Derek Sivers, serial entrepreneur and founder of CD Baby, shared some advice last week on his business model:
I feel like I know almost nothing about business, because the only business I’ve ever done is the co-op / sharing model.
It goes like this:
1. You already have something that people want.
It might be something you own, something you’ve learned how to do, or access to valuable resources, space, or people.
2. Find a way to share it with everyone who needs it.
Share because it’s what you do for friends, because it’s the right thing to do, because it makes the world a better place, and because it’ll make you deeply happy.
Share as your contribution in return for all the things and ideas that people have shared with you.
(If you’re having a bad day, or someone has recently wronged you, you may not feel the world has shared much with you, but here’s a reminder.)
3. If it takes some effort for you to share it, you can charge a little something for your effort, to ensure that this giving can continue.
Many people I know are thinking about starting businesses of their own. It's the next iteration for their careers. A good place to start is figuring out what you have that other people want, sharing it the way you would with friends, and charging a little something for your effort.
Clearly it can get more complex later, but as a simple model for starting up, why not start with what you have to share?