Business models are tough stuff. Prognosticating the level of delight that others have about your wares is no easy feat. Once you achieve eager delight about your offering, you then figure out how to monetize it and make a living - in a way that preserves that elusive eager delight.
There are different types of business models. I'll list a few:
The "Me too" variety copies mostly the model someone else created, but offers variations. I call these "swimming lanes." They're established, and when you get into one, you generally do laps. You can get very fit doing laps. Nothing wrong with that.
- Me too, but I'm better made.
- Me too, but I'm cheaper.
- Me too, but I'm cooler - and you will be too, I promise.
- Say what?
And then there is the "Say what?" model. That model doesn't make sense, and it generally doesn't pay off - at first. It stands to make the most money, because it tries to swim in its own blue ocean. Where do you swim in a blue ocean? Anywhere you want to.
I tend toward blue oceans - sharks and rip tides be damned. In fact, unless I'm desperate and about to be penniless, I'm cliff diving and pushing through waves. I like to reconsider the puzzle of a business model and work it from the inside out. Doing what others are doing is boring to me. It also leads to the same results that others have when they jump into a swim lane.
A couple of years ago, I pushed reinventing the wheel. A lot.
Tinker. Prototype. Fail fast.
That quick dialogue with the market allows you to then build sturdy fashionable structure modeled after you create eager delight in others.
It's rare to find an ocean by lapping in a swim lane.