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Every Business Model That Has Ever Existed

One of the most vexing problems for startups is figuring out what revenue model to apply.  True innovation is rare - humans have been trading for centuries using just about every conceivable model.  With the possible exception of Google Adwords' second-highest bid model, the last truly great business innovation I can think of, it's all been done.

Or has it?

The indomitable Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has curated a list of every business model you could think of (and a few you may not have thought of) - and posted it up on Hackpad.com for the startup world to use to figure out how to charge money, instead of just giving stuff away.

Here's a sample of the headlines:

  1. Advertising
  2. Commerce
  3. Subscription
  4. Transaction processing
  5. Licensing
  6. Data
  7. Mobile
  8. Gaming

Under each category are listed all of the revenue models Fred and his co-contributors have added all the examples they can think of that are applicable to that space (i.e. for Games: Ad Supported (addictinggames.co), Downloadable Content (Call of Duty), Freemium (Zynga), Subscription (World of Warcraft), Premium (xBox)).  

If you're starting as new business, I can't think of a better place to explore the revenue possibilities than this hackpad.  Take a look.


Sharp John Sharp

John is a Partner at Hatcher Plus, the leading data-driven venture capital investment firm. John has extensive commercial experience at the senior management level, having been the Chief Executive Officer of Authentium, Inc. the Managing Director, Asia, of WorldSpace, and CEO of Hatcher, the precursor company to Hatcher+. A tenacious and driven executive with longstanding board-level and C-suite level management experience within high-growth companies, John also brings a strong history of capital raising from an extensive network of investors globally. As Chairman and CEO of cybersecurity pioneer Authentium (acquired by CYREN in 2010), John co-authored three US patents and developed and sold cybersecurity solutions to some the largest organizations in the world, including the US Department of Commerce, NASA, AOL, British Telecom, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, and Telstra. As CTO at Hatcher+, DocDoc, Heardable, and ThoughtRiver, John has designed and developed several highly-innovative technology platforms using cutting-edge approaches to data processing, user interface design, and workflow optimization. John is a frequent blogger and an in-demand speaker at venture events globally, and has extensive experience implementing ESG solutions as Chairman and/or board member of numerous start-ups, including director roles at trade finance provider ASYX and payment aggregator Mozido, and roles as Chairman of MENA-based financial services pioneer Telr, and the leading Cambridge-based legal services technology company, ThoughtRiver.