What are Barriers to Entry & Types of Barriers to Entry

Let's suppose someone wants to start a lemonade stand. Getting one up and running would be relatively easy and within the financial reach of the majority of the population. In this case, one could say that the barriers to entry to starting a lemonade stand business are low. On the other hand, if you wanted to start a new airline, getting one up and running would be relatively more difficult than starting a lemonade stand and outside the financial reach of the majority of the population. And say even if you had the financial resources needed to create an airline,...

Amazon Unbound Book Summary

In 2014, Brad stone published 'The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,' chronicling Amazon's journey from its inception until the year of publishing. In 2021, Brad Stone released another book, Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire, chronicling Amazon's growth from 2014 to 2021. Both books are essential reading for those who want to make sense of Amazon's all-encompassing and, at times, perplexing business. I read 'The Everything Store,' Stone's first book on Amazon, and made a book summary in Dec 2020. So, when Stone released 'Amazon Unbound' in May 2021, I decided to read...

Instagram Business Model Case Study

In April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for a then-unprecedented $1billion. At the time of the acquisition, Instagram was growing fast, but it had only 25 million registered users — minuscule compared to Facebook's hundreds of million users. To top it off, Instagram was not bringing in any revenue; it was being run by 13 employees and only two years old. Before Facebook closed the deal, even Twitter had tried its hand at courting Instagram. But Instagram's founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger decided to go ahead with Facebook because other than the massive sum of money, Zukurberg dangled the carrot of independence. If Instagram...

Indiegogo Business Model Case Study

Until the first decade of the 21st century, the traditional model of raising money to start a business included either borrowing money from a bank in exchange for collateral or convincing venture capitalists your idea was worthy of investment in exchange for equity. Even though these models had their own set of pros and cons, both rested on the assumption that the business will most likely succeed, moving customer validation, if not entirely, then for the most part, to a post-launch date. However, Indiegogo's entrepreneurial crowdfunding model flips the traditional fundraising model on its head. Under the Indiegogo Model, aspiring...

Wikipedia Business Model Case Study

The proliferation of encyclopedic information can be classified into two eras: pre-internet and post-internet. Both eras gave birth to different models to create a knowledge repository and share it with a wider audience.   The earliest encyclopedic work to have survived until modern times dates back to the 1st century AD. Still, it was only after the advent of the printing press in the 15th century that encyclopedic knowledge was democratized. Most pre-internet encyclopedias, including Britannica, the earliest and the most famous Encyclopedia in the English-speaking world, had a similar operation style and business model.  As you can guess, they ran like more or less a...

‘100 Ways to Improve your Writing’ Book Summary

Before I briefly explain the note-taking process, I want to introduce Gary Provost, the author of ‘100 ways to improve your writing.'  "Being a writer is not my profession. It is my nature," once said Gary.  His voluminous lifelong work is proof that the statement was not an exaggeration. Gary sold 22 (fiction and nonfiction) books to major publishing houses throughout his career, writing in almost every genre that the mind can conjure: How-To texts for writers, True Crime, Satire, Mystery, Romance, and more. Apart from writing books, Gary was also engaged in teaching writing, constantly honing his craft by helping...

Tesla Business Model Case Study

In 2016, 13 years after being in existence, Tesla made a one-word switch in its mission statement.  The old mission statement read, "Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable transport." The updated mission statement became, "Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy."  I highlight this change because it opens up a different window to peek into the house of Tesla. The general perception built around Tesla is that it is a car company focused on speeding up our transition to electric or sustainable transport, but the mission statement change and newer product lines indicate that...

Harvard Business Model Case Study

I'm going to throw you a challenge. Assume you have to start a university that would become the richest and the most prestigious educational institutions in humankind's history.  What plan of action would you create? What business model would you choose? How would you make it financially viable for the centuries ahead? A predictable approach would be to build a sustainable brand by providing top-notch education, establishing artificial scarcity by making applicants go through a challenging selection process, and ensuring students get placed in high-income jobs. In exchange for all of this, students would be willing to pay exorbitant fees.  But that's...

‘Company of One’ Book Summary

Originally a designer focussed on consulting, Paul Jarvis has written five books (including 'Company of One'), sold digital courses, and co-founded Fathom Analytics, a privacy-focused Google Analytics Alternative. His contrarian philosophy of purposefully staying small and questioning the conventional wisdom of building a big business empire has shaped Paul's long, successful, and personally meaningful career. In 'Company of One,' Paul shares the ideas behind his choosing this alternate path in business, and more broadly, in life -- a mindful approach based on designing work around life, not the other way around. Note: 'Company of One' contains 13 chapters but the book...

Slack Business Model Case Study

"I have never seen viral enterprise app takeoff like this before — all word of mouth," tweeted March Andresson in February 2014, six months after Slack launched in preview mode in August 2013. The tweet accompanied a slide from Slack's investor update deck. Slack is an embodiment of Silicon Valley's dream growth trajectory. On the first day of its preview launch itself, 8000 people requested an invitation to try out Slack. Two weeks later, the number had more than doubled to 15000.  In Feb 2014, when Slack dropped the preview and launched officially, around 16000 users were using the service daily. By the end...