Photograph of Kay Plantes

Kay Plantes is an MIT-trained economist, business strategy consultant, columnist and author. Business model innovation, strategic leadership and smart economic policies are her professional passions. A former Madison, WI resident, Kay now resides in San Diego, CA. The views on her blog are not those of her employer, IBM.

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June 29th, 2011

In business model innovation as in hockey, play where the puck is going.

Hockey great Wayne Gretsky offered insightful business advice in explaining his scoring success. He said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” San Antonio, Texas’ Rackspace Hosting understands Gretsky’s model for success. Now twelve-years old, Rackspace designed its business model and […]


June 23rd, 2011

Business model innovation lessons from century-old IBM

I fondly remember being a guest at a 100th birthday celebration – that of my client Hufcor, the worldwide leader in moveable partitions and walls to create flexible space. But Hufcor wasn’t always the leader. A savvy new owner/CEO, Mike Borden, saved Hufcor from bankruptcy by pursuing an operational effectiveness strategy, process innovation and global […]


June 16th, 2011

More is less in McDonalds’ business model innovation

Burger King has struggled for years to capture market share from McDonalds. Let me propose a winning new business model for Burger King. While driving to Door County, Wisconsin for a short holiday, Nick and I stopped at a McDonalds to quench our thirst. I love McDonalds iced tea as the chain provides real lemons […]


June 8th, 2011

Is Groupon’s business model innovation worth its valuation?

“Bubble or no bubble?” That’s the question being asked about Groupon given its expected $20 to $30B stock valuation. Two and one-half year old Groupon is the pioneer of daily discounts for members from local service providers. Its revenue from 83 million users across 43 countries surged in 2011 to $644M just in its first […]