Doc Searls defines what he calls the because effect
This is what you get when your new business isn’t just about inventing and controlling technologies and standards, but about taking advantage of the new opportunities opened up by fresh new technologies and standards. For example, making money because of blogging, or RSS, or desktop Linux, or whatever — rather than just with those things
In the technology business, we tend to be very obsessed with the technology itself. So many companies claim that what differentiates them is the technology (often only certain features of the technology) and sometimes it’s true, but not often.
But many of the real opportunities exist in taking advantage of all of the technology we’ve invented to do things (anything from business processes to making new friends) differently – and better than ever. Or what can be done because of the technology.
Think about the people making money by running businesses in Second Life. They are not in the technology business, but they are in the design or fun or entertainment (or whatever) business. And their business is able to have the reach is does because of Second Life. You can even say the same for the large corporations who have established a presence in this virtual world. They are able to better interact with partners, customers, etc., because of the technology.
There are two things I ask myself everyday:
1) How am I making use of all of the technology and capabilities available to me to engage my market? to attract new prospective customers? to start an interesting conversation? You might say, what am I doing different/better because of the technology I have at my disposal?
2) I market technology. What are my customers doing different/better because of the technology I market? We marketers like to think in terms of benefits (many of which are not really benefits at all). But if you pose the question this way, the benefit becomes very clear.
What are you making possible for your customers that was not possible before?