What can’t be copied

Reading Beyond Free by Kevin Kelly. I’m about to start up my software testing business, One Shore (though I’m not entirely happy with the name, perhaps the wrong connotation), and I’m looking to learn about starting a business, trying to find the right angle, the right plan, the right market.

I’m pretty sure a QA site is a good idea, but I’m not sure what people want. I know I’m not much of a salesperson, and dreading cold calling to try and find contacts. I’ve been practicing by posting comments on blogs and emailing people I find insightful with questions, particularly about starting a business or networking.

Networking, that’s a word I don’t like. I’ve always had trouble with routers and firewalls, and social things like that.

So I’m trying to learn the “soft” side of business, when in truth, it’s the social side of life that needs practicing, and I’m far from experienced at it. And then there’s the worry that even if I figure everything else out, I’ve still got to provide value (and then convince people that I can provide it.)

But anyway, I found that presentation and here’s a list of qualities that I brainstormed that can’t be copied. The original example is “trust”:

  • Trust
  • Love
  • Quality
  • Humor
  • Originality
  • Reliability
  • Beauty
  • Genuineness
  • Expertise
  • Strength
  • Creativity
  • Personalization

Quality is not what I provide, but what I help them provide.

Expertise can be learned. There’s no monopoly there.

Reliability is something I’ll have to build.

Personalization isn’t my specialty

I’m not going to win any beauty contests

My wife thinks I’m funny, but she doesn’t get my best jokes.

I’m selling standard best practices, scratch originality

I’m a phony, but I could make my website more geniune — get rid of “we”

Looks like I’ll have to use my puny muscles to intimidate clients into hiring me.

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