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How Fiverr Makes Money by Reducing Friction for Gig Buyers & Sellers

The expected value of the global gig economy, which is a term used to classify independent contractors/freelancers, is projected to be $455 Billion by 2023.  In 2018, the global gig economy generated $204B in Gross Volume -- with transportation-based services comprising 58% of the value, the asset-sharing sector capturing 30% & the remaining 12% being distributed among professional services & HGIM (Handmade Goods, Household & Miscellaneous Services) Fiverr, which falls under the professional services category of the gig economy, is a two-sided digital marketplace that connects people who are interested in doing gig work (sellers) to people who want to get gig...

How Substack is Empowering Writers to Pursue Independent Publishing

The earliest medium of spreading news & information at a massive scale was the printed newspaper, which was first published weekly in Germany from 1609. In their early days, newspapers were expensive because they were sold directly to consumers -- without ad-based models to support them.  All that changed in 1833 when a news publisher named Benjamin Day invented the now ubiquitous advertising supported publishing model, changing the economics of the newspaper business, for better or for worse. A newspaper that cost 6 cents per issue, an expensive price at the time, now sold for a penny per issue, supported by the advertising...

How WhatsApp Makes Money? [Revenue Model 2020]

WhatsApp, the product, has had a crazy journey, and I mean that, like literally. Started by two founders who hated advertising and were pro-privacy, WhatsApp ended in the hands of Facebook -- the one big tech giant that is most certainly not revered for user security and privacy. While WhatsApp thrived under Facebook, growing from 450 million users at the time of acquisition in 2014 to over 1.6 billion at the time of writing, the founders of WhatsApp ended up leaving Facebook over disagreements on the monetization future of WhatsApp, with one of them not even sticking around for...

How Rebel Foods Became the World’s Largest Internet Restaurant Company

In his book Zero to One, Peter Theil, previously co-founder and venture capitalist, argued that the inherently hyper-competitive nature of restaurants makes them a mediocre business.  Here’s what he wrote in Zero to One: “Suppose you want to start a restaurant that serves British food in Palo Alto. “No one else is doing it,” you might reason. “We’ll own the entire market.” But that’s only true if the relevant market is the market for British food specifically. What if the actual market is the Palo Alto restaurant market in general? And what if all the restaurants in nearby towns are part of...

How Signal Protects Privacy & Makes Money Staying Free

Before the age of technology, it was relatively easier to lead a life private. But as our lives become increasingly digital, maintaining personal privacy has become difficult and deserving of more time and thought than earlier. These days, technology giants like Google and Facebook track and store data about us to enable advertisers to target us with ads efficiently. And it's not just that. Data breaches and inappropriate data sharing has become more and more common. According to Wikipedia, a collection of 2.7 billion identity records were posted on the web for sale in 2019 alone, of which 774 million...

LinkedIn Business Model: Diversified Revenue Generation

In the early days of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman did something he advises all startup founders to do; he went around and discussed the idea of LinkedIn with all the smart people in his network.  But when he shared the idea of LinkedIn in his network, 2/3 or more thought Reid was nuts.  And to be clear, Reid’s network included some of the most influential people in Silicon Valley at the time because before starting LinkedIn; Reid was the executive vice president of Paypal, meaning he is a member of what is popularly known as the Paypal mafia. Most of Reid’s smart friends...

How Quora Makes Money & How it Stacks up Against Reddit

Before Adam Angelo started quora, he had a job that most engineers would consider to be a dream position: he was the Chief Technology Officer at Facebook. In a 2010 interview with Business Insider, almost a year after he had started working on quora in June 2009, Adam shared what made him take the decision to leave Facebook and start on his own, “I could make a bigger impact on the world by starting something new rather than just continuing to optimize Facebook.” But it wasn’t like there weren’t any Q/A answer sites when he started Quora in 2009. There was Reddit,...

How Medium got to the Business Model it Finally Settled for

In 2012, when Evan Williams launched Medium.com, he was no newbie in the internet publishing space. Having co-founded Blogger in 1999, which was later acquired by Google and Twitter in 2006, Evan’s contribution to democratizing publishing on the internet had already been huge.  So why did he feel the itch to leave Twitter and launch Medium.com in 2012, when this new startup was his third venture in an industry he had been a part of for 13 years. In his own words, this is what he set out to do, “In 1999, two friends and I launched Blogger, a simple tool...

How does Pinterest make Money + Financial Report Deep Dive

Pinterest is not what most people think it is. Most people classify Pinterest to be a social media platform, but unlike social media platforms where user behaviour leans towards sharing personal updates and learning about the personal updates of friends and family, Pinterest is a visual discovery platform where people go to discover new ideas and seek inspiration. In its S1 document, Pinterest describes how visual search differs from traditional text-based search, “Search helps people find a discrete piece of information quickly, but it isn’t an adequate tool if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, you can’t describe it...

How Inshorts Turned Profitable ( in Less than 1.5 Years )

By July 2015, almost two years into launch, Inshorts had achieved a milestone of 1M Android App Installs with a 4.5 star rating on Google Play Store, but the company was still not fretting over monetizing the product. Azhar Iqbal, CEO of Inshorts laid out the company’s strategy at a panel discussion in FICCI Frames 2016, “Inshorts currently does not make any money. We’re right now working only of venture capital money. There’s no particular revenue model. Right now, our main focus is trying to get eyeballs on Inshorts and make sure people read our summaries as they don’t have time.” So then how did...

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