Business Models and the Renewal of Markets
Business models operate as valuation devices. They delineate projections of future value and stir the imagination of investors. It is through an examination of the performative capacities of business models that one can understand why and how considerable flows of money can be put in motion way before the existence of any proper business. This chapter aims at refining this understanding through a focus on the role of business models in the configuration of an encounter between the agents through the conjunction of which business is supposed to come into being: the investor and the entrepreneur. Through an analysis of two widely praised ‘success stories’—Genentech and Google—the chapter characterizes the singular form of valuation that springs in this encounter and captures it through the notion of capitalization devices: i.e. valuation devices that value things through the process of transforming them in objects of investment.
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