We built Wowzers internally, intending to sell it commercially.
For over twelve months, Wowzers powered Wowzers' operations and those of its parent company and sister brands.
But it wasn't to be. The Wowzers project was axed in August 2023 owing to budget constraints. The tooling continues to be maintained and used internally but will not be developed further - at least for now. We'd like to thank our beta users and everyone who contributed.
We've left our website right as it was, should you be interested in learning more about Wowzers and the underlying technology behind it.
An no-nonse guide to the Business Model Canvas (BMC)
and how tech founders can apply it to their business.
As a technology founder, you know that a great idea is just the beginning. To turn your idea into a successful business, you must develop a clear and concise understanding of your business model. That’s where the Business Model Canvas (BMC) comes in. This strategic tool has become an essential resource for technology startups worldwide.
The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps businesses visualize and analyze their business model clearly and concisely. The Business Model Canvas provides a framework for technology founders to identify potential gaps in their business and areas for improvement, as well as to test new ideas and pivot their strategies as needed.
A 2016 study by the European Commission found that the Business Model Canvas is widely used by startups and SMEs in Europe, particularly in the digital and creative industries. This was further backed up by a 2020 survey by Strategyzer which found that 76% of startups and corporations use the Business Model Canvas.
This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the Business Model Canvas, including its components, history, applications, and best practices.
The Business Model Canvas is a one-page framework that breaks down a business into nine components, including Customer Segments, Value Proposition , Channels , Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams and Key Activities. The Business Model Canvas helps tech entrepreneurs understand their Value Proposition, how they deliver it to customers, and how they generate revenue. The nine components of the Canvas can be thought of as building blocks that fit together to form a complete picture of a company’s business model.
Swiss business theorist Alexander Osterwalder created the Business Model Canvas in 2008. Osterwalder developed the Business Model Canvas to help entrepreneurs and businesses better understand and visualize their business models and provide a framework for testing and refining new ideas. Osterwalder’s goal was to create a simple and practical tool that could be used by anyone, not just technology founders, to develop and communicate their business strategy more effectively.
The Business Model Canvas has since become widely adopted and is now considered a standard tool for business planning and strategy. It has been adapted and customized for different industries and sectors, such as tech, healthcare, non-profits, and social enterprises. Additionally, the Business Model Canvas has been integrated into various entrepreneurship programs and curriculums, including universities, accelerators, and incubators worldwide.
The popularity of the Business Model Canvas can be attributed to its simplicity, versatility, and effectiveness in helping businesses develop a clear and concise understanding of their business model.
The Customer Segment component defines the groups of people or organizations that a business aims to serve. The Customer Segments could be based on demographics, geographic location, psychographics, behavior, and needs.
For example, if you are a technology founder building a new mobile app, your Customer Segments could be tech-savvy millennials or small business owners.
The Value Proposition component explains what a business offers its customers that is unique and valuable. A Value Proposition can include features, benefits, solutions, or experiences that solve customer problems or meet their needs better than competitors.
For instance, if you are building a new productivity tool for businesses, your Value Proposition could be helping companies increase productivity and efficiency.
The Channels component defines how a business delivers its Value Proposition to its customers. Channels could include physical stores, websites, social media, or third-party retailers.
For example, if you are building a new social media platform, your Channels could include app stores, social media influencers, and online advertising.
The Customer Relationships component explains how a business interacts with its customers to create and maintain loyalty. Customer Relationships can be based on personalization, self-service, or community building.
For example, if you are building a new customer service platform, your Customer Relationships could include online chat, email, and phone support.
The Revenue Streams component defines how a business generates revenue from its Value Proposition. Revenue Streams include product sales, service fees, subscriptions, or advertising.
For example, a Growth OS tool like Wowzers might use a subscription-based or pay-per-user model to generate revenue.
The Key Activities component defines the core functions or processes a business needs to perform to deliver its Value Proposition. Key Activities include manufacturing, marketing, research and development, or customer support.
For example, a Growth OS tool like Wowzers must continuously develop and update its software, provide customer support, and implement marketing strategies.
The Key Resources component defines the assets a business needs to perform its Key Activities and deliver its Value Proposition. Key Resources could include human resources, physical assets, intellectual property, or financial resources.
For example, a Growth OS tool like Wowzers might require servers, software development tools, and customer support software as its Key Resources.
The Key Partners component defines the external entities a business needs to work with to deliver its Value Proposition. Key Partners could include suppliers, distributors, technology providers, or strategic alliances.
For example, a Growth OS tool like Wowzers might partner with cloud hosting providers, payment processors, or marketing agencies to improve its services.
The Cost Structure component defines the expenses a business incurs to perform its Key Activities and deliver its Value Proposition . Cost Structure could include fixed costs, variable costs, or economies of scale.
