Lateral Thinking, turning a product into a service

In 1999 I wrote to a manufacture of computer systems, founded near us in Blackburn, Lancashire. The Company grew into a large organization in the UK, then failed a few years ago.

This letter provided an opporunity for Time Computers to help reduce the ‘Resource Intensity of Society’ by turning a product into a service. A Unique Selling Point missed.

The product is now available but it still hasn’t been turned into a service.


The Managing Director

Time Computers Ltd


June 26, 1999


Dear Sir,


My experience of running a manufacturing company and interest in business management, systems integration and data supply and management has brought me to a point where I feel there is a need to provide positive assistance to the vast majority of small companies who need help to survive in the face of national and international competition and legislation.


The problem is these people are the ones who need to find the time and the information but feel they can’t.


What is needed is an attractive, dedicated, plug-in device that sits on their desk and boots up and speaks to them in language they understand.


A company such as yours has the opportunity of considerable income and kudos by supplying the device.


The device should be ‘must have’ and reasonable cost. I envisage a reasonable size flat screen device that will display web pages in detail, with integrated processor, USB bus and comms so that there is not a tangle of wires to fall over. It must be just plug-in and go.


Preferably a deal with a telecomm company would allow ISDN access at preferred rates with free Internet access and email.


The same device would obviously be of interest to such people as solicitors, schools etc. Indeed to anyone who needs Internet/Intranet technology to survive but is too busy to learn how to use a normal PC; and that is almost everyone.



Yours faithfully


Derek Deighton

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