Friday, September 09, 2011

Business model archetypes

How familiar are you with different business model archetypes or patterns, such as the 'free' model? Do you always start with a blank sheet when designing a new canvas or would/should you reuse existing models? Or when you analyse an exiting model, would/should you look at what is unique or what it has in common with other models?

Whatever your approach, it is good to be familiar with the individual archetypes that have been identified so far and the classifications (in the form of lists or typologies) used to describe multiple archetypes. Most of this started with trying to describe and understand different e-business models, for example Timmers (1998), Rappa (2000) and Weill & Vitale (2001). Later the specific focus on e-business models became less, although many of the newer models are still associated with the Internet as driver or enabler. Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010) and Johnson (2010) are examples of newer lists that are not e-business focussed.

Next to presenting different lists or typologies and their underlying criteria, some authors also address the application of business model archetypes for business model design and management via, for example,business model composition (Weill & Vitale, 2001), business model decision-making (Morris et al.,2005) and business model maturity (Chesbrough, 2006).

For a more detailed description and discussion see the whitepaper ‘Understanding business models.'

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