What Is An Operating Model?

A business has to do two things right to stay in the market for long – create value for the customers and find a way to make money out of it.

Value creation refers to providing utility to the customer by getting their job done, solving their pains, and providing value additions. It forms the foundation of the business.

But the process of creating and delivering value requires the business to have a well-defined operating model that answers the question of ‘how does the business does what it promises’. The operating model breaks the process of value delivery into components showing how everything works and who does what.

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What Is An Operating Model?

An operating model is a conceptual structure that supports the viability of the business and explains how it operates so as to deliver value to its customers.

The business is an intricate system designed to deliver value. The operating model breaks this system into components, showing how everything works.

It’s an essential conceptual structure that elaborates the backend of the business. It helps:

  • The business to fill the gap between strategy and execution,
  • The leaders to identify problems that affect the performance, and
  • Other participants to understand the business concept and operations.

The operating model forms an integral component of the business model, defining:

  • The key activities of the business,
  • The partners that help in value creation,
  • The resources the business requires,
  • How the customers are acquired, engaged and retained, and
  • The channels the business uses to deliver value to the customers.

In simple terms, the operating model visualises the sequence of steps a business takes to create and deliver value to the final consumer and everything that supports it in doing so. This sequence of steps is the value delivery process.



What Is The Value Delivery Process?

value delivery process

The value delivery process is the visualisation of how value is transferred from a business to the customer. It’s the blueprint of every step involved in bringing a product from conception to distribution, and everything in between – like purchasing materials, partnering with dealers, marketing, etc.

For a grocery retailer, the value delivery process would work in a way similar to this:

  1. Purchase the offerings from a wholesaler or an agency,
  2. Stock the offerings in the retail store,
  3. Hire a helper to help in stocking and selling.
  4. Develop a good relationship with every customer who visits the store by assisting them in their purchase decisions,
  5. Market the offering to the customers during their store visit, and
  6. Sell the offering.

This example represents how this grocery store delivers value (groceries and good relations) to its customers.

But not all companies have such a simple value delivery chain.

For example, Uber’s value delivery process would be a two-faced structure where the company partners with drivers promising them more customers, and parallelly builds a customer-oriented brand where the customer can book a cab with a few taps on their smartphones. While the driver focuses just on fulfilling cab rides, Uber makes sure to build a brand through standardised pricing, safe cabs, and other features to increase the demand of its offering.

The Components of an Operating Model

While the value delivery process forms an important component of the operating model, it only answers the question of ‘what is the process’, not focusing much on how the process works and how everything is linked. 

The operating model visualises a lot more than just the work that is to be done. Its components are derived from the business model canvas that includes:

  • Key Activities: How the business delivers value using the value delivery process.
  • Key Partners: The external key stakeholders who help business in delivering value.
  • Key Resources: The important resources and inputs that go into developing and delivering value.
  • Channels of DistributionThe communication and delivery channels a business uses to deliver value to the customer.
  • Customer Relationships: The type of relationship the business has with the specific customer segment.


Key Activities

It includes all the value delivery processes that the business undertakes. In simple terms, it answers how the business delivers the promised value to the customers. Key activities are the most important tasks that form the spine of the business.


For a manufacturing company, the key activities would include procuring raw materials, production, delivering the goods to customers, etc.

Key Partners

Key partners are all the external key stakeholders like suppliers, manufacturers, suppliers, etc., that help the company deliver the value to the end consumer.

For Uber, the key partners include cab drivers, API providers like Google Maps, Payment Processors, etc.


Key Resources

It includes all the important resources and inputs required to develop and deliver value to the customer. These are the main assets the business requires to develop the end product.

They include

  • Physical Resources: tangible resources like equipment, inventory, buildings, manufacturing plants, raw materials, etc.
  • Intellectual Resources: intangible resources like brand, patents, IP, copyrights, etc.
  • Human Resources: Employees, contractors, and other workers.
  • Financial Resources: monetary resources like cash, credit, stock, etc.

