not that hard to see, but it is if you’re using old eyes, the way you’ve always done things. Remember a primary principle, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Using the Open & Free Business Model in your business takes work, starting with looking at your business in a new and exciting way. Open may mean that you are giving your customers access to you, if you have been hiding from them before. In this new world business of commerce, you can’t hide anymore, you must connect with those who are buying and using your product and services. This isn’t new to some, but most still try to control who gets to them, and I’m betting it’s not going so well.
Free may mean you are selling a three part product or service, and you are giving part one away for free, and then charging for access to the other two parts. It could be a product, or it could be a consulting service. I have over simplified it here for you but it’s not this simple really, there’s much, much more to this model than described here.
If you want to learn more about The Open & Free Business Model, snoop around this blog for more posts, attend my workshop if you are local to me, hire me as a think-tank leader, and lastly, you can wait for my book to come out.
Open & Free are lonely words because they are The Two Most Misunderstood Words On The Internet Today.