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Creating Value Then Profit

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Shane, an attendee from the first Elite Retreat, posted about why it is not best to monetize a blog right out of the gate:

So, your focus at the beginning has to be on attracting and retaining readers. You do that by having a great site, and nothing turns visitors off more than a brand new blog with just a handful of posts and ads splashed everywhere. It says to them that you’re more interested in making money than you are in providing good content. Who wants a site that’s all sales and no substance?

Tim O’Reilly noted that the failure of satelight radio is largely because they failed to put the customer first

Just remember how Google got their edge. It wasn’t just pagerank and better search results, it was refusing to go the portal route, with intrusive advertising, and instead trying to figure out how to create a better user experience with advertising. Making ads non-intrusive and useful to their real customers was one of Google’s biggest breakthroughs. (They will forget that at their peril.)

Today, you need to ride the wave of commoditization in both hardware and software, and build your value in new ways. Understanding those new ways is the heart of Web 2.0. And a big part of that is putting the user first.

Joel Spolsky recently wrote a great article offering Seven steps to remarkable customer service.

And, here I was, on this planet for forty years, and I couldn’t believe how much the three words “it’s my fault” had completely changed my emotions in a matter of seconds.

Seth Godin followed that up with a post titled Starting over with customer service:

I think the single factor that is killing this process and that is under the company’s control is this: the desire to perform all customer service in real time.

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