Value Proposition Design – Our Next Book Launching This Fall

This blog was idle for a year. I was busy building Strategyzer.com. Now I'm back to content production, working on our next book with the working title Value Proposition Design #vpcbook. It will be about making remarkable stuff that sells with business models that work. The book should be released next fall. Sign up for the launch notification in the sidebar.

We started the book in August 2012. A long time ago. Unfortunately, the project always feel victim to other priorities. Now we're back at it, putting it all together. The book team is composed of Yves Pigneur (co-author), Greg Bernarda (co-author), Alan Smith (co-author and art direction), Trish Papadakos (design), and myself.

The heart of the book is the Value Proposition Canvas (pdf), a plug-in tool to the Business Model Canvas. The VP Canvas allows you to visualize Value Propositions in more detail just like the BM Canvas allows you to visualize Business Models. Here's an intro to the method, which I wrote in the past. Both Canvases perfectly integrate and work hand in hand. After all, even the best Value Propositions can only succeed with the right business model.

For the new book I'd love to hear from you, so we can turn it into a better value proposition. Here are my questions to you:

  1. What do you "hire" business books and methods for? What do they help you get done? Is it to advance in your career? To do a better job? For entertainment?
  2. What are your biggest pains when it comes to management methods and books? What obstacles are holding you back from applying methods and books?
  3. What gains/benefits/positive outcomes do you expect, desire, hope to realize when you learn a new method or read a business book?

I already sketched out a customer profile (jobs/pains/gains) of a general business book reader below. Does that profile resonate with you?

Customer Profile of Business Book Reader

To advance on the book and churn out content I fled to the Swiss Alps. Below a little impression of where I work and get inspiration. It was a bit cold, though...

My #tempoffice at 3'000m above sea level

Stay tuned for more raw and undesigned content chunks from our upcoming book. Don't forget to sign up for the release date!

The Business Model Theater – Can You Put on a Show?

After several years “on the market” there are now multiple Business Model Canvas adaptations floating around. People sometimes ask me about them. This blogpost provides an answer by explaining the Canvas through the analogy of a Theater (watch the video). It shows why we got it right and why most adaptations are broken.

When Yves Pigneur and I set out to find a better way to describe business models we had the following objective in mind: What are all the most important decisions you make when you design your business. We were not interested in operational or organizational issues, but aimed to find a way to describe the blueprint of your business strategy, the core elements that constitute the heart of how your business works.

Our research (i.e. my Phd dissertation) led us to the nine building blocks that now constitute the foundation of the Business Model Canvas. If you take away one block, you actually lose the big picture. You lose the overview of ALL the elements that compose your business logic. It will be incomplete. The following video from Strategyzer.com, our online business model tool, illustrates this nicely by comparing the Canvas to a Theater:





A theater has a front stage and a back stage. People don’t really care about the back stage, but it is necessary to make the front stage possible. The front stage is what people are interested in and it is what they are willing to pay for. The backstage enables the front stage and it is what costs money. Like a theater, a business model has a front stage (which leads to revenues) and a backstage (which makes up for the costs). Eliminate any of the elements of the Business Model Canvas and you lose the big picture… Hundred thousands of people around the world have come to value this.

By the way, if you liked the video above you should sign-up for Strategyzer.com. As an early adopter you will get 50% discount and only pay $150.- USD instead of $300.- USD. In a couple of weeks or a few months we will probably upgrade to Beta and drop the discount. Besides a really cool and collaborative business model tool you will find an increasing amount of content like the above video inside our Strategyzer Academy.

FYI: A prototype version of this video was posted on this blog earlier last year.

The Business Model Theater – Can You Put on a Show?

After several years "on the market" there are now multiple Business Model Canvas adaptations floating around. People sometimes ask me about them. This blogpost provides an answer by explaining the Canvas through the analogy of a Theater (watch the video). It shows why we got it right and why most adaptations are broken.

When Yves Pigneur and I set out to find a better way to describe business models we had the following objective in mind: What are all the most important decisions you make when you design your business. We were not interested in operational or organizational issues, but aimed to find a way to describe the blueprint of your business strategy, the core elements that constitute the heart of how your business works. Our research (i.e. my Phd dissertation) led us to the nine building blocks that now constitute the foundation of the Business Model Canvas. If you take away one block, you actually lose the big picture. You lose the overview of ALL the elements that compose your business logic. It will be incomplete. The following video from Strategyzer.com, our online business model tool, illustrates this nicely by comparing the Canvas to a Theater:

A theater has a front stage and a back stage. People don't really care about the back stage, but it is necessary to make the front stage possible. The front stage is what people are interested in and it is what they are willing to pay for. The backstage enables the front stage and it is what costs money. Like a theater, a business model has a front stage (which leads to revenues) and a backstage (which makes up for the costs). Eliminate any of the elements of the Business Model Canvas and you lose the big picture... Hundred thousands of people around the world have come to value this.

By the way, if you liked the video above you should sign-up for Strategyzer.com. As an early adopter you will get 50% discount and only pay $150.- USD instead of $300.- USD. In a couple of weeks or a few months we will probably upgrade to Beta and drop the discount. Besides a really cool and collaborative business model tool you will find an increasing amount of content like the above video inside our Strategyzer Academy.

