Alright, let’s try something new for this week’s reader question. As regular readers know, I do a “you asked for it” column where I answer reader questions. But lately, I’ve been getting a specific form of questions.
People ask for help with their free agent/moonlighting value propositions. Sometimes, these requests even involve offering to pay me some sort of hourly consulting rate.
Well, since I don’t do B2C consulting, and since I do have a blog to write, I’ve decided to start using these requests as fodder for blog posts. My hope is that some examples round out various posts that I do on the subject.
So here’s what I’ll do. If you have nascent ideas on positioning and value propositions and want feedback, hit me up via email (erik at daedtech) or on Twitter or something. Let me help with your positioning ideas.
I haven’t yet fully worked out the best format for this, obviously, but I figure we can iterate.
The Value Proposition
Alright, let’s get down to business. Here’s the first idea for a value prop that a reader sent to me.
I sell State Matrix Audit to small dev teams.
My ideal client is a team that built an app which works most of the time. But the devs or the management want to be sure it is correct and has [high availability]. My contribution is to audit the tech stack and application code and provide a report – which sequences of failures would lead to error states (downtime, data loss, etc). Along with estimated recovery times, automation suggestions, stack tweaks, etc.
I have a great track record of doing just this as a salaried employee and am thinking about converting this into a consultancy company of one.
The request was some help in refining this value proposition. So let’s dive into this.
There’s a Lot to Like Here
First of all, let me address the state of the current prospective value prop. And, I think it’s a relatively strong one on its face. There’s a lot to like here.
The first favorable thing is that this sits in the realm of road-mapping. In a post I wrote some time back, I talk about four phases of problem solving.
- Diagnosis of a problem.
- Prescription of a therapy.
- Application of the therapy.
- Re-application/maintenance of the therapy.
The further left (up?) you move with this, the more you’re perceived as an expert. This means higher rates, better treatment, more demand, and generally a better life. One of the problems with miscellaneous app dev is that it tends to sit squarely in the third bucket (with the first two often given away for free and called “discovery.”)
We don’t have that problem here. This is diagnosing and prescribing therapy.
There’s also a clear appeal to the people within the organization that hold the purse strings. People in leadership have a definite interest in acquiring knowledge ahead of time when it comes to potential outages, errors, etc. It also helps that you offer remediation.
This is the core of something good.