Archive for February 22nd, 2012

How to monetize knowledge

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I discussed my visit to CALM Alpha and the new Kanban certification scheme with a client yesterday. We came up with a few ways to monetize knowledge.

Ways to monetize knowledge:

  1. use the knowledge in your work, get paid for the work,
  2. encapsulate the knowledge in a product, get paid for the product,
  3. put it in a book, which is one kind of product. Except books don’t make a lot of money. Books can be an accelerator of other ways,
  4. create a training around it, sell the training,
  5. do consulting on it,
  6. certify others to give the training, take a cut of the training revenue, or sell the certification,
  7. spread the knowledge under an unclear license, and later harass people into paying (also known as the planning poker model),
  8. certify others to practice the knowledge. Sell the certification (repeatedly by requiring periodic re-certification),
  9. use the knowledge to build a product that is not about the knowledge.

Or a variation on the last, find a problem, use all your knowledge (which is a superset of “the knowledge” by a fairly large margin) and build a product that solves that problem. Get paid for solving the problem by selling the product (or licenses, subscriptions or heaven forbid ads on the product).

A wise person said yesterday at the eXtreme Tuesday club: “You need to decide whether you want to share or not.

Some ways encourage sharing. Others do not.

We’ve done a small safe-to fail experiment with one of the certification pyramids. I’m not sure whether it has had any impact, positive or negative. If you want me to write more about it, contact me, or better, leave a comment :) .

You may also want to read what Liz Keogh wrote about Cynefin licensing and what Chris Matts thought of his visit to CALM Alpha. The comment threads to both posts are well worth a read.

Which would you choose? What do you see as downsides or upsides of each of the ways? Are there better ways?