Tag: Jim Barksdale

There are only two ways to make money in business: One is to bundle; the other is unbundle.

This bit of wisdom is apparently frequently quoted by digital entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, who attributes it to Jim Barksdale, his former colleague at Netscape. The two of them discussed the bundling/unbundling dichotomy earlier this year in a  Harvard Business Review article.

Their point is that it’s a two-way street. You can challenge a legacy company that has bundled a lot of products and services by unbundling them. But then someone else comes along and re-bundles things in new ways, and makes money with that. For example, Apple unbundled the music business by selling individual songs through iTunes, but then Pandora came along and re-bundled the songs into a personalized music stream.