I am not sure why, but I often think about businesses, business models and profitability.  This inevitably leads me to businesses that perplex me insofar as I can’t figure out how they are profitable.

Three Examples of Business Models I Don’t Understand

Local Bodega, Deli or Coffee Shop in a Large City

A Bodega is like a deli or a corner store and for some reason there is one 2 blocks no matter where you are in New York City and NYC is Expensive.  How many sodas or beers does a business need to sell to be profitable?

I know the mark up is insane but how do they pay rent and still stay in the black?

Porn Websites & Adult Stores

With the rise in popularity of so-called tube sites (think youtube for porn) which illegally stream porn for free how do the legal sites stay in business? Are there really enough people paying a monthly subscription fee as to be able to pay actors/actresses/camera men/video editors/directors etc.?

Movie Business

Forbes just ran an article highlight the performance of Disney’s latest movie they decided to cram down American’s throat, “John Carter”,

‘John Carter’ did a little less than $10 million on Friday night. It’s on track for a less than $30 million weekend. This debacle cost $250 million, plus there’s probably another $100 mil lost somewhere in promotion

It almost seems like a move like Avatar funds 10 terrible movies?

Do you know how any of these businesses work? What business do you not understand?