There is a new kind of product on the market. The demand is immense. The competition non-existent.

It is not a product that can be held in your hands. It is not manufactured in factory, or assembled from components.

It is not a product that gives you the answer, or instructs you how to. It is not based on scientific proof, or the secret that makes a million dollars.

It is a product that is irreplaceable. It is a product that has untold power.

It is the product of your own wisdom.

When the Merchant meets the Artist

This new product is the child of very different parents – the merchant and the artist.

The merchant is concerned with offering something that solves a problem.

She is concerned with the needs of her customers and clients, and she works hard to satisfy them so she can profit from their mutual exchange. She is concerned ultimately with improvement, and by providing something that her customers want.

She could be selling incense, software, smart phones, tarot readings or business coaching, the economics are the same. She can produce her product for less than she receives from her buyer.

Her and her customers both profit from the trade. She makes an honest living. They receive things they need at a fair price.

The artist has a completely different concern. He is not concerned with improvement, he is concerned with expression.

He seeks to express an aspect of his experience, of the human experience, of the mystical experience, through some kind of medium. He creates.

The artifact he creates could be a painting, a song, a book, a play or a show. While the form varies, the intent is the same – to express the inexpressible without conclusion.

He creates beauty through ambiguity and imperfection. And his audience is able to deepen their own appreciation of life through his representations.

Historically, these two vocations were separate. Merchants were concerned with meeting existing needs. Artists were concerned with creating new realities.

Merchants were about consolidating society. Artists were about changing society.

These two things are no longer separate.

When the merchant and the artist are combined, and create something, it is a new thing.

It is a wisdom product.

A wisdom product is an artifact that contains the service of the merchant, and the expression of the artist.

It is a business product, something designed to be of service to another human being in a particular circumstance, with a particular type of suffering. It meets the needs of both beings, in an enhance of mutual value.

And it is a piece of art – a provocation of the audience’s experience, not an answer to a problem. It is a story, not a manual. A painting of ideas and experiences, not a blueprint of correct and incorrect.

A Revolution in Product Development

A business that creates wisdom products is a different kind of business.

The supply chain for this business does not involve the shipping of goods. The research and development for this business does not involve scientists in laboratories, or marketers with clipboards.

The greatest asset of this business is consciousness.

It’s you, living life, failing, succeeding, and telling your story to other brave souls suffering at the hands of the same challenges that you yourself have faced.

It asks you to be you, to discover who you are, not as a hobby, but as the product development of your business.

When you offer your wisdom, as product, it calls forth a deeper relationship between you and your client. A wisdom product does not tell your customer how they should do something, or the correct way to achieve an outcome. It is art.

It transmits your consciousness and your experience, and helps them walk their own unique path, inspired by your footsteps.

The wisdom product enables your clients to transform in your light. It enables you to make a business from consciousness. It enables the world to create an economy from awakening.

Take your Wisdom and Create

Make it.

A wisdom product is always imperfect. It is not meant to be perfected. It cannot be perfected.

If a braking system for a new car is imperfect it creates damage. It damages life, people die.

If a wisdom product is imperfect it cannot create damage. It can create change.

A wisdom product is simply a single step on a longer and undefined journey.

A wisdom product is the step you take along the path to becoming a more awake human being, and a more powerful servant to your clients.

A wisdom product is the intermediate step before you create the next wisdom product. Because in this sense it is art. And art is never finished.

And yet, a wisdom product is created to serve, to improve lives. And so it’s ultimate success is not judged by the artist, but by the results it achieves for its purchasers.

In this sense, it is business.

The creation cycle of a wisdom product is much faster than the cycle of a physical product. Because it’s not about perfection, it’s about iteration.

Apple brings out a new phone once a year.

Seth Godin writes a new blog post every day.

That’s the difference.

Here’s the production protocol for a wisdom product…

  1. Make it.
  2. Give it.
  3. Receive the feedback.
  4. Let it go.
  5. Repeat.

You do not need to awaken your wisdom before creating your product. Your wisdom is awakened as you make your product. Give it. People need you.

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Ewan Townhead

I hope you enjoyed the article. If you're interested further in my work, you can find out more about me here, and my coaching here.

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  1. Avatar

    hi ewan, i just want to thank you for your latest post. it gives me so much … i´m an art therapist in the business world and just lost a client. now i’m starting a ”wisdom” project … and your thoughts are the right fuel to it ! thank you and greetings from cologne/germany … oliver

    • Ewan

      Oliver – ah, so glad it arrived to help you fuel your wisdom product!

  2. Avatar

    One question I find myself wrestling with is step number 2 — Give it. It would seem, if we were to be faithful to the merchant metaphor, that step 2 would be “sell it”. It is easy to sell something whose value proposition is clear and definitive (e.g. it will remove any stain). But if the value proposition is more open, less conclusive and less definitive as seems to be the case with consciousness products, how do you market them? What is the sell hook strategy for products that are not clear and definitive? I don’t disagree with what you have written. I guess I just don’t feel any more clear on how the marketing works for art products in between step 1 and step 2. How do you get customers there in the first place to either give or sell them your products when you are making no claims in advance about the value you will bring?

  3. Ewan

    GREAT question Antoine. And one I’ve thought about a lot too.

    It’s a hugely complex issue, and it’s probably muddied by some generalizations in the piece. So I’d say this. What the online space has changed forever is that it’s created ‘free products’. Because information or ‘wisdom’ can be transmitted in a digital format with no production costs, there are now genuinely free products. A lot of them.

    So, in one sense, you can literally ‘give’ wisdom products. Just give them. Which can help you attract more of your tribe, and then discover what deeper paid offerings are going to serve those who want more support.

    That’s what is different. Where it used to be: create a product then find a market for it. It’s now, gather a tribe and see what product will serve them.

    So the act of creating and giving wisdom is what will enable you to attract your natural audience. Though I also don’t think that negates the need for clear value propositions. It’s harder with consciousness products, but still absolutely possible. It just needs to be ‘trojan horsed’ a bit sometimes 😉

    • Avatar

      That’s cool, Ewan. I like that idea of attracting a tribe, people who are naturally drawn to partake of the offering I have to give. I hear at the root of this a type of community building. I also hear in this a kind of lining up of value proposition. In a sense I don’t have to “sell ” as much since there is a kind of sorting or pre-selection that happens at the front end. People who don’t get much value from my offerings won’t stay very long in the community being built. It also makes me aware of the possibility of a natural gift economy. In other words, I can just keep offering for free and allow others the opportunity to “gift back” to me if they so choose. This presumably could stitch together bonds of community of trust and interdependence and that could potentially be much stronger than typical “selling” transactions. I like the idea of gifting connected to consciousness products. If my product is a labor of love, why not allow everyone who is able to benefit from it benefit rather than screening out based on the ability to pay. The option to gift back back then could be an aspect of their feedback to me. Let real “value” rest in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. Whether I can adequately sustain myself in this way is another matter but as I write this I find myself excited about experimenting to see what is possible. Thanks for opening this thread.

      • Ewan

        Exactly, it’s about gathering community around your work in a natural way. And then selling is not simply about your revenue, it’s about seeding the community. And you can ‘sell’ them free content that seeds things (this blog post for example) or ‘sell’ them paid offerings for those that want to go deeper.

        I haven’t dived into the gift economy stuff a great deal – I have my reservations about it’s sustainability. But if you’re curious, here’s an interesting recent post from someone I know who tried it out. She has mixed conclusions…

        • Avatar

          What a great article! Thanks.

          • Ewan

            Totally welcome.

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