If you follow the
FourWeekMBA you know we covered hundreds of business models in the last years. Every year we look at those business models for which our audience found most interest. In 2018, we looked at the most successful business models (or at least those that draw the most attention on our platform).
This year we’re doing the same. We’re looking at the 6 most popular
business models on FourWeekMBA: Amazon, Uber Eats, DuckDuckGo, Netflix, TIkTok, Apple.
Amazon Business Model
Amazon has a diversified business model. In 2018 Amazon posted over $232 billion in revenues and over $10 billion in net profits. Online stores contributed to nearly 52% of Amazon revenues, followed by Physical Stores, Third-party Seller Services, Amazon AWS, Subscription Services, and Advertising revenues.
A company like Amazon has multiple value propositions, as it serves several target customers in different markets. With its mission “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices,” Amazon value propositions range from “Easy to read on the go” for a device like Kindle, to “Sell better, sell more” to its marketplace.
Amazon is a profitable company. Its operating income and net income passed $12.4 billion and $10 billion respectively in 2018. The operating income was driven primarily by Amazon AWS, contributing $7.29 billion. Amazon has been consistently profitable since 2015 when it posted 596 million in profits.
According to eMarketer, in the US alone, digital advertising spending will be around $129 billion. Within this market the most significant players are companies like Google ($116 billion in 2018 from search advertising), Facebook (over $55 billion in advertising revenues in 2018), Amazon (over $10 billion in 2018 from product advertising), Twitter (with $2.6 billion in advertising in 2018), and Microsoft’s Bing (search advertising for about $7 billion in 2018)
Amazon AWS follows a platform business model, that gains traction by tapping into network effects. Born as an infrastructure built on top of Amazon’s infrastructure, AWS has become a company offering cloud services to thousands of clients from the enterprise level, to startups. And its marketplace enables companies to connect to other service providers to build integrated solutions for their organizations.
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Uber Eats Business Model
Uber made over $11 billion in dollars in revenues in 2018, and its profits were $987 million. It’s essential to notice that the profitability in 2018 was positively affected by divestitures in Russian/CSI operations and from gains on investments in the “Chinese’ Uber,” called Didi.
Uber is a is two-sided marketplace, a platform business model that connects drivers and riders, with an interface that has elements of gamification, that makes it easy for two sides to connect and transact. Uber makes money by collecting fees from the platform’s gross bookings.
Uber Eats is a three-sided marketplace connecting a driver, a restaurant owner and a customer with Uber Eats platform at the center. The three-sided marketplace moves around three players: Restaurants pay commission on the orders to Uber Eats; Customers pay the small delivery charges, and at times, cancellation fee; Drivers earn through making reliable deliveries on time.
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DuckDuckGo Business Model
Netflix Business Model
FAANG is an acronym that comprises the hottest tech companies’ stocks. Those are Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet’s Google. The term was coined by Jim Cramer, former hedge fund manager and host of CNBC’s Mad Money and founder of the publication TheStreet.
Netflix is a profitable company. It generated over $1.2 billion in 2018, a 116% increase compared to 2017, primarily driven by substantial growth in paid memberships. However, Netflix has negative cash flows as it invests massively on content license agreements and original content.
Netflix is a subscription-based business model making money with three simple plans: basic, standard, and premium, giving access to stream series, movies, and shows. The company is profitable, yet it runs on negative cash flows due to upfront cash paid for content licensing and original content production.
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TikTok is a creative social media platform primarily driven by short-form video content. It launches challenges of various type to tap into the creativity of its users and generate engaging (if not addicting content). These challenges are accompanied by compelling music tracks embellished via effects and filters, and powered by AI algorithms that optimize both content creation, curation and recommendation. The company had grown exponentially and reached over five hundred million users at the beginning of 2018. Facebook has taken notice and might be building its own version, called Lasso!
Apple Business Model
As of October 2019, Apple was worth over trillion dollars. Compared to other tech giants like Amazon, valued at over $869B, Google valued at 863B and Facebook valued at over $530 billion, Apple is primarily a product company, which made 63% of its revenues from the iPhone in 2018.
Apple is a tech giant, and as such, it encompasses a set of value propositions that make Apple’s brand recognized, among consumers. The three fundamental value propositions of Apple’s brand leverages on the “Think Different” motto; reliable tech devices for mass markets; and in 2019, Apple also started to emphasize more and more about privacy to differentiate from other tech giants.
Apple mission is “to bringing the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services.” And in a manifesto dated 2009 Tim Cook set the vision specified as “We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”
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The resources you need to get started with your business model: