Written by CV Harquail for Authentic Organizations. Originally published on May 23rd, 2014.
Some businesses aim to make money. Some businesses aim to disrupt their industries. The very best businesses aim even higher — to generate new opportunity for each and every stakeholder.
It was Friday afternoon clean-up-my-office time. That ‘end of the year, has it come down to this?’-moment of reckoning.
Maybe while I sort out piles and piles of student reports and teaching materials I should listen to an inspiring video? I’d signed up to attend Cindy Gallop’s recent talk at the Creative Mornings series, but I’d given away my ticket when a last minute work thing came up. Why not listen in and hear what I’d missed, while I tuck away a semester’s worth of paper trails?
Catching Up With MakeLoveNotPorn
Having heard Cindy speak before, I know she has a stock of topics, subtopics, examples, stories, and bold statements that she repeats from one talk to the next, always honing her core messages linking entrepreneurship, sex, and disruption.
And I also know that in each new talk, Cindy experiments with her next idea. Over time you can hear her messages moving from what she’s figured out to what looks like the next big breakthrough.
“What’s Cindy doing with MLNP now?”, I wonder. I cue up Cindy’s talk, and face my file drawers.
Cindy’s talk, Changing The World Through Sex, is about disrupting the porn industry.
“Disruption” is everybody’s favorite buzz word, and it’s usually applied incorrectly. People talk about digital businesses as being ‘disruptive’ when really all they’re doing is using online channels to distribute product or collect revenue.
Obviously, MLNP’s digital platform creates a new way to produce and distribute #RealWorldSex video. But unlike most online upstarts, MLNP actually has the potential to disrupt its industry.
They have designed their business model to transform relationships between product, customers, makers, revenue, community and society — and that’s how you make a business disruptive. But most business people can’t see past the ‘porn’ part to recognize the real disruptive potential of MLNP.
Twenty minutes in, as Cindy’s dismissing the conformity of the so-called competitive dynamics of the adult entertainment industry, I’m thinking “I really wish people would grok just how transformational MLNP really could be.”
Cindy and the startup/tech world call MLNP a ‘disruptive’ business model, but this label really undersells what MLNP does. Disruptive business models do things differently to satisfy customers, gain market share, and ultimately ‘change how things are done’ in an industry. But MLNPs disruptive potential goes far beyond the adult entertainment industry.
What makes MLNP’s business model special is that every single thing about the business – from its influence on individuals to its influence on its industry to its influence on financial services to its influence on how our culture addresses sex — not only challenges the status quo but also offers us something qualitatively different.