Axiom: Too Much Stuff

The Answers Economy over-produces in order to meet demand that it cannot predict, which reduces the potential customizability of products and services actually delivered in the economy. So, we compromise and end up with products we don’t actually want. We experience that as “too much stuff.”

We are drowned in the wrong information as a result of the answers orientation. The millions of answers to any search are piled up and we still have to sort through it all to find what we actually want.

A questions-oriented economy will bank the value of getting what is wanted to those who want it at the right place and time for an acceptable price. In other words, the new value created by a questions-based economy will be divided by those who mine the delta between what is currently available given resources and what could be delivered in the future for a lower price based on validated demand, expressed as questions as simple as “Can I have an Egg McMuffin or its equivalent at 3:30 PM next Thursday? (or every Thursday for the next two years).”

In the case of new value, identified in advance or as an expression of unfulfilled demand, financing, logistics and so forth involved in delivering what is in demand, less the inventory risk of the Answers Economy.

A corollary of this axiom is that everything Google delivers today is already known, and hence only a commodity in the questions economy. The real value in Google, which is the quintessence of the answers economy, is not the content delivered but the searches conducted. Google and everyone else is totally unequipped to exploit the opportunity, which is why the current economy exacts the price of Excess Margin on everyone.

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.

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