Sunday, May 10, 2009

Innovation potential of PBV concept

A little while back I introduced an idea I call Pay Back Value, or PBV for short, which gives the Web one more pay model--pay after.

May seem strange but you do that all the time, like at restaurants or the barber.

What would you do if your barber asked you to pay upfront? Why do people think that's the only way to pay on the web?

It's kind of bizarre in a way that people do!!!

Do you know of any other way to pay on the web but upfront? It's even worse with subscriptions as you're paying upfront well in advance!!!

For a newspaper with a subscription you pay for papers not even created yet.

But there is this other way to pay that we use all the time.

Now I'm going to expand the concept with an innovation to it, which is to have a PBV corporation, and have PBV votes.

So there could be this mega corporation called, and you sign up to it, and it gives website owners the option of putting a PBV button on their site, with a link beneath it explaining that PBV is just a way to pay after you consume, like at a restaurant.

So, maybe you'd have 25 cents, below which is a PBV button, below which is a link that might say: "What is PBV?"

The PBV value is set by the website owner, though the PBV corporation may suggest prices, or give continual guidance on proper price given demand.

But what if PBV really takes off and some website that doesn't have it, wants it?

Well assuming a PBV base of members are setup--people who have signed up for PBV, which requires they give a way to pay like a credit card--why not give them the option to vote on whether or not the website should be included?

So a potential website might get a "PBV Test" button, where PBV users could vote as to whether or not they see value in the site itself and might actually pay at it, and if the site, say, didn't get 2/3 saying they might, then it'd be rejected for membership in the PBV network.

Hmmm...that also gives the option of letting PBV members vote on sites currently in the PBV network, but wait! That's dumb. They're already voting if they are paying, so each pay is a vote. But if revenue suddenly dropped at a site, it could end up with a "PBV Test" button (in the terms of agreement in the contract with the PBV corporation), and PBV users could then vote it out of the network, or let it stay.

Wow. Lots of options for users here! The PBV corporation would, of course, give users access to a report showing their expenditures, on what sites, etc. which could even break things down in various ways to give them insight into their own web valuing behavior.

Web site owners might really be surprised by something like PBV as well, as what if you have TONS of visitors by traditional measures, but find out from PBV that most don't think your site has content worth paying for? Another site with far fewer visitors might make much more money from PBV, while advertising would only give pennies.

It could be a quality differentiator on the web.

I increasingly believe that hypothetical company will be here some day.

After all, there is a pay model that many people use every day that is not on the web for some bizarre reason which is to pay after.

Here's a weird tidbit to leave you with: you buy a newspaper upfront, right?

Can you imagine having to pay, say, $1000 US to walk into a grocery store, and be able to fill one grocery cart with whatever you wanted, paying upfront there as well?

Oh, $1000 too much? What if they said, $100, but you have to walk past all these signs with ads on them?

Ever consider that the pay upfront with ads model is actually kind of strange?

Would you pay $100 upfront to walk into a grocery store and fill one cart?

What I call PBV is simply more like what you actually do: go into the store, take possession of what you want, and pay after, not before.

James Harris
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