While this should be your main focus, it’s not your only focus.
We’re seeing a new trend in early stage companies that demonstrates a shift in approach.
Companies are starting to think beyond just the initial value proposition and business model. They’re looking at what’s coming next. This is even more important if your competitive advantage is based around a new product or technology. That’s because products and technology are getting easier and easier to copy.
If your products and technology are getting easier to copy, then what should you do?
The answer is: focus on your business model. That’s the next big thing entrepreneurs and corporate innovators need to consider.
If from the start, you ask yourself, “How can I build a better business model?”, you won't have as much pressure to reinvent yourself later on.
And there's a huge opportunity here because very few startups have traditionally thought about their business model at all. Instead, they focus on their ideas for new products and services.
And in some cases, you can only commercialize your technology or product with the right business model. There are numerous examples of this, such as Nespresso and Xerox. They wouldn't even have been able to launch their technology if they hadn't found the right business model. Business models are a huge and under explored topic.
Startups and early stage companies should look further into the future. An example of a company that has done this well is Netflix.
Netflix is a global player today. When they started out, they already had a vision of what they wanted to be and do: Streaming movies and TV shows. The only problem was the world wasn't ready. Netflix didn’t let that stop them though. To get started, they rented out DVDs by mail. This worked so well that they managed to disrupt an entire industry. However, it wasn’t enough for Netflix. They already knew what they were going to move onto streaming. The key thing was they did it one at a time, knowing what they would be moving onto next from the beginning.
It goes to show that even young companies should have a vision of the future. You need to to build something that can really scale in the short term, and you need to know where you want to get to in the medium to long term.
It’s never too early to start thinking about the next thing. First, you need to get one value proposition and business model right. But as soon as you do that, you need to think about the next one.
If you’d like to learn more about how to manage business models, why not register for our next Virtual master workshop called Building Invincible Companies?
This blog was based on episode two of the Driving Innovation series with Alex Osterwalder, check it out here.