In a previous post about minimum viable blogging I briefly discussed how a blog might transform into a potential product. I learned from several entrepreneurs and bloggers that they have had similar experiences.
So today I'm launching a small experiment taking this idea one step further. Here is how I'll use this blog to document our own business model hypothesis.
Simple structure of the business model testing scheme
As a part of some recent changes to this blog (moved to own domain), I have added a new structure that follows the Business Model Canvas.
This means that all posts will be categorized with one or more of the 9 business model blocks; customer segmentation, value proposition/product offering, distribution channel, customer relationship/demand creation, revenue models, cost structure, key activities, key partners, and partner development.
For subjects regarding external and competitive hypothesis I've added Strategy as an additional category. To this I attend to use Lean Startup and Customer Development techniques to develop our problem/solution hypothesis.
Why use a blog to test business model hypothesis
Why would I do this? First of all, I hope to share lessons learned in documenting business model hypothesis in the context of a digital startup. Posts will be living examples of how to do or not to do this.
Second, by documenting such hypothesis we'll be able to measure our own progress and decisions, and at the same time receive valuable feedback from fellow entrepreneurs as your self.
Third, by watching the emergence of methodologies such as Lean Startup and Customer Development, I believe that the social web has given breed to an academic sub-culture. I hope to contribute to such research in the field of entrepreneurial management.
For an example, we'd be able to see at what frequency which business model blocks are tested and if we'd need any additional blocks other than what the framework covers today.
One major challenge though lies with broadcasting own ideas just about ready for any competitor to pick it up. However, as I do believe in the startup methods I here cover, "speed wins" is the winning argument.
Transparently documenting business model assumptions and receiving feedback from potential users would in principle be a source of advantage.
I hope to give fellow entrepreneurs a sense of what went wrong, what went right, and how to to better document business model hypothesis for their own business.
Update: Make sure to check out the Business Model Press WordPress plugin to begin "business model blogging".