In a recent post, I did an in-depth discussion of 3 primary business models online. I think that probably needs a little more fleshing out. Anyone astute in this topic would surely object that there are only three models, so let me explain a bit more what I mean.
I spent a bit of time reviewing and pondering business models for myself and came to the realization that they they all generalize down to three basic personality types:
i. Creators – A creator is someone that makes stuff for the World. They are the inventors and product creators of the world. This could be anything from software development to manufacturing. Examples might include an iPhone app developer, or a creator of a new line of yoga products or an artist. Ironically, creativity has largely been distilled to the design subset of tasks and a big chunk of what use to be deemed part of creation, is now a service. As a result, as we outsource and offshore the actual development of our inventions.
ii. Connectors – These are the people that connect sellers with buyers. This is ultimately about networking and distribution. Examples might include sales, business development professionals, brokers, merchants, and import/export operations. These are the traditional business roles in society. They do not create or service anything; they’re simply focused on connecting people and getting things to where they need to be.
iii. Services – The technicians of the world. These are not the creators of products though they often do generate creative works for hire, at the direction of a client. The servicers keep things running, and help others to achieve their goals. Whereas a creator of a product attempts to touch many people lightly (customers), a servicer has a very deep touch relationship with fewer people (clients). Examples include many white collar professionals such as consultants, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and also includes more physical labor intensive areas such as child care or house cleaning.
My point in the previous blog post in which I claimed there are essentially three business models, was to provide a tactically implanted example of each of these. I think every entrepreneur will find that one of these fundamental business model personalities will resonate with him/her. Now let me illustrate how so many of the commonly acknowledged online business models roll up into these three personalities.
At the end of the day, I think it is helpful to acknowledge the generalized personality that is at the heart of each business model, since all that really separates most of these models otherwise, is tactical implementation, which may only be relevant for a couple years; those underlying model personalities will however persist and can lead you from one tactical model to the next, as the market shifts.