For example, a Growth OS tool like Wowzers might need to invest in software development, hosting, customer support, and marketing as its main costs.
The Business Model Canvas provides a structured way to think through your business model and plan for its execution. As a technology founder, you can use the Business Model Canvas to identify your Key Partners, Resources, and Activities. You can also identify potential risks and challenges, and develop strategies to overcome them.
The Business Model Canvas can be used to test and refine new product ideas. As a technology founder, you can evaluate your product’s fit within your existing business model and identify potential areas for improvement. You can also assess how your product aligns with your target Customer Segments and Revenue Streams.
The Business Model Canvas can help you identify customer needs and preferences, as well as potential gaps in the market. As a technology founder, you can use the Business Model Canvas to conduct market research and gather insights to inform your product development and marketing strategies.
The Business Model Canvas provides a common language and visual representation for discussing and sharing your business model. As a technology founder, you can use the Business Model Canvas to communicate your vision to your team, investors and other stakeholders. The Business Model Canvas can help you align everyone’s efforts and ensure everybody is on the same page.
The Business Model Canvas can be used to identify potential areas for growth, new Revenue Streams, and areas for cost reduction. As a technology founder, you can use the Business Model Canvas to develop effective strategies and achieve your OKRs. By identifying areas for growth and new Revenue Streams, you can stay ahead of the competition and build a sustainable business.
As a tech founder, it’s essential to be aware of some of the criticisms leveled against the Business Model Canvas.
One of the most common criticisms of the Business Model Canvas is that it oversimplifies complex business models. The nine building blocks of the Business Model Canvas provide a broad overview of a business model, but they only capture some of the nuances and intricacies of a particular business. As a result, some argue that the Business Model Canvas can be too simplistic for certain types of companies, especially those in highly regulated industries or with complex value chains.
Another criticism of the Business Model Canvas is that it can be too rigid and inflexible. Because the nine building blocks are predefined, capturing certain aspects of a business model that may not fit neatly into one of these blocks can be challenging. Additionally, the Business Model Canvas doesn’t provide a way to prioritize or rank the various building blocks, making it difficult to determine which parts of the business model are most important.
Some critics argue that the Business Model Canvas needs to place more emphasis on the customer. While it included a component for Customer Segments, it doesn’t provide a way to capture the customer’s perspective or feedback on the business model. This can make it difficult to understand how customers perceive the business and whether there are opportunities to improve the customer experience.
Finally, some argue that the Business Model Canvas needs to consider external factors that can impact a business model, such as regulatory environment changes or consumer behaviour shifts. While the Business Model Canvas is designed to provide a snapshot of a business model at a particular time, it doesn’t offer a way to capture how external factors may impact that model in the future.
Now that we’ve discussed the Business Model Canvas and its benefits and limitations, let’s dive into how to use it effectively.
Before you begin filling out the Business Model Canvas, you must clearly understand the problem you’re trying to solve or the opportunity you’re trying to capitalize on. This will help guide your thinking as you work through the different components of the Business Model Canvas.
One of the strengths of the Business Model Canvas is its flexibility. Rather than writing directly on the canvas, use post-it notes to capture your ideas. This makes it easy to move elements around as you iterate on your business model.
The BMC is an excellent tool for facilitating conversations and brainstorming sessions with your team. Encourage everyone to contribute their ideas and perspectives.
As you fill out the canvas, remember that some of your assumptions may be incorrect. Use customer interviews, surveys, and other forms of feedback to test your hypotheses and validate your business model.
The Business Model Canvas is a living document that should be updated as your business evolves. Don’t be afraid to make changes as you learn more about your customers and market.
To get the most out of the Business Model Canvas, it’s essential that technology founders follow these best practices:
The Business Modal Canvas is a simple tool anyone can understand. Avoid adding unnecessary complexity or detail.
The Business Model Canvas is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It should be customized to fit the unique needs of your business.
The Business Model Canvas is best used in a collaborative environment where all stakeholders can contribute their perspectives and expertise.
The Business Model Canvas is a dynamic tool that can be adapted and refined. Use it to test and iterate new ideas and strategies.
The Business Model Canvas puts the customer at the centre of the business model. Consider the customer’s needs and preferences when developing and refining your canvas.
In the fast-paced world of technology startups, time is of the essence. The Business Model Canvas provides a simple and effective way to communicate your business model to stakeholders. By using the Business Model Canvas collaboratively and iteratively, you can test and iterate new ideas and strategies, and achieve your OKRs in a rapidly changing business landscape. Whether you’re a software developer, a hardware engineer, or a tech entrepreneur, the Business Model Canvas is a valuable tool for achieving success in today’s tech industry.