Thinking business models is widespread these days. Creative approaches are abundant that map one’s company business model and that invite to contemplate business model changes. Business model concepts are well understood. But business model design and evaluation, however, are still poorly equipped. In a recent tweet Alexander Osterwalder – the spiritual father of the business model canvas – uttered “If architects built buildings the way we build businesses I'd sleep outside... let's use more building tools in businesses, too!”. We could not agree more. Architects use their creativity and their imagination to come up with great designs or structures. But they also rely on elaborate tools to calculate structural safety and to assure that their creations can be made to last. Entrepreneurial thinking and creativity are a prerequisite for business success – but clearly not enough as for example the Internet bubble has shown. Also in designing business modeling we require methods and tools to analyse the structural viability and robustness of our (to be) business models. Recently, we devoted a chapter on Business Models and Tooling in a special issue on the occasion of the 25th Bled eConference. We provided different forms of tooling with different focus and aim. Some of these have been described in more detail in our handbook “Creating Robust Business Models” and also here. We mention two of these here:
business model stress testing, i.e. tooling to check the 'fit’ of a business model with a future business environment or the 'robustness’ with regard to a collection of future environments. A valuable asset, as misalignment between an organization and its environment has been recognized as the number one cause of corporate death.
business models and roadmapping, i.e. tooling to describe the path from a current business model towards a desired business model . What are no regret moves? What are the points of no return?. Roadmapping provides for a normative business scenario to align and steer business activities.
Using these business model tools will harness your entrepreneurship!