Time is curiously at the same time endless but also the scarcest resource. Getting to your successful business model cannot be done in the blink of an eye but also cannot take forever. Iterations are important but also need to be controlled by the appropriate metrics to ensure that enough time is given to find the right fit between your competences, vision and the market, but also that resources are not wasted pointlessly.

In a fresh take on innovation, Strategyzer, the inventor of the Business Model Canvas, explain the use of a new tool, the Business Model Portfolio in a post mortem application to Amazon Marketplace development.

The Business Model Portfolio of Amazon. Image credit: Strategyzer.

While Amazon is known as an innovative company, and Jeff Bezos as one who embraces failure and change, in order to arrive at Marketplace, Amazon had to be willing to constantly adjust its business model to find the right match for its strengths and its customer base.

Innovation requires experimentation and constant iteration, and often a tremendous amount of time.  If new businesses are judged quarter to quarter, some will definitely fail, and be thrown out. Patience and persistence are required in innovation.

Today, Amazon Marketplace has over 6 million sellers and in 2018 had $175BN in retail sales (68% of Amazon’s total sales 5 times that of eBay, its closest US competitor).