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Why TopCoder's Business Model is so successful?

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TopCoder’s Company Overview


TopCoder, Inc., a crowdsourcing marketplace that connects businesses with designers, developers, data scientists, and algorithmists. It offers services in the areas of mobile and Web applications development; and algorithm and analytics products.

http://www.topcoder.com/

Country: Indiana

Foundations date: 2001

Type: Private

Sector: Consumer Services

Categories: Freelance


TopCoder’s Customer Needs


Social impact:

Life changing: self-actualization, affiliation/belonging

Emotional: rewards me, badge value, attractiveness, provides access

Functional: saves time, simplifies, makes money, reduces risk, organizes, integrates, connects, reduces effort, avoids hassles, reduces cost, quality, variety


TopCoder’s Related Competitors



TopCoder’s Business Operations


Brokerage:

A brokerage firm's primary responsibility is to serve as a middleman, connecting buyers and sellers to complete transactions. Accordingly, brokerage firms are compensated through commission once a transaction is completed. For example, when a stock trade order is executed, a transaction fee is paid by an investor to repay the brokerage firm for its efforts in completing the transaction.

Blue ocean strategy:

The blue ocean approach is predicated on the premise that market limits and industry structure are not predetermined and may be reconfigured via the actions and attitudes of industry participants. This is referred to as the reconstructionist perspective by the writers. Assuming that structure and market boundaries exist solely in managers' thoughts, practitioners who subscribe to this perspective avoid being constrained by actual market structures. To them, more demand exists, primarily untapped. The core of the issue is determining how to produce it.

Collaborative production:

Producing goods in collaboration with customers based on their input, comments, naming, and price. It represents a new form of the socioeconomic output in which enormous individuals collaborate (usually over the internet). In general, initiatives based on the commons have less rigid hierarchical structures than those found on more conventional commercial models. However, sometimes not always?commons-based enterprises are structured so that contributors are not compensated financially.

Aikido:

The aikido business model is often characterized as using a competitor's strength to get an edge over them. This is accomplished through finding weaknesses in a competitor's strategic position. In addition, it adds to marketing sustainability by exposing rivals' flaws, finding internal and external areas for development, and attracting consumers via specific product offers that deviate from the norm.

Crowdsourcing:

Crowdsourcing is a kind of sourcing in which people or organizations solicit donations from Internet users to acquire required services or ideas. Crowdsourcing differs from outsourcing because work may originate from an undefined public (rather than being commissioned from a particular, identified organization). In addition, those crowdsourcing procedures are a combination of bottom-up and top-down. The benefits of crowdsourcing may include reduced prices, increased speed, better quality, increased flexibility, scalability, and variety. An anonymous crowd adopts a solution to a task or issue, usually through the internet. Contributors are compensated or have the opportunity to win a prize if their answer is selected for manufacturing or sale. Customer engagement and inclusion may help build a good rapport with them, resulting in increased sales and income.

Community-funded:

The critical resource in this business strategy is a community's intellect. Three distinct consumer groups comprise this multifaceted business model: believers, suppliers, and purchasers. First, believers join the online community platform and contribute to the production of goods by vendors. Second, buyers purchase these goods, which may be visual, aural, or literary in nature. Finally, believers may be purchasers or providers, and vice versa.

Corporate innovation:

Innovation is the outcome of collaborative creativity in turning an idea into a feasible concept, accompanied by a collaborative effort to bring that concept to life as a product, service, or process improvement. The digital era has created an environment conducive to business model innovation since technology has transformed how businesses operate and provide services to consumers.

Codifying a distinctive service capability:

Since their inception, information technology systems have aided in automating corporate operations, increasing productivity, and maximizing efficiency. Now, businesses can take their perfected processes, standardize them, and sell them to other parties. In today's corporate environment, innovation is critical for survival.

On-demand economy:

The on-demand economy is described as economic activity generated by digital marketplaces that meet customer demand for products and services via quick access and accessible supply. The supply chain is managed via a highly efficient, intuitive digital mesh built on top of current infrastructure networks. The on-demand economy is transforming commercial behavior in cities worldwide. The number of businesses, the categories covered, and the industry's growth rate are all increasing. Businesses in this new economy are the culmination of years of technological progress and customer behavior change.

