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A Business Model Canvas-KILLER. Rapidly Visualize, Prototype, and Test the 3 Engines of a Business Model
 

A Business Model Canvas-KILLER. Rapidly Visualize, Prototype, and Test the 3 Engines of a Business Model

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The Business Model Canvas can be considered as a graphic organizer (high level TreeMap) that shows 9 tessellated elements, tiles, or “building blocks” of an archetypal business model. Since the ...

The Business Model Canvas can be considered as a graphic organizer (high level TreeMap) that shows 9 tessellated elements, tiles, or “building blocks” of an archetypal business model. Since the 2009 publication of Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s “Business Model Generation” book, use and popularity of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) have surged worldwide.

The BMC is enthusiastically used by entrepreneurs, startups, established businesses, and non-profit organizations as well as university students, lecturers, and selected scientists from America’s National Science Foundation program. But is the BMC efficiently being used? Is the traditional BMC a “living organism” that would evolve to a higher level or simply become extinct in the jungle of tools for Business Model Planning, Strategy, and Performance Management (BMPSPM)?

As a long-time practitioner of TRIZ (“Theory of Inventive Problem Solving”) and an avid observer of idealized systems, a particular question that interests me is this: Would the BMC evolve towards the “Ideal Final Result (IFR)” by disrupting and cannibalizing itself, that is, by becoming multi-functional while instantly using freely available and/or internal resources at little or no cost? In other words, would the BMC evolve from being “good” to being “great” as an adaptive organism?

So far, evolution regarding the graphic organizer of the BMC has been superficial: the visual structure or BMC Gameboard (blank graphic framework) and how to use it have remained the same. So far, the most popular change to the BMC is by Ash Maurya in his Lean Canvas. In the Lean Canvas, 4 topics (Key Partners, Key Activities, Key Resources, and Customer Relationships) are eliminated while being respectively replaced by topics such as Problem, Solution, Key Metrics, and Unfair Advantage. These changes violate the macro-logic of a business model. The Lean Canvas focuses on operationalizing the Lean Startup method which is a methodology for continuously managing highly risky (innovation) projects. However, the Lean Canvas is inadequate for Business Model Planning, Strategy, and Performance Management; the Lean Canvas does not use a business model as a unit of analysis.

Recently, I presented a list of 10 characteristics of a “great” Business Model Canvas. The traditional BMC scored a 3 (out of 10). The 10 characteristics relate to tasks especially in Business Model Planning, Strategy, and Performance Management as well as Business Model Gamification. The question, then, is: how can we “ideally” transform a good BMC to a great BMC? Ideally, we should make little or no changes to the topics of the BMC and logic of a business model. The Lean Canvas falls short of that ideal.

The presentation below shows how one can “gamificate” (turn into a game) the traditional BMC so that it meets the 10 criteria of a great Business Model Canvas.

http://goo.gl/vWnOHl

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  • This. Is. Genius. Thank you Rod.
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  • Rod- I visited this presentation again and a question popped up. In the value stream and from the example cited '1000 songs in your pocket' is a moving slogan. How do you translate that into a dollar value? I have thought always about this and it seems we are still behind in converting emotions into dollar values? Any thoughts?
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  • @RodKing
    Rod- a brilliant response. I hope readers go through it carefully. I step aside to let readers enjoy your lovely response, Rod.
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  • Ali, You ask a great question which reminds me of one of my favorite sayings from the philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard: 'Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.' If I'm to paraphrase Kierkegaard, 'Design Thinking and Outcome-based Thinking live backwards but Analytical Thinking and Time live forwards.' I believe that the core job of Designers is to bring the future to the present. Consequently, Designers always start with the end or outcome in mind; they start with the Why (Future) and proceed to the How (Present). In contrast to Designers who focus on future systems, Analysts focus on existing systems. Analysts, therefore, take a present system and decompose (analyze) it while asking How. In the end, however, there must be synergy between the How (Present/Details) and Why (Future/Big Picture). In my experience and in designing novel systems, Design Thinking results in more elegant and efficient solutions. Analytical Thinking is more suited to routine problems and solutions such as in improvement projects. So, regarding my reason for putting the 'Why?' on the right hand side, the short answer is that I'm using the paradigm of Design Thinking and Outcome-based Thinking. I therefore started with the end in mind, as Stephen Covey would say. Of course, the end being on the right hand side assumes a left to right reading/writing culture such as in English. As you know, in the Middle East and in Arab regions in particular, reading/writing is from right to left. If I were writing in Arabic, the end would be on the left hand side. My solution to this apparent paradox is to be fluent in reading backwards and forwards as well as upwards and downwards. And Ali, I suspect that you are a master of multi-directional reading, for that's the hallmark of a highly visual thinker. I hope that my explanation suffices. Nevertheless, should you have further questions, just let me know.
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  • Rod- as usual, great ideas that are great to apply. You say start always with the Why. However; you put the why to the right- why? I feel you intend to force me to think backwards. I am sure you have something in mind. I wonder What is it?
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    A Business Model Canvas-KILLER. Rapidly Visualize, Prototype, and Test the 3 Engines of a Business Model A Business Model Canvas-KILLER. Rapidly Visualize, Prototype, and Test the 3 Engines of a Business Model Presentation Transcript