Creating Something for Them to Change

We are getting ready to put our house up for sale. That means touching up paint, de-cluttering, and finishing all those projects we never found the time or inclination to do (until now, of course).

Selling your house is a lot like marketing. You are going to pretty it up as much as you can, accentuating all that is good, downplaying what’s not so great and inspiring people to purchase.

But it’s not like selling a traditional good. It’s more like an open-source product. We provide the basic framework (the house) and do what we can to make it attractive while allowing for the new owners to come in and change it all to their liking.

Let me give an example. We are giving quick makeovers to two of our bathrooms. It’s something we’ve wanted to do since we moved in, but other projects, including a post-Katrina renovation, got in the way. Instead of making them to our style and taste—we’ll be moving before we get to really enjoy them—we are going as basic as we can with the colors and other changes.

We want them to look good and function properly. And we want it to be easy for the new owners to make them their own.

I think that’s why people like open-source projects so much. There is basic functionality there, but you can make your own tweaks to make it work for you. Cars have been that way for years with after-market products and add-ons.

It’s not for everybody and certainly not for every product. However, there are more opportunities than we think.

Look at your own business. What changes can you make to your basic product to allow for end-user customization? What customizations and add-ons can you create for your product? And sell?

So after all the work we’re putting in to get this house ready to sell, we get to do the same after we move into the next one. Yippee.

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