About the Book

SimplySeven is a practical guide to Internet business models for business students, entrepreneurs and executives. Palgrave Macmillan publishes the book as part of the IE Business Publishing Series (ISBN-9780230308176).

The SimplySeven framework consisting of seven Internet business model building blocks was jointly developed by a successful entrepreneur, a technology consultant and a business school professor and is being used by them in their jobs every day.

The book contains original insight from leading Internet thought leaders and entrepreneurs. These include Joe Gebbia of Airbnb, Trip Adler of Scribd, Esther Dyson, Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures, Mark Gorenberg of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and Doc Searls.

Seven Business Model Building Blocks

It is a huge achievement to create a compelling web site, but it needs to make money, too. Many companies face this challenge – both established businesses as well as entrepreneurial ventures. Flagship Internet companies such as Google, eBay, Skype or Facebook took considerable time before selecting and implementing their business model.

The SimplySeven framework helps entrepreneurs and executives get started on finding the right Internet business model for their web site. It is based on the idea that there are seven business building blocks – which form the foundation of all Internet business models. Most Internet entrepreneurs and managers fail to consider all business model building blocks, despite the fact that there are only seven options.

Creating a Sustainable Internet Business

SimplySeven emphasizes systematic consideration of all seven possible Internet business building blocks and their combinations.

But this consideration does not simply stop with the launching of the business. Constant experimentation in selecting and fine-tuning one’s business model is required. All flagship companies discussed in the book have continually adapted their business model over time. Zynga, for example, is incessantly testing, analyzing and improving all aspects of its user experience in real time, including its business model.

The result of this continued tweaking is that the seven building blocks themselves, which have existed since the beginnings of web business, have evolved considerably. The book SimplySeven describes this evolution over time, and in a way, it is a history of Internet business.

Many business models today are a combination of the basic building blocks, matched to individual user preferences and needs. Amazon.com, for example, combines retail and license sales with the subscription service Amazon Prime.

One of the unique aspects of Internet business is the ability to provide many services and products for free. Businesses such as Skype or Facebook do this because they are able to generate significant value from users who do not pay for the service. To be sustainable, however, successful combinations with free are designed respectful of the contributions by the Internet community.

Practical Lessons Learned by the Smartest Entrepreneurs

Chapter by chapter, the book guides the reader through the lessons learned by the flagship pioneers of each business module: Skype for services, Blizzard Entertainment for subscriptions, Amazon.com for retail, Google for advertising, eBay for commissions and Apple for license sales. Regarding financial management, it is too early to tell which company will emerge as leader. The book does not just celebrate the successes; it also focuses on the biggest mistakes.

In addition to navigating through the seven modules, SimplySeven draws upon and explains the most influential concepts that have appeared recently about the Internet such as “Wisdom of the Crowds,” “database of intentions,” “markets are conversations,” “the Long Tail” and the “Creative Commons.”

This framework is really useful for anyone seeking to push the frontiers of management, but especially for entrepreneurs launching their own Internet start-ups or executives in all industries interested in profitable internet growth.

As a navigational guide, is useful for creative professionals, too, such as web designers or game developers, who are reinventing the way we interact with each other and with businesses through the Internet.

A final caveat from the authors: This book does not pretend to contain any magic formulas which guarantee success or instant wealth. It is a practical companion for fully understanding all available options and making the right business model choices in an increasingly integrated, social and mobile web.