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How Can You Find and Study Examples of Continuing Business Model Innovators?

Apr 19, 2008
Having found that the top growth performing CEOs were continually improving their business models to become more profitable, the next challenge was to see what else could be learned about business model innovation. When I began to look at the earlier history of business model innovation, I saw that improved business models usually came from start-ups and new entrants. So entrepreneurs were obviously focused on this opportunity.

I then became curious about the frequency with which companies enjoyed ongoing success in improving their business models. Where should I find the answer?

I read the profiles of all public companies described in the Value Line Investment Survey over 12 years. I noted the companies that seemed to have completed at least two major successful business model innovations during those years, without regard to their stock-market performance. As a result of either lower stock-price growth or changes in CEOs, many of them did not make my CEO 100 lists during those years.

I contacted these companies by e-mail to request interviews with their CEO and some of the other senior executives. From these contacts, I was able to arrange CEO interviews at over 40 companies.

I performed literature searches on another few dozen companies that confirmed that they had been frequent business model innovators, but these companies declined to be interviewed. Obviously, you can still learn lessons by characterizing the direction that those companies take even if you cannot learn more fine-tuned details.

From these investigations, I became convinced that at least 70 public companies had performed at least two major successful business model innovations in the same business over the 12 years.

I began a year-long analysis. I took what was learned and summarized it in simple form so that more companies could understand how to choose and successfully follow this path. You could obviously do the same thing for the examples that interest you.

To test my thinking, I discussed the work in progress with many of the CEOs and their staffs as well as top strategic thinkers in other companies. Many valuable corrections and improvements were made as a result.

Next, I sought out individual, small company, and nonprofit examples of the themes that the larger, public companies exhibited. Many of these examples are drawn from my personal experiences with the subjects or my long-term interest in their work.

Finally, I kept in touch with all of the individuals and companies so that the information could be as up-to-date as possible.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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