I had lunch with Sean Mahon on Friday. Sean’s a great guy. He’s the CEO of the Southern Star newspaper in Skibbereen and the current president of the Irish Regional Newspapers Association. So he’s also a serious hitter.
Sean is the man behind turning the Star into what I think is one of the most vibrant and innovative media platforms out there, while remembering where it comes from. It’s a great example of taking a traditional business in a rural location, giving two fingers to the economy and just doing it.
So we got talking about business models. I love talking about business models and systems in other industries, to see how it might relate to my own. We talked about everything from Ryanair to the newspaper publishing business. I was particularly interested in how Sean sees this panning out because it seems to me that there are a number of operators jockeying for position with different models. As I turns out Sean is also VERY interested in seeing how this pans out: this is the multi-billion dollar question in news media at the moment.
One thing that Sean mentioned that resonated with me is the idea of creating or developing a scarce resource that you can charge for. My first thought was that we have no such scare resource. A solicitor is a solicitor, and one can do the job as well as the next, no? Well no. But to most people that matter, non-solicitors, potential clients, people like you this may well be the overwhelming perception if not the fact.
So what is our scarce resource? Trust.
What’s scarce is trust. That’s what we need to develop. And that’s what you need to find.