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Posts Tagged with “Business Design”

Post 17: What is professional value?

A marketplace analysis.

Yesterday I got a few emails about a product called Dropr (The easy portfolio for all creative heads). The week before I got emails about Sumry (The resume reimagined).

We started asking questions about the product we’re working on and how it compares or fits within the marketplace.

At the moment, when I describe the product, I talk about it as a ‘profession story telling’ service and later, discovery for employers.

This lead to me consider what is actually important about someones professional story? What makes you valuable a professional contributing to the economy?



Yesterday I quickly I jotted this equation down in my notebook. I’m not sure if this has much credibility. The idea is fairly simple. Someone with great ability and talent with little industry experience lacks value as does someone with years of workplace experience, but little talent.

Having both makes you valuable.

Does this apply to all industries? I’m not sure.

It does allow a nice, HMW question (How might we…) to appear.

How might we help people better communicate their talent and experience online?

So going back to the product I mentioned earlier. It may be possible to plot the services in the marketplace based on how they address the above equation.



There are 12 services that I could think of that were relevant to this diagram. A few notes:

  • LinkedIn is by far the leader in the the experience category, but they are making a move towards talent & ability by allowing customers to add things like Behance Portfolios & post original content.
  • The bottom right quadrant is very crowded with services that allow customers to share their talent and abilities.
  • The Loop, Behance and Dribbble all offer different levels of talent and experience story telling, but all 3 have a heavy focus on talent in the form of portfolio display.

None of this means that the yellow square in the top right represents any great opportunity. I may be that companies aren’t in that space for a good reason. Maybe it isn’t possible to do?

For now though, that is the space we are exploring.


Printing Companies Should Become Development Companies


The phrase “A product is what a product does”, was first introduced to me in my 3rd year of university. My then lecturers claim was that most businesses don’t understand what their product actually is and this mistake ends up killing a lot of once successful companies.

The example given was of the now almost dead, Blockbuster video. “What is Blockbusters product?”, he would ask. We would eagerly answer, “DVD’s and video!” Of course we were wrong. The product Blockbuster was in fact selling was the thing DVD’s and videos did which was provide in-home entertainment to people.

Blockbuster sold in-home entertainment, not DVD’s. A product is what a product does.

I recently caught up with someone who works for a large Australian printing company. The person complained that business was slow and drying up. Immediately I wondered what a printers product is if it isn’t paper and ink. So I asked the question, what do printers products do?

Well, printers do a few key things:

  • Manage the often complex and messy process of taking artwork specified by designers and producing high quality final outcomes
  • Manage shipping and logistics
  • Provide specific expertise in production methods

It became quickly apparent that none of these points were specific to the printing industry and that there was another industry doing almost exactly the same thing in a different medium already. Digital development companies.

Think about any digital development company that builds websites. The overall process of working with one from a designers point of view is not that dissimilar to dealing with a printer: you come up with a design > send it to them with some instructions > they deal with the messy stuff > you pay them and you get the finished product to hand to your client.

Essentially development companies, ‘print’ websites and apps. They are modern day printers.

I think there is a good argument to be made for established print companies like Finsbury and Bambra Press (Australia) to consider making a move towards offering digital development/production services to ensure their business remains relvant.