Exploring new business models

As Journalism 1.0 fades from the economic landscape, Journalism 2.0 is actively exploring new business models. The term "business model" has endured some semantic drift lately. It's coming to mean "revenue mechanism" or even worse "model for extracting shareholder value from commercial transactions". This over-simplification ends up with what Umair Haque calls "thin value" or "value destruction". The business model plans to operate profitably by taking money from, rather than making money with, constituencies that expect to be served and satisfied.

Business models also have another connotation derived from econometric models. It's often assumed models include anything that can add a row or column to a spreadsheet and exclude anything that cannot. Business models signify "quantitative models" to most. Having been an architect, I view quantities as something assessed after traffic patterns, sight lines, daylight cycles, spatial arrangements, user needs and much more. I've been very accustomed to modeling qualitative dimensions of projects.

Thus the term "business model" means something different to me that has become increasing complex in the past few years with so many excellent books adding new dimensions to the design of business models. I believe business models should answer divergent questions of individual experiences like the following:
  • How has the customer experience been modeled to see the enterprise through the eyes of the beholder and frames of reference of the end user?
  • How has the experience of employees been modeled to understand how frustration levels could build up and then get released as hysterics, conflicts or quitting?
  • How has the experience the customers have of employees been modeled as energizing virtuous cycles or depleting vicious cycles?
  • How has the experience of leadership been modeled to realize where leaders appear weak, ineffectual or out of touch with changing circumstances?
A list of these kinds of questions could go on for many pages. My point is to reveal how subjective and qualitative dimensions ought to be modeled. For the value provided to be meaningful on both ends of any transaction calls for understanding each participant's experience.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Thanks for the appreciation!