The Power of Creating Sustainable Content

The buzz rang across the world. The word was finally out, “Whitney Houston was dead.”  On February 12, 2012, Whitney died at the age of 48 years old. It was hard to believe she was gone.

Through the public eyes, the six-time Grammy winner was a beacon of God given talent. Whitney sold more than 170 million albums and singles over her career and received millions from her movies.

Sadly, many experts argue that Whitney will be worth more dead than alive. Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg said Houston could be looking at as much as $10 million this year in digital sales.  Many people attempt to company Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston due to their stardom and international acclaim. Yet, their financial firepower was not the same. 

Michael was a musical genius who created lasting content.  He sold over 8 million albums in the United States within six months of his death and over 20 million worldwide. On the contrary, Whitney received a much smaller share with artist royalties from her albums.

For example, Whitney’s music has sold over 1 million albums and singles since her death. Additionally, her catalog sales surged with nearly 900,000 individual tracks sold. One of Whitney’s most celebrated songs, “I Will Always Love You,” has also heated up the record charts since her death. 

Yet, Dolly Parton, who wrote this song, will receive the greatest benefit from the publishing revenues from the radio play and licensing to commercials and films.

 

In both situations, the major difference is that Michael wrote many of his songs and obtained publishing royalties as a writer. Therefore, Whitney’s estate won’t be able to soar like other entertainment moguls like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. 

Consequently, good content has lasting value. This content is called intellectual property.  It refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. This content is managed with legal documents such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  

 

 

Henrik Vejlgaard, author of Anatomy of a Trend, argues the power of creators to set trends.  He explains, “The prime movers in any trend process will often go by different names, for instance, inventors, innovators, pioneers, or entrepreneurs. They create new products or invent new styles or begin doing something in a completely new way.” Therefore, intellectual fire power can pay more over time.

 

State your experience with content creation or intellectual firepower. What do you think about the future of content creation in the future?

 

 © 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

 

Increased Profitability through Value Creation

As I listened to the radio, I couldn’t believe the amount of grid lock in the Washington, D.C. area.  Would both parties be so petty as to bring the nation to the brink of credit default? 

There were many people depending on government official to survive.  I turned the radio station to catch Dave Ramsey, national radio personality, go into a passionate appeal for Americans to take responsibility for their own lives and quit depending on the government. It sparked my attention.  Yet, what Dave Ramsey suggested was no easy matter.  How does an individual turn their ideas into a profitable venue?

Making money isn’t easy! People look for magical equations such as productivity equals outputs divided by inputs.  Decrease your inputs and you can expand your outputs.  Many businesses build their profitability on this simple equation.

Companies seek to reduce their inputs (outsourcing labor, better technologies) to obtain ‘more get.’ Yet, it’s pretty self-serving with little regard to the customer (places less value on employees too). Over the years, I have seen experts suggest that making millions is really easy if you have the right method. 

Loral Langemeier, author of the Millionaire Maker, has created her own version of a Wealth Cycle Process. She notes, “You can make the decision to make a lot of money at any age and in any stage of your life….No matter who and where you are, wealth building is well within your grasp. You just need to step up to the plate.”   Some of these processes may work. Yet, most are only ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes that leave people broken-hearted and empty pocketed!

Chris Anderson on the Long Tail Theory of Selling

Today’s profitability must be built on solving customer’s problems that have a financial value to them. What’s value?  It depends on the individual. Value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product or service.  Value creation can be defined as an organization’s ability to convey the worth of its product or service to customers. Therefore, it goes to value, which focuses on the relationship between the customer’s expectations of the quality of a product/service quality to the actual amount paid for it. 

Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, argue that understanding customer needs should be the primary objective for profitable businesses.  Therefore, understanding the customer is the center point for creating value.

What has been your experience in turning ideas and concepts into profitable ventures?

 © 2011 by Daryl D. Green

The Value Creation Machine

On Tuesday (November 4, 2010), political chatter was all the rage as Republicans gained control over the House, sending a clear message to President Obama that the political landscape had shifted.  The Democrats now occupy the US Presidency and Senate while the Republicans dominate the House of Republications. 

Most experts wonder if Congress will ever get anything done.  As a result of not passing a budget bill in 1995, the federal government was shutdown.  With President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich at the helm, the shutdown was fueled by political fighting.  Sadly, many people look to the government for all of the answers when their own ingenuity would work. 

Yes, the government has an important role to play. I don’t believe that market forces are always the answer to societal problems…the market is not driven by morals or ethics.  In fact, find a cheap labor force across the globe and some businesses will abandon their own creed of “America First.” 

Individuals need to take control of their lives by developing strategies to produce results.  If we are to equip people for the future as scholars, we need to make sure they understand that the future will belong to the aggressor, not the passive in the new economy. During this discussion, we will explore how companies develop value for their customers and how it contributes toward wealth building.

 In uncertain times, it’s virtually impossible to navigate the market without fully engaging customers.  Any operations that fail that economic maxim of the 21st century will fail. Management guru Brian Tracy argues that the duty of businesses is to create and keep customers: “The two most important words to keep in mind in developing a successful customer base are positioning and differentiation.”

Of course, it was possible several decades ago to create products and services without knowing the customer and later convince them to buy.  Many companies during the Industrial Revolution built their success due to scarcity of commodity, limited competition, and uneducated buyers. This is not the case today.

Today’s operations must be value conscious as it relates to the market. Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler, authors of Revolutionary Wealth,  research how tomorrow’s wealth will be created, and who will get it and the wealth method. Customer value is defined as the ‘difference between what a customer gets from a product, and what he or she has to give in order to get it.’  They argue, “Today’s wealth revolution will unlock countless opportunities and new life trajectories, not only for creative business entrepreneurs but for social, cultural and educational entrepreneurs as well.”

