I was searching for some information, analyses and categorization for business models that are used in Internet-based businesses (basically: in the businesses that are conducted through the Internet).
Do you know any credible source, any publication, about the categorization of business models on the Web, measurement of their efficiency, ability to become successful?
The more data, the more credible the data and the more sources, the better.
Also, if you have some personal thoughts about efficiency of Internet-based business models and you can share them, please do so.
EDIT: As of today I decided to put a bounty on the question. The best answer will win. By best answer I understand pointing some previously unknown to me resources about some interesting study, categorization or measurement of successfulness of business models on the Internet.
Categorization is one thing, but the most value to me has data about the efficiency & ability to achieve success by specific business models. The more data, preferably followed by analysis, the better.
So, if anyone knows about any resources that could be helpful in analyzing ability to achieve success by different categories of business models on the web, it will be appreciated and eventually awarded a bounty from this question.
The five forces specifically give you a framework for deciding whether the business you're looking has some ability to be successful.
As with any framework, it has downsides, but I find any order you can put on an analysis helps to clarify the analysis (provided it's not completely antithetical to what you're trying to achieve).
Not really bounty-full, but here's some extra information:
selling the right to use assets is more profitable and more highly valued by the market than selling ownership of assets.The paper goes on to talk about the four primary types of business model: Creator, Distributor, Landlord or Broker, and further subdivides these four by the type of asset involved: Financial, Physical, Intangible or Human.
That gives a total of 16 business types:
They fit (my guess) into the framework from the first paper here:
And the way the second paper proposes measuring each of these three business areas is as below.
Product Innovation Customer Relationship Infrastructure Management Financial Aspects Conclusion There's lots of white space in that spreadsheet, and I don't really have time to prognosticate more. I've uploaded it to Google Docs, so you can download it for yourself if that'll help.
What'd I'd like to do next is to see what Porter says about the three examples I've filled in... but that's for another time.
Well "conducted through the internet" ... is pretty broad statement.
So metric that you could select from when building an internent business
General metrics for most businesses:
There are heaps more once I get into the swing of them but most people have probably stopped reading by now ...
So for those that have made it this far the key thing you need to do is identify and track the ones that are important to you. Setup metrics / goals around each one so you have something to compare them to (is 50,000 a good number or not?) ... then the key magic bit is to normilise them somehow.
The easiest way is to setup ranges of expecatation per variable you are tracking:
Variable 1: (say unique visitors per day)
Have about 5 - 10 buckets anymore starts to get meaningless (unless you use 100 which works well too). So now you have a common measure for all of your variables:
So you can then say
And you end up with my company is 3.5 on my magic "going well odometer"
ADDITIONAL BIT :
And to finish that thought off properly ... Instead of one overall metric I would break "internet companies" down into a series of subcatagories and then rank them against each other.
It will be interesting to see if there are any concise and well-researched resources for this. I would start by looking at a few dimensions:
Based on various combinations of these you could categorize business models, such as a recurring subscription to receive exclusive (high-margin) products. There's probably some variation in success rates but that could be more about the people running the business than the business model. For example many people scared to charge full-price for something fail on the low-end of the pricing range because they aren't good at figuring out a business model, not because lower prices are a bad business model.
The success factors definitely will vary. With exclusive pricing your challenge is to make people want something no one else has (sometimes this could mean reducing volume). With low pricing your challenge is to get high volumes with optimized marketing. With one-time sales your challenge is to keep new people coming in; with recurring sales you challenge is to keep customers interested. If you have a lot of cheap labor services are efficient; if you have repeatable technological advantages products are efficient.
That said there are business models that have a very high chance of failure, like an unknown person getting extremely popular on youtube in order to launch a real-world entertainment brand.
Just before posting this I remembered Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvas. It's more of a tool than a reference but it's a good way to break things down.
The one I like the best and is quite new is called Startup Genome.
They have done surveys and indepth analysis of what makes startups successful. They have a very interesting report you can download.
They allow you to do a detailed Benchmark of your startup, and it will place you into one of it's four startup types, and give you detailed comparisons of your startup to the others in your category.
The four categories of Startup Personality Types are: