I recently discovered that Netflix was NOT founded because Blockbuster charged Reed Hastings with a $40 late fee for “Apollo 13”

Instead, the founders wanted to create “The Amazon of X,” and settled on DVDs…

This is not a bad thing.

The book Creators’s Code classifies the Netflix founding story as a Sunbird Approach.

Sunbirds transport solutions that work in one area and apply them to another, often with a twist.

Sunbirds take something that already exists and transport the model to create something new. they relocate and reshape existing concepts across geographies and industries, and bring old ideas up to date.

They examine how and why it worked initially, and what similarities or differences will make it work again.

Here’s a list of proven models (Amazon of X) that can be transported to other markets.

Proven models to transport:

  • Glossier of X = Content + Commerce

    • playbook

      • grow content & community around an area of life

      • sell stuff and/or services to community

    • examples

      • Goop

      • DrAxe

  • Yeti of X = Direct to Consumer Brand

    • playbook

      • upgrade stale product category

      • create a brand

    • examples

      • Warby Parker

      • Harrys

      • Away

      • Outdoor Voices

  • Houzz of X = Market Network

    • playbook

      • create a network

      • add marketplace/saas functionality

    • examples

      • Honeybook

      • AngelList

  • Salesforce of X = Saas

    • playbook

      • create software in path of revenue or mission critical workflow

      • sell, sell, sell

    • examples

      • Hubspot

      • Pardot

      • Segment

  • Netflix of X = Subscription content

    • playbook

      • create/aggregate content

      • grow subscribers

    • examples

      • Headspace

      • Peloton

      • Blinkist

  • Airbnb of X = Marketplace

    • playbook

      • aggregate suppliers

      • grow GMV

    • examples

      • Breather

      • OYO

  • CarMax of X = Reselling

    • playbook

      • buy asset at a discount

      • sell asset for a profit

    • examples

      • Opendoor

      • E-cycle

  • Red Ventures of X = Lead generation

    • playbook

      • acquire leads (with content or ads)

      • sell leads

    • examples

      • Technology Advice

      • Nerdwallet

  • Tencent of X = Shared Value Transactions

    • playbook

      • charge your very best users more to unlock more of the product

      • a small percentage of your user base will drive 1,000 times more value to the business than the average user.

      • As Bezos has said: “When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes”.

    • examples

      • QVC

      • free mobile games