I wrote in the post, knowledge is personal, that pretty well everything I have achieved professionally is a result of my sharing online, especially through this blog. I still learn a lot by sharing ideas and engaging with others who do as well. But I am wondering if there is a law of diminishing returns on sharing. The platform capitalists may be winning.
My posts are shared and copied a lot: 15,905 times in 2013, according to one source. Many of my models and presentations are used inside organizations. Salaried workers and consultants use what I give away in order to earn their livelihood. For the most part, I am fine with this, as it raises my profile and the level of engagement. But it seems we are entering a time when people expect to get whatever information they need for free and feel no obligation to support the people who create it. I am beginning to question my current business model. Last week I was twice asked to work for free. In each case the person asking me to work for ‘exposure’ was a salaried employee. My bank has yet to accept exposure as a form of payment.
Like they say, entrepreneurs have to work on their business and not in their business. Peter Drucker said that, “The purpose of any business is to create and keep a customer.” Customers are not people who ask you to work for free. I call these charities, and I support several.
Perhaps there is a glut of speakers, writers, and consultants in my field, and price is tending to zero. In that case, any smart business person would change their business model away from these services. I am going to seriously re-evaluate my business model, which is always a good thing to do from time to time. As for my blog, there may be more short posts and fewer fully-formed articles. I may move my journal to one of my private communities and keep Twitter for public conversations, limited to 140 characters at a time. I was recently invited to the Tsu platform which shares revenues, and maybe I’ll put my writing there. For now, I’ll keep working and learning out loud here, but I’m feeling it may be time for a change.
Feeding crowd-milking platforms is not a sane business model.