Resources are anything. Japanese solution to pirates

April 25, 2012 · Posted in innovation, problem solving · Comment 

This Japanese solution for stopping pirates from boarding ships is an excellent example of using readily available resources to innovate.

Pirates make money by capturing people or property then either hold it for ransom or attempt to sell it. Either way they need to get on board the ship to achieve their goal. Sinking the ship or killing the passengers isn’t profitable so pirates avoid that.

Water is definitely a readily available resource to a ship. Ships also have pumps used for fighting fires, cleaning the decks, and removing unwanted water.

The Anti-Piracy Water Curtain uses what already exists on a ship including what the crew knows how to do. It also doesn’t require many people operate so existing crew can turn on the water curtain and still do their normal job.

Resources are 1 of the 7 Elements of an Outcome. Combining the 7 Elements with 15 Alternatives reveals 105 types of innovation for any Outcome. Learn the entire Predictive Innovation method.

What's Your Market Share? Yes!

December 19, 2006 · Posted in abundance, innovation, sharing, strategy · 1 Comment 

When I was trying to raise money for my last business venture, Viral Video Solutions, the one question that always came up regarding the business plan was “What’s your market share?” And when they asked that question I knew they didn’t get it and that there was no point talking any further. We didn’t care about market share. Viral media is all about sharing. We had videos on Google Video, iFilm, Yahoo, YouTube, BitTorrent sites, iTunes, everywhere and anywhere. So our answer to what’s your market share was, “Yes.”

Old scarcity based thinking looks at getting the biggest slice of pie. In an abundance based model we make the pie bigger. We don’t compete with people we work together to make more for everyone.

Worrying about doing better than someone else is short sighted. Being king of a garbage heap still stinks. The path to exponential growth is setting your goals on doing better than ever before.

Fighting over a limited market or resource ends up causing diminishing returns. It’s really paying twice for something. If your competitor has created a market and built value then you spend time and energy taking it all you have done is paid for something that your competitor already bought. It might be cheaper for you than making it yourself but nothing new is being created. It’s a downward spiral that ends with you and your competitor loosing.

As Steve Rubel says, “Bloggers Should Think Co-op-etition, Not Competition.”

I’ve personally seen the benefits of co-op-etition. A website took one of my videos and posted it to Google Videos along with a link to their web site. They promoted it very well and that copy of my video received hundreds of thousands of views. I’m sure they got a lot of visitors to their site from doing that.

Was I upset at them using my content? No. I posted the same video two years earlier and now, no one was watching the copy I posted. This new copy sparked new interest and I received 20,000 extra visitors to my web site. It cost me nothing. The other site benefited, I benefited and a whole lot of viewers benefited.

Another example of co-op-etition is how I participate in Revver.com. Our videos have a short commercial play at the end. Revver splits the revenue with me. But if I share another Revver producers video I get 20% affiliate commission. There is a web video series that is a knock off of my show. I had been upset but when I discovered their videos were on Revver.com I immediately posted their videos to my site.

If they copied my show then my viewers would enjoy their show. By offering my viewers more videos they might like I was increasing the value of my web site. Plus I get the 20% affiliate commission and I don’t have to produce the video. The competitor still gets their 50% commission. Everyone wins.

So, I look for ways to help everyone in everything I do. I much rather swim in an endless ocean than own a stagnating puddle. How about you?

Action Items