Sooner or later, startups in our ecosystem will reach a reflection point, where they’ll need to re-invent themselves and pivot in a new direction. Its incredibly difficult for any startup to create the perfect business model right out of the gate. Self examination of the business model is must for all, whether its every six months or twelve months. Although our industry has some of the smartest technical folks on the planet, sometimes technical superiority doesn’t translate into successful business model know-how.
Many CDNs and non-CDN startups in our industry have changed over time, and in some cases, it took too long. Yottaa, Limelight, EdgeCast and many others have changed for the better, and adapted to the changing market conditions. Sometimes, one single product or service will force the change across the industry, like the iPhone and DDoS attacks. Other times, it might be a broader and long term trend like IoT and Virtual Reality.
As we study current and emerging business models, the best place to start is with Akamai. Akamai does many different things, and each of these things can be a self sustaining business. Therefore, lets break Akamai into respective niches, and that will be a good starting point for business model self evaluation. The takeaway – a startup can focus on one area for a period of time, and then add another area in due time, if the goal is to expand the addressable market.
CDN Market Segmentation