With Great Technology Comes Great Business Models

OpenAI GPT-2 text generator (Talk to Transformer) wrote my business plan

The entire startup space has become spoiled in the last couple of decades via new business models that can be tweaked for a variety of purposes. How many companies have raised money on the pitch of “Airbnb for this” or “Uber for that”? Too many to count.

But no team has ever become a dynasty on the coattails of another team’s ingenuity. They may win a few games and maybe even a championship. However, the dynasties are reserved for the ones who create (not copy) the new prototype.

Below are a few business models that haven’t seen their dynasty moment yet. Some are entirely new and can only exist in this unique technological moment. Others have been around the block but just haven’t been paired with the right industry.

The Next Agency Model

Kyra TV is a talent agency meets production studio meets advertising house for Generation Z. They’re vertically owning the entire process of 21st Century TV.

Our mindset is to find and develop upcoming talent and turn them into global superstars and brands in their own right. For monetization, we leverage their audience power to create great relationships with advertisers, brands and e-commerce businesses within these entities.

Devran Karaca, Kyra TV co-founder

Kyra’s two shows PAQ and NAYVA each have four fashion “presenters” that star in the shows. The quad-combos are greater than the sum of its parts. Each influencer is a battle-tested, social-vetted talent. However, when you bring them together it builds into something that can’t be done on their own.

Would any one of them be able to gain 66 million YouTube views and 775k subscribers in two years? Possibly. But would they also have been able to lock down partnerships with Unilever, Google, Puma, Adidas, Bumble, and 50 other major brands? Definitely not.

Kyra’s approach to publishing is interesting and clearly effective – considering their 2019 revenue is on track to surpass $10 million (largely from brand deals). And it’s really an agency model that can exist only today with social influence. Before it was too risky to take this big of a bet pairing talent ownership with content production.

Still, their approach reminds me a lot of how the Creative Artists Agency became a global powerhouse. Kyra is packaging talent very similarly except taking a more active role in building, producing, partnering, and distributing the package.

Kyra’s talent is exclusive (unlike CAA). And Kyra also owns the creative byproduct. CAA may have packaged Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, and Barry Levinson to make Rain Main – collecting a profit on all of them. But they didn’t own the movie, as Kyra does.

Venture Growth Model

Venture teams will always advise, but usually from a generalist’s position. They aren’t always specialists in the areas they advise. Putting specialist boots on the ground makes such a difference – especially when founding teams are already stretched thin. For example, the value of “gifting” a high-performance salesperson to a startup pays off incredibly.

That’s why the Venture Collective model popularized by Loeb Enterprises is so useful. Their new approach to launching startups pairs capital with the support of experts across a wide range of disciplines. They are a venture capital and company-building lab.

We combine ideation, entrepreneuring, executional know-how, management, talent and, of course, capital. I should say “our capital,” nobody else’s. I have been told that we may have just invented something brand new. It’s a venture collective.

Michael Loeb

The similar thread here is that Loeb Enterprises is putting a lot of emphasis on the talent (like Kyra). They know the challenge of finding great human capital.

We are not incubation. We are curation.

Michael Loeb

They are packaging teams with ideas.

For a venture team with a lot of wins under their belt, this model is spectacular. Michael Loeb and Rich Vogel, the founders, both have billion-dollar backgrounds. And I presume their networks of professionals are impeccable.

Impact Models

Back when I was running my ad agency, I was always actively looking for alternative models that uplifted my community while uplifting myself. It can be very challenging. But it’s always rewarding. That’s why I admire companies and organizations that find a way to operate sustainably while simultaneously maximizing the impact in the community they serve. These are a few of the best impact models.

Give-Half Profit/Revenue:

A model in which a company in the service or product-oriented business space donates 50% of their profits or revenues on a yearly, quarterly, or more frequent basis. Latitude and Bridgeway Capital Management are two notable examples.

Impact Investing:

Investments made into companies, organizations, and individuals with the intention of creating both a financial and social/environmental impact. Impact Investing typically focuses on emerging markets. Girls Helping Girls, New Incentives (Svetha Janumpalli), and Imprint Capital are a few notable impact investors.

Give Half Services:

A model that allows service providers to increase company bandwidth while simultaneously lowering overall company overhead in order to allocate time and resources toward a 50% pro-bono commitment. This was the model I opted for back in my agency’s days. Companies that give half their services include verynice, No Typical Moments, and Impact Rising.

Pro-Bono Marathons:

A model in which service-providers undertake a pro-bono project in one intensive session that typically lasts for 24 hours and leverages all human resources for that day to maximize impact. They are also known as “done in a day.” These companies are active in Pro-Bono Marathons AIGA Design For Good, Global Service Jam, CreateAthon, and ProduceAthon.