When One Business Model Isn’t Enough

by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Jorge Tarziján

TRYING TO OPERATE MORE THAN one business model at a time is devilishly difficult—and frequently cited as a leading cause of strategic failure. Yet situations abound where a company may wish or need to address several customer segments, using a particular business model for each one. To crowd out competitors or forestall potential disruptors in its current markets, to expand into new markets, to make more efficient use of fixed assets and other resources, or to develop new income streams may all ideally require distinct business models that operate in tandem.

IBM and Compaq, for instance, supplemented their reseller distribution model with a direct-sell model ...

Get HBR's 10 Must Reads on Business Model Innovation (with featured article "Reinventing Your Business Model" by Mark W. Johnson, Clayton M. Christensen, and Henning Kagermann) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.