Amazon’s growth has been analyzed and dissected by business school students all over the world. But in his book Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal, Mark Johnson argues that the least understood aspect of Amazon’s success is its willingness to pursue growth in its “white spaces”—the range of potential activities not defined or addressed by the company’s current business model. Here’s a timeline showing how Amazon has thrived by perpetually reinventing its business model. 1995: Amazon sells its first book, Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies. The company disrupts traditional book publishing with a radical new customer value proposition. 1996: Capitalizing on adjacencies, Amazon expands into other easily shippable consumer goods, such as CDs. 1999: Amazon’s business model morphs from direct sales to sales-and-service, as company launches commission-based brokerage services to buyers and sellers of used books. It also develops a model to serve third-party sellers and opens its storefront technology to other retailers, including competitors. 2002: Amazon launches and develops web-services platform, low-cost and reliable online services for other sites and web developers. 2007: Amazon launches Lab 126 and creates the Kindle e-book reader, becoming an original-equipment manufacturer and the creator of a digital media platform. This allows for transaction-based content delivery and for a subscription model for periodical content. 2011: Amazon enters the tablet market with the $199 Kindle Fire. It is seen as an “advanced mobile portal” to Amazon’s cloud service, and Amazon’s $79-a-year Prime Service begins offering unlimited streaming of its library of movies and TV shows and the right to “borrow” a digital book once a month. With less fanfare, it also enters the content creation business and prepares to launch its own book-publishing business, stirring genuine panic among publishing giants. How have you reinvented your business model?