While teams are great — they allow you to draw from lots of different experiences — there are also difficulties in managing a team. It is increasingly common for founders to start along — the Solo Entrepreneur, or ‘Solopreneur’ for short. This article explores the benefits of going it alone.

Recognizing that size does not equal success

When you start reading stories of successful entrepreneurs it is easy to think that success means being big — Tesla, Apple, Google — the billion dollar firms that exemplify many entrepreneurs desires.

While some founders will have the desire for these mega-successes, this does not capture the dreams of many…


Subscriptions are an increasingly common business model, used by firms to generate recurring revenues while allowing access to the product or service without a high upfront cost for customers. Increasingly software, music, and other forms of entertainment are sold via monthly payments allowing continued to access the service. This article explores some of the tradeoffs associated with the approach.

The advantages of subscription services: For companies and customers

Low initial outlay — encourages adoption that otherwise couldn’t be afforded

One of the most attractive parts of a subscription service from the perspective of the customer is the ability to gain access to the product or service without a high upfront expenditure. Historically, Adobe used to sell access to its suite…


It is easy to think that apps and games are the only examples of the freemium business model. While apps are perhaps the most common application of combining a free and premium tier, other businesses use the approach. As illustrated below, the model tends to work well when marginal costs of serving customers are low, there are advantages to serving a large customer base (even if many are not paying), and some customers are likely to upgrade because of their experiences with the free offering.

Apps, online services, and other software

The most common example of the freemium business model is apps. A high percentage of…


The razor blade business model relies on selling an initial product at a relatively low price (the razor) — potentially below cost — followed by consumables, where the firm makes the majority of its profit.

Examples of the Razor-Razorblade business model

Razor-Razorblade

The most famous example of this approach — where it gets its name — is companies like Gillett selling the razor for a relatively modest price, while substantially higher margins on the consumable blades. The attempt is to get customers locked into the company’s offerings, as once this initial product is purchased, consumers are likely to continue to purchase the consumables.

Electric toothbrushes, and printer/ink cartridges

Electric toothbrushes and printers…


It’s no secret: A lot of small businesses fail. In fact, most small businesses fail. This article explores some of the key reasons why startups fail, with tips to help you avoid some common pitfalls in your own business.

Pitfall 1: Lack of market demand

A key reason why startups can fail is that the market for a company’s products fails to materialize. It is easy as a passionate founder to assume that if you have a specific need that there’ll be lots of other people in the world, that also have that need. While it is important to be passionate about the opportunity that you…


Passive income sounds a fantastic idea: receiving a continual source of money for no direct effort. While it is often not quite as simple as that — and typically requires a lot of upfront effort, there is something attractive to creating a consistent source of income that you can rely upon either as a primary or supplemental source of income. This article explores the concept and whether it makes sense for you.

What is passive income?

Passive income it is income that you receive without direct effort. One example is interest from money in your bank account, or dividends that you receive from stock…


One source of market opportunities is to consider the trends of lead user: users at the cutting edge of technology developments. Such users, who may be some of the first to identify problems with their market, but also come up with innovative solutions, often well in advance of them being available. This article explores the opportunities — but also dangers — associated with using lead users as a source of business ideas.

The role of lead users in technology development and business opportunities

Identifying problems

Speaking with the technical leaders in your field can be an important approach for identifying new product opportunities. Relying on their experiences in the area can useful in…


The elevator pitch — a description of the essence of your business’s strategy that you are able to share within about 60 seconds, or the time to go up an elevator — is critical for startups to develop. This article explains the benefits of having an elevator pitch strategy, beyond securing financing.

Imagine that you have just run into the perfect investor for your business, in an elevator. They are trapped — and you have the time it takes to go from the ground floor to floor 60 to convince them to invest in your firm. …

Startup Sloth

Helping startups, small businesses, and freelancers develop a strategy, write a business plan and successfully compete.

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