Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You Are Commodified When You Lose The Ability To Changing Things

HBS Working Knowledge had an article on When Your Product Becomes a Commodity — Annotated The source of this link was from Businesspundit When Your Product Becomes a Commodity

The truth is, even when a raw material has no value added and quality standards are set by law or the industry, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation around availability, delivery, shipment quantities, payment terms, and all the other services that accompany the core product. Marketers must use their imagination. As the saying goes: "There are no mature products, only mature managers."

I see it relating to the concepts I am trying to get my head around from Gapingvoid, Seth Godin and even Kevin Kelly. Not in terms of a specific product but how to relate to this as a manager providing service. Moreover, I am trying to look beyond just the "mechanics", which I sense from the readings is only a veneer that wears through quickly.

It has been Gapingvoid which as given me the closest sense of this, though I have not zeroed in on it fully yet. The mechanics yes, but there seems or maybe I am looking for something more. I see it related to an ability to make change in the world for the better. If one's ability to make self generate change in the world is compromised, then one becomes a commodity.

gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": meatball sundae: ten questions for seth godin Annotated

Here's my challenge: I want to change things. Sometimes, the best way to do that is to reach out to committed individuals and give them some ideas to run with. On the other hand, big changes, sea changes... those happen in larger organizations with leverage. So, my books have sort of struck a balance, sometimes emphasizing one more than the other. In this case, it's clear that the digerati 'get' what's going on with the new marketing. But we're frustrated. I wrote this book to help us out. The phrase, "meatball sundae" is designed as a rallying cry, something to sneer at in a big meeting.
gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards": why marketers are so interested in blogs Annotated
Yesterday, while Johnnie Moore, Mark Earls and I were recording a podcast, Johnnie came up with a wonderful metaphor to describe this phenomenon.

He told Mark and me about being 12 years old in science class. To demonstrate that yes, indeed, a stick of celery is full of capillaries, even if you couldn't see them with the naked eye, the science teacher dipped the end of a stick of celery into a beaker of blue ink. An lo and behold, the kids watched in amazement as the ink traveled up the celery capillaries, turning the rest of the green celery stalk into blue.

Suddenly that which could not be seen before, could now clearly be seen. Glaringly so.

I think Seth said it pretty well to me the other day: "The web is a giant compiler for marketers. You can experiment here for less money, in less time, than anywhere else. If Al Gore hadn't invented it, I'd be seriously bummed out."

The thing about creating a blog is that lines keep continually crossing and there does not seem to be any constraints or parameters. Within the web as 'defined' by web 2.0 organizational permeablity does not seem to be an issue allowing what Kevin Kelly wrote about and for authenticity in our efforts to connect.

tags: design, entrepreneurship, gvoid, marketing

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