YouTube Business Model: How YouTube Makes Money

In November 2006, almost two years after its founding in February 2005, Google acquired YouTube for a then-hefty price of $1.65 billion.  In the 2021 annual report, Google reported that YouTube generated $28.8 billion from advertisements alone in 2021 (Youtube generates revenue through other income streams as well, which we will discuss below), contributing 11.19% to Google’s total 2021 revenue.  Youtube has, undoubtedly, been one of the most remarkable acquisitions in the history of tech. It is the second most popular website in the world after Google. Source: Similar Web  But when it comes to engagement metrics like avg visit duration, pages per visit...

DuckDuckGo Business Model: How DuckDuckGo Makes Money

When you hear the phrase ‘search engine,’ what’s the first name that pops into your head? For most of us, the answer would be Google. And that's because for almost two decades now, Google has had more than 90% market share among search engines. Google’s market dominance is such that most people haven’t used or even tried a different search engine. Even in 2008, when Gabriel Weinberg launched DuckDuckGo, Google had around 90% percent market share? So why did he even bother building an alternative to a search giant like Google? Originally, he had no plans of launching a...

Signal Business Model: How Signal Makes Money

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 more complicated 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 have also become 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 were...

Zoom Business Model: How Zoom Makes Money

When Eric Yuan, Zoom’s CEO, decided to go after the video conferencing market in 2011, the market was already flooded with incumbents like Microsoft-owned Skype, Google Hangouts & the then market leader Webex, owned by Cisco. Eric served as the VP of Engineering at Webex when he decided to venture out independently. So why did he quit Webex, start Zoom & how did he turn Zoom into a leading video conferencing software with almost 50% market share? There’s no denying that the coronavirus propelled Zoom’s growth in a way nobody could have predicted, not even Eric himself, but Zoom was a successful product...

Ketto Business Model: How Ketto Makes Money

In 1885, France shipped the Statue of Liberty to the US. Designed by a French sculptor named Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and paid for by the French government, the Statue was to be a diplomatic gift to the US. But when the Statue arrived in New York, it was in pieces, awaiting assembly. The Statue's granite plinth, the base upon which it was to stand, required $250,000, a large sum at the time. The American Committee of the Statue of Liberty, a group tasked with raising the amount necessary, fell short by more than a third. Grover Cleveland, then New York...

Why did Vine shut down? What happened to Vine?

In the early part of the 2010s, Vine, a new social media app that allowed users to share 6-second looping videos, started getting insane traction. The app became so popular that practically everyone under 30 seemed to be using it at one point in time. However, even though it saw early success, Vine was shut down indefinitely in 2017.  If you are a startup enthusiast or an aspiring entrepreneur, Vine's rapid rise and sudden failure are worth studying because it teaches valuable startup lessons. To develop a deep understanding of the Vine saga, though, we need to look at the...

Salesforce Business Model: How Salesforce Makes Money

When you begin to list down the reasons why one should study the business of Salesforce, the list seems endless.  Salesforce practically pioneered the SaaS model. Salesforce displaced the existing incumbent of its time to become the leading CRM software. As of 2021, Salesforce was still the #1 CRM software with a market share of 23.9%. Salesforce’s closest competitor, Oracle, had a market share of 5.5%, followed by Microsoft and SAP, which have a 5% market share each.  I could list many more reasons why the Salesforce business case study is worth studying, but that would be a time kill. So,...

What is Content Market Fit & How to Achieve & Measure it

The startup world loves the concept of ‘Product-Market Fit.’ Marc Andresson, widely credited for developing the concept of PMF, defined the term as follows: “​Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” After the introduction of the concept, there has been a considerable amount of thinking on defining the concept better and the quantitative and qualitative metrics one can use to measure if they have achieved ‘Product-Market Fit.' Those developments of thought are out of the scope of this piece, but the point of me beginning a ‘Content Market Fit’ essay by...

DoorDash Business Model: How DoorDash Makes Money

When Doordash started as an American food delivery service in 2013, Grubhub was already the market leader. By Mid 2018, Uber Eats had overtaken Grubhub in market share. But the Uber Eats growth fizzled, and Grubhub could never catch up. By 2021, Doordash controlled 56% of the US food delivery market; Uber Eats and Grubhub accounted for only 26% and 16%.  This begs the question: how did Doordash become the market leader by attacking a problem considered already solved? In this piece, we will first learn how Doordash differentiated itself to carve out a place for itself, see how Doordash has expanded...

Telegram Business Model: How Telegram Makes Money

With more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app. But Telegram, launched in 2013, around four years after WhatsApp, has been slowly and steadily covering the ground.  More than 550 million users were actively using the service as of July 2021, with users increasingly flocking to Telegram after WhatsApp announced a contentious privacy policy update, forcing users to accept the updated terms until 8th February 2021. Due to the public backlash, WhatsApp eventually decided not to enforce the privacy update. Still, this entire episode injected life into the debate around which messaging app — WhatsApp, Telegram ot...