Business Models, How it is Made, How they Do it

Making Sense:
Business Models

  •  Battle of the Box. Stratechery: In other words, what we have here is one of the more interesting business experiments we’ve ever seen: is it better to have established a firm foundation in the top-down enterprise market that actually matters – i.e. Box – or to have built tremendous goodwill and customer loyalty with actual users – i.e. Dropbox?
  • 7 Reasons Mobile Money From T-Mobile Should Worry Bankers. Jim MarousWhile this is not the same as turning smartphones into mobile wallets, it is a solution offered by a wireless provider that has distinct advantages over traditional banks and credit unions.
  • The (Positive) Power of Prejudicial Pricing. Andy Nulman: “…the tiered pricing structure started as a joke, a response to ‘very stressed’ and ‘sometimes rude’ lunch customers. ‘I know people say that French service can be rude,’ he adds ‘but it's also true that customers can be rude when they're busy.’ Apparently there has been an improvement in customer attitude.”

Making do: How it is Made

  • [How it was made] The Verge’s OS-responsive exploration of “Fanboys”. SND: Each Fanboy is like a snowflake, no two alike, says The Verge’s excellent story this week by Lessley Anderson, though each is as passionate as the snow is cold. The story’s crisp design has a nifty twist: the piece responds not only to device and browser size, but to the user’s OS. The ultimate fanboy nod.
  • Coming to an Office Near You. The Economist: thanks to the exponential rise in processing power and the ubiquity of digitised information (“big data”), computers are increasingly able to perform complicated tasks more cheaply and effectively than people. Clever industrial robots can quickly “learn” a set of human actions. Services may be even more vulnerable. Computers can already detect intruders in a closed-circuit camera picture more reliably than a human can. By comparing reams of financial or biometric data, they can often diagnose fraud or illness more accurately than any number of accountants or doctors.

Making it: How do they do it?

  • The 2 Teenagers Who Run the Wildly Popular Twitter Feed @HistoryInPics. The Atlantic: How do they do it? Once they had one account with some followers, they used it to promote other ones that could capitalize on trends they saw in social-media sharing. "We normally identify trends (or create them haha). We then turn them into a Twitter account," Di Petta said in an IM conversation. "Share them on established pages, and after 50,000 – 100,000 followers they've gained enough momentum to become 'viral' without further promotion."
  • Easter Egg Hunt: Seven Secrets of the World Wide Web. BBC: There are many hidden secrets tucked away in the media we consume, placed there by mischievous – or perhaps just bored – programmers and developers. They're known as "Easter eggs" – and the web has them in abundance.

… and one more thing

  • The Macintosh Is 30, and I Was There for Its Birth. Steven Levy, WiredBut the Macintosh was friendly. It opened with a smile. Words appeared with the clarity of text on a printed page — and for the first time, ordinary people had the power to format text as professional printers did. Selecting and moving text was made dramatically easier by the then-quaint mouse accompanying the keyboard. You could draw on it. This humble shoebox-sized machine had a simplicity that instantly empowered you.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.