I know we live in a connected world, because when something cool happens to me, my first reaction is to blog about it or post to social media. I Yelp as soon as I visit a restaurant. I ask my Twitter buddies for recommendations before real life friends. So Lisa Gansky’s book, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing, appealed to me.
In it, Gansky talks about businesses that offer products or services that can be shared, like Zipcar. Here are her qualifications for a mesh business:
- Something that can be shared, within a community, market or value chain, including products, services and raw materials.
- Advanced Web and mobile data networks are sued to track goods and aggregate usage, customer and product information.
- The focus is on shareable physical goods, including the materials used, which makes local delivery of services and products – and their recovery – valuable and relevant.
- Offers, news and recommendations are transmitted largely through word of mouth, augmented by social network services.
She introduced me to some amazing mesh companies I didn’t even know existed, and she offered tips on how businesses can offer mesh products or services. Throughout the book, Gansky offers easy-to-grasp concepts that can help any business owner, mesh or otherwise.
Gansky says that mesh companies have more opportunity to gain a customer’s trust, as well as to destroy it. Trust, she says, is social, and so all business is social. If a customer has a bad experience with a Zipcar, for example, he will immediately tell his circle of real life and social friends. That’s why it’s key to meet or exceed expectations with the mesh business.
So whether you have products or services that can be shared, read this book. It’ll teach you about how to offer a stellar customer experience and how to use social networks to stay on top of consumer opinion of your brand. Who knows? You might even learn something!