Monday, August 23, 2010

The Evolution of the Business Model Concept (version 1)

Thank you for the input to Version 1 of The Evolution of the Business Model Concept. An updated and extended version of can be found here.


  1. Current image resolution makes it impossible to view/understand.

    -- MV

  2. Mário, thanks for your quick input, what if you click on the image?

  3. This is fantastic Anders! Thanks for putting it together. It is a bit small even when I click on the image. It's tough though, because you have so much information packed into it!

    At a quick glance, I didn't notice Patrick Stahler's work in there - did I just miss it? The thing I like about his model is the addition of management style/culture as something that can be innovated...

    In any case, great job!

  4. Very good image Anders! I'm also having troubles making out the details of the image, even when i've clicked to zoom in on it. It is also very long (vertically), might be a good idea to chop it up into a few images and maybe even put them in a PDF. That would also facilitate printing it.

  5. Thank you for your input!

    @Tim, Thanks Tim! I agree, Patrick's work should be included!

    @Johan, I will improve the image/format in the next iteration.

  6. @Anders, thanks for the great work. And thanks @Tim for mentioning my work.

    I have added the cultural aspect to the business model due to the fact that change projects are always confronted with inertia based on the existing culture.

    The same inertia we see in the field of strategy. It took the mainstream strategy professors 10 years and more to see the business model as a valuable unit of analysis. Before the industry or the firm was considered as the unit of analysis in strategy. The strategy guys looked down on us since they did not expect that an innovative stimulus to their art would come from some computer science guys who studied the internet.

    At you find a translation of one chapter of my Ph.D. thesis I wrote in 2001. Alexander Osterwalder invited me in 2002 to a workshop where I presented the paper. There you find also my definition of a business model.

  7. Thank you for your comment Patrick and also your kind email with hyperlinks! I will include your business model concept in the next iteration!

  8. Thank you Anders - this is great work. Prints quite well when spread over 4 or 5 sheets of A3 paper.

    Any predictions as to how the concept may next evolve?

    2011, 2012.... ?

  9. Hi Robb, good question! Most academics/consultants in this field are very normative “this is a business model” and there has been “a quest for the holy ultimate business model”. I hope the concept can evolve into several different useful tools, to be used for different purposes, some to analyze internal aspects, some to analyze relationships and transactions, some to facilitate brain storming to come up with innovative business models, etc. What are your ideas?

    -I like your tangible approach on your webpage.

  10. No big predictions and modesty of course precludes mentioning the things we have in development, but..

    I wonder, if as software becomes increasingly used in modeling, then this may allow for more divergent perspectives* to be featured in a single depiction. Possibly through features like multiple layers and/or "zoom" features ?

    Also (and please excuse my ignorance if this is way off the mark) it seems to be largely "western" thinkers that are featured on the timeline. Does or might the concept change as it comes into contact with different cultures e.g. China? Or is the business model concept a truly international language?

    Glad you liked the tangible approach - plenty more is on the way!

    *as mentioned by Patrick:

  11. With the development of software I think that we soon will have models within models and multiple layers, for different focus areas, depending on the intended use of the model/layer.

    Good input about the western dominance in the literature, I look forward to get some input from eastern thinkers!

  12. Very informative post! Thanks for sharing these interesting graphics, they are very clear, with these I can understand easily. Good job!

  13. I'm impressed with the surprises that the Internet gives me. I am studying business models to compose my dissertation in a town called Florianopolis, located in southern Brazil. And from other links, I found your blog. Thansk a lot. I'll keep following you from day to day.

  14. Thank you for a great overview. Do have any experience with which models is most commen used for the energy sector within natural gas and LNG?

  15. @Guest
    Osterwalder's canvas is very popular looking at one organization. Some industries are more complex than others, have more private-public interactions, complex network of dependent and independent actors, standardizations, etc. If you need to model more than your own organization de Mey and de Ridder's model is good. It all depends on what the purpose is with your modeling.

  16. Great post, The second one is a lot more clear Thank you.