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  • Foto del escritorIgnacio Pérez Alcázar

The missing link of the business model

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

 What is first when designing a business? The business model and then the service model, or the service model and then the business model. No, it is not a mess.

 On one hand, we have the service design and on the other hand, the design of business model. Both lead us to design the business for our idea.

 When is a tangible product, design seems simple; but what happens when it is an intangible service, and what happens when the model is intangible and B2B2C. This” gilds the lily”, and it ends up being a 3D design.

 Let’s begin

 Starting from the beginning, if we only used a business model design (Osterwalder’s Canvas or MW Johnson’s Canvas), many questions arise, especially about channels, or about key resources, processes or key activities. But it’s a good start that helps us define our value proposition, our target market, how we earn money and a first approach to “What do I have to do, to do this”

 The Missing Link

 However, there is a missing link of the business model: the service design. Tools such as use cases, user’s journey, and above all, the service blueprint design, are very useful. These tools help us clarify who our client and / or customer of our client is, how they use our service and how they interacts with us and with our product or service. This leads us to define the “what and how”: the key activities, key resources and, partners and providers.

 Thus we get something very important: to show the business idea as a realistic opportunity and thoughtful, with tools that help us think, reflect, reduce risk and shed light on the uncertainty, and a link to the production plan.

 There is no necessary order in which to start. The rule is “as we are inspired to start designing” because it inevitably lead us to jump from one to another quite naturally once we master the tools.

 But there is still something remaining

 There is still something that is often overlooked: the development of market and channel, which starts with the communication model design. Do you really know where does the market look to find you? What is your message to the client? What communication tools should we use?

 Then, we learn to tell the story of our business, what helps a lot to write the business plan.

The last,

 But not the least, paraphrasing A. Osterwalder, the ultimate judge of our business is the customer. So, we should test with the client and “fail” as soon as possible. To do this, there are specialists that can help us and escape from sentences like “that people are not going to like that”.

This helps to define the message and value proposition what answers a need (focus on outcomes, of course).

Therefore, as in any design, there are redesigns. We can test, research the market with our hypothesis of business (this is what they are until they are put into production: business hypothesis), until we get one that pleases the actors involved in our “business”, including us.


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