Thursday, December 10, 2009

Business Model Examples

There are many examples of inspiring business models and business model innovators described and referenced on this blog and elsewhere. To provide a quick read with popular examples, a list of business model innovators is presented below. Please feel free to comment or contact me on great business model examples that you find missing.

Amazon - Leveraging assets
Launched in 1994 as an online book seller, Amazon has constantly altered its business model leveraging its assets and capabilities to generate new business… Read more

Apple - Providing convenient solutions
Apple has revolutionized the computer industry, the music industry and now the mobile phone industry, and the classic example is iPod and iTunes… Read more

Better Place - Using per-distance fees
Better Place aims to use the margin between electricity and gas to subsidize the cost of new electric cars, even providing electric cars for free... Read more

Etsy - Mass customization of arts
Aggregating the long tail in an online marketplace for handmade goods with the goal to enable people around the world to make a living making things… Read more

Gillette - Razor and blades
Gillette's success with its razors and blades is a story about superior technology, design and the use of control mechanisms, foremost patents… Read more

Lego - Turning users into developers
Lego has turned its most loyal users into designers and co-creators of their own products. More than 30000 kits have been shared so far… Read more

Tata Motors - Modular distribution
Tata Nano is not only cheap to buy it is constructed of modules that can be built and shipped separately to be assembled in a variety of locations.… Read more

Threadless - Dressing the long tail
Threadless was one of the first firms to systematically mine a community for designs, a trend that today can be seen in various industries… Read more

Xerox - Business Innovation in 1959
The company decided to lease the equipment, instead of selling it, at a relatively low cost and then charge a per copy fee for copies in excess of 2000 copies per month… Read more

Zara - a devastating business model
Zara has managed to substantially shorten the time to develop a new product and get it to stores, and in doing so it can react quickly to changing market trends… Read more

More inspiring examples will come, send me your suggestions!

Further reading:


  1. Great overview of powerfull business models. Keep up the good work!

  2. In this changing marketplace this is gold information to evangelize other medium and small companies to innovate and change. Thanks a lot!

  3. Excellent article, actually very interesting pack of articles! Every aspect of the chain can be modified and adapted to new opportunities and understanding examples should help to figure out how.

    Hope more examples are coming :)

  4. Excellent post! And great work with whole blog!

  5. Thank you for this insightful view into numerous business models. From your Tata example, I see that their modular distribution model could be applied by global companies wanting to customize a product to local tastes.

  6. Thank you for all the comments!

    @Andrea, I agree with your idea about the potential for customization. Perhaps it will look like the model used by H&M in clothing. Manufacture the basic stuff that is always needed in the cheapest place, and the trendy stuff more close to each market. Will it ever be possible to buy a concept car with modules from different car manufacturers or suppliers?
    I want a car that looks like an old Aston Martin, with an electric engine from Tesla Motors, Lexus gadgets and the interior from...

  7. Nice concept car - me know when you find it! :-) Actually, Tata's modular distribution model could allow for a lot of customization on the low end.

  8. We provide reports on the latest business model innovations that are successful. We also display, using flow-diagrams and block-diagrams, the process flow within the model and the dynamics between the various stakeholders ( Our global researchers and analysts supply these reports to our subscribers on a daily basis. Anders, there are some inspirational BMIs for you to comment on. I have also emailed you some sample reports for your expert comments.

  9. Thank you for your comment Peter. Why don't you refer to the work of Alex Osterwalder in "your model"?