Where are the new business models?

Posted on March 26, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

I recently read an interesting blog by Alexander van Elsas ….Yep, I’m a bit behind in my reading.  But in that blog, he suggests this:

The way the web presents itself to us, and the endless possibilities for us to connect online, has changed our online experience considerably. The question remains though. What if business models would evolve with that technological and behavioral change? What if we would stop thinking in terms of advertisement display or cpm, and would focus on other value drivers? What if we would care less about keeping users sucked into a database, and set them free because you don’t need to hold on so tightly to make revenues? It is this ‘old school’ thinking that inhibits us from starting true revolutions. Technology-wise we can revolutionize our experience on the web. Business-wise we are held back and forced to take smaller steps.”

This sparked some ideas.  

This is the issue facing so many enterprises as we evaluate the web2.0 tools and their potential impact on the corporation.  In many cases, our enterprises have very large, successful investments in processes, technologies and tools that actually inhibit us from taking advantage of the web 2.0 benefits. 

It’s so hard to change any of these, too, because we don’t really have the new business models that provide the vision for the new way to operate.  We have a number of point examples of innovative companies breaking through barriers and reaping great benefits.  Dell uses these tools for marketing,  Zappos uses these tools to create and support their culture, P&G have embraced these tools to spark innovation 

Andy McAfee wrote about this in a recent blog.  He discussed the strength of weak ties and the value of converting potential ties into actual ties.  Is this the core of what we can expect?  It’s interesting, but hardly enough for the massive adoption that we keep expecting for enterprise 2.0.

Adoption is still an issue for most companies.  In this era of frugality, conservation, and caution, I can still hear the cry for a well-articulated business model that enables the enterprise to move forward. 

The embedded base, both in terms of technology and people, often operate in a way that is incompatible with the core principles of the new technologies.  Transparency, openness, information sharing, and connectedness outside the corporate boundaries challenge a few of the sacred cows that much be sacrificed to take full advantage of these new tools.  I challenge you to take another look.  What is getting in the way for your enterprise? In what ways can you modify your business model to get around these barriers and flourish?  The customers are there.  The partners are there.  And I’d bet the profits are there too.


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