FYI: A prototype version of this video was posted on this blog earlier last year.

Wanted: Business Model Researcher (submissions closed)

Does this sound like you? You strive to help companies unlock potential by using better business design techniques. You have already done so by researching, applying and “teaching” practical and visual business design tools, in particular the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas.

The opportunity

Work with me and the team behind Business Model Generation (500,000+ copies in 26 languages), the Business Model Toolbox for iPad, Strategyzer.com, and the Business Design Summit. Your research on interesting cases, their business model mechanics and their transformation into remarkable presentations and stories will transform the way people design businesses around the globe. You work from home, anywhere in the world, and with flexible working hours (potentially part-time).

What we expect

You have a deep curiosity for how organisations work and could work better. Your “hunger” to do your best work ever is insane and you are more motivated and better qualified than anybody else to do this job. You have a business research background, potentially a PhD, but also have practical experience in a company, as a consultant, or as an entrepreneur. Your conceptual and practical understanding of the Business Model Canvas is proven. Finally, you are NOT an asshole.

The challenge

You will put together amazing case studies and stories that help people understand business model innovation and transformation. What I’m taking about here are not the traditional text-heavy Harvard Business School cases, but beautiful, simple, and captivating presentations and stories that open people’s eyes to the potential and particularities of business model innovation (cf SunEdison, Re-Inventing How We Do Start-Ups!). You will work with me and potentially others from the team on a regular basis via Skype.

How to apply:

  • Tell us: Which business design methods you deeply understand (your level: 0 to 10 / 0=never heard of)? Business Model Canvas (Osterwalder & Pigneur), Customer Development (Blank & Dorf), Lean Startup (Eric Ries), Strategy Maps (Kaplan & Norton), Disruptive Innovation (Clayton Christensen), Jobs-to-be-done (Christensen, Anthony, Ulwick), Value Proposition Canvas (Osterwalder, Pigneur, Smith, Bernarda), Blue Ocean Strategy (Kim & Mauborgne).
  • Tell us: Which of the following authors have you read? Mark Johnson, Rita McGrath, Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble, Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds, Dan Roam, Dave Gray, David Sibbet, John Medina.
  • Show off your skills: Compare the business models of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook.
  • Share: Your expectations (including salary) and a story that left a mark on your career and thinking

Apply: send your application with all of the above to xxxxx (sorry, submissions closed) (tip: don’t forget that my schedule is pretty busy and that I don’t have time to read a lot of text ;-)

Wanted: Business Model Researcher (submissions closed)

Does this sound like you? You strive to help companies unlock potential by using better business design techniques. You have already done so by researching, applying and "teaching" practical and visual business design tools, in particular the Business Model Canvas and the Value Proposition Canvas.

The opportunity

Work with me and the team behind Business Model Generation (500,000+ copies in 26 languages), the Business Model Toolbox for iPad, Strategyzer.com, and the Business Design Summit. Your research on interesting cases, their business model mechanics and their transformation into remarkable presentations and stories will transform the way people design businesses around the globe. You work from home, anywhere in the world, and with flexible working hours (potentially part-time).

What we expect

You have a deep curiosity for how organisations work and could work better. Your "hunger" to do your best work ever is insane and you are more motivated and better qualified than anybody else to do this job. You have a business research background, potentially a PhD, but also have practical experience in a company, as a consultant, or as an entrepreneur. Your conceptual and practical understanding of the Business Model Canvas is proven. Finally, you are NOT an asshole.

The challenge

You will put together amazing case studies and stories that help people understand business model innovation and transformation. What I'm taking about here are not the traditional text-heavy Harvard Business School cases, but beautiful, simple, and captivating presentations and stories that open people's eyes to the potential and particularities of business model innovation (cf SunEdison, Re-Inventing How We Do Start-Ups!). You will work with me and potentially others from the team on a regular basis via Skype.

How to apply:

  • Tell us: Which business design methods you deeply understand (your level: 0 to 10 / 0=never heard of)? Business Model Canvas (Osterwalder & Pigneur), Customer Development (Blank & Dorf), Lean Startup (Eric Ries), Strategy Maps (Kaplan & Norton), Disruptive Innovation (Clayton Christensen), Jobs-to-be-done (Christensen, Anthony, Ulwick), Value Proposition Canvas (Osterwalder, Pigneur, Smith, Bernarda), Blue Ocean Strategy (Kim & Mauborgne).
  • Tell us: Which of the following authors have you read? Mark Johnson, Rita McGrath, Vijay Govindarajan, Chris Trimble, Nancy Duarte, Garr Reynolds, Dan Roam, Dave Gray, David Sibbet, John Medina.
  • Show off your skills: Compare the business models of Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook.
  • Share: Your expectations (including salary) and a story that left a mark on your career and thinking

Apply: send your application with all of the above to xxxxx (sorry, submissions closed) (tip: don't forget that my schedule is pretty busy and that I don't have time to read a lot of text ;-)

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