THIS IS HISTORY! Check for news.

Seedea, scalable creativity

Xye, consultancy for serious creators




back to the article index Page feed

The business model of X

This article study in an (not so) humorous way the internal mechanisms of key institutions.

Starting hypothesis

An institution even if not declared "for profit" can studied with a pseudo business model despite the fact that it didn't build one explicitly.

This unified analysis framework is supposed to permit to find interesting patterns despite the supposed differences of nature of those institutions.


This framework intend to help realize that institutions behave like financial institution while promoting the opposite.

This article does not endorse a monetary vision of society but try to show another perspective to analyze social structures.

If institutions leaders manage their institutions like financial institutions, using a similar framework despite rejecting it morally, might be the best solution.


Institutions are just a group of individual with a common goal. They are considered key in the sense that they are central in social networks.

Key institutions are part of an economical system larger than themselves. They consequently follow it's intrinsic rules and have to provide a service or a product for a price. What they do and which strategy they use is their business model.

Business model of those institutions have very likely evolved over time. One must thus be careful when looking at what they were doing centuries ago can be as it could induce a bias.

By understanding the strategy of other player helps you to play better and those are major players. Ignoring, or worse believing what they say is their strategy, is a very risky bet.

The business model of States

Military-industrial complex and the "growing insecurity" propaganda (nothing new, Goebbels and many before him)

The business model of Schools

top US school were funded but also post-napoleonian elitist schools (nothing new, top education kept for leaders since the maya and before)

The business model of Churches

no one wants to be alone, excluded or marginated (gregarious instincts)

The business model of Media

everybody needs information and stay up to date to current events and the upcoming trends.

Media actually sell "available brain time" (cf Patrick Le Lay quote in "Les dirigeants face au changement") and in order to do so produce an information flow based on a continuous succession of events (cf Francois Brune in "Le Bonheur Conforme") without any care about the importance of it beside how many attention it can gather.

Media are most of the time Two-sided market, it is thus crucial to understand what the product really is.

The business model of Y

Institutions Ys to study :

Common pattern

All those institutions use those mechanism but with different "data" and to different degrees. They consequently all have competitive advantage thus specific markets (some may actually overlap others and create specific quasi-symbiotic relations).

Network externalities

The adhesion of each members empower the institution.


Shared set of values and maintenance of the established statu-quo generally justified by tradition.

Rejection of alternatives

A member can not be part of multiple institutions or is "suggested" to focus his efforts on only one.

Voluntary Servitude

Consented obedience to the system of laws (or shared set of values) formalized by rules, explicit or implicit and enforced by peer pressure.


changed over time and that institutions evolved if the needed they covered were filled before.




Connects pretty well with my previous study on institutional biases. Here we studies what drives those institutions and trying to answer the previous question that ended this presentation to "understand the motivations behind each proxy [institution]".


Ideas to integrate

To explore

Page last modified on July 07, 2009, at 09:22 AM