The Problem of Sustainability

by Paul Wilson


No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remberer, you're probably only seeing the tip of them.

So, this last week I have been in Las Vegas taking a Java Boot Camp course.  Frankly, it has been a rough go for me. Having been on the marketing side for so long my mind just doesn’t want to simulate into the “everything must have a defining class” universe.

This being the case, my mind is always looking for creative outlets—even in my java reading. Yes, it is possible to do this. In fact, I found a spectacular quote that relates well to personal web marketing:

“When designing any system, one must solve the problem right, but of equal importance, one must solve the right problem.”

I know that these words were meant for a programmer’s eyes, but this is definitely solid advice for any marketer—beginner or advance. Internet marketing is such a vast field that it is easy to be solving the problem right, but not solving the right problem.

My marketing philosophy is that the right problem to focus on is sustainability. I suspect many believe it is easy to build and sustain a website. In some respects this isn’t too far fetch, particularly with the blogosphere evolving the way it is. It takes little to to no effort to throw up a blog and start pushing your ideas, products, or agenda.

However, the nature of the web is to be intangible. What is here today can quite easily be gone tomorrow. The simple fact that it so easy to put up a website is part of the issue. The engagement factor is so low that it also brings down the sustainability factor.

The web has evolved into a field of shallow sustainability that plagues a large percentage of the websites out there. Shallow sustainability is the issue of creating an environment without much friction and therefore not being as engaged with the project as you should be.

Her is an example to illustrate my point. Let’s say you decide to create a restaurant in your home town. What would it take to pull something like this off? Quite a bit! You would need a decent amount of money saved up, or the ability to acquire it. You would need property, structure, equipment, tools, employees, and more. This doesn’t even take into account of a having a winning idea to get people to come.

Now let’s say you went to the effort to get a your restaurant to the point that the structure was up, but it still needed considerable time and effort before you finished it. Do you think you would causally work on the restaurant? Do you think you would add something to it and then come back a month, six months, or even a year later to add more to it? You might, but then you wouldn’t really have a business would you?

However, this seems to be perfectly acceptable on the web. Many individuals have bought into the dream that it is possible to build massive amounts of residual income with minimal effort. The web “gurus” have pitched it this way and therefore the web has become a graveyard of broken promises.

The Problem of Sustainability is about finding solutions which continually propel your ebusiness forward. A wise millionaire once told me, “if you are not growing you are dying!”

To grow requires capital, both sweat capital and hard-money capital. In fact, I would venture to say that the life blood of sustainability comes from these two factors. The more work and money used, the more sustainability you have. I believe this is true in all cases, and if not, than most likely the right problem is not being focused on. ~Paul W.

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