What is the ultimate business model? I’m going to answer this question while not including obvious things such as rock star, famous author, famous artist, etc. In my opinion falling into one of these categories is ideal, but those are the exception, not the rule.
The ultimate business model is being a middleman. A middleman’s job consists entirely of connecting people who have (products, information, services) with others who need said (products, information, services).
You can immediately see this requires little work or overhead. But wait, it gets better.
Being a middleman, if done right, can become a self-reinforcing loop that gets better and improves over time.
Ever see the TV show “Blacklist”? Raymond Reddington (protagonist) is something akin to a middleman who connects criminals specializing in certain areas with other criminals, businesses, and governments requiring said services. At this point in Raymond Reddington’s life, he has developed a vast network of contacts spanning the globe and refined his expertise in virtually all areas of criminality. Essentially, he became a household name, someone that people and governments would call on to do a job due to his reputation and vast knowledge and experience.
The self-reinforcing loop works like this – the longer you are a middleman, the more knowledge you gain and the more contacts you make, which serve to further solidify your status as someone in the know and a go-to person to make deals. This further compounds itself over time so that at a certain point (tipping point) the middleman’s phone rings off the hook daily with people wanting to make deals, meet other people, talk about business ideas, etc. Thus, being a middleman comes with a lot of perks along the knowledge and information route.
You connect people and charge a fee, then rinse and repeat.
There are some popular examples of powerful companies using this exact framework – (1) Uber, and (2) Air BNB, and (3) a host of food delivery and delivery companies. Uber connects people who need a ride, with drivers willing to drive them. Air BNB connects people who need a place to stay with people who have a room or house to let. The same analysis goes for food delivery.
Thus, you can see this framework can be molded to fit an individual or a company’s needs. And finally, the important thing with this post is this – the idea and how the pieces fit together. Utilizing and thinking with the middleman framework in mind, you will be more likely to spot opportunities when they come or even derive some type of disruptive business practice based on it.
One interesting area this framework could be used is drone inspection services. You’d serve as a middleman connecting (1) companies who need drone inspections/pilots, with (2) drone pilots, while charging a fee.
Let me be clear and tell you something you haven’t read about (yet) – traditional drone companies are pivoting away from making drones and into drone technology such as 3D mapping services. They’ve found that they can’t compete with DJI and as such there is a mad rush going on in the drone technology sector right now. Take 3DR for example, they just recently pivoted to drone tech just a few weeks ago.
I’m telling you this so that if you have the knowledge, know-how, hustle and grind spirit, you can take a shot at making some big money by creating a B2B, middleman type drone services company.
As always, I’ll leave further extrapolations to yourselves.