I have ideas. Many of them actually, every day. Especially when going to sleep and just before waking up I have loads of them, so I write them down in my RTM. Every month or so I clean up this list of ideas and edit, delete, and merge them according my feelings. Some ideas make it through several of these inconsequent selections. Those ideas are the ones I’d like to develop further – inventing a business model for them to make it work. So I start writing up an executive summary of maximum 2 pages according Guy Kawasaki’s blog post and there you go; another idea that needs a business model, team, thinking, investment, etcetera.
At this point I somehow can’t seem to take things forward; shipping it. So far, I have read many management books, “VC recommendations”, and blogs about how to make your business model sustainable, to somehow “fit” into the market you want to conquer. However, all these books don’t do it for me – they all provide too much text (is a 220 page guide still helpful?) and rules of “what to do” (based on the past) and not “how to do it” (better = sustainable). I was missing a strong framework that forces me to make sense of all my loose thoughts, while focusing on the business model itself and the future, learning from past success formulas and proven strategies (we all learn from the past), but without holding on to them too much.
Since last week, I’ve been reading up on Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder (72 page preview here). This book is awesome! I was introduced to Alex by my friend Anne McCrossan about a year ago in regards to Somesso, but I didn’t get the chance to read this book until last week. Alex is a Swiss entrepreneur who teaches systematic approaches to business model innovation. The book is innovative on its own as it’s co-created by 470 other experts (not just by anyone – participants had to pay to join the dialogue). How’s that for innovation?!
This book is really easy to digest and fits well into my “low information diet”, which I wrote about earlier. In short and overseeable sections it provides an overview of the learnings from proven strategies and concepts like “blue oceans” (W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne), “the long tail” and “FREE” (Chris Anderson), multi-sided platforms and open business models. Also the business model canvas is introduced (see below), which is indeed very handy. Thanks Alex and the 470 others who helped publishing this great guide! ”
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