This is the elventh in my series of E-Myth Revisited posts. The E-Myth Revisited examines the core myth behind what people believe an Entrepreneur is and what it takes in reality to make a small business successful. This series of posts will cover the core topics explained in the E-Myth Revisited book and apply them to being a Wealthy Affiliate and making money online. Links to the complete list of posts in this series can be found at:
In looking at the challenges of building a turn-key system online, we started by looking at the world wide distribution nature of the internet. This nature removes any value from the duplication of the most valuable aspects of a website or online business. On the other end of the spectrum is the trend toward mass customization.
The idea of mass customization is the inevitable progression from hand made materials to mass produced materials through manufacturing. Mass customization is the next step where products can be produced with the cost and efficiency of mass produced products, but customized in any way desired during production. In the physical products realm, we're probably twenty years out from this becoming commercially viable technology and another twenty years out from it becoming available to the average consumer.
However, in the digital world this has been available for years. Wordpress is a perfect example. Between plugins and themes there is very little in the Wordpress core software that you can't change, improve, update, or remove. Wordpress has been designed to be distributable to hundreds of millions of people and yet look very different for every single one of them if they so desire. This is a major reason why Wordpress is the most popular website platform in the world.
The Wrong Direction
Mass customization is great for consumer products. However, this very idea runs exactly counter to the very idea of a turn key system. The more things you can change the more time you have to spend getting something up and running and the more you're able to deviate from what actually works. From the perspective of the E-Myth mass customization is the absolute worst thing for a business.
When considering an online business from the E-Myth perspective the things that are possible to be customized to be reduced to as few as possible. Based on the world wide distribution, we already know there are limits to what can be duplicated. These things will exist on a continuum. For example, anything that runs in the background should be easily duplicated. When it comes to design a finite amount of options should be made available. Finally when it comes to content, while it can follow some formatting guidelines it essentially has to be customized.
There is one final problem with turn-key systems that we look at next. This problem applies to turn-key systems in general, but we'll ultimately look at it from the perspective of the online business.