What If We Give It Away: Lessons from TED

From Andy Weissman.com:

“Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right”

What if the value your service or company provides may not be the one you originally or naturally think it does? TED used to be a simple conference – you pay (a lot) to attend, and in exchange you get to see, in person, some great speakers and meet some interesting people. Great content and even better networking.

But then TED started giving away the content (TED talks) – basically for free and in almost real time. It also started giving away its brand – allowing the use of the “TED” moniker for other events, conferences, in related and unrelated fields (TEDx). And then giving away its methodology – its format and processes. So what was the result? The TED brand recognition is greater than ever, its content is viewed on the web by millions of people who have never even been to an event, the TED speaker slot is coveted and is even a form of credibility or accreditation, many many more people have been to “TEDx” related events than ever before, and the flagship in person conference sells out as fast as it ever did at the same high prices.

In other words, by giving away what one would generally think of as a company’s (a media entity) greatest assets – its content, brand and business processes – the business has grown enormously in just a few short years. “We found that, giving stuff away, we received even more in return” says Bruno Guissani, European director of TED.

Continue reading the rest of the story on the blog of Andy Weissman