The Moment Economy - Part 2

Value Moments

Daniel Egger

9/8/20152 min read

a woman standing in a narrow alley with purple flowers
a woman standing in a narrow alley with purple flowers

Last week, I briefly discussed the "Moment Economy." This concept arises from an individual's specific moment and context, representing a new reality of consumption. Unlike a customer journey that maps a customer's or user's interactions and engagement while interacting with an organization, moments don't tie to any product, service, or sequential logic. Instead, they emerge from our emotional, cognitive, and well-being states in a particular spatial environment. For example, we might need help accessing information, want to immerse ourselves and connect to something or someone in a new way, or desire to experience something, experiment, and live in the moment.

Before Spotify, we purchased music in stores or downloaded albums more regularly, storing them somewhere. Now, we experience a specific moment and desire to intensify it even more with the right music aligned with our mood. The time lag between feeling and consumption diminishes, and a new understanding of accessibility and mobility beyond technology is emerging. This shift applies to music, any digital, and soon, simple physical products. My daughter grows up with a 3D printer at home, allowing her to materialize her unique imagination. Instant satisfaction and the hyperlinking of imagination with the digital and physical worlds have become a reality. Consumption is changing dramatically, and new revenue models are surging, revolutionizing reputation and content creation logic.

In July 2015, Amazon introduced a new revenue model for their Kindle Unlimited (KU) service. They now pay royalties to authors based on the number of pages read. This approach "Spotify-sizes" the book industry by humanizing consumption. Readers who are curious, interested, and engaged will read more. If reviews highly praise a book but don't live up to its promise, the reader will switch to a more attractive alternative. The focus now is on the value-added and perceived experiences.

The concept of "parasitic innovation," as described by Michel Serres in his book "The Parasite," can be applied to the Amazon Kindle example. In this context, parasitic innovation refers to leveraging existing ecosystems to create new offerings. Amazon uses the existing ecosystem of authors, readers, and digital content to introduce a new revenue model that benefits everyone involved.

I wouldn't be surprised to see new business models emerge, centered around the readers' moments. Alternative authors may provide new chapters that tweak and change the main storyline, and Kindle might suggest alternative paths of the storyline based on your interests, different from what the original author provided. The story now has the potential to be fluid, aligning with the reader's preferences and, most importantly, keeping them engaged.

By doing this, Amazon could create a win-win situation for everyone. The reader would have an engaging and positive experience, multiple authors would earn an economic return, and Amazon would increase its revenues. The Kindle serves as an interface offering access to experiences, while the original book establishes an initial relationship, and the experiences are derived from various contents.

In the Moment Economy, it's not just about experiences or the logical functionality of products. It's about both; a coexistence that creates a stage, valid for a moment. This fusion of experiences and functionality, along with the concept of parasitic innovation, enables organizations to better serve their customers and remain competitive in an ever-changing landscape.