Happy 2011! A new year, a fresh set of goals. Ready to build something new? Or adopt a fresh approach to an ongoing project? If so, I have a post-holiday treat for you: a business planning tool that combines strategy with visual thinking to provoke innovation.
Last Summer I was taking advantage of the air conditioning at a Barnes and Noble in Manhattan when I stumbled across a MUST OWN book. I was browsing in the business section and found Business Model Generation, A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur. Honestly, it wasn’t the title that grabbed my attention; it was the design. The book uses a visual/design approach to business model innovation. Business Model Generation provides a “canvas” as a tool for thinking through elements of a business plan in a top-level strategic way. The 9-sections are the building blocks for a business model; the canvas is used to brainstorm, explore, and explode ideas for a business.
Here is the canvas.
As you can see, this canvas provokes thinking about assets and resources; customer relationships; revenue and costs. And of course, front and center is the value proposition which connects all the pieces of the business model.
You can download a PDF of the canvas to work on your own business model from Alex Osterwalder’s blog. But honestly, the fun and creativity of the canvas lies in the process of using it just like you would a set of building blocks. Bring together a team; pile up some interesting blocks; knock them down and start again. In other words – designing a business model works best with multiple players; oops, I mean collaborators!
So, in that collaborative spirit here is the beginning of a business model canvas for Food + Tech Connect.
As you can see, there are lots of building blocks that are not yet filled in. Honestly, we need your help. Take a look at what Danielle and I have put together and help us find new ways to make Food+Tech Connect work as a business. Propose new activities; Suggest Key Partners; Tell us what would make the “customer relationship” more satisfying, more engaging.
Danielle and I will use your ideas to create the next iteration of the Food + Tech business model. AND I WILL OFFER 1-HOUR OF BUSINESS COACHING TO THE CONTRIBUTORS WITH THE TOP THREE SUGGESTIONS. All you need to do is comment below – or send an email directly to me crico(at)wastetowealth.net with your ideas for the Food+Tech Connect business model canvas.
Here’s to a towering 2011.
Christine Rico is the Founder and President of Waste to Wealth. Christine has worked with organizations and companies in all stages: start-ups, turnarounds, rapid expansion/replication and executive transitions.<