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Create more value than you capture February 12, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, philosophy.

Anyone who has been with me for a while (thanks for sticking around, even though the posts have been fewer and further between while I get settled somewhere marginally south of the North Pole) knows I am an avid reader of Fred Wilson’s AVC blog. While catching up on his pieces, he had a quote in one post from Tim O’Reilly which I liked so much I stuck up on the door of my office:

Create more value than you capture

Create more value than you capture

That struck a chord with me, and reminded me of a piece I posted back in September on treating people’s contact details as a new currency, something to be traded in exchange for value. I believe companies need to offer great value in order for my permission to contact me, and for the most part people are far too flippant in this space.

Create more value than you capture. Make it worth me putting in my email address, deliver more entertainment than seems reasonable for my $10. What I’m really saying is show me you value my attention even if the only thing you get out of it is your message being heard. That tells me you believe what you have to offer is worth something, and hopefully more than what you’re asking me to give up in exchange.

Go read Tim O’Reilly’s piece that the quote is from, entitled Work On Stuff That Matters. There is no better way to start your day.



1. Kate Richardson - February 15, 2009

Nice pithy little phrase.

Also, I like your point about the exchange of contact details as it’s not something people always reference in this context and yet it’s a marketing 101

2. Matt Granfield - February 17, 2009

So do you want to explain what “Good Cheap Fast” is about then? Wasn’t stuck there by an ex-girlfriend or anything?

3. Alex - February 17, 2009

I like it. I think I saw in a Seth or Zag…


Which, I do believe, is slightly more powerful given that it talks of value…

BUT don’t get me wrong, the two together are gold.

Provide more unexpected value than you take? Or something like that.

I miss you. : )

4. Alex - February 17, 2009

Good. Fast. Cheap.

It’s a triangle of choices, but you only get to choose 2!

David is GOOD and pretty FAST, so therefore he is not CHEAP.

Others, unnamed, are cheap and fast, therefore no GOOD to anyone.

5. David Gillespie - February 18, 2009

Unnamed, such restraint! 🙂 And I miss you too my dear.

Funnily enough I’ve spent some time this week trying to convince people contact details are worth more than we think they are; the disregard people have for permission to speak is mind boggling.

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