We had a fun time at Villanova talking over the Cheap Revolution. See the press release for details. Here are five takeaways:
1) Information wants to be free... and it will be! from author Lee Devin (Artful Making) relaying a quote from a recent innovation conference speaker he heard.
I like the revolutionary feel of this. It is, I think, a driving force behind The Cheap Revolution.
2) You can't out-Walmart Walmart! By David Newman of Unconsulting.
In fact David's point is borne out by "disruptive innovation" guru Clayton Christensen in his interview with Forbes.com.
In that article, Mr. Christensen points out three paths to success in The Cheap Revolution:
a) Improve your product faster than anybody else can. Usually reserved for the market leaders with big brand name (e.g. Walmart)
b) Sell fast custom solutions that answer a customer's need.
c) Find and unserved market and serve it cheaply.
3) Get ready for some discomfort. Jennifer Guinan of Sage Strategic Marketing tells us that Service Providers will feel uncomfortable as they try to package up their offering to make them more affordable for entrepreneurs. Try to break it into "first steps" and package up the offering.
4) Build your infrastructure for cheap offerings. Andrea Michalek learned from her experience with a cheap, powerful offering for converting documents to PDFs she made available that you need to price your product at a point that is both affordable and that covers the added infrastructure cost of handling high volume in an automated capacity.
5) Listen for the signal! Skip Shuda warns service providers to monitor their market closely for evidence of commodotization. Lowering your prices is only one, and often not the best, response.
We'll talk about "different kinds of cheap" in a future posting.