What are some inspiring and successful business models of startups?


There are numerous inspiring business models that startups have pioneered over the years and it would probably be a very large list. I’d keep it small by looking for the more recent-ish business model innovations:

Zenefits: Zenefits created one of the awesome-est HR product that is a pleasure to use and they made it FREE. They gave away the full SaaS HR product free to small businesses in the US – and used it to acquire 1000s of customers in a very short period of time. They then introduced a full suite of benefits – health insurance, dental coverage etc. and made it dramatically easy for small businesses to provide benefits to their employees. When small businesses used Zenefits to provide benefits, Zenefits made money on every insurance, every dental coverage and more.

WordPress: WordPress become the most used CMS in the world by giving away its software and beating MovableType. Once it achieved scale, it monetized with premium add-ons and most importantly its hosted version WordPress.com: Create a free website or blog which hosts some of the largest sites in the world.

PayPal: PayPal was one of the early truly viral product that had virality built into its core experience. Everytime someone used PayPal, someone else got to know about it. Brilliant to its core.

Uber: Uber is, ofcourse, always a great example of a company that looked at a very broken physical world problem and created the perfect digital solution that delivered value, brought efficiency and scaled the experience for drivers, passengers and Uber itself. They were smart not to go horizontal into other areas though – as none of the other areas had problems so deep and solutions so impactful.

Credit: Vaibhav Domkundwar

Leave an answer