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.

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