Free is a race to zero. A zero sum game. You can only save as much as you spend then you’re stuck. Growth is unlimited. Creating is the answer. Reducing is the opposite of creating.
A little background, on Episode 22: Greed Part 2 of Etsy Jam, I went on to discuss how free is a big lie. It’s also a race to zero…
The High Cost of Free
The cost of free is typically privacy and time. Kevin recently discovered how much info his Android phone is collecting from him. It not only tracks his every movement on a map, it also lovingly saves voice recordings of everything he says to Google Now.
IBM disabled and banned the use of Apple’s Siri on company issued devices. Siri didn’t meet corporate policy guidelines. It was feared company secrets could be recorded and sent outside of the company. Siri sends audio recordings to an Apple server for processing. Is Apple a good steward of information? Probably. They’re a hardware company and it’s transparent where they get their money. It’s not advertising and data mining.
Time is so undervalued it’s sad. Spend 10 hours to save $20 and you’ve made yourself $2/hr. You’ll have to decide if that’s a good return or not. Your situation will dictate the value of your time. Could you have spent 10 hours on something worth more? Could you have spent 10 hours designing a product that will keep making you money month after month?
Enter Real Life
I’m no saint. I fall into this trap too. Most of it is pride getting in the way. Do I want to pay more than the next guy? Of course not. I want to be the deal king. The question then is what will that title cost me.
We’re always keeping an eye on the budget at Marmalead and it’s tempting to jump through hoops to save money. This is especially when it involves building something ourselves. It’s really tempting to tinker with stuff. When you’re running a business though, it’s really important to spend your time where it’s most valuable.
A Plea For Change
If what you’re working on doesn’t add value to the customer, then it’s probably not worth doing. Even if it saves you money, it has a limit on how much can be saved. Adding customer value is unlimited. There’s no ceiling in sight.
This mentality will change you. Choose the one you want to live because it has far reaching consequences. You must either live in a world of abundance or one of scarcity. They can’t coexist.
Hint: Choose abundance.