The Weekly Buzz – Pirates
Slack devolved into pirate jokes at some point this week, so before I share some interesting pirate-related news, I have to ask you: What is a pirate’s favorite country? (You can check your answer at the end of the Buzz.)
Fight the Pirates
We work with a lot of start-ups who are trying to bring fresh new ideas and business approaches to broader markets. Close competitors can make their efforts a lot more difficult. People often think that the most important thing to do is to safeguard their ideas from piracy with patents and other intellectual property protections. But for most businesses, it’s actually more impactful to focus on their go-to-market strategy, branding, and messaging. Think about how attached people are to their favorite brand of bottled water—even though most of them are the exact same H2O!
While we’re on the topic of start-ups, here’s another pirate joke for you: What’s a pirate’s favorite SaaS metric? ARR! Tomasz Tunguz breaks down some detailed data on annual recurring revenue (ARR) to see how many subscription accounts CSMs are handling in different market segments. It may not sound as exciting as sailing the high seas, but the post is a good example of how paying attention to sales operations can turn up unexpected insights.
Discounting Digital Ownership and Piracy
Imagine you are attending a sales training. Over the course of the day, as you attend the sessions, you have the opportunity to take notes on what you’re learning. Would you rather take the notes in a digital workbook on your tablet or laptop, where they are searchable and don’t take up any space? Or would you prefer to take notes in a physical workbook that you can hold and doodle in? If you had to pay for the workbook, would you pay more for one format or the other? Researchers at Universität Basel and Boston University have found that people pay more for physical items than digital versions because they feel a stronger sense of ownership over the physical versions. They go on to suggest that people don’t feel bad about piracy because they don’t consider it as harming the owners as much. To me, piracy seems more like creating an additional copy of the item (as opposed to taking it away from its owner), so I’m not sure the perception of strong or weak ownership is as relevant as they think.
What do you think? Should we make physical or digital workbooks? If you pirate one, what considerations would make you feel remorseful? Should people who make pirate jokes walk the plank? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answer to the first joke: Arrrrrrrgentina