IMC Intuition

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Thinking about The Mesh and the Business of Sharing

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The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

My copy of The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

I finished two excellent books this week, Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh* in print and Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man on CD.  

What’s a Mesh business model?  According to Gansky, a mesh business has four characteristics (p. 16):

  1.  The core offering is something that can be shared within a community, market or value chain, including products, services and raw materials.
  2. Advanced Web and mobile data networks are used to track goods and aggregate usage, customer and product information.
  3. The focus is on shareable physical goods, including the materials used, which makes local delivery of services and products-and their delivery of services and products-and their recovery-valuable and relevant.
  4. Offers, news and recommendations are transmitted largely through word of mouth, augmented by social network services.

A comprehensive list of mesh businesses, hot ideas and lots of other cool stuff is located at her website:  http://meshing.it/

What do I think?

I live in the B-to-B industrial  world, and  I really see this or some form of this trend coming to US industrial manufacturers quite simply because we are all so lean, we must learn to share and scale knowledge.  In addition to the effects of the Great Recession, manufacturing is experiencing a great brain drain as Baby Boomers retire, and Gen Y workers are attracted to new economy careers.

Two things in the book really stood out for me – Lisa’s marketing mantra:  define. refine. scale.; and her concept of upcycling as opposed to recycling, in other words, “…designed to be repaired, upgraded, and ‘upcycled’ at the end of its life.”  I work for an Aftermarket manager who has always believed this, and his dedication to upcycling – which by the way, is never as simple as producing new products – has always been an inspiration for me.  My hope is that more OEM’s catch this spirit because I think it is the future engine of real revenue growth.

 Interested in reading this book?  Send me your mailing address, I have one book that Seth Godin sent to me and asked me to share!  ryan.beth@gmail.com

 *”Copyright © Lisa Gansky, 2010.  From The Mesh, published by Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.”

 Frank McCourt

I grabbed the CD to listen to during my commute after being memorized by Angela’s Ashes. Although never as poor as Frank, I share many of his childhood demons.   In Teacher Man,  Frank continues his memoir covering his adult years teaching.   At the end of his career, he tells his students that the reason for education is not to pass, not to get into college, but to travel the continuum from Fear to Freedom.  It’s so true.   Certainly for those of us who didn’t grow up on Sunnybrook Farm. 

This idea makes my business book addiction seem, well, noble!  Read the book or borrow the CDs from the library – my favorite upcycling location:  http://www.amazon.com/Teacher-Man-Memoir-Frank-McCourt/dp/0743243773

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