A few months back I read an old, old book about how to set up a small business called The E-Myth, by Michael E. Gerber. To give you an idea how old it is: it was written before the turn of phrase ‘E-something’ meant anything. So in fact the E here isn’t anything electronic, but refers to entrepreneurs. His basic point is that the idea that successful businesses are down to the special qualities of entrepreneurial people is a myth, and that good organization has more to do with it.
I may come back in another post to how his model plays out for starting a choir (if I can face in retrospect dealing with all the things I did wrong!). But for today, I’d like just to focus in on a useful distinction he makes between your commodity and your product.
The commodity is what you make in the factory; the product is what your customer wants to gain by buying it.