Business capitalist Paul Graham indicated an under-appreciated nugget of wisdom in his article on mistakes that get rid of startups. Below, Chargify examines six companies whose versatility took them to new heights. PayPal, believe it or not, today was not founded to be the web payment service that it is. In her book Founders at Work, Jessica Livingston interviews PayPal founder Max Levchin. During the interview, Levchin uncovers that PayPal was originally envisioned as a cryptography company, and then later as a way of transmitting money via PDAs. Only after many years of trial and error (and overcoming user fraud that almost destroyed the business) did PayPal find its sweet spot as the default online payment system of millions.
The changeover wasn’t effortless, and the company, at various factors in time, deliberated the merits of the staying the course or changing business models. But ultimately, their flexibility proved to be a major asset. For much of its early life, Google had no business model to speak of. As Wired co-founding editor John Battelle explains in his book The Search, Google was a maddeningly unprofitable company once, fumbling right, and left for a stable revenue source. After making marginally profitable forays into selling search appliances to businesses and its own search technology to other search engines, Google changed course radically.
Almost immediately, Google got the leap from popular search tool to advertising juggernaut. 21 billion in advertising-driven income alone. To this day, AdWords comprises the lion’s share of Google’s total profits and revenue. AdWords paved just how for other SE’s also, such as Yahoo’s SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING service and MSN’s Bing platform among others. In its early years, Facebook consisted of university students entirely.
The problem was that Facebook could only broaden so much by catering to only college students. So despite much protest and uproar, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made a decision to open Facebook to high school students in 2005. By 2006, the ongoing service experienced opened up to anyone 13 years or older with a valid e-mail address. More often than not, the strategy change spent some time working.
- Even minor health issues – your heart missing beats or your overdue dental exam
- Home inspector
- FY 2001 10-K p.11
- 3 large or 4 medium green tomatoes, any variety, chopped
- The Best Times of Your Life Are Just Round the Corner
- Be clear and inclusive
- Drive 5250 applications automatically when coupled with aXes
- Support proxies for connection. > Automatic updates when resources sites change
240 million, and gossips of an IPO continue to appear. Not long ago, Apple was on the brink of fizzling out. From about 1993-1997, Apple found itself struggling to find a profitable source of revenue consistently, trying and failing woefully to market everything from digital camera models to portable CD players to TV devices. In the beginning, YouTube was the textbook example of a startup taking the “we’ll worry about this later” approach to business models. 1.65 billion in 2006, Shepard Smith of Fox News famously observed, “YouTube must make even one dark cent” in revenue yet. 200 million in ad income that year. 1 billion per year.
What transformed in the interim was a large shift running business models and overall strategy. First, YouTube embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign to ink partnership deals with premium content providers including NBC, CBS, and ABC. Most remember Napster as the P2P music swapping program that Shawn Fanning brought onto the scene from 1999-2001. The key to its reputation was how easily users could find and share practically any song(s) they wanted – free of charge.
But Napster only thrived in this capacity until 2000, when rock band Metallica spotted its then-unreleased monitor I Disappear (as well as its whole studio catalog) freely designed for download. This prompted Metallica as well as rapper Dr. Dre to document copyright infringement lawsuits against the ongoing company, which peaked at 26.4 million users in 2001 according to Comscore. While Napster resolved these suits, individual suits filed by record labels resulted in a court order for Napster to either law enforcement its infringing users or shut down.
85 million and proceeded to restore it as a paid music downloading service. It wasn’t easy forging a fresh, commercial business model for what was once a completely free service, but it worked. 121 million for Napster, which proceeds to sell music from a catalog that now spans over nine million tracks.
the other music swapping services, it ought to be noted, didn’t make this transition. Kazaa, for example, went from having almost 100 million users in its heyday as a user-run service to resisting a paid model for so long that a lot of people are unaware it still is available. The lesson is that changes running business strategies weren’t incidental footnotes in the histories of the businesses.