Jim Muehlhausen

Business Model Lessons from Ken Burns Prohibition

As I found myself engrossed in Ken Burns' well told Prohibition story, I noticed an underlying business model theme. Back in the 1800's beer companies effectively controlled the retail distribution of beer. The brewery business model of the time was to offer...

Is a Recession Good for Business Model Innovation?

It seems that many entrepreneurs have crawled into their caves to wait out the recession. For many of them, the battle cries have become: If in doubt, don't spend Just ride it out Change is dangerous, one small mistake might break the camel's back This…

Can the Netflix Business Model Work Long-Term?

It's looking more and more that Netflix is just the second coming of Blockbuster. Netflix's Internet video service furiously adding additional marquee titles as it braces for an even more competitive threats- this time from cable-TV provider Comcast. In an effort to offer more exclusive...

Is the Banking Business Model in for a Shift?

You may have noticed Ally Bank, Discover, Chase, and others promising a computer-free, and, in some cases, foreigner-free customer service experience. Discover card is moving customer service to Utah. Chase promises that you will get a person not a machine on the...

Wikipedia Issue Equals Trouble for the Crowdsourcing Business Model?

I was surprised to see a plea for donations from Wikipedia. The plea stated that if every user would donate only $5, Wikipedia could operate for a significant period with no additional donations needed. I was under the impression that crowd sourcing...

Sears/Kmart Battles Business Model Relevance

Earlier this year, Sears Holdings announced it will shutter three percent of its stores, or 120 stores. Sears also reported same store sales decrease of 5.2%- 4.4 percent at Kmart stores and 6 percent at Sears. According to the company: "Kmart's quarter-to-date comparable...

Groupon adds interesting twist to the business model

I received an interesting email from Groupon enticing me to join the Groupon VIP program. The program offers Groupon users the option to: Book First: Get early access to deals and first dibs on making reservations. Buy Past Deals: Get exclusive access to our Deal...

Making Innovation Part of Your Business Model

As a student of business model innovation, I recently completed Clayton Christensen's The Innovators Dilemma and The Innovators Solution. For you audio book types like me, the unabridged version is available at Audible. Simply stated, these books are reality-changing. They are written with the technology...

Business Model Lessons from Wal-Mart SKU Reductions

Last year, Wal-Mart dramatically reduced the number of products (SKUs) offered at all their stores. This SKU rationalization plan was based upon the premise that consumers wanted clean-looking stores with just the major brands. Known as brand fatigue, the logic was that...

H&R Block business model collides with the Free Bar

You have probably seen H&R Block commercials on television advertising free tax preparation. At the same time, you have probably seen TurboTax commercials advertising free live assistance with their software. There seems to be a perfect storm brewing in the world of tax preparation....

Blockbuster Misses a Golden Opportunity

This summer, Blockbuster was full of glee. Titled "Blockbuster Rescues Furious Netflix Customers," a press release in July promised to give Netflix customers an oasis after their upstart competitor blundered with its failed Qwikster service. The company launched a promotion to lure customers aware...

After Crushing the Movie Rental Business Model, Netflix Crushes Itself

Netflix saw a meteoric rise in its stock price in 2010 after successfully weathering the devastating financial crisis that stifled wages, depressed consumer demand, and threatened just about every other retailer in existence. This was largely thanks to its relentless investment in video streaming...

Bank of America Nearly Destroys Their Business Model

Bank of America may have committed the #1 business model blunder of 2011 for their $5 debit card fee. First, let's get some background. Spoiled U.S. banks have become so addicted to high-profit fees that they seem to have forgotten the customer. The average bank...

The Free Bar Isn’t Just for the Web

In the world of the web, it is widely understood that you must ethically bribe your visitors with electronic goodies in order to get and hold their interest. In the good old days of the internet, these free items may have been as...

Southwest Airlines’ Business Model Gamble

Southwest Airlines recently reported their first net loss since Q3 2009. Southwest claimed the losses were primarily due to fuel hedge issues. However, I believe there may be a larger issue at play. While most other airlines have increased net revenue by nickel and...

Scoring Apple’s Business Model Before and After Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs may have been only one man, however, his impact on Apple was both significant and profitable. We decided to evaluate Apple's business model with and without Steve Jobs. We ran Apple's business model through the Business Model Evaluator under both scenarios. ...

Apple’s Business Model: Before and After Jobs 2.0

With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, one question lingers in the minds of techies and business leaders alike: what will happen to Apple without Jobs at the helm? More specifically, what products will Apple release and how will the company's business model change...

The Biggest Business Model War Today

The most recent battle in the Smartphone War is about to be waged. The contenders? Apple and Motorola Google. The iPhone 5 versus the Droid Bionic. But instead of writing yet another iPhone vs. Droid review I thought it'd be interesting to compare business...

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