South Park Business School

Salutary Lessons in Business Models from the Underpants Gnomes

As part of my day job I have to think in detail about how near term and long term business models might evolve. I'm sceptical about the degree to which being a communication provider itself can be a basis for making money in the future, and I'm not the first telco researcher to observe this.

However, BT's ideologically (and governmentally) committed to being the UK's infrastructure provider, and it is still tempting to imagine that investments of this kind will inevitably deliver dividends. Concerns that this is 'dead-end thinking' reminded me of something from South Park from a few years ago. The Underpants Gnomes have a straightforward way of teaching this lesson in broken business models which will stick in your mind...

My work these days is built on the assumption that turning things which are cheap to develop, unique, useful and fundamentally cool into money is easier than making investments in big iron.


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