How to monetise anything – part I

I drink a lot of coffee. Unless I have decided to be completely anti-social I normally meet someone for coffee twice day. Its part of my investment in networking. First meetings tend to be more wide ranging as we get to know each other, and downstream meetings are normally focussed on a specific problem. But because of the volume of “first” meetings I attend, I have noticed a number of generic business issues. Here’s some snippets indicating one of the issues that I regularly hear.

“I keep on getting asked to speak at small community events, but how do I make money from this?”

“I am part of a group fascinated by Wikinomics, which we feel has enormous value, but nobody wants to pay for it”

“I have a great network, but how do I monetise it?”

The question of “how do I monetise this?” is a difficult one. Its normally because you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a reference point close enough for how to make money. Certainly the green grocer doesn’t ask the question about his fruit and veg, but he does when he notices something unexpected such as people regularly using his shop to shelter from the wind or rain whilst waiting for the morning tram.

But “how do I monetise this?” is a question that pops up in my coffee meetings again and again, because of the type of people I meet. So as is my way, I thought for a while about what the question really was, I did some research and came up empty, I mulled it over for a couple of weeks, drew some circles on a page and searched for a universal framework to approach the problem. I have come up with what I think are solid thoughts, but because of the size of this article, I have split it into three parts.

The problem of how to monetising something you have or are doing, is not dissimilar to negotiation or being an entrepreneur. In fact its a bit of a melding of the two. It also has a simple workflow, but of course the devil is in the detail. There are just three steps:monetisation workflow

1. Identify all the attributes
of the situation,

2. Identify where the
value is,

3. Identifying the
appropriate packaging.

Next post I will drill down on identifying the attributes of a situation.