Business Model Canvas – Save Time & Iterate Fast!

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If you're still writing business models, you should probably reconsider. Instead of spending weeks (or even months)  writing a multiple page document for a single plan, you could model several plans in a single day by using something like the Business Model Canvas!

Believe me, I've spent my fair share of time on business plans. They are long and  they are tedious. Time is a scarce resource!  In a startup environment, uncertainty is extremely high. Chances are that our plan will falter -- which is fine! We can learn from that. But what we can't afford is to throw huge chunks of our time on writing a Business Plan to no fruition.  If you're just starting out, business plans are way too time consuming to justify. 

Instead, I recommend the Lean Canvas or the Business Model Canvas.   Both of these are designed to cover the important components of a business model in a  readable and iterable manner! You save time, while maintaining the flexibility needed. The Lean Canvas is actually an extension/edition of the Business Model Canvas. The following image depicts the original canvas, and the changes made to arrive to the 'Lean Canvas':

Business Model Canvas

You can fill out an entire canvas in around 15 minutes. Take a break, come back, brainstorm and then change a component or two. Rinse and repeat. When you're done, you now have three or four variations of your business model. Each of these is hypothesis that you can go out and test! If and when you learn something new, editing a component is a breeze!

For a run-through on how to fill one of these out, I recommend checking out Ash Maurya's Video on his Lean Canvas. The video is from one of his workshops -- quick and to the point!  To fill out your own - I recommend using a webtool called  Xtensio. It's free and let's you save your templates. You'll find templates for Busines Model Canvas as well as the Lean Canvas in there! 

I've been working on Virtual Reality App using the Lean Canvas with a team. And so far, it's been a DELIGHT to work with.  My team members are engineers that hate reading business models. They have no issues reading this canvas though. We are able to collaborate and brainstorm on this with ease. Changes are made quickly!

For an example check  out  My Lean Canvas  VR APP project by clicking here!

Sharing these with friends and potential investors is easy too! A reader can get a firm understanding of your proposal within minutes! Cause let's be honest, your rich uncle doesn't want to waste his morning reading pages of your 'brilliant' idea when he can go fishing instead.

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About the author

Shawn Dexter

Shawn Dexter is a Product Manager, Entrepreneur & Software Developer. He is passionate about innovation management & technology.

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