The notion of business models was in a sense created by Peter Drucker (1955: 41–46) who said that companies should be able to answer four questions: ‘What is our business?’, ‘Who is the customer?’, ‘What is value to the customer?’ and ‘What will our business be?’ The concept of business models as it developed owes something to the competitive positioning approach to strategy adopted by Porter (1980), ie analysing the external environment (competitors, customers and markets) and then considering its internal implications. As Schweizer (2005: 42) pointed out, it was later influenced by the resource-based view, which suggests that the value embedded in a business model ‘increases as the bundle of resources and capabilities it comprises become more and more difficult to imitate, less transferable and more
complementary’. The term business model gained currency and to a degree lost its reputation when it was used by the dot com companies in the 1990s boom and bust era. But over the last decade it has become increasingly prominent as a means of describing a business.