May 17, 2009

The 4 reasons anybody ever consumes information (or opinion), and what that tells us about business models

The online world is abuzz with discussion about the future economic models of the publishing industry. It might help in evaluating various proposals to consider why anybody might possibly want to pay money or attention for information or opinion, whether delivered in published or personal-communication form. Since this is a very long post, I’ll put a few of the conclusions here up top, namely:

Those conclusions, in turn, are based on the theory that the the best selling proposition for decision-supporting information and information technologies is:

Keeps you fully and conveniently informed about subject area X, where X is important to you.

Here’s some background as to why I think that.  So far as I can tell, why one consumes information almost always boils down to one or more of four reasons:

So what kinds of business models suit these purposes?

*And yes, there are definitely some opportunities to aggregate into a critical mass and then monetize electronically-delivered free advice. But that’s a special case of the topic of the next paragraph …

Finally, with all that underbrush cleared away, we arrive at the main points:

Cases where this seems true include:

If you believe all that, then it follows reasonably that a top selling proposition for information is keeps you fully and conveniently informed about subject area X, where X is important to you. And that, in turn, leads to the business model comments I put at the top of this post.

Comments

2 Responses to “The 4 reasons anybody ever consumes information (or opinion), and what that tells us about business models”

  1. A Consumer-Centric View of Business Models for Publishing | The Noisy Channel on May 17th, 2009 10:01 am

    [...] Monash has a nice post that turns around the question of innovating business models for online publishing . He considers [...]

  2. Micropayments and Unintended Consequences: See LUN in Santiago, Chile | Sips from the Firehose on May 18th, 2009 2:44 pm

    [...] Perhaps I’ll write more about my experiences in this vein in a post later this week.  It might be helpful for those considering this kind of a move. [...]

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