Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Evolution of the Business Model Concept

Below is a second iteration representing the evolution of the business model concept, including graphical representations, significant publications and books on the subject. Thank you everyone for your input, comments and emails with additional models and publications.

Which business model concepts are you still missing? Which significant publications? Comment below or send feedback to


Version 2:


  1. Fascinating, useful and extremely helpful for a related project I'm working on.

    So, here's a trick question: in the business model world, what's the most popular model? What's the most accepted at this point in history, the 'basic standard' which you'd be most likely to see in a first-year management class somewhere?

  2. Great! congratulations. I'm using Osterwalder graphical Business Model for my Elevator Pitch presentation right now. I find it extremely useful to quickly depict the business strategy behind a product when is time to pitch.

  3. Thanks,

    Alex Osterwalder has done a great job in promoting his business model canvas (three illustrations from 2009 above), and I would argue that it is the most accepted model right now. It is interesting to see in the illustration above how it has evolved from earlier versions in 2002 and 2004.

    However, it is important to remember that different models have different pros and cons and serves different purposes. It is for example difficult to illustrate complex value networks with Alex's model.

  4. came across this biz model graphic in a presentation by Royal ten Cate (

    splits the value chain into market-product-process-technology and the management of that chain into market mgt - portfolio mgt - process mgt - business dev't

    don't know where it came from

  5. Thank you for your input Gert! I will look into the model.

  6. Hi Anders

    I have just had the occasion to review the Value Shop and Value Network models for my current project. I was surprised to find the models were first described by Stabell and Fjeldsted in 1998 in a paper titled "Configuring Value for Competitive Advantage: On Chains, Shops and Networks" in the Strategic Management Journal v19, 413-437.

    Apparently they worked on the problem solving and platfrom models immediately after Porter had described the product model. The "Casting Off The Chains" article by Fjeldsted and Andersen was a re-finement of the early document.

  7. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for the comment! I will read and include the original article in the next iteration.

    Take care,

  8. A great piece of work Anders,
    It seems to me that business modelling has always been pretty visual. This is something that has always escaped me!

  9. Excellent timeline!! Could you just make it available as a pdf download, each model on a single page.

  10. Just came across your diagram. Interesting, thanks.

    Kaplan & Norton's "Strategy Maps" is another visual model. (Harvard Business School Press, 2004.)

  11. Great piece of work indeed.
    A PDF version would be really helpful.