Paul Allen is an internet entrepreneur. And serial with it. He is the Managing Partner of a business incubator (Provo Labs) in Utah, USA with 7 fledgling start-ups under their wing. There are two interesting points in his latest blog post.
Firstly an overview of the business model that Provo Labs have evolved for their content businesses. In summary:
- Acquire huge amounts of content
- Offer free access to some important subsets
- Sell paid access to premium content
- Enable users to contribute, tag and share
- Offer online classes or courses in the vertical markets
The last one is the one that stands out from the list (although it is nice to have validation that the tried and trusted approach is valid!). Paul says that "this is the important step that has only become clear in the last two weeks....It is a good way to generate revenue by combining content and community"
That is one for us to ponder in Pure Play - we have had brief discussions on this in the past and we will revisit this again.
The other point of interest here is Paul's use of his blog post to say "But, what we don’t have yet is an e-learning platform that will work well for us. So, please, dear reader, let me know if you’ve ever taken a wonderful online class, and who you took it from"
So a very successful serial internet entprepreneur who is surrounded by blogging techies openly admits to have a gaping void in his knowledge of a strategically important area for his business.
I hope I can learn from that - there is no shame in not knowing elements of your business or in being open about that fact.