Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Be Irreplaceable

Posted on: February 4, 2011

Earl Nightingale

(Image Courtesy:

Earl Nightingale, a famous motivational speaker / author has given an excellent quote, about what determines someone’s ‘market value’. According to him:

The amount of money you make will always be in direct proportion to:

  1. The demand for what you do
  2. Your ability to do it
  3. The difficulty of replacing you

This is true not only for individuals, but for software / applications/ products as well. Products can survive and have a long lifetime only if there is demand in the market, that product can really satisfy the demand well, and no other product can replace it.

Most LPs were pressed in black vinyl with a paper label in the center of each side. However, colored and picture discs were also made

(Image Courtesy:

For example, consider an old LP Record, or an audio cassette. Both of these technologies had their ‘peak’ durations when there was heavy demand for them (from music listeners), and then they were able to satisfy those demands very well. But they both failed in #3, they were easily replaced when CD / MP3 format came along, which was lot more convenient and cheap.

Guess what, this applied only to the products, not to the companies. The same music companies who were producing LP Records / Audio Cassettes are now producing CDs / Releasing their songs in online music stores and so on. This was possible only because they made them ‘irreplaceable’, eventho’ their old technology was replaced.

This means, any individual, company or product needs to go thro this simple test very often: Is there demand for what I am doing? Do I have the ability to satisfy this demand well? Am I replaceable?


“Why Not?” series completes its first anniversary tomorrow Smile Thanks for all the responses and support Smile


N. Chokkan …

04 02 2011

2 Responses to "Why Not? — Be Irreplaceable"

Congratulations on the 1st Anniversary! These posts are like a breath of fresh air in the middle of a working day!
It lightens up my mind, and brightens up the day! Truly inspiring…Thanks for sharing!

Time tested writing, Naga, congrats! I skimmed through all the logs and lo! there IS a quilt in the making. It will be a lush quilt ten years from now.

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