Channels of Distribution

Key channels of an operating model describe the channels the business use to communicate and deliver value to the customer. It includes all the marketing, sales, and distribution channels.

Channels are the touchpoints that play an essential role in customer experience. They are categorised into two types:

  • Owned channels: These are the channels owned and operated by the business, like the business website.
  • Partner channels: These are channels not owned or operated by the business. These channels provide a better reach than the owned channels.


Customer Relationship

It describes the type of relationship the business establishes with a specific customer segment. The relationship can be any of the several types.

  • Transactional: The business interacts with the customer only during the transaction. It doesn’t build any relationship with the customer. For example, a vending machine or a kiosk usually builds a transactional relationship with the customer.
  • Long-term: This refers to a deep, long-term relationship with the customer where the business interacts with the customer regularly. 
  • Personal Assistance: This relationship stands on human interaction where the customer communicates with a real customer representative to get help before, during, or after the buying process. 
  • Dedicated personal assistance: This relationship involves dedicating a customer representative specifically to an individual customer.
  • Self-service: A company doesn’t maintain a direct relationship with the customer but provides them with the necessary means to help themselves.
  • Automated services: It’s a mix of self-service and automated processes. 
  • Communities: Developing a relationship with the customers by developing a platform where users solve others’ problems by being a part of the community.
  • Co-creation: Co-creation is when the business takes the help of the customers to co-create value for all. For example, making the customers write reviews, taking feedback on the design, etc.
  • Switching costs: It indicates how easy or difficult it is for a customer to switch to a different alternative. If it’s difficult, a strong relationship is already built.

Andrew Campbell’s Operating Model Canvas

Andrew Campbell took inspiration from the business model canvas and tried elaborating the operating model’s components into six parts, namely:

  • Process: Describing the key activities or the value delivery process.
  • Organisation: Focusing on the organisational structure – who does the work and how are they organised.
  • Locations: Where is the work done, and what assets does the business require in these locations.
  • Information: The information systems that support the work and value delivery.
  • Suppliers: The key partners who help in value creation and delivery.
  • Management Systems: Planning, budgeting, performance, risk management, continuous improvement and people management processes that the organisation utilises.
operating model canvas

In essence, the operating model canvas roughly populates the three most essential sections of the business model canvas while giving hints to populate the other two.

Key Activities = Processes

Key Partners = Suppliers

Key Resources = Organisation, Locations, Information, Management Systems

enhanced business model canvas



Why Is Understanding The Operating Model Important?

Understanding and developing the operating model before the concept is converted into an actual business or conceptualising a pivot is an important practice. It is because the operating model:

  • Is A Spine Of The Business Model: The operating model elaborates the business’s backend and defines how the business does what it promises to the customers. Without the operating model, the business model is just an idea.
  • Brings Clarity: It brings in the clarity of what needs to be done when, by whom, and what all is required to do the same. Without the operating model, complex business operations can turn into a mess.
  • Saves Resources: The value delivery process clearly allocates the resources in every step. It avoids duplication and saves resources.
  • Aids Revenue Generation: Operating model is what forms the base for the business’s revenue model. Without the operating model, the revenue model can’t exist.

The Startup Process

We know how important your dream business is to you. Therefore, we’ve come up with an all in one guide: The Startup Process to help you turn your vision into reality.

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Unraveling ThredUp’s IPO filing: Slow growth, but a shifting business model

Another day, another venture-backed IPO filing. Today it’s ThredUp, a used-goods marketplace that is approaching the public markets in the wake of Poshmark’s own strong debut.

Both companies have a related market focus, albeit different approaches to selling used goods. Poshmark allows users to sell clothing items through its app. ThredUp, in contrast, acquires goods from users and sells them itself.


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But while Poshmark had profits to brag about in its own IPO filing, ThredUp does not and is also growing more slowly, expanding revenues just 13.6% in 2020. Reading its S-1 filing, it’s clear ThredUp did not have the best 2020, thanks in part to COVID-19.

This morning, let’s get into the numbers posted by the company backed by Trinity Ventures, Redpoint, Highland Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs to decide if it’s just merely to catch Poshmark’s wave, or if its business is a fine machine in its own right.

