Why don't the hundreds of other mp3 players have the 80% market share of the iPod? Because Apple gave the consumers what they wanted, a small sleek portable extremely well designed and easily integrated player. Giving before taking. They didn't just create 'enough' they created something people wanted.
Ebay used to be a giver too, they supplied a great service that no one else had and people flocked to them. Now they've become a taker, and it shows in their tanking market share. I can just imagine a beady eyed MBA manager calculating the value of additional picture in your listing costing $0.10.Take without giving and your customers will punish you. If I was ebay, I'd make listing free and increase the ways people could pay.
IBM is an example of a turn around. They became a taker in the 90's thinking they could bull doze the PC market they were leading. Intel and AMD decided they could give more, and take less. IBM soon found themselves in a rut, they couldn't keep taking anymore. So what did they do? They gave. They totally changed course, and became a consulting firm. Consultant's don't get paid unless they give.
I heard a story about a local millionaire that said only two things matter in a successful business:
1. Look after your customers, and do it damn well.
2. Look after your employees, and do it even better.
Imagine the following employee:
1. John Doe only gives as much as he takes in salary.
Compare this to Jane.
1. Jane Doe does whatever is required, regardless of her title.
Who gets promoted? They guy nickel and diming and present valuing his time? Or the girl who isn't there just to do her job, she's there to do the right things.
People who take but don't give have to compete with all the other takers, the mediocre masses, the average. If you focus on giving, you're probably already selling a remarkable product or service. You're probably also looking at your stakeholder's welfare before you even dare look at your bank account. You don't have to compete with all the takers anymore, because you're playing on a level above them.
Stop talking about 'value' and start asking the question.
Are you a taker or a giver?
flickr cred: kevinthoule