Ecosystem:

A business ecosystem is a collection of related entities ? suppliers, distributors, customers, rivals, and government agencies ? collaborating and providing a particular product or service. The concept is that each entity in the ecosystem influences and is impacted by the others, resulting in an ever-changing connection. Therefore, each entity must be adaptive and flexible to live, much like a biological ecosystem. These connections are often backed by a shared technical platform and are based on the flow of information, resources, and artifacts in the software ecosystem.

Revenue sharing:

Revenue sharing occurs in various forms, but each iteration includes the sharing of operational gains or losses amongst connected financial players. Occasionally, revenue sharing is utilized as an incentive program ? for example, a small company owner may pay partners or colleagues a percentage-based commission for recommending new clients. Occasionally, revenue sharing is utilized to share the earnings generated by a corporate partnership.

Open-source bounty:

Users of a specific software product may band together to fund the development of a requested feature or capability via an open-source bounty. Offering bounties as a source of financing has been around for some time. For example, Bountysource has been an online site providing this kind of financing for open-source software since 2003. Another source of bounties is businesses or foundations that establish bounties for incorporated features or bug fixes in open-source software that is useful to them. For example, Mozilla has been compensating and supporting freelance open-source engineers to track down and patch security bugs since 2004.

Pay what you want:

Pay what you want is a pricing approach in which purchasers determine the value of a service or a product. Allowing customers to pay whatever they want may benefit certain circumstances since it removes a slew of drawbacks associated with traditional pricing. For example, permission to pay whatever they want attracts buyers for a variety of reasons, including eliminating the worry of whether a product is worth a fixed price and the associated danger of disappointment (buyer's remorse). For sellers, this eliminates the time-consuming and often expensive process of establishing the correct pricing (which may vary for different market segments).

Self-service:

A retail business model in which consumers self-serve the goods they want to buy. Self-service business concepts include self-service food buffets, self-service petrol stations, and self-service markets. Self-service is available through phone, online, and email to automate customer support interactions. Self-service Software and self-service applications (for example, online banking apps, shopping portals, and self-service check-in at airports) are becoming more prevalent.

Two-sided market:

Two-sided marketplaces, also called two-sided networks, are commercial platforms featuring two different user groups that mutually profit from the web. A multi-sided platform is an organization that generates value mainly via the facilitation of direct contacts between two (or more) distinct kinds of connected consumers (MSP). A two-sided market enables interactions between many interdependent consumer groups. The platform's value grows as more groups or individual members of each group use it. For example, eBay is a marketplace that links buyers and sellers. Google connects advertising and searchers. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also bidirectional, linking consumers and marketers.

Open innovation:

A business concept established by Henry Chesbrough that inspires firms to pursue out external sources of innovation in order to enhance product lines and reduce the time needed to bring the product to the market, as well as to industry or release developed in-house innovation that does not fit the customer's experience but could be used effectively elsewhere.

Technology trends:

New technologies that are now being created or produced in the next five to ten years will significantly change the economic and social landscape. These include but are not limited to information technology, wireless data transmission, human-machine connection, on-demand printing, biotechnology, and sophisticated robotics.

Disruptive trends:

A disruptive technology supplants an existing technology and fundamentally alters an industry or a game-changing innovation that establishes an altogether new industry. Disruptive innovation is defined as an invention that shows a new market and value network and ultimately disrupts an established market and value network, replacing incumbent market-leading companies, products, and alliances.

Network builders:

This pattern is used to connecting individuals. It offers essential services for free but charges for extra services. The network effect is a paradox that occurs when more people utilize a product or service, the more valuable it becomes.

Online marketplace:

An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a kind of e-commerce website in which product or service information is supplied by various third parties or, in some instances, the brand itself, while the marketplace operator handles transactions. Additionally, this pattern encompasses peer-to-peer (P2P) e-commerce between businesses or people. By and large, since marketplaces aggregate goods from a diverse range of suppliers, the variety and availability are typically greater than in vendor-specific online retail shops. Additionally, pricing might be more competitive.

Take the wheel:

Historically, the fundamental principles for generating and extracting economic value were rigorous. Businesses attempted to implement the same business concepts more effectively than their rivals. New sources of sustained competitive advantage are often only accessible via business model reinvention driven by disruptive innovation rather than incremental change or continuous improvement.

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