ThredUp’s model

To understand ThredUp’s business, we have to get into the mechanics of how it sells things. The company has two methods: direct sales and consignment. In the former, ThredUp buys goods and sells them. It then “recognize[s] revenue on a gross basis” and generates gross profit after deducting “inventory cost, inbound shipping and inventory write-downs, as well as outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs.”

That is the model that ThredUp is leaving behind. After shifting to “primarily consignment sales” in 2019, the company’s business has skewed sharply in that direction. Consignment works by having consumers send ThredUp their goods, which it holds, and perhaps sells, remitting to the user a portion of the sale price. The method reduces write-downs and boosts gross margins.

Consignment sales at ThredUp “recognize revenue net of seller payouts,” deducting “outbound shipping, outbound labor and packaging costs” to reach gross profit results.

The revenue-mix focus change can be seen in how ThredUp generated gross profit in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In those years, consignment gross profit came to 38%, 67% and 81% of total gross profit. ThredUp’s business today is effectively a large, digital consignment effort.

What impact has that shift had on the company’s financial health? Let’s find out.

ThredUp’s growth

ThredUp posted $ 129.6 million in 2018 revenue, a figure that grew to $ 163.8 million in 2019 and $ 186 million in 2020. The company’s growth slowed from 26.4% in 2019 to 13.6% in 2020, a sharp deceleration. But at the same time, the portion of ThredUp revenues that came from consignment sales grew to 74% from 60%. Did that change have a material impact on the company’s gross margins, thus rendering its slow growth more palatable?

Not really. The company’s gross margins came to 68.7% in 2019 and 68.9% in 2020. That’s about as flat as Texas. And notably the number stayed flat despite the company noting that consignment revenues had stronger gross margins in 2019 and 2020 (77% and 75%, respectively) than its other model (57% and 51%, respectively).

Startups – TechCrunch

From the ashes of nearly a billion dollars, Ample resurrects Better Place’s battery swapping business model

A little over 13 years ago, Shai Agassi, a promising software executive who was in line to succeed the chief executive at SAP, then one of the world’s mightiest software companies, left the company he’d devoted the bulk of his professional career to and started a business called Better Place.

That startup promised to revolutionize the nascent electric vehicle market and make range anxiety a thing of the past. The company’s pitch? A network of automated battery swapping stations that would replace spent batteries with freshly charged ones.

Agassi’s company would go on to raise nearly $ 1 billion (back when that was considered a large sum of money) from some of the world’s top venture capital and growth equity firms. By 2013 it would be bankrupt and one of the many casualties of the first wave of cleantech investing.

Now serial entrepreneurs John de Souza and Khaled Hassounah are reviving the battery swapping business model with a startup called Ample and an approach that they say solves some of the problems that Better Place could never address at a time when the adoption of electric vehicles is creating a far larger addressable market.

In 2013, there were 220,000 electric vehicles on roads, according to data from Statista, a number which had grown to 4.8 million by 2019.

Ample has actually raised approximately $ 70 million from investors, including Shell Ventures, the Spanish energy company Repsol and the Moore Strategic Ventures, a venture firm that is the privately held investment firm of Louis M. Bacon, founder of the multibillion-dollar hedge fund, Moore Capital Management. That includes a $ 34 million investment first reported back in 2018, and a later round from investors including Japan’s energy and metals company, Eneos Holdings that closed recently.

“We had a lot of people that either said, I somehow was involved in that and was suffering from PTSD,” said de Souza, of the similarities between his business and Better Place. “The people who weren’t involved read up about it and then ran away.”

For Ample, the difference is in the modularization of the battery pack and how that changes the relationship with the automakers that would use the technology.

“The approach we’ve taken… is to modularize the battery and then we have an adapter plate that is the structural element of the battery that has the same shape of the battery, same bolt pattern and same software interface. Even though we provide the same battery system… it’s the same as replacing the tire,” said Hassounah, Ample’s co-founder and chief executive. “Effectively we’re giving them the plate. We don’t modify the car whatsoever. You either put a fixed battery system or an Ample battery plate. We’re able to work with the OEMS where you can make the battery swappable for the use cases where this makes a lot of sense. Without really changing the same vehicle.”

