This paper argues that applying the idea of a meta-model, derived from modeling in computer science, to the more informal notions of business models found in the management literature provides researchers with a useful lens through which to view the relationship between IT and business strategy. It provides a brief description of the concepts of a business model and a meta-model and presents four case studies using a particular meta-model for organizations that have achieved strategic innovations. Three of the cases, Amazon, Dell and eBay are well known and are based on secondary sources; the fourth case, a wedding list service called '1001 Listes', is less widely known and is based on both literature and primary research. The paper concludes with some observations on the role played by IT in business strategy and some suggestions about how the approach of using meta-models could be developed further.