Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Commodity Trader

Let me start with a definition. Commodity: “In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs.” This is from Wikipedia, I hyperlinked if you want to know more about them. In addition the description goes on the state: “…the market treats it as equivalent or nearly so no matter who produces it.” If you are reading this, you may be a commodity.

Don’t feel bad, but it is something you need to know. Unless you produce something or provide services than no one else or a small number of people provide, you and your products are commodities.  

Many of the people I talk to are in the IT Services market. There was a time when computers equaled magic. No longer. It is really hard to charge more for servicing a product than it is worth. Think home appliances. When was the last time you took a toaster to the Mr. FixIt shop downtown? Even your big screen TV? Not worth the cost. We don’t spend the money when we can put it towards newer, better, faster, even if it has only been a year or two.

What makes a TV different from a computer? Data. Your customer’s data is not a commodity. So while the hardware, software, network, or provider that is used to access the data may be a commodity, but the data never is.

So if you want to be “less” of a commodity, tie yourself to the data.