"What is the best business model?" people ask me often. "What are the best business models we can learn from?" Actually, I believe there are many. But we stick to the same examples. Mostly Internet based models. But I believe there are more... 

Mostly we look at the same models over and over such as Amazon, Spotify (free drives paid), Apple, Netflix, Hilti etc. But can we find more best business models? Can we find them in different industries? 

Question for the Hub

I would really like to know what YOU consider the best business model. Please let me know what you think. I will make an overview and ranking based on your input. 

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Hi Jitender, 

Great overview of the 10-fold criteria. Hard to beat or even meet Apple. The patterns are powerful in understanding and innovation of (new) business models. I like the way the patterns are structured around the 9 building blocks. Recently we worked with a Telco in which they now understand they operate in the Multi Sided Platform. They see now new opportunities arise. Great experience. My MSP favorite is Spotify. I think it is a great MSP with double revenue. 

Regards, Patrick

Hi Patrick, 

You are absolutely right when you say it is hard to beat or even meet Apple. The power of Apple's Business Model Innovation is clearly reflected in the following analysis that I did nearly a month back. Look how Market Cap of Technology majors changed in just 2 years.

31 Dec 2009: Apple - $190 Bn; Google - $197 Bn; Wintel - $384 Bn (Microsoft - $271 Bn; Intel - $113 Bn). Apple behind Google. Apple half of Wintel.
20 Jan 2012: Apple - $392 Bn; Google - $190 Bn; Wintel - $383 Bn (Microsoft - $249 Bn; Intel - $134 Bn). Apple twice Google. Apple more than Wintel.

As you might be aware, Apple delivered blockbuster numbers last quarter. This boosted Market Cap even further. As of yesterday, Apple's Market cap was $477 Billion. Whereas, the second most valued company, Exxon Mobile is much behind Apple with Market cap of $410 Billion. 

Is $1 Trillion Market cap possible for Apple? After analyzing its business model, I believe yes. 



WOW...I am not an expert at business modeling, but I think Apple does not want to join trends in anything, they want to start their own trend and that is why they built a nasty following with a loyal fan base that worship them like crazy. 

As I see it, this is why they can dictate pricing and the market. When all other companies follow what you start, that's when you know you are leading. 

Sorry for the interruption, just may 2 cents.

I believe they can make a trillion! 

Hi Patrick,

I have written a separate blog post on assessing the attractiveness of a business model from an Investor perspective. I have provided a visual representation of the 10-fold criteria over the Canvas. I am sharing the link below for the benefit of businessmodelhub community.




It has been a while now since I posted the comment above. Now, I have illustrated the VISA Business Model over the Canvas. In case you want to check it out, please visit the following link: http://bmimatters.com/2012/03/19/understanding-visa-business-model/

For an example of the applicability of Muti-sided platform to non-technology companies please refer to my blog


This covers the e-choupal of ITC ltd, India

An interesting area for business model innovation is in retail where traditional 'brick and mortar' retailers are now (it took some time....) responding to the growth of online retailers with innovative cross channel business models. A well known example in the Netherlands is upmarket department store De Bijenkorf that has launched a webshop that allows them to increase the service level in their stores. Tthrough use of the webshop they now have the option to offer customers home delivery of a size or colour clothing item that the physical store does not have in stock anymore. Result: sales growth online and in the stores!

Any more examples of business model innovation in retail?


And who can share some innovative business models for professional services that generally rely on billing their clients for the # hours worked * fee?

Hi Wouter, 

Please check out the following video on youtube. It is about Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGaVFRzTTP4 Very interesting example of cross-channel innovation

Hi Patrick,

one of the most innovative - and successful - business models is performed by ARM. With its business model  (R&D licencing as key activity, production by semicondutor c'ies as partners) ARM is world market leader in mobile devices' semiconductors and heavily challenging Intel. Good job, isn't it.

Cheers from Aachen


I don´t think there´s one best BM; BM is evolucionary and depends heavly on the people; isn´t static so you can only speak of a good business model under that period of time, with that external conditions.

Well, I am very curious to know Google's business model being visualized. I've read 'What would Google do' and I've seen this presentation some time ago about Google's business models. But this presentation is from 2008 and since the appearance of Google Plus and Play, I am really curious to their current business models. I wouldn't necessarily call them 'the best' but I would call them successful... 

It's a fascinating company, which exists out of many different sorts of business models, including (I think) inspiring integrated ways of stimulating innovation.

So, I must say, I think I'd consider Google's business model as being very (maybe one of the most) successful. Besides that, I'd also be interested in Pinterest her (future) business model. I am really curious to know what they're planning on doing, to make Pinterest commercially interesting :)

Thanks for asking and I hope this helps you to create a ranking of the 10 best business models.



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