Compete for time, not money

We are surrounded with huge amount of stuffs. We come across with new product, idea, and design every single minute if you just simply walk around the street. You surf on the Internet and then you will face abundant news and information there, too. There are tons of things to do and watch. You may have to buy certain goods to satisfy your needs. Though, many times, we are just good with what we already have. We live beyond our necessity. We live in the world of surplus.

New media entrepreneurs are clever because they have figured out that no more business exists competing only for money. It is game competing for time of people who are already fully occupied with tons of priorities. Family, work, religion, and self-development activities such as hobby or work-out take good amount of time and energy. People may have some disposable time. They just watch free video on Hulu, make updates on Facebook, or just leisurely read Tweets. Books or DVD-rentals could still take your time, too, but not as much as what they used to. People read stuffs on the Internet or on their iPhone and iPad. Most of time, reading does not cost them a dime. They just need time. Their eyes are already soar. They need to shut their eyes and take a rest, too. When they have a vacation or few days away from work, they may go outside and travel around, not really sit in front of TV or computer to catch up all the back-logs of book rentals on the Kindle or updates on the Facebook.

Once again, time is most valuable asset. The problem is not that we consume, but we are consumed by too much stuffs. At work, we may hire someone who can help us. We just delegate non-core work to them. Enhanced productivity at work may let you achieve more or free up your time to do something else. During your personal time, though, would you be able to make someone to do your leisure on your behalf? You won’t make your wife or children to read your favorite books or watch DVDs while you do some other leisures, will you?

When people have huge surplus of stuffs to do, it is difficult for them to make another 30 minutes to try out new service or product. Having said that, you have to find a right niche of your product and service to capture attention above everything. You have to give your customer a reason to come back, too. You also have to appreciate and reward them to spend their valuable time. You may charge them for your quality product and service. However, it often sets up a blocking stone between you and your customer. It also de-motivates them to be around your service and product. If your service and product is hard to understand or navigate, you are out of game. The game rules are rapidly changing in the market. Building business and profiting from this business atmosphere is getting tougher. This is what it is.

If you play right and if you have a notion how to make things easy and easily consumable (even if you give them your service and product for free) with innovative business model, you will be able to win this market with clear value proposition for your customers’ time. Again, we compete for time, not really for money in this market. Biggest hit product in the past 10 years is probably iPhone. iPhone is a toy, not only phone or mobile web browser, as many people said. Apple simply capitalizes on its visionary platform: anyone-can-use type of hardware and App Store giving freedom to customer on how to spend their time while Apple get a chip for each sales.


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