Sunken Flagships and Side Doors

What would you do if the direct sales from your top selling product tanked tomorrow?

Well it’s gonna happen. It may not be tomorrow, but the death of your star will come some day.

It’s a fact, so why not assume it is going to happen sooner than later?

One of the tools I use in my creative thinking workshops is to assume that my client can no longer make any money directly from selling the product to consumers anymore. In this case, how else could you make money from the product besides a direct sale? This exercise allows you to discover other revenue streams that you can capitalize on now. They are right under your nose; you just haven’t taken the time to smell them.

It’s kinda Google’s model in a sense. The primary product they have is “search” but it is given away for free. They make money on all the side doors.

What are your revenue side doors?

I recently applied this tool to a recent product I developed called Nest Egg Software. It is a revolutionary retirement planning software package which 100’s of thousands of dollars were spent in the development of it.  (Go get your free account, )

Of course I could easily sell the software, but I decided to give it away for free and apply the Sunken Ship philosophy before I ever launched the product. As part of the business model, I assumed I could never sell it directly to the consumer. I did this on purpose to expand my creative thinking and come up with different ways to make money with the concept without directly selling it to consumers.

Here is what I came up with as targets for revenue streams;

• Financial Advisors, who then use it in their practice for their clients
• Corporate HR departments:  as a benefit for employees and let them rebrand it as their own. Every employee hates HR and it gives HR a chance to give some benefits back to their workforce
• Advertizing space on
• Radio commercial spots integrated into the blog podcasts
• Refer the “free” consumers to financial advisors and obtain referral fees
• Find other companies who use the term “Nest Egg” in their branding and create partnerships
• Banks, brokers, and financial institutions allowing them to rebrand it for their customers.
• Retirement associations like AARP

These are just a few of the side door revenue streams we are going after in the business model. We also applied the principles of Word of Mouth Marketing in the business plan as the product was being developed. We will cover more on WOM in another post.

Side doors are all around you. Look for them and try opening a few.

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

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