Breaking the RulesBy Diana Mirakaj Print
Creating and implementing a business model successfully is hard work.
Breaking the Rules
Parker and Stone know a lot about this problem, since they have broken the conventional rules about animation production to create South Park. While popular animated series such as The Simpsons and Family Guy take months to produce a single show, each episode of South Park is written and produced in one week. More amazing, Parker and Stone—who remain the creative geniuses behind the show—often don’t start conceptualizing the content for the next show until after the last installment airs.
That kind of a schedule for a labor-intensive product such as animation can be stressful, but it matches their business model: Make the product as fresh and relevant as possible. Authenticity trumps all else in this model. And it works. South Park is not only a huge moneymaker; it’s also a critically acclaimed production.
Just as the underpants gnomes revel in their vacant business model, entrepreneurs and corporate executives alike love to indulge in the enjoyable distraction known as explaining their business model. It was the diversion of the dot-com era and fodder for endless venture capitalist pitches in boardrooms across the country in the late 1990s.
Everyone was drawing models on napkins, but no one was executing. Everything looked pretty, but nothing was practical. It may be considered the fun part of business, but, in reality, it’s the most serious of all the matters before anyone embarking on launching a company of any kind.
Creating and implementing a business model successfully is real work. Playtime is over.
In essence, the technology-driven transformation of today’s business environment puts a premium on the model we adopt. Not only are entirely new business models possible, they are necessary for survival. And they must be designed so that they can morph into something new on the fly when the environment changes.
The magic of South Park is that Parker and Stone can create shows as events happen, while animation rivals must trail popular culture. The magic of companies such as Google and Apple is that their business models are flexible and adaptable enough to change with evolving economic conditions.
That level of adaptability is provided in strategic enterprise architecture (SEA), which includes the management capabilities necessary to design an enterprise from business, process, application, data and infrastructure perspectives. It consists of the business architecture (business strategies, operating models and processes) and technology architecture (applications, data and infrastructure) scenarios.
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