Model Changes

February 11, 2013

The rise of the corporation as a business model changed America. It changed how and where work was done, and it changed our communities.

Over time, we’ve begun to take the evolution of technology that made those changes possible for granted. The rise of the automobile, the suburb (fueled by housing material innovations among other things), and the clustering of employment centers into industrial and office parks fundamentally changed the economy. Academic facilities essentially mirrored this trend, becoming large factories of education.

The automobile, the interstate and the Internet have become normal parts of society, and our lives are clustered around them. Work standards, including the hours we work and the commute patterns we follow, are aligned to allow for these norms.

In working with our clients and acting as consumers and customers ourselves, we are seeing new business models that are caused by sophisticated, low-cost technology advancements. These business model changes will eventually change our communities and the way we practice economic development. This will force important changes on the way we organize, fund and tax economic activity.

The generation entering the workforce and starting companies in 2013 has grown up in a different world – a digital world. The advantage of capitalism is that as changes occur, new opportunities are created. Creative destruction of businesses and business models regularly occurs. This rapid change can have a less desirable effect on communities that have built up around these ideas. As business models change, so do workplace standards and norms, and patterns of transportation and communication.

One example includes the rise of e-commerce, which has resulted in more companies without a storefront. This will change suburbia and it will change Main Street. As you purchase both everyday goods and large items from your smartphone, you are accelerating this change.

The Affordable Care Act will be just as disruptive in healthcare, causing new behaviors, reducing competitors and increasing collaboration, while generating new ways that healthcare is delivered and administered.

Government is typically a last-mover, but it will change within this environment as well. Competition for new industries and business models will force tax modernization. Both private companies and governments will know more than they ever have about their “customers,” causing services to be more pervasive and creating an ever-increasing need for personal and organizational security.

How will the Columbus Region meet these rapid changes in business and society? How will your organization respond? How will these changes impact the way we plan and develop our cities and towns?

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Our team is headed to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to meet with companies and location advisors.
  • The Columbus Region Economic Update for the fourth quarter of 2012 will be released this week.
  • One Columbus is working with the Brookings Institution and numerous regional partners to develop a Columbus Region Export Plan. Part of this effort will include evaluation of how to increase the sale of both goods and services in international markets, as services exporting in particular is growing at a rapid rate. For more information or to participate, contact Jung Kim at 614-225-6913 or