Fun and money have long been the two reasons we go to work in the morning. If we are honest with ourselves we will admit that in the beginning it was mostly about the fun. We were doing the work we loved. Others validated our expertise by actually paying us for it.
We are lucky to do what we love. And we deserve to be able to do it. But as business owners we need to accept that loving our craft is no substitute for making intelligent business decisions. Passion for design does not grant us dispensation from facing The Difficult Business Decision.
We can measure the success of our positioning by gauging our ability to command two things simultaneously: a sales advantage and a price premium. To possess a sales advantage means that when and where we choose to compete, we win more often than not.
Positioning is an exercise in relativity. Our goal when endeavoring to position ourselves against our competition is to reduce or outright eliminate them. When we drastically reduce the real alternatives to hiring our firm, we shift the power balance away from the client and toward us.
We will acknowledge that it is the availability of substitutesthe legitimate alternatives to the offerings of our firmthat allows the client to ask, and compels us to give, our thinking away for free.
The forces of the creative professions are aligned against the artist. These forces pressure him to give his work away for free as a means of proving his worthiness of the assignment. Clients demand it. Designers, art directors, writers and other creative professionals resign themselves to it.
California-based Alphabet Energy plans to begin selling a new type of material that can turn heat into electricity. Unlike previous thermoelectrics, as such materials are known, it is abundant, cheap, and nontoxic.