When looking to buy a car, how do you decide which car to buy? Cost? Mileage? Reliability? Horsepower? Style? When deciding on whether you should use Uber, Lyft or a taxi, how do you decide? Price? Timeliness? Availability? Familiarity? But isn’t the question you are asking really how I want to get from Point A to Point B?
A study done in the UK1 found that if you buy a low-end clothes washer, it would cost you about 27 cents a load. If you had access to a high-end machine on a pay-per-wash basis, it would only cost you about 12 cents per wash. Do you really want to decide between Maytag and Samsung or do you just want your clothes clean?
So, what do taking Uber and washing clothes have in common? How we view fundamental services (e.g., transportation and cleaning) and the ways we make decisions on how to purchase them is changing dramatically. Many companies are making IT decisions today have shifted from buying infrastructure to utilizing as a service models. As a result, the criteria that they use to make their decisions are completely different. Companies no longer want to talk about feeds and speeds, widget A vs. widget B. They want to know how you can help them solve some of their basic business challenges. How you actually solve the problem is almost incidential.
Gone are the days when technology companies can lead with a better mousetrap. If I can pay on a “per-mouse” basis, I don’t really care which trap you use. Companies no longer want to pay for technology; they want to pay for outcomes. This shifts technology discussions to the backseat and forces sales teams to understand and solve their customer’s challenges as the primary objective.
So, should I take Uber or wash my clothes? The answer is that you do both from your smart phone while ordering a latte at your favorite espresso stand.
- Study conducted by the Ellen MacAurthur Foundation (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/interactive-diagram/in-depth-washing-machines). Also, a pay-per-wash model (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/case-studies/internet-enabled-pay-per-wash-a-model-offering-multiple-benefits)