Category: Customer Value

“People want economy and they will pay any price to get it.” – Lee Iacocca

Customer Value is about the perception of what happens when the customer uses the product.  The handyman is not buying a drill; he is buying the ability to make holes.  The iPod was not the first nor arguably the best MP3 player but it was the coolest and it was made by Apple.

Connect your brand with the right perception and you won’t have to compete on price.


“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein

Einstein: Entrepreneur?

Success follows value better than itself.  There are plenty of people who believe ______________ owes them something.  (Fill in the blank: society, government, big business, school, etc).  These are the value depleators; those who consume without returning the favor.  But we’ll leave that debate to the protestors of social inequality.

Fortunately, in entrepreneurship, this cannot exist.  You have to convince people to give you their money.  They won’t do that if they don’t receive a benefit.  They get to decide, not you, not your product idea, not the fact you received grant money to develop your technology, and not the fact that you have a patent.

The priority should be to solve a big problem in a big market at a price customers are willing to pay.  Success will come.



“It’s not that I reject categories. It’s that I don’t really know what categories are.” – Ornette Coleman

Musicians have to struggle with categories.  Should they conform to a particular format, style or even the expectations of their fan base?  If they do, they can win short term success but in the end, they are known for the past.

Entrepreneurs can get into the same trap if they look where everyone else is playing.  Incremental improvements on other’s ideas won’t change the world.

It’s easy to be a critic.  Critics report on the status quo.  Critics react to change. Your job is not to please the critics.  Rather, create something that will delight your customers.  Give them something they’ve never had before.

Let the critics create the categories…AFTER you’ve already been there.