There’s a fascinating short piece by Kurt Holdstedt at 99PercentInvisible on how taxes and regulations shape the architecture we associate with cities like Paris, Amsterdam, and more.
(I also learned that those distinctive Parisian roofs are called “mansard roofs”.) The mansard roof became popular to get around height restrictions that measured to the cornice line, rather than the top of the roof. Read the article for more examples.
As someone with an interest in architecture, I thought this was interesting on its own.
But how does it apply to your business?
Does the way you sell encourage customers to contort themselves to get a better deal? Might it be easier (and more profitable) for both sides to create a more straightforward solution?
Better yet, do your competitors force their customers to contort themselves? This represents opportunity.
For example, Netflix, now worth $100B, let video renters stop worrying about late fees, which were the main source of competitor Blockbuster’s profits. Anyone old enough to remember Blockbuster?
Microsoft Office, for all its powerful features, was designed for individuals to create documents. Working on documents as a team meant syncing changes and inevitably having lots of different versions of documents floating around. (Are you sure all of your sales reps have the latest pricing spreadsheet? Are they quoting from it, or from the one they’ve been using for a year?) Google’s productivity suite had fewer features, but it made collaboration easier.
These are high profile examples, but they apply to smaller businesses, as well. An attorney or consultant who offers to do certain projects on a fixed fee basis, so there’s no anxiety over the final cost. A manufacturer who delivers and installs and trains customers on using their products to minimize downtime.
You can almost think of this as [solve big problem] for [customer niche] without [drawback of traditional approach].
(If you want to play “mad libs” like that, but with more details, and get an autogenerated outline of a web page with call-to-action and a lead magnet behind the call to action, grab that by clicking below.)