Ample’s currently working with five different OEMs and has validated its approach to battery swapping with nine different car models. One of those OEMs also brings back memories of Better Place.

It’s clear that the company has a deal with Nissan for the Leaf thanks to the other partnership that Ample has announced with Uber. Ample’s founders declined to comment on any OEM relationships.

It’s clear that Ample is working with Nissan because Nissan is the company that inked a deal with Uber earlier this year on zero-emission mobility. And Uber is the first company to use Ample’s robotic charging stations at a few locations in the Bay Area, the company said. This work with Nissan echoes Better Place’s one partnership with Renault, another arm of the automaker, which proved to be the biggest deal for the older, doomed, battery swapping startup.

Ample says it only takes weeks to set up one of its charging pods at a facility and that the company’s charging drivers on energy delivered per mile. “We achieve economics that are 10% to 20% cheaper than gas. We are profitable on day one,” said Hassounah.

Uber is the first step. Ample is focused on fleets first and is in talks with multiple, undisclosed municipalities to get their cars added to the system. So far, Ample has done thousands of swaps, according to Hassounah, with just Uber drivers alone.

The cars can also be charged at traditional charging facilities, Hassounah said, and the company’s billing system knows the split between the amount of energy it delivers versus another charging outlet, Hassounah said.

“So far, in the use cases that we have, for ridesharing it’s individual drivers who pay,” said de Souza. With the five fleets that Ample expects to deploy with later this year the company expects to have the fleet managers and owners pay for charging.

Some of the inspiration for Ample came from Hassounah’s earlier experience working at One Laptop per Child, where he was forced to rethink assumptions about how the laptops would be used, the founder said.

“Initially I worked on the keyboard display and then quickly realized the challenge was in the field and developed a framework for creating infrastructure,” Hassounah said.

The problem was the initial design of the system did not take into account lack of access to power for laptops at children’s homes. So the initiative developed a charging unit for swapping batteries. Children would use their laptops over the course of the day and take them home, and when they needed a fresh charge, they would swap out the batteries.

“There are fleets that need this exact solution,” said de Souza. But there are advantages for individual car owners as well, he said. “The experience for the owner of a vehicle is after time the battery degrades. With ours as we put new batteries in the car can go further and further over time.” 

Right now, OEMs are sending cars without batteries and Ample is just installing their charging system, said Hassounah, but as the number of vehicles using the system rises above 1,000, the company expects to send their plates to manufacturers, who can then have Ample install their own packs.

Currently, Ample only supports level one and level two charging, but won’t offer fast charging options for the car makers it works with — likely because that option would cannibalize the company’s business and potentially obviate the need for its swapping technology.

At issue is the time it takes to charge a car. Fast chargers still take between 20 and 30 minutes to charge up, but advances in technologies should drive that figure down. Even if fast charging ultimately becomes a better option, Ample’s founders say they view their business as an additive step to faster electric vehicle adoption.

“When you’re moving 1 billion cars, you need everything… We have so many cars we need to put on the road,” Hassounah said. “We think we need all solutions to solve the problem. As you think of fleet applications you need a solution that can match gas in charge and not speed. Fast charging is not available in mass. The challenge will not be can the battery be charged in five minutes. The cost of building chargers that can deliver that amount of power is prohibitive.”

Looking beyond charging, Ample sees opportunities in the grid power market as well, the two founders said.

“Time shift is built into our economics… that’s another way we can help,” said de Souza. “We use that as grid storage… we can do demand charge and now that the federal mandate is there to feed into the grid we can help stabilize the grid by feeding back energy. We don’t have a lot of stations to make a significant impact. As we scale up this year we will.”

Currently the company is operating at a storage capacity of tens of megawatts per hour, according to Hassounah.

