Showing Worth

African Kitchen

People are a little strange sometimes. You can build something easy to use, foolproof and unbreakable, and even free. If people believe that what you created is not addressing their main concerns, they will not use your new Marvel. Even worse if you gave it to them for free, they would believe that it’s worthless, and just ignore it.  This is a universal truth among humans.  Please let me give an example.

There are areas of the world where people get lung diseases by living in a grass hut. The small stoves people cooked on put off toxic soot because of the fuel they used, something akin to black lung disease. I heard a talk once from a person who designed a new stove that would burn bamboo which can be grown anywhere, would burn clean, and solve the toxic soot problem.

The speaker had backers that paid for the stoves so that he could give them away for free. He went to Eastern Africa to give out the stoves and help people with problems. And no one would take or even try them. He came back to the states confused and dejected.

He talked with his backers, and they explained about something free being looked at as worthless. He went back to Africa and charged $15 a stove. He sold out all the stoves he had and had to have more manufactured to meet all the requests. Once people understood the worth, everyone wanted one for their hut.

The same is true for anything new on the market.  To go anywhere, there needs to be an understanding of the products worth.  If the product is free to everyone, then no real worth is assigned.  The general feeling becomes the product is only worth looking at when the user gets around to it, and that usually never happens.

To assign worth to a product we have just built, we need to get a few noteworthy people to try it out and comment on the positive aspects of the product.  The kind words will go so far, and you will need other incentives to go from there.  Those incentives could be anything from a half-price black-Friday sale, to a two for one or family special.  If possible, you could donate a unit or two of the product for a drawing or a contest.  Do whatever you can to build a positive buzz around your product.  And be sure to look for targets of opportunity to get your product in front of people.

Pay close attention to what users of the product tell you, and always be looking for a way to improve the product.  Remember, nothing is ever perfect.

Thank you for being with me today.  I Hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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