Tweakers: a new business model?

Seth Godin asked a good question, "Where are the tweakers?".  You often find people who will do a thing for you differently or better but what about the people out there who will tweak what you have got and make it better?  As Godin puts it:

Where are the talented individuals and small firms that want a closed-end engagement… not to completely redesign a site that’s working, not to do any coding, but just to mess with the html and css a bit.

In a way, this is an excellent example of a Long Tail business model.  Rather than focussing on a smaller market for web development, for example, you could present yourself as a tweaker for existing installations for clients who just want to have little things changed here and there and not invest in a whole new thing/web development/widget.  Sure individual jobs probably won’t bring huge profits but string a whole bunch of them together and you could have a pretty lucrative business there.

Godin received such a tremendous response from people to his first post that he published a follow-up post to clarify his notion of a tweaker and to move beyond a viewing tweakers as just being coders.  He used the following examples which are, to me, good examples of tweakers:

For example, a small businessperson named Dave writes in and says,

"our website is ok for an electronic sign . . . but its a “factory model?? . . . as we maneuver through the curves any business experiences I want to accelerate through those turns because of the edge tweaking provides but I don’t want to get into a complete over-haul to do it … my idea of a “tweaker?? is the person who takes us beyond the “factory model?? to continue your car and garage analogy . . . someone who says STOP using this its not working and here’s why START using this it does work and here’s why CONTINUE using this and here’s why. . ."

Tom says, "My wife and I hired a designer who was a “tweaker.?? She didn’t come in the way most decorators do, with a whole design scheme and lots of new furniture. She took what we already had, pointed out a few targets of opportunity, moved things around and added a few key elements, and for almost no money gave our house a whole new feel. It took a couple of days instead of weeks."

Sure not everyone is going to be a perfect tweaking client and not everyone needs a tweaker but there must be value in having a tweaker around for a fair number of people.

What do you think?

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