Daniel Spulber, author of Economics and Management of Competitive Strategy, further suggests that value creation is strategic:  “Managers must pay close attention to value creation because it is the source of the company’s potential profits. The company generates value by providing products to customers, which it produces both by purchasing inputs from suppliers and supplying some of its own.” 

Spulber further outlines a value-driven strategy in three ways:  (a) to attract customers away from competitors, the company must provide sufficient customer value as compared to rival companies, (b) to attract key suppliers away from competitors, the company must offer sufficient supplier value, and (c) to attract investment capital in competition with other market investment opportunities, the company must increase the value of the firm for its investors.

Therefore, effectively managing the attribute of value creation will provide businesses with a competitive advantage.

Briefly explain how value creation has shifted from the Industrial Revolution to the Knowledge Economy and what attributes will be associated with wealth creation in the distant future?

© 2010 by Daryl D. Green

Fueling Intellectual Assets

When I wrote my first book, My Cup Runneth Over: Setting Goals for Single Parents and Working Couples, it took me two months to write and less than a year to get published (it normally takes 18 months to three years to get published).  People were amazed at my publishing accomplishments.

My world was transformed, from being a little unknown engineer in Tennessee to being a respected expert and quoted by USA Today and Ebony Magazine.  It provided a great avenue for influencing others across the country and the world.  Additionally, it provided me with a more diverse portfolio of passive income and revenue.  In the greater scheme of thinking, I found out that my new platform was centered, not on the physical book—but on the creation of intellectual assets. 

As organizations contend with global competition, many businesses will need to rethink their strategies for sustainability in the knowledge and innovation economy.  Across the nation, companies are depending more on freelance workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers placed by temporary staffing agencies rose by 404,000 since September 2010. Furthermore, many gifted, laid-off workers are forced to become independent contractors and freelancers.  According to the Freelancer Union, 18% of its members were forced to give up health insurance in 2009 while 39% cut back coverage.  This trend is reshaping America’s workforce.

Yet, value creation will be the key to opening endless opportunities for today’s businesses.  We complain about the rate of manufacturing jobs going abroad and how this reality impacts the quality of living. Perhaps the future will be ruled not by the tangible but the intangible.  In fact, the knowledge economy will wreak havoc on traditional thinking. 

 

Thomas Davenport and Kevin Desouza, intellectual strategists, argue the importance of organizations understanding their intellectual assets: “In the industrial economy, a key component of mass production and productivity—and hence economic growth—was the reuse of physical assets: molds, templates, castings and so forth.  Although so much of the economy is now based on intellectual assets, we have yet to achieve a similar level of reuse and productivity improvement for that class of asset.”  In this discussion, we will look at how intellectual assets will fuel the future.

Henrik Vejlgaard, author of Anatomy of a Trend, argues that emerging trends are influenced by gifted people, including entrepreneurs, designers, and artists.  Vejlgaard notes that these people “create new products or invent new styles or begin doing something in a completely new way.”  In the old days, creative people were the butt of jokes pertaining to finding sustainable employment.  

Yet, the future will belong to just these people, as many organizations across the world will need this asset to enhance their survivability.  Fueling the knowledge economy will be knowledge creation (intellectual asset creation) and knowledge management (intellectual asset management).

An important ingredient for the knowledge economy is the creation, use, storage, and positioning of an organization’s intellectual assets.  Intellectual assets are valuable elements created by human ingenuity: written documents, software, musical compositions, and other intellectual spin-offs.  Intellectual assets can be divided into two categories, product assets and process assets.  Product assets are the specific outputs of knowledge work such as software programs or legal briefs.  

In contrast, process assets are codified knowledge about how to perform a task such as manufacturing steps for a new product.  Some countries have already realized the critical value of intellectual assets.  In May 2004, the Ministerial Council in France studied how intellectual assets impacted value creation, growth, and economic performance.  The study noted, “The continuous shift toward a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy has brought to the forefront the issue of how knowledge is created, disseminated, retained and used to obtain economic returns.”

Intellectual assets will place individuals at the center stage of wealth creation across the globe.  Today, traditional publishers struggle to stay in business as the world has been overrun by knowledge creation.  Many experts will argue that the Big 6 (Random House, Inc., Penguin Putnam, HarperCollins, Holtzbrinck, Time Warner, and Simon & Schuster) dominate the publishing world.  Yet, the world is changing.  

According to a Para Publishing study, traditional publishers are in trouble.  In 2004, more than 1.8 million books were in print.  A new book is published every 30 seconds.  With challenges from the global economies, digital publishing models, and industry standard changes, major publishers are bombarded with changes that impact their bottom-line.  In 2002, major publishers decreased output by 5% yet titles published rose by 6%. 

What is driving the publishing industry now?  It is independent publishers and literary entrepreneurs emerging in this digital age.  In fact, 70% of the titles are now coming from small or self-publishers. In the digital age, individuals can transform one idea into multiple formats including paper back, hardcover, MP3 files, DvD, and other downloadable files.  Therefore, knowledge creators are building an empire of intellectual assets.  Websites like Createspace.com and Lulu.com give individuals the power to create wealth while building influence effortlessly.

What modifications will need to be made in the publishing model to incorporate intellectual assets created by entrepreneurs? How can organizations take advantage of these gifted creators in their organizations and still fully control their knowledge management processes?

 © 2010 by Daryl D. Green