The starting point for any good discussion, meeting,
or workshop on business model innovation should
be a shared understanding of what a business model
actually is. We need a business model concept that
everybody understands: one that facilitates descrip-
tion and discussion. We need to start from the same
point and talk about the same thing. The challenge is
that the concept must be simple, relevant, and intui-
tively understandable, while not oversimplifying the
complexities of how enterprises function.
In the following pages we oΩer a concept that allows
you to describe and think through the business model
of your organization, your competitors, or any other
enterprise. This concept has been applied and tested
around the world and is already used in organizations
such as IBM, Ericsson, Deloitte, the Public Works and
Government Services of Canada, and many more.
This concept can become a shared language that
allows you to easily describe and manipulate business
models to create new strategic alternatives. Without
such a shared language it is diΩicult to systematically
challenge assumptions about one’s business model
and innovate successfully.
We believe a business model can best be described
through nine basic building blocks that show the
logic of how a company intends to make money. The
nine blocks cover the four main areas of a business:
customers, oΩer, infrastructure, and ﬁnancial viability.
The business model is like a blueprint for a strategy
to be implemented through organizational structures,
processes, and systems.