Selling something worthless
The difficulty with products that become commoditised (clear braces, dental implants, fizzy drinks, or anything else for that matter) is that once they become commoditised and you enter into the commodity battle, the only way you can make it work is to sell more for less.
That model is fine, but it will require an infrastructure and a distribution network, which is what allows you to sell a lot more, for a lot less, because the battle is to the bottom.
The clearest example of this to my mind and dentistry over recent years is the CBCT scan.
The cost of reporting a scan has become ludicrously cheap and therefor the opportunity to obtain a scan with the report of about a hundred pound is visible all over the place.
This business model, has a time limit, because pretty soon, scans will be reported by artificial intelligence (and by pretty soon I mean in the next few years) and once they’re reported by artificial intelligence, what will you do next?
When I first started using CBCT in 2009, hardly anyone (including me) had any idea about how to look at the images.
Now this has all been commoditised and the only way the price is going, is down. The real trip for people in our position, is to de-commoditise the market and to add something in what other people don’t have.
Originality beats commoditisation, every time (but only for a while before someone turns originality to commoditisation).
The old business models are all dead, as they always are, the job is to reinvent yourself, providing things that the machine cannot provide, or understanding that if you’re providing things that the machine will be able to provide, then you better have a longer-term plan or retire.
Blog Post Number - 2085