WWGD? Part Two

This is part two of the enterprise design principle's I've extracted from my reading of What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. You can read part one here.

From behind closed doors to transparent processes: When customers cannot be trusted, secrets abound. There is an obvious need to keep private dealings inside walled gardens. Going public would only occur during a criminal investigation, whistle blowing incident or unfriendly audit. When decision making is done in public view, trust abounds. People see what went into the decision, what tradeoffs had to be made and who can be trusted. They invest some confidence in transparent processes that don't always turn out the way they want. They have a perspective that works with, instead of against that enterprise.

From protectors of proprietary property to providers of embeddable content: When we're captivated by owning what we've created, we do not want to people to steal it. We safeguard it from others getting hold of it, spreading it around and sharing it with others who might find it interested. We assume that other's have no right to become an advertiser, distributor or promoter without our consent. When we make it easy for others to embed our creations in their digital publications, we allow them to go one better than "spreading the word". They set out free samples. They set up others to 'try it before they buy it" and "see if it works for those people in particular".

From greedy capitalist to freemium strategist: When we're in it for the money, we charge what the market will bear. We may offer teaser rates, loss leaders and discount coupons to relieve the sticker shock. This makes it possible to eventually "stick it to the customer" with the hidden charges, fine print, renewal rates and mandatory add-ons. Jeff Jarvis advises us to charge the minimum the enterprise can bear while staying in business. One way to achieve that is the "freemium strategy" that both Chris Anderson and Peter Froberg have advanced our thinking about. Off the basic version for free that is "good enough" for the vast majority. Allow the use of the freebie to whet some appetites, refine some potential uses and create demand for a premium version. Satisfy that emergent demand with a revenue-generating package of enhancements for those "most devoted" customers.

Applying these upgrades to the conception of new enterprises poses a significant psychological challenge. This is a serious departure from the familiar comfort zone of "business as usual". Yet the resulting revisions to value propositions and business models appear numerous: Marketing expense could fall to near zero. Customer satisfaction and loyalty could increases dramatically. Financial feasibility could improve significantly as operating costs and initial investment get reduced by this approach. In short, becoming Googley improves the chances of a new enterprise's success.

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