Akimbo: A Podcast from Seth Godin | The Invisible Hand of Business Models

Check out the Akimbo Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Your past doesn’t define you–What happened in your past did happen, but you don’t have to lead with it
    • Instead, start your narrative with positive attributes about yourself or by sharing things you’ve accomplished in life
  • Every institution has a business model, even non-profits : To find out what it is, follow the money
  • To better understand a company, look at the business model and the system behind it:
    • In a fast-food restaurant, the system behind the business model is a game of volume: People place their own orders, pick up their food, and leave quickly
    • In a high-end restaurant, the system is low volume but high margins: People stay at the establishment for a while and want an enjoyable dining experience
    • In a ghost-restaurant, the system has no storefront, just delivery: The restaurant saves a ton of overhead by not having a storefront and customers love it because they get food delivered to them 
  • In social media companies, users often aren’t the customer, they’re the product: Companies such as Facebook and Twitter sell your personal information to advertisers

Intro

Change Your Internal Negative Story

  • Your past doesn’t define you–The things that happened in your past did happen, but you don’t have to lead with them
    • Don’t spend time reminding yourself of what you aren’t good at because it will only reinforce the story you tell yourself
      • Instead, start your narrative with positive attributes about yourself or by sharing things you’ve accomplished in life
  • Start the creative project (blog, podcast) you’ve been wanting to do, but do it under an anonymous name 
    • Don’t read the reviews 
      • If you do this, you can begin your story by saying, I’m a writer, podcaster, blogger, and so on
        • Perhaps, one day in the future you’ll make your project non-anonymous or someone might pay you to create something
          • “The best way to tell our story is to live a new story” – Seth Godin

Business Models Are Changing

  • Every institution has a business model, even non-profits: To find out what it is, just follow the money
  • The original business models were super simple:
    • Make something and sell it
    • Buy something and sell it
    • Trade something for another thing
  • Business models are getting more complicated
    • Big chain stores like Home Depot offer more products at a cheaper price than mom-and-pop shops, but they sacrifice customer service
      • Chain stores are controlled by their headquarters and often can’t make or aren’t incentivized to make decisions independently
  • The internet revolutionized business models, companies such as Uber and Lyft wouldn’t exist without it
  • Trader Joe’s has a unique business model in that most of their products are from their own brand
  • You can’t just look at the business model, also look at the system behind it:
    • In a fast-food restaurant, the system behind the business model is a game of volume: People place their own orders, pick up their food, and leave quickly
    • In a high-end restaurant, the system is low volume but high margins: People stay at the establishment for a while and want an enjoyable dining experience
    • In a ghost-restaurant, the system is no storefront just delivery: The restaurant saves a ton of overhead by not having a storefront and customers love it because they get food delivered to them 
  • In software, there are two main business models: open-source and closed-source software
  • In social media companies, users often aren’t the customer, they’re the product: Companies such as Facebook and Twitter sell your personal information to advertisers


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