Mark Blasini


How to make better connections


In the last post, I talk about how the job of businesses today is to contribute to the network - to make the network stronger, to allow better connections.

As complicated as it may sound, it actually isn't hard to accomplish.The key is to be generous with the ability to connect and charge for something ancillary or marginal to the service.

The cheaper the ability to connect, the more likely a connection can happen. Uber doesn't charge people for downloading and using its app - they only take a cut of the deal you make with the driver. But the ability to connect with the driver, to gain information about drivers in the area, is (technically) free.

Facebook doesn't charge people to connect with one another - unlike phone companies do. The only thing it charges for is advertising. But the ability to reach and connect to a fellow user is free.

For your own business, the connections you are allowing for online happen through conversations. You are letting people talk - talk about themselves and talk to others, talking peripherally about your product.

The Raspberry Pi, for example, allows for literally thousands, if not millions, of conversations: should I buy it? What can I do with it? Who else is using it? Why is x not working?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has the ability to allow for these conversations and even manage them, fostering more conversations and using these conversations to develop better raspberry pi's in the future.

The best thing you can hope for online is not customers giving raving reviews about how they love your product or service, but users who are actually invested in improving your products and services because they want your business to survive.

This can't be done unless you are generous with allowing these users to connect with you and one another.