When companies set out to innovate on business models, they need to be mindful of both delivering value to the customers as well as capture back value for themselves. It is the latter that most companies struggle to demonstrate or isn’t evident in the near term. Finding someone to pay you in return for the value you deliver (isn’t always the customer who directly receives the value) and soon enough at that; is the challenge for most innovators.
That isn’t the end of the thought though; Youtube and Whatsapp may not have had demonstrable means of capturing value back themselves but are still valuable to their acquirers – Google and Facebook. The acquirer sees potential in adding these businesses to their own portfolio and the exponential increase in value they believer are able to capture back from their own advertising business models. Left to themselves, the businesses had run their courses, the timely acquisition was the logical end to their runways. By no means a bad sunset to ride into for their founders !