Business model canvas

Looking at how digital technology can truly integrate into an organisation, one model that I came across was the business canvas which has been developed by the guys at Business Model Hub – a community and rattle bag of what appears to be some very smart and open people.

The model maps out key organisational components – value on the right and operational efficiency on the left. Money in vs money out. Value proposition in the middle. Great.

Couple of things came out. Firstly how does or could digital add value or efficiency into each area. Starting on the right.

Customer segments

Who are our current customer segments. Normally we define them by how we reach them. Young men who eat 4 bags of crisps, like to go out with their mates and are thinking about buying a car, are invariably distilled down to 18-24 year old men as that’s the only size brush you have to paint with. With digital we can get into community areas, passion groups … and reach them.As Clay Shirky said

“Tools that provide simple ways of creating groups lead to new groups, […] and not just more groups but more kinds of groups.”

Customer Relationships

What is the nature of your relationship with your customer? Just sell to them? Ask them? Involve them? Meet them afterwards and talk to their friends


This is really where most head resource gets used and most money spent. Which are the usual channels to reach our usual customers, So fairly easy, how are you using (getting excited about) digital to reach your customers.

I won’t go the whole way across the canvas, but you get the idea. How are we engaging our resource? assets? people? Suppliers?

As you go through the exercise you realise that where digital technology really comes into it own is to start to facilitate and link boxes, that don’t historically get linked. Using suppliers as a channel? Customers as a resource? New relationships through how we change activities? but some great work comes out when you link them up (I’m a huge fan of arrows and turning them round and thinking – “What would that look like” show this perfectly when they look at how the canvas can describe emerging models.

.. but its the organisational effect that is very exciting. How do you decentralise digital thinking? How do you get your people and customers empowered and involved? That’s where the opportunity of mapping out really helps.

The first 10minutes of this great video from Best Buy nails the point of how if done well, technology really starts to break down the inter-departmental boxes.

1. Getting customers to review your advertising

2. Suppliers to act as a route to market

3. Your team to develop your product

Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson in conversation with Peter Hirshberg at Google Zeitgeist from peter hirshberg on Vimeo.

This isn’t new, but what I thought was great was that it gave a framework to engage an organisation and to map out value and actions. Planned brilliance vs an occasional cry of “Ureka” coming from the ghetto.

As always any feedback would be more than welcome.

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