“We can use the side storage to accelerate the development of swapping stations,” de Souza said. “You don’t have to invest an insane amount of money to put them in. We can finance the batteries in multiple ways as well as utilize other sources of financing.” 

Ample co-founders John de Souza and Khaled Hassounah. Image Credit: Ample


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How to Identify Your Core Values and Align Them with Your Business Model

As an entrepreneur, it’s crucial that your business model and your personal core values are aligned in order to achieve long-term success.

The truth about entrepreneurship is that each of us gets to create our business in a way that works best for us, yet many entrepreneurs leave lousy workplace conditions only to replace them with self-imposed constraints and rules in our own businesses.

Similarly to how miserable it becomes to show up for bad working conditions, it becomes even harder to continue running a business that doesn’t align with your needs and values. Why is this? At a job, you have responsibilities to your bosses and colleagues. At your business, you are the only person to answer to.

If your business model goes against who you are, you will eventually reach a point where you fail to find motivation to continue operating your business.


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What are core values?

Your core values are your highest priorities, deeply held beliefs and motivating factors. They are the elements of life that drive you. They are the things that would cause your life to feel meaningless if you did not experience them on a regular basis.

Why is it important to address your core values in relation to your business?

Giving yourself permission to build a business based around your core values makes the journey of entrepreneurship easier because you’re not fighting against yourself.

It’s been common practice in the past to identify good business opportunities based on potential revenue-based metrics. This has led many entrepreneurs into businesses that go against what drives them and what they need to feel fulfilled. As the founder of your business, it’s impossible to build a successful business if your personal needs are in opposition to your business model.

Over the last six years, I’ve elected to close two businesses because they weren’t in alignment with my top core value of freedom. The first business was a fashion label and the second was an events-based company. Both of these businesses required me to give up my freedom due to the nature of an inventory-based company and a company that demanded my presence at in-person events multiple times per month.

The conflict each business created with my core values elicited within me an animosity toward each business, which left me feeling angry at the end of each day.

In order to design a business around your core values, you must first begin by identifying your core values.



Here’s the process I lead my clients through to identify their core values:

  1. Identify 10 values or priorities which you cannot live without in your life. A few examples to get you started include integrity, balance, compassion, creativity, joy, recognition, and service.
  2. Once you’ve identified your 10 values, eliminate four of them. Eliminating these four doesn’t mean they’re irrelevant to your life. It simply means the remaining six hold more weight.
  3. Define the remaining six values in your own words and identify why each of them are important to you.
  4. Review the remaining six values and determine if any of them have overlapping definitions. If so, combine the similar values. For example, joy and happiness may boil down to the same essence once you define them, which means they can be combined, or one of them can be eliminated.
  5. Whittle your core values down to the top three. These three values should be the ones that are non-negotiable. If these values weren’t in your life, you wouldn’t be you.
  6. After you have completed your list and definitions of core values, begin to identify how these values are currently expressed in your life. What are the ways in which you live these values in your daily life?

Once you’ve completed this exercise, it’s time to begin identifying how your core values intersect with with various business models.

To begin, let’s review a few different business model options, such as:


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Every decision you make surrounding your business foundation, development and growth should be filtered through their alignment with your core values. This means that each potential business model should be examined through the lens of how it aligns and/or does not align with your core values.

For example, if you determine that your top core value is connection, a brick-and-mortar business model might be a great fit, whereas an e-commerce model may not be. On the other hand, if your top core value is autonomy, a membership model could be aligned, whereas an event-based model could be unaligned. If you have a core value of teaching, an affiliate-based model might not provide fulfillment, whereas a service-based model could provide satisfaction.

Of course, once you identify the most aligned business model, it’s just the beginning. From there, it’s time to develop a business plan to identify your customer, build the foundation for your operations, kick off your marketing and launch your idea out into the world!

Key takeaways

Building a business based on your personal values helps to ensure longevity because it means your needs and core values are being met through your work.

If you want to remain motivated to operate your business, it must be a business model that you’re aligned with from the inside out. Otherwise, you run the risk of feeling the exact same way you felt having a day job, which could inevitably force you to walk away from your business.

