From Business Models to "Betterness" Models

Mark Nelson has got me hooked on this dude, Umair Haque, at Harvard Business Review From Business Models to “Betterness” Models

Here, Haque tirades at Ikea’s biz model (I can relate) noting it as “Buck-passing, cost-hiding, customer-squeezing.” Which are all what business models are built to do. But, “giving people worse furniture, service, and distribution…cheaper? There’s no economic there there.” Well said.

His Net-Takeaway (and Proposition):
“Business,” as we traditionally think of it, is a concept built for the industrial era. In the 21st century, business is a rusting, creaking, relic that’s past its sell-by date. It is ethically, intellectually, socially — and economically — bankrupt.

The business of business — enriching tuned-out shareholders, empowering suspiciously similar old dudes, overproducing more toxic junk, exploiting nature, robbing the future, leveraging it all to the hilt, and then asking for bailouts — well, more and more, all that’s the last thing that people, communities, and society want, need, and support.

Because business is bankrupt, tomorrow’s revolutionaries are intentionally going out of business — and going into betterness instead.

A great business model is a necessary — but not a sufficient — condition for competitive success in the 21st century. Betterness models are where the future of advantage begins.

Do you have what it takes? What’s your betterness model?

*Now, one could apply his Ikea service experience to Ad Agency Models…do clients view ad agencies like Ikea? All flashy design, lazy delivery, while leaving the hardwork to the client to assemble for themselves? Is there room for a Betterness Model?

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