April 23: Disruptive Business Models

On April 23, 2019, Kasie and Shennice welcomed Cheryl Nugent, author and founder of Kentbury.com, into the studio. Here are the show notes:


Kasie Whitener, Clemson Road Consulting, DMSB

Shennice Cleckley, Smart Cookie Coaching

Cheryl Nugent, author and founder of Kentbury.com

Theme for the day:

Disruptive Businesses & the Publishing Industry

Agenda review:

  • What is a disruptive business?
  • Learn more about the publishing business
  • Talk about Kentbury.com
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Photo by Thomas Brenac on Pexels.com

Segment 1:

Disruptive business models create an entirely new way of navigating established industries. Typically, this means a new company addressing the needs of a population not being served by the existing players in the industry. The first strategy is to create an entirely new market with this super amazing product you’ve invented. Questions to ask about the market to determine whether you can build a disruptive business:

Do consumers not use existing products because they are expensive or complicated?

Are they willing to use a simpler product?

Will your new product help people do something they already do easier?

Some examples of disruptive business models:

Netflix — instead of the Blockbuster model of retail locations, Netflix was wholly online and via mail; when they abandoned discs for streaming, it was a natural progression

Uber — instead of the centralized Taxi agency model, this app makes any car a taxi

Other general opportunities to disrupt your market:

  • Freenium model — provide a service free-of-charge but put the upgrades behind a paywall; examples LinkedIn, Spotify
  • Subscription model — services offered into a split-payment model that keeps users engaged; examples Netflix, Amazon
  • Free offerings — the service being offered is not how the company monetizes, instead, it’s what they get from the users that pays their bills; examples Google and Facebook
  • Sharing economy — goods and services that traditionally can only be purchased, are made available for “rent”; example Air B&B
  • On-demand model — the value is in the mechanism that executes the build; no inventory risk; example CreateSpace via Amazon Publishing
  • Marketplace model — connects buyers and sellers on a single platform, earns revenue in transaction fees; examples eBay and etsy

Segment 2:

Some of our listeners will not be familiar with the publishing industry so we can discuss “how it works” in a few different ways:

When did you decide to publish?

How did you make the decision about which kind of publishing you would choose?

What were some resources that informed that decision?

There are a ton of things written on “the writer’s journey” from a publishing perspective. Here’s just a taste of a few:

Jane Friedman says: Land a traditional publisher, Hire a service, or Self Publish

Writers’ Digest gives an overview of “traditional” versus “self” and says to determine what your goal for publication is. That goal will help you decide.

And a Huffington Post contributor gives 11 tips that begin with “Write Well” — okay, duh. Some other worthwhile tips: Read, research, get a guidebook for nonfiction, and expect rejection. Sigh.

If making money is your goal, there’s an endless source of advice online for that, too:

DIY Marketers suggests you can sell t-shirts, travel tours, or bonus materials to encourage people who are fans of the book to stay engaged

This writer suggests online courses, Amazon affiliates, and paid Medium posts as income boosters while warning away from books as the primary income and paid ads or asking for tips as revenue streams.

When entering a market that’s new-to-you, business professionals will tell you to ask these questions:

  • Is the market saturated? Are there a lot of competitors for what you’re doing?
  • Are there barriers to entry? Is it difficult to get your product into the market?
  • Is there a risk to entry? (like investing in all those pre-printed copies?)
  • Do the buyers have bargaining power? Think Kindle Unlimited where readers can “try” the book without you getting paid.

Segment 3:

How is Kentbury designed to reverse the traditional publishing model?

What would be the best way for a writer to use Kentbury?

What are your goals for participation in Kentbury?

What is “critical mass” for Kentbury? How many people? How often are they online?

The name doesn’t tell us what the concept or platform does; have you gotten any push back on the name?

What marketing efforts have you already made to reach writers who might participate? What about reaching publishers and agents?

Should there be any criteria for work appearing in the Kentbury marketplace? Certification or something?

Segment 4:

Some events to get ready for – May 10th the City of Columbia’s OBO hosting its Annual Small Business Week one-day conference at the Columbia Convention Center; May 30th the SMBCC’s Next Level Success event at the Brookland Baptist Conference Center

Ready to support Start Something, Columbia! Call 803-569-8200 to talk about becoming a patron.

Start Something, Columbia! is lovingly supported by:

City of Columbia


Epic Life Coaching


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