My current standing joke is:
“I have a great product idea i’m about to launch I just have to figure out how to build it and then how to sell it”
At Webstock one of the many great presentations was by Spoek Mathambo about how the internet is changing things for music in South Africa.
He articulated a theme that resonated throughout Webstock, the Internet has removed the barrier to both making and selling things.
Things that used to be controlled by a few are now made easy and accessible to the masses. From a music point of view:
- Funding used to be controlled, but now we have sites like kickstarter
- Production of music was controlled by the studios, now you can make music on a laptop
- Distribution of music was controlled by the studios, but now you can make it available via sites like soundcloud
We can see the same thing happening to personal videos, books, movies etc. The barriers to funding, producing and selling are being rapidly removed.
Its really interesting for Vic and me at the moment as we straddle between working with enterprise vendors who are still focussed on controlling the barriers to try and retain the value propositions they have typically had, and start-up companies that are producing cool software solutions and have never dealt with the enterprise way.
And then you throw in companies such as Salesforce, AWS, Xero and Apple who are straddling both sides.
Rather than trying to enforce the legacy barriers they are adding and receiving massive value by delivering platforms that encourage others to produce. And enabling easier access to customer via platform marketplaces to help with the sell/distribution side (although in apples case they tightly manage the distribution).
So maybe I should change my view on what it takes to bring a successful solution to market to: Build a product, Link to a platform, Sell to a customer.
Its looking like platforms (and linking) is the new black. Exciting times!