Business Model by Jeff Parker

Cornell University alumnus Jeffrey P. Parker was honored by Cornell as the 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year

Parker's newest successful initiative is Corporate Communications Broadcast Network (CCBN), which electronically delivers essential corporate information to shareholders. In 1983 Parker founded First Call, which set the standard for the electronic delivery of equity research and earnings estimates to professional investors. Those and other companies launched by Parker continue to thrive.

Parker's genius has been to spot opportunities long before others do -- and to act quickly on them -- sometimes stepping down from top slots in other companies to do so. "His achievements -- the founding or leadership of more than a dozen companies that deliver information electronically -- are all the more impressive because most were established well before the boom, and subsequent bust, in Internet-based companies," noted Professor Charles Lee, the academic director of the Parker Center for Investment Research at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management.

In 1980 Parker founded Technical Data Corp., which electronically supplied bond analysis and fixed-income information to professionals in that field. In 1982 he co-founded Business Research Corp., which developed InvesText, one of the world's largest databases of company information. He followed that success with First Call Corp. In 1986 Parker sold all three firms to Thomson International but stayed on as an executive for five more years .

 What is even more interesting is the business models that he seems to invent, which are absolutely brilliant.
When Parker founded First Call to provide earnings estimates data, the state of the then art for earning data was collected and distributed on magnetic tape, delivered on a weekly basis for analysts to incorporate into their models.  First Call was the first to provide daily updated data, and eventually evolved to real time updating, where a marked change in estimates would move markets.
He did this all, the brilliant part – by not only selling the First Call service to consumers of earnings estimates, but he sold First Call to the brokerage side of the street, whose research departments were the originators of earning estimates.  In other words, he founded a model whereby he got paid by both the suppliers of his data and the consumers of his data. 
The street found a convenient way to get their estimates to their customers in the expectation that it would generate trading through their firms and they were more than willing to pay First Call as that channel.  Consuming firms sought timely and consolidated data in a convenient form.  First Call did both and became the industry standard for estimates data.  Parker went on to sell First Call to Thomson Financial, where it continues to thrive as a part of the Thomson Reuters suite of services.
In 1997, he did it all over again when he founded (co-founded) CCBN.  He put the same model to work again in parallel to the First Call model.  The niche and opportunity was that the public release of corporate data and “analyst calls” where a company’s investor relations group would hold conference calls with the analysts that followed the company were often moving targets…The meeting number or time would change, and to miss the call could mean a material disadvantage to new and timely information about a company’s prospects or results.
CCBN became a consolidator of corporate announcements and conference call schedules and details, filling a huge gap in the market and providing a tremendous value add to both analysts as well as the corporate investor relations departments now having a more efficient channel to reach the street.   I guess it’s obvious…once again; Parker’s model was one of being paid by the originators of his data and the consumers of his data.  And where is CCBN today, same home as First Call, now a part of the Thomson Reuters company.


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  • COBBLED - Repair or mend
  • ABHORRENCE - Hate coupled with disgust
  • INCUMBENCY - The term during which some position is held
  • MITIGATE -Lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
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  • FOSTERING - Encouragement; aiding the development of something
  • ELICIT- Call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)
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