Pulled from “Seth’s Blog” at: Drivers

Anyone able to come up with others? I think that “subscription driven”, in some explicit or more subtle form, is a big factor in many a business.


Most successful organizations are driven by something. Figuring that out isn’t always easy, and is often misunderstood:

MARKET DRIVEN: Lots of people claim this one, but few achieve it. Creating what the market wants. I’ll put JetBlue in this category.

MARKETING DRIVEN: Much more common. This involves creating what the marketing department wants. Like American Express.

FASHION DRIVEN: This involves changing the market to have it want what you just made. Armani, certainly, but also an art dealer at Basel.

FOUNDER DRIVEN: Idiosyncratic activity, usually by the person who’s name is on the door. I’d put Virgin in this category.

SKU DRIVEN: More titles = more success, even if it’s not true. Publishers live this model.

SUBSCRIPTION DRIVEN: How do we transform a stranger into someone who uses what we do, all the time. Intuit, certainly.

PAYCHECK DRIVEN: This is what happened to Home Depot under Bob Nardelli.

TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN: When you launch products because you can, not because they’re particularly useful. HP did this for a while.

LITIGATION DRIVEN: Lawyers with an open checkbook to bill for letters sent and actions brought. The RIAA, or any of a thousand law firms representing estates by sending out reams of mail.

COMMUNITY DRIVEN: Making decisions based on what’s best for the community you serve. Room to Read makes my list.

TROLL DRIVEN: Growth by enragement. Engage others, say annoying things that aren’t true and bask in the attention. No examples will be given, which is the best way to deal with trolls.

MONOPOLY DRIVEN: Create a system and a standard and charge increasing tolls to travel on your roads. iTunes.

EGO DRIVEN: Just be sure you spell my name right.

REVIEW DRIVEN: Don’t worry about the public. Worry about people with a pen. Broadway certainly qualifies.

IDEA DRIVEN: This includes the Segway.

PHILANTHROPICALLY DRIVEN: Paul Newman is well into giving away a few hundred million dollars so far.

Hat tip: George Meyfarth, who told me about ‘marketing driven’ in 1983. Been waiting this long to figure out the rest…

[I forgot:

SALES DRIVEN: In which the salesforce runs the operation. Car dealers.

ASSEMBLY LINE DRIVEN: Keep the line moving, at all costs. Detroit, alas.]