The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing by Lisa Gansky
Chia-Li Chien | July 18, 2011
Today, consumers have more choices, tools, information, and power to guide them via the 24/7 connectivity of web, mobile, location-based capabilities and social networking. The traditional two-dimensional sellers-to-buyers model is slipping away faster than you might imagine. Businesses are moving away from only producing products or services and instead moving to shared platforms ownership in businesses such as Groupon, Netflix, Zipcar rentals, Ebay, etc. for example. The shared platform is not a new concept, however, with advancing technology, mesh is the future of business sharing.
Author Lisa Gansky defines Mesh as network-enabled sharing of access rather than ownership. The central strategy is to sell the same product multiple times, meaning, according to Gansky, multiple sales multiply profits and customer contact, multiple contacts multiply opportunity. If your business is high in capital costs with frequent users, it’s time for you to consider the mesh model.
In today’s economy, buyers are reconsidering what’s valuable and important to them. Can your business provide better and more personalized services exactly when needed for your clients? Mesh might be the way to go. Keep in mind; your unused value is WASTE. Can you define the waste in your business that could potentially turn into THE opportunity?
According to Gansky, niche is the only competitive way of staying in business. I believe this is true not only for mesh businesses, but all businesses. Business ecosystems are like the natural ones. No business builds its own ecosystem by itself. You must find a way to sustain your business via networking with other businesses in addition to finding your particular niche.
“In nature, waste is food. Waste from one system becomes food for another and it’s never wasted,” Gansky points out. So perhaps the waste in your business could in turn become a nice stream of revenue.
Remember, the goal is not just to create a mesh business—it is to make your good business valuable!
Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; helps entrepreneurs to creating business value that transforms their world. She is the author of Show Me The Money and columnist for WomenEntrepreneur.com & Fox Business online. She is available for consulting, speaking engagements and workshops. She can be reached at http://www.chialichien.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.