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Responsibility Shift - From 'product based' business models to 'service based' business models

Companies redefine their business model so that they take responsibility of the material from the beginning of the process (before adding value to it) to the end (when device is not in use anymore); they sell services to consumers instead of devices.

Photo of Lluis Ripoll
10 18

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Both the manufacturers and the consumers should be taking responsibilities on this problem by offering and adopting new business architectures that do not 'sell products or devices' (consumers becoming therefore owners of the devices) but instead sell 'services on top of devices' and devices are facilitated by companies in order to provide services. This way the devices and therefore their material are owned completely by each manufacturer (from raw material to what ever material comes out of it when it becomes out of use). The consumer takes the responsibility to ensure that the device is given back when there is a will not to use it anymore. The company would not 'sell a device' but 'what the device does for the consumer' (so in the end, we are addressing the same needs with the same solutions, but responsibilities on materials are better and fully distributed from the beginning of purchase of a raw material to it's end). I think we, the consumers, are already pretty much aware of the problem ... and many of us are already ready to start the shift ... we just need options on the market from companies that take on such responsibilities. And I think we will see more of this type of responsibility shift in the coming years, just as we have already seen some versions of it (i.e FMCG companies using recycled packaging - some responsibility shifted, but not all of it).

How does your concept safeguard human health and protect our environment?

Different actors take the responsibility. The flow of material is fully controlled, from begging to end and to its maximum extend, re-uitilized or re-integrated into a natural state.

Where does your concept fit into the lifecycle of electronic devices?

This model is not judging on the whether it is bad or good that a device lasts more or less. In the end many electronic appliances and digital devices progress at the speed that we are able to create and improve our devices. And it is also good that there are accessible prices for different pockets, using different quality of materials. As long as the company is 'responsible' with the use of its material, it is fine. And this model encourages companies to do so. This model also encourages consumers to compromise and show compromise to those companies that are aware of the problem they create and are committed to solve it taking on responsibilities. The recycling process would really integrate in the current production process (adding value manufacturing process + service selling process and income process + de-constructing value 'de-manufacturing' process). The way out of material would be standardized in the industry, just as the input raw material has been already standardized, with potential new players in the space building on new sources of 'recycled material'.

What steps could be taken today to start implementing your concept?

- Explore the new concept with companies and consumers - Review of the monetization model to create the base of the new business model; build the new economical and financial plans - Explore new pricing models and service contracts with consumers (we are not selling products anymore but services; the degree of acceptance of economical penalties on the consumer side when not returning devices should be explored) - Redefinition of the new value proposition (from product to service), review all the communication processes (marketing, sales, customer service), , definition of a new device-returning process. - Launch plan, which includes the redefinition of new business processes (definition of the 'de-manufacturing process' plus a way out to recycled raw material)

Evaluation results

6 evaluations so far

1. How much of a social or environmental impact will this concept have on discarded electronics or e-waste?

This concept could have significant social or environmental impact. - 33.3%

It's unclear how much social or environmental impact this concept will have. - 66.7%

This concept would have little social or environmental impact. - 0%

2. How well does this concept help you or others understand how electronic items are designed, built, reused, recycled or thrown away?

Very well: it makes the entire electronics life cycle easier to understand. - 33.3%

Pretty well: it could help people better understand the electronics life cycle but it needs more detail or information. - 50%

Not so well: it does not significantly help people better understand the electronics life cycle. - 16.7%

3. How appealing do you believe this concept would be to investors (businesses, banks, lenders, venture capitalists and others)?

Very appealing: this is an idea that investors would get excited about. - 33.3%

Potentially appealing: more work is needed to flesh out how the concept works, what it would cost and who would fund it. - 33.3%

Not so appealing: this does not seem like a concept that would get investors excited. - 33.3%

4. How challenging would it be to implement and scale this concept across geographies, cultures and languages? (Hint: think about resources like money, time, partnerships, or other inputs needed for implementation and scaling)

Not very challenging. - 0%

Somewhat challenging. - 66.7%

Very challenging. - 33.3%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world. - 33.3%

I liked it but preferred others. - 33.3%

It didn't get me overly excited. - 33.3%


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Photo of Lluis Ripoll

Here is an example of a tremendously successful retail store in Spain (own manufactured products) which has successfully beaten the Spanish market just by designing new toys and tools for children using a more kid-conscious and parent-conscious design criteria: the smartphone named after MO1. It is mobile phone which stocked out really quickly in Barcelona, designed for children and parents. One of the learnings of the new product was that the success of such a product became in turn a tremendous brand equity building campaign for the retail store: consumers would be the ones talking to other about how cary the design process was (in this cases thinking on children and parents). I think the way to implement this concept needs to follow a similar approach: by giving it it's own identity (i.e Disassembler1) a company can build brand equity and break into a market.

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