Proof of concept gives you a test for your business idea
What is proof of concept to a business? If you’re a business owner, you know that testing out your business ideas before going off to launch them makes good sense. This is why online marketers offer a low-cost or free information product before selling it on their website. It’s why coaches often “Beta test” a small group before offering it in a bigger way. It’s why we sometimes offer a small, intimate event – we can gage interest and see if the concept will support a much larger event.
Proof of concept is why magazines are dying, despite high demand.
The other day I posted on Facebook that I miss my big fat magazines arriving by mail, and that I don’t like reading them on my tablet. I spend so much time on my laptop consulting, writing, and editing that I just don’t want to read something else on a screen when I’m going off to relax.
I was shocked by the response I got! The responses are still coming in, but as I write this I’ve had 86 people respond that they, too, don’t like current magazines for being too thin, and for constantly pushing their customers to read “more content” online.
Personally, I’ve just ended a 15-year love affair with Vogue Magazine, because the price has gone up and the content has gotten much thinner in their print edition.
Here are just a few of the 80-plus comments on my Facebook post.
- There’s something quite lovely about the leisure of flipping through a magazine.
- I’m a frustrated magazine reader now.
- Southern Living magazine got much smaller and it was no longer the same rich content it had been.
- I don’t like magazines on tablets, it’s not the same at all.
- I love print magazines, especially interior design ones. I’ve even framed some beautiful photos out of them. I cut out recipes. I think it’s a tactile thing, I need to be holding it, connected.
- Most magazines now seem to be nothing but advertising, even in the feature articles, which are always about something they want to sell you.
- Once I’m off the computer for the day, I am less inclined to read anything.
- I love holding books and magazines
- Nothing in them once you take out the ads.
- I want to hold and feel and turn the pages, so much more relaxing than reading on screen.
In fact, out of all the comments I received, only 1 person preferred reading on a screen.
So, in the face of demand, why are magazines getting thinner? It goes back to proof of concept. The concept for what a magazine is and how it operates has changed completely. The cost of doing business has changed for magazine owners. Even the usefulness of print advertising is sometimes called into question, and is not the same as it originally was.
I imagine that if you pleaded with a magazine owner to go back to thicker magazines with less advertising, less advertorials, and less product placement in articles (sponsored content) she would say that the numbers don’t add up – it can’t be profitable.
She might also say that despite people who love print magazines insisting that they will pay more for true magazines with original content and few if any advertising, that concept has rarely been proven to be true.
Like magazine owners, you may have a portion of your business where the income isn’t what it used to be. What once worked isn’t working, and you’re wondering what to do. If you are thinking of making changes, remember to test out your idea in a small proof of concept experiment. (All business is an experiment!) And if you’d like someone to bounce your idea off of, consider working with me for an hour and we’ll figure out how to test your idea. Proof of concept – it’s a good way to adapt to changing times.
Do you still like to read print magazines? Leave a quick comment below to let me know.