The post How to Identify Your Core Values and Align Them with Your Business Model appeared first on StartupNation.

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One time sale vs subscription model

Does anybody sell desktop software using a subscription model? The software I’m developing takes advantage of native speed, full access to memory and data security of not being cloud based. Looking for resources for evaluating one time sale vs subscription model since I could go either way. I’ve googled it but wondering if anyone here has first hand experience. My software is in the business intelligence/data analysis field but focused on individual analysis/ automated insight and visualization, not an enterprise platform. So I was thinking around $ 50-100 one time purchase or $ 5-10/mo subscription to give some sort of price point context.

Is one time purchase a thing of the past for desktop software? As a software user, I like the simplicity of one time purchase but as a business owner, I want to maximize profit.

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Aquarium scores $2.6M seed to refine machine learning model data

Aquarium, a startup from two former Cruise employees, wants to help companies refine their machine learning model data more easily and move the models into production faster. Today the company announced a $ 2.6 million seed led by Sequoia with participation from Y Combinator and a bunch of angel investors, including Cruise co-founders Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan.

When the two co-founders, CEO Peter Gao and head of engineering Quinn Johnson, were at Cruise they learned that finding areas of weakness in the model data was often the problem that prevented it from getting into production. Aquarium aims to solve this issue.

“Aquarium is a machine learning data management system that helps people improve model performance by improving the data that it’s trained on, which is usually the most important part of making the model work in production,” Gao told me.

He says that they are seeing a lot of different models being built across a variety of industries, but teams are getting stuck because iterating on the data set and continually finding relevant data is a hard problem to solve. That’s why Aquarium’s founders decided to focus on this.

“It turns out that most of the improvement to your model, and most of the work that it takes to get it into production is about deciding, ‘Here’s what I need to go and collect next. Here’s what I need to go label. Here’s what I need to go and retrain my model on and analyze it for errors and repeat that iteration cycle,” Gao explained.

The idea is to get a model into production that outperforms humans. One customer, Sterblue, offers a good example. They provide drone inspection services for wind turbines. Their customers used to send out humans to inspect the turbines for damage, but with a set of drone data, they were able to train a machine learning model to find issues. Using Aquarium, they refined their model and improved accuracy by 13%, while cutting the cost of human reviews in half, Gao said.

The 7 person Aquarium startup team.

The Aquarium team. Image: Aquarium

Aquarium currently has seven employees, including the founders, of which three are women. Gao says that they are being diverse by design. He understands the issues of bias inherent in machine learning model creation, and creating a diverse team for this kind of tooling is one way to help mitigate that bias.

The company launched last February and spent part of the year participating in the Y Combinator Summer 2020 cohort. They worked on refining the product throughout 2020, and recently opened it up from beta to generally available.

Startups – TechCrunch

Selecting a Side Hustle Based on the Right Business Model for You

When it comes to choosing the right side hustle, is it possible to pick a gig based off the business model you wish to explore? Absolutely.

A business model is the method in which a business plans to make money. And in order to define your business model, you need to pay attention to the following four factors:

  • Differentiation and pricing. How will your business differentiate from competing companies? Consider your products, services, pricing and how you’ll create an exceptional customer experience.
  • Marketing and sales. Keeping customers interested in your products and services means creating a marketing and advertising strategy that keeps your business top of mind. This includes creating a company website, establishing social media accounts and relying on word-of-mouth marketing, among other initiatives.
  • Production and delivery methods. If your business sells physical products, you’ll need to figure out how these products will be produced and delivered to customers.
  • Customer experience and satisfaction. Over time, your business will continue to differentiate itself by the way it meets customer expectations. What do you think customers expect from your business? How will you meet their needs and pain points? And how will you continue to keep meeting the needs of customers as your relationship together evolves and grows stronger?

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Now that you understand the factors that define business models, let’s take a look at various side hustles you can start based on different business models:

Subscription services

The subscription business model is quite popular as it stems across a wide variety of industries. Streaming services like Netflix are considered to be under the subscription services business model. This is also true of personalized beauty and apparel companies, like Birchbox and Stitch Fix. A subscription business model makes

money off of consumers who pay a flat monthly fee to subscribe to the company. In return, they receive access to its offerings.

