Tien’s Top Five - Innovative Subscription Businesses

by Tien Tzuo


We’ve talked about Netflix, Zipcar, and of course salesforce.com and WebEx – the big ones. But here are five subscription businesses you may not have heard of that I think are really cool. They span different industries and serve both businesses and consumers.This is a great example of the different industries that use a subscription model.


1. NetJets – These guys were actually around before Zipcar, have a *somewhat* similar concept, and have evolved into one of the coolest concepts for upscale and corporate flyers that I’ve ever seen. You choose how many hours you (or your company) plan to fly and subscribe to a share of the jet fleet from there. Granted, it’s a pricey subscription for partial ownership, but can be quite cost effective for enterprises that have hefty monthly travel costs.


2. Going with the jet theme, Jet Repair Anywhere — This is neat Web-based company that links owners and operators of corporatejets with maintenance facilities that can fix their planes. I love seeing technical services offered as subscriptions. This one seems especially smart to me as more and more companies opt for private air transportation due to airlines cutting back on flights. They need dependable services to keep travel consistent and safe.


3. Shoeboxed.com – This is a receipt organization service based on a subscription model – pretty unique and useful for both consumers and small businesses. For a monthly fee, subscribers mail in receipts in Shoeboxed’s prepaid business reply envelopes (like Netfilx). When received, they are scanned and uploaded into an online account for a complete receipt archive.Every account also includes a Shoeboxed email address to capture online receipts. Expenses can then be separated by category and exported to popular accounting apps.


4. Subscribe to yoga, Gaiam Yoga Club – Don’t have time to go to yoga class? Want some variety in your at-home workout? Don’t want other people to see your sad version of triangle pose? With this neat online service, for $5 a month you can get a personally tailored yoga program, and stream different yoga videos and audiocasts online.


5. While we’re focusing on health, how about some vitamins-as-a-service – Let’s face it, it’s expensive to stay healthy and hard to remember to get new vitamins every month. This service solves both of those problems by delivering high quality vitamins to subscribers every month, at a discounted rate.


This is just a sampling of the cool companies that have come across my radar. We love hearing about new, unique subscription services out there. Stay tuned for a blog dedicated to veggies-as-a-service. And tell us what you think of these and other subscription services you like to use.

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