What is a business model innovation platform about? Giving/taking/connecting?

Note: This post was the introductory explanation of the EU Business model innovation platform design workshop.

Although most of you know me quite well, I would say, I think it’s appropriate to introduce myself.

My first profession is a professor of physical education. Beside my job I managed to finish two masters, one of media studies and the other in business administration.

Today, I consider myself to be a business designer. How did I get here? Two years ago, right after the new-years-eve I was determined to change something in the business of the design consultancy Vizuarna. In that time we tried to pivot the consultancy’s business model in the German market – three times. We failed.

I felt somehow we should try something more radical. Why not use the knowledge of the business model design and organise a workshop on that subject? I copied and adjusted a programme of the workshop from the Alexander Osterwalder, whose workshop I attended in Munich in November 2011. In the first two months of the 2012 we organised three workshops. The two of them in Slovenia and one in Germany.

Our first workshop was held one Sunday morning in a small company with a brand-name “I was here” for an electronic guest book. And although after the workshop me and my friend Kristijan, who worked for the company at that time, still couldn’t figure it out if “I was here” has a B2B business model or B2C business model, something strange happened.

One of my last minute adjustments to the programme of the workshop was the introduction of the Umar Haque theory of disruptively better organisations. During this theoretical introduction which lasted for about 45 minutes, nine people at the workshop were completely quiet. One small office, filled with eight men and one woman. I thought to myself. Why did you have to do that? You should know that nobody is interested in theories. Especially not in some very specific theory on disruptively better organisations.

After this 45-minute introduction, there was a coffee break in the programme. Suddenly all of the nine participants stood up and gave me a standing applause. I felt like Martin Luther King while giving his famous “I have a dream” speech, I guess.

Since then, we have conducted fifteen business model design workshops. And although it still couldn’t be called a serious business, the greatest treasure of my 2012 new-years-eve resolution are you. Yes, you. Business model innovators.

I’m really grateful to all of you who have managed to come to today’s business model innovation workshop. Thank you.

Business model innovation is supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
—adapted by Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, A League Of Their Own

I sincerely hope, that by introducing you to the business model innovation, you will get some ideas on how to improve your business models. But first I have to explain three more points:

  1. European Union (EU) call on Business model innovation platform
  2. What is a pattern of the platform business model – case airbnb
  3. What is the biggest barrier in business model innovation?
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