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Keeping Your Business Model Flexible

In today's fast-paced marketplace, your business model has to be flexible. Are you up to the challenge?

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This story appears in the April 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Denver-based Thought Equity Management Inc. started in 2002 with a straightforward premise: The company would gather speculative print work from various ad agencies and sell it online to newspapers and businesses for use in their creative campaigns. Along the way, Thought Equity would make access to creative print work fast and affordable for smaller end-users. "The whole idea was to bring Madison Avenue quality to Main Street America," says founder Kevin Schaff, 31.

Today, Thought Equity is still in the advertising industry, but the 35-employee company does production-ready TV commercials. Mainly, it has become a leading supplier of digitally mastered stock video footage with a website that houses just about every type of clip, from video of Pope John Paul II's childhood to snowboarding turkeys. Customers can search, preview and download clips in high-definition formats and resolutions, all in real time. Thought Equity manages video inventory for HBO and the NCAA, and customers pay up to $500 per second of footage for somewhat rare or older video clips. "If you want to integrate Michael Jordan's North Carolina game-winning shot into your TV show or commercial, you have to come to Thought Equity," Schaff says. "If you watch CSI: Miami, [and the episode has] two people sitting at a bar watching a game, that game is actually licensed from us."

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