Digital growth depends more on business models than technology

More than 20 companies launched in 2009, including Uber, Slack, Pinterest, and Blue Apron, all eventually achieved $1 billion-plus valuations. Given that those companies were all venture-financed and emerged from Silicon Valley, you might assume that the key ingredients that have ensured their success were cutting-edge technologies, digital platforms, and customer bases that were chiefly made up of digital natives.

You would be wrong.

Each was able to satisfy real customers who needed real jobs done — a fundamental problem in a given situation that needed a solution. In other words, they had great business models.

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