Thirty years ago we had 1 hour of national news a day. We had 3 stations to choose from. We watched either Cronkite, Chancellor or Reasoner at 7pm (East Coast) on ABC, CBS, or NBC. If you watched TV at 7pm, you were probably watching the news. Nothing else was on.
There was competition between the national news organizations at 7pm. There weren’t many outside competitive threats because the choice was news or news. The competition that existed drove up quality. The news outlets sought to add more value to attract viewers.
Then the world changed. Cable was born. Cable brought a news revolution. Ted Turner built CNN. The 24 hour news cycle was born. The need for the product did not exist. The 24 hour news networks needed to create value. The expanded news cycle created a need to attract viewers. It also created the need to increase content production to give the new viewers something to watch. The problem is that you cannot create something from nothing. Matter cannot be created or destroyed.
The 24 hour news networks figured out how to create the value. First it was real time news coverage – breaking news. They created urgency in the minds of viewers. Real time reporting cost less and is easier to produce than journalism. Journalism requires research, dedication, ethics, patience and follow-through. It adds value by investing in the product – the story. Real time coverage created value by divesting from the product – the story. Over time, the real-time story could be passed off as journalism. The public paid the price.
Then another discovery was made. Opinion is cheaper than journalism. It also attracts more viewers. They found expressing a consistent opinion builds viewer loyalty … people like hearing what they think. The viewer gets to be right when they see their opinion is on the “news.”. Eventually opinion was passed off as news. Partisan news was born. More value was created. The public paid the price.
Value can’t be created. Created value comes by taking it from one place and giving it to another. It focuses on increasing revenue for the investor or the business. It usually comes from reducing product quality. The cost of value creation is lower quality in exchange for potential profit. Since value can’t be created. Someone takes and someone gives. Creating value is a win-lose proposition.
Value can be added. You add value when you give the value that we or our organization intrinsically has to offer to your customer – great service, outstanding product, low prices, fast turnaround, lots of customization, etc. Adding value seeks to increase revenue for the investor or the business, too. It does it differently though. It makes the customer a winner so that the business and investors can win, also. It increases revenue by adding value to the customer instead of taking it away. Adding value is a win-win.
The 24 hours news cycle is the product of creating value. Value was taken from the news consumer and given to the producer. It increased revenue for several media corporations. It lowered the quality of news for everyone. Talking heads earn six and seven figures. Watching heads receive low quality crap.
It’s easy to get caught up in chasing value creation. It sounds much cooler to create value than it does to add value. We want to be creative. We want to do something that’s significant and meaningful. The best way to do something that’s significant is to be significant and share it with others. That’s adding your value. This is true for businesses and individuals.
You can take someone else’s value away to give it to someone else. It’s greedy but you can do it. Or you can offer your value to your customers or friends and make them more significant.
Here’s a high value proposition. Offer your value to your customers, to your friends, to your families. It’s more profitable.
Are you creating value or adding it?
- Your Value Proposition Is No Longer Sufficient (bjconquest.com)
- The Power of Proposition Innovation (blogs.hbr.org)