What kinds of side hustles are best suited for a subscription business model?

These may include offerings where you can guarantee recurring revenue from consumers. Let’s say you launch a startup that sells customized care packages. Subscribers would sign up through your subscription and receive a different care package each month.

A subscription business model gives subscribers the chance to pay for premium offerings, as well. Through premium payments, subscribers pay a little more each month but get the chance to customize their subscription. This helps create and nurture long-term customer advocates for the business.



Marketplace

A marketplace business model is fairly easy to sum up. Sellers join marketplace communities to sell items, which they may already own or are creating, to interested buyers. These sellers may also connect with other sellers on the platform.

Which side hustles are ideal for marketplace business models? It all depends on the type of hustle. Some individuals may be eager to sell gently worn items they no longer have a use for, like clothing and accessories. They may join a marketplace like Poshmark or eBay where they can connect with buyers seeking these items for less. Other individuals may be budding entrepreneurs with products they are selling, like handmade jewelry. They may start an account with an e-commerce platform like Shopify or Etsy. This gives entrepreneurs a specific space to build their side hustle and start generating sales through an online storefront.


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Freemium

What does freemium mean? This is a business model in which businesses give away something to the consumer at no cost. However, this is not the same as a free trial. In a freemium model, only basic features may be accessed through the platform. If a user wishes to access more features, he or she can subscribe through a subscription services business model to more advanced features within a freemium model.

Certain types of software platforms often do well in a freemium setting. This includes social media scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and e-newsletter generators like Mailchimp.

Apps are another side hustle that does well with a freemium model. Consider dating apps or gaming apps, which often give users the chance to unlock more profiles and features if they pay a small monthly subscription fee. If you have a particularly unique idea for a software or app that lends itself to a freemium business model, you can offer basic features for free and allow users to buy into more features over time through the platform.

Key takeaways

When it comes to starting a side hustle, it’s smart to not only consider the gig itself, but the business model, too. You want to make sure you’re selecting a side hustle that matches your personality and your overall goals.

The post Selecting a Side Hustle Based on the Right Business Model for You appeared first on StartupNation.

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3D model provider CGTrader raises $9.5M Series B led by Evli Growth Partners

3D model provider CGTrader has raised $ 9.5 million in a Series B funding led by Finnish VC fund Evli Growth Partners, alongside previous investors Karma Ventures and LVV Group. Ex-Rovio CEO Mikael Hed also invested and joins as board chairman. We first covered the Vilnius-based company when it raised €200,000 from Practica Capital.

Founded in 2011 by 3D designer Marius Kalytis (now COO), CGTrader has become a significant 3D content provider — it even claims to be the world’s largest. In its marketplace are 1.1 million 3D models and 3.5 million 3D designers, which service 370,000 businesses including Nike, Microsoft, Made.com, Crate & Barrel and Staples.

Unlike photos, 3D models can also be used to create both static images as well as AR experiences, so that users can see how a product might fit in their home. The company is also looking to invest in automating 3D modeling, QA, and asset management processes with AI.

Dalia Lasaite, CEO and co-founder of CGTrader said in a statement: “3D models are not only widely used in professional 3D industries, but have become a more convenient and cost-effective way of generating amazing product visuals for e-commerce as well. With our ARsenal enterprise platform, it is up to ten times cheaper to produce photorealistic 3D visuals that are indistinguishable from photographs.”

CGTrader now plans to consolidate its position and further develop its platform.

The company competes with TurboSquid (which was recently acquired for $ 75 million by Shutterstock) and Threekit.

Startups – TechCrunch

[OurCrowd in The Times of ISrael] OurCrowd startup survey shows hybrid office/remote work model set to continue

Even as coronavirus vaccinations are being rolled out, only 14.3% of OurCrowd’s portfolio companies see employees working solely in the workplace by July 1.

Read more here.

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