The presentation is organized around three themes: (1) The decrease of reception equipment costs allows non-Remote Sensing organization to access a technology until recently reserved to scientific elite. What this means is the rise of 'operational' executive agencies considering space-based technology and operations as a viable input to their daily tasks. This is possible thanks to totally dedicated ground receiving entities focusing on one application for themselves, rather than serving a vast community of users. (2) The multiplication of earth observation platforms will form the base for reliable technical and financial solutions. One obstacle to the growth of the earth observation industry is the variety of policies (commercial versus non-commercial) ruling the distribution of the data and value-added products. In particular, the high volume of data sales required for the return on investment does conflict with traditional low-volume data use for most applications. Constant access to data sources supposes monitoring needs as well as technical proficiency. (3) Large volume use of data coupled with low- cost equipment costs is only possible when the technology has proven reliable, in terms of application results, financial risks and data supply. Each of these factors is reviewed. The expectation is that international cooperation between agencies and private ventures will pave the way for future business models. As an illustration, the presentation proposes to use some recent non-traditional monitoring applications, that may lead to significant use of earth observation data, value added products and services: flood monitoring, ship detection, marine oil pollution deterrent systems and rice acreage monitoring.