The word “Gesamtkunstwerk” was used by German composer Richard Wagner to describe a total and complete work of art that makes use of all or many art forms. The word itself can be translated as “total work of art”, where “total” means complete/ideal/combined/mixed.
Wagner himself was not only the composer of the music for his music dramas, but also the librettist, scene designer, costume designer, choreographer, even architect of his own theatre, capable to stage his most demanding works. He therefore created complete works of art – and achieved everlasting glory in the process.
In today’s global market of Internet, where opportunities have skyrocketed along with hard competition, no “single” product can any longer make it to the top – unless, of course, it satisfies a need of any kind or has a strong and well established brandname.
The concept of “core business” or “core product” is now obsolete to its core.
Like a single white sheep among a herd of white sheep (some of them being actually wolves in sheep’s clothing) is indistinguishable from the rest, the same goes with shiny, promising and aspiring products among hundreds if not thousands other equally shiny, promising and aspiring products.
The chaotic environment of contemporary electronic markets, a simple by-product of the outrageous number of possible interconnections between any person and the rest of the world, is like an ocean with no land – often scourged by tempests.
This is why a new concept must be introduced, that of “Gesamtinternetprodukt”, i.e. “total Internet product” or CIP; meaning that in order for a product to be successful and achieve top-rank in sales, it must combine many virtues and take advantage of many fields of trade.
The way of supporting a product through advertisement and marketing, no matter how sophisticated may were, is now also made obsolete.
Instead of “a” product, we should have a “bouquet” of products. Advertisements must be made products themselves, marketing must be utilised through other products, turned into product itself, and so forth.
Let’s take for example a book, of any topic or genre.
The common approach is to promote it through traditional advertisement; and, make no mistake, Google or Facebook ads is just traditional advertisement in a contemporary medium.
Imagine, though, creating a series of videos in YouTube, with the appropriate style, where you elaborate upon bits and pieces of your book, offering information, knowledge and entertainment.
Imagine, again, creating a blog to write about the theme(s) in the book, masterfully concealing more than you reveal, whetting the appetite of your audience for more.
Imagine, all these interconnected, independent and autonomous products living under the umbrella of a comprehensive website, the nexus of your business.
But all the above should not be just a cunning way of building an audience and cheating it into becoming your clients. In fact, the exact reverse situation is much more preferable – and effective.
After all, you get value only if you give value. And you can only become a millionaire if you (positively, in any way) affect millions.
Unlike Wagner, though, the above need not be done by one man alone; rather a small, well assembled team of colleagues can create and manage all these with minimum effort, quite some gusto and maximum efficiency.
Pursuing the endless and meaningless rat race, where you get to the cheese when you no more have teeth and your wrinkles can embarrass a Shar-Pei, is by all means a lost cause.
Instead of daily trading time for money, one can discover that by trying to create some value for society his/her time becomes a hard currency, which needs not to be traded any more.
As Schopenhauer most aptly noted: “Life is a business that does not cover the costs” – we have to cover them ourselves.