Kevin Kelly has a post entitled Better than Free that lists eight things people will pay a premium for, even while closely related things are free or cheap:
Daniel Pink has a related list in his book A Whole New Mind. (Here’s an interview with Pink that gives an overview of his book.) Pink says the skills that will be increasingly valued over time, and difficult to outsource, are:
In The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman says four kinds of people are “untouchable,” that is, immune to losing their job due to outsourcing. These are people who are
- Really adaptable
In Friedman’s terminology, “special” means world-class talent, someone like Michael Jordan or Yo-Yo Ma. Anchored means geographically anchored, like a barber. For most of us, our best options are to be specialized or really adaptable.
How do these three lists fit together? You could see Kelly’s and Pink’s lists as ways to specialize and adapt your product or service per Friedman’s advice.
- Meet your customer’s emotional needs (design, authenticity, patronage, empathy).
- Make things convenient (immediacy, accessibility, findability).
- Bring the pieces together, both literally (personalization, symphony) and figuratively (interpretation, story, meaning).
- Be human (embodiment, play).