Tag Archives: monetise

How to monetise anything – part IV

monetisation workflowLast post I continued the discussion on “How do I monetise anything” with a look at the value in a situation. This, the final post in the series, looks at identifying the Packaging that your monetisation should take.


When I say packaging, I mean how things are packaged up, or what’s in the bundle and how is it presented. We all like to consume value in particular ways that are specific to our demographics. For instance in Melbourne if you were charged extra for your coffee when sitting in the nice seats, you would be outraged, but in Paris its the norm. However if you charged a separate fee for sitting outside, Parisians would equally be outraged because that’s not how they expect their coffee drinking experience to be packaged up.

The way value should be packaged, may not be immediately obvious either. The value may be hidden deep inside a different situation that is palatable to the consumer. For instance you sell value add network services, inside the telecommunications contract, inside the “free” mobile phone you give away.

In many situation there is also an expectation for some services to be provided free (eg a speech you make) and some services will be paid for (eg the food supplies). The perception is generally that if the situation involves you doing what you do to make a living, you should be paid, but if you are doing a favour or some marketing, you should do it for free. Working with that situation may mean you need to get a fee from the service providers or you need to represent that this is how you make an income.

Some suggested packaging questions and ideas around a Community event

  • Is public speaking considered to be you job, or an “add on”?
  • Can you be paid directly?
  • Can you be paid in kind?
  • Can you sell your book / community membership / videos / posters / donations etc at the event?
  • Can you market or represent a third party who sees value in the event?
  • Could you be paid for your inconvenience (a bottle of scotch for your travel time)?
  • Could you be covering the cost of the A/V people and be making a margin on that?

Some suggested packaging questions and ideas around the Wikinomics group

  • Can you negotiate a cut from the venue you hold your meetings in?
  • Can you sell the products that your group is acquiring?
  • Can you create content in the format your group wants to acquire (eg reports, or write a book)?
  • Can you market or represent a third party who sees value in the group?
  • Can you sell a traditional product or service with the Wikinomics principals embedded in it?

Some suggested packaging questions and ideas around the Great Network

  • Can you create products or services your network wants to acquire?
  • Can you market or represent a third party who sees value in your nework?
  • Can you sell access to your network in a format that’s palatable such as private dinners?

Almost every attribute of a situation has value, the questions you need to ask are:

  1. What costs do I need to incur to access that value?
  2. What are my risks?
  3. What ROI can I achieve?
  4. Is this monetisation aligned with my tangible and intangible goals?

Monetisation is easy in traditional areas such as selling goods from bricks and mortar and really difficult in innovative areas where there are no obvious or routine solutions. In fact my suspicion is that this is one of the main reasons why:

  • Gen Y is more focussed on being entrepreneurial around technology enabled social ventures than money making ventures.
  • Competition is incredibly fierce amongst traditional business models.
  • Web 2.0 offerings have difficulty getting revenue full stop.

Hopefully by thinking about the attributes, the value and the packaging, I’ve given you a framework to think about how to monetise an idea or a situation you find yourself in.

How to Monetise anything – part III

monetisation workflowLast post I continued the discussion on “How do I monetise anything” with a look at the attributes of the situation. This post I would like to have a look at identifying the value in the situation.


The second step in the process is to identify the value that the attributes of the situation offer, and to whom. Value can be traditional Goods &Services or Revenue, it could be knowledge, or it could be something much more intangible such as a “sense of community”. Value may also be derived by someone not party to the situation. For instance a television audience is of direct value to the advertisers, not the station itself.

Some Suggested questions around a Community event

  • What drives the audience to attend, is it the networking, the sense of community, your content, the entertainment, the food and drink?
  • Where is money changing hands around the situation?
  • What other needs does the audience have that they are prepared to pay for?
  • Who can satisfy these needs?

Some Suggested questions the Wikinomics group

  • What drives the community to be involved, is it the thirst for knowledge, the sense of community or the search for a business opportunity?
  • Where is money changing hands around the situation, is it for services or is it for the coffee and books you consume?
  • What other needs does the group have that they are prepared to pay for?

Some Suggested questions around the Great Network

  • What does your network directly spend money on?
  • Where does your network influence the spending of money?
  • Which parts of your “great network” actually have value?
  • Can you satisfy their needs, or is it someone else you need to represent?

Almost every attribute of a situation has value, the question you need to ask is what costs do I need to incur to be able to access that value and is it aligned with credibility and goals?

Next post I want to have a look at the final competent of monetising anything which is packaging.

How to monetise anything – part II

monetisation workflowLast post I looked at the question “how do I monetise this” and suggested framework for monetising, as per the below. This post I want to look at identifying the attributes of a situation you want to monetise.

Identifying the Attributes

    The first thing you want to do in any situation you want to monetise, is identify all the attributes, not just the most prominent or immediate. Sometimes it can be quite hard to identify all the attributes, so as an approach its worthwhile looking as the inputs, the outputs, the activities around a situation and its outside influences or controls, then ask yourself “who, what, where, why, when, how”. As you look at each item, also ask yourself “so what?” the answers may surprise you.

Consider our examples drawn from the questions raised in the initial post.

Suggested questions around a Community event

  • What is the demographic of attendees and the quantity or people, what do these people do, what do they spend money on, who is in their network, what are they passionate about?
  • Where is the location that you are speaking at, does the location need services. How will you get to the location?
  • What is the content of your presentation, are their particular messages that you will push, are their specific solutions that people can purchase, are their calls to action?
  • Will others access your content that are not at the event, where abouts and in what format will they access it?

Suggested questions the Wikinomics group

  • Who is involved in the discussions around Wikinomics, what is their demographic, how often do they meet, where do they meet, do they spend money whilst there?
  • What are their stay awake at night issues?
  • How do people learn about Wikinomics initially and then ongoing? How do they consume content around Wikinomics?
  • How does one build skills in applying Wikinomics concepts?
  • Who else is interested in Wikinomics, why does it interest them and what problems do they need to solve?

Suggested questions around the Great Network

  • What are the demographics of the people in your great network?
  • What power and assets do these people have?
  • What worries these people, what frustrates them, what do they aspire to, what does their future look like?
  • What do they do with their time, how do they spend their money, what are they saving for?
  • How often do you “touch” these people and by what method?
  • How often do these people “:touch you” why do they think of you and what do they think of you?

Once you get started, its not that hard to start recognising all the attributes of a situation

Next post I will have a look at identifying value.

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.

Event Report – The Monetisation of Social Networks

From the Churchill Club Event of 11-Jun-09

So I had a panel answer a number of questions around monetising social networks, including:

  • Are there profitable social networks or “are we just hanging on till we get bought”
  • What are the winner and loser models
  • What are the KPI’s
  • Can you switch horses during the race?
  • What’s next?

The Panelists were:
Martin Hosking – Chairman of Red Bubble
Lisa Watts – CEO of Artshub
Peter Daams – Cofounder &  MD of Travellerspoint

With myself as the moderator.

Lesson 1 Understand your community

Most people will only ever belong to a couple of communities at one time as true membership requires passion, and you can’t be passionate about lots of things at the same time. (eg family, career, hobby – pick two only)

The internet is not the community, its simply a method of virtually connecting a real world community.

If you can dominate a niche and act like an industry association, membership of your social network will be a given.

Lesson 2 Before you start Continue reading Event Report – The Monetisation of Social Networks