Turn Your Blog Into a Lean Startup and Business Model Design Tool

by tor on June 6, 2012

Business Model Canvas for WordPress

Business Model Press is based on Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.

Blogging is not only useful for introducing ideas. It’s also the primary way many companies communicate with and get feedback from their customers – making blogging a killer opportunity for business model- and customer development.

After having more than 100 students and 20 startup teams doing exactly that – blog their business model – I learned that it helped the teams systemize collaboration, speed up the learning process, get going with customer development and more quickly take action on their business model assumptions.

Yet, the teams still had to download the business model canvas, convert it into a picture, upload it to PowerPoint, take notes on top of it, and store it as a new picture. Following, they had to upload, resize, and import it to the editorial before finally publishing – and repeat for each and every iteration of the business model. Not very efficient.

How Business Model Press Helps

Business Model Press is a simple WordPress plugin that lets you easily publish your business model assumptions directly from your WordPress dashboard, and get feedback from customers and stakeholders using the WordPress commenting system. We wanted to help you:

Visualize Your Business Model. Easily sketch out and document your business model assumptions directly from your WordPress dashboard. Integrate business model prototyping with your daily editorials, blog comments, and distribution metrics.

Share and get feedback. Many companies rely upon their blogs to communicate with and get feedback from customers and users. Simply publish your business model to your site and get feedback from customers, blog followers, or advisors using WordPress’ commenting system.

Don’t just ideate your business model, take action on it. Your business model is more than just a static planning tool. Test and track your business model assumptions continuously by tagging assumptions pending, validated, or invalidated. Understand how your business model is affected by customer feedback and every experiment you run.

And if you’d want to share your business model only with internal stakeholders, simply make your post private and have your contributors log in using a password.

Why “Business Model Blogging”?

More and more startups share their stories through blogs and learn through interacting with their community.

So it appears that blogging is a useful tool for discovering and testing new business ideas. You’d write blog posts to test your value proposition, align your business model with inbound traffic to test distribution channels, or even extend your Minimum Viable Product by taking sign-ups directly through WordPress’ integrated user management system.

But we would not only create Business Model Press to bring Lean Startup and customer development methodology to the publishing world. We wanted it to work as a stand-alone business model development tool as well.

Not yet another app

There are many useful web-based business model tools out there. But they did not quite meet our need for business model blogging and sharing. Using existing business model tools you’d still have to somehow export, import, resize, and publish the canvas to your blog each and every time you make a new revision.

As existing apps are good enough at what they do, we wouldn’t make just another one. Instead, we asked, why not integrate your innovation workflow at where you already have (or will have) interactions with your customers, where you experiment with new ideas, and collaborate with stakeholders.

Taking the platform into account; some build on Facebook, others build on WordPress. Today, WordPress powers 17 percent of the web and it’s used by 48 of the top 100 blogs worldwide. More than 50,000 WordPress-powered blogs come online on a daily basis, and 92 percent of the users are said to be using WordPress as a CMS in addition to a blog. It’s big.

Learning Is Everything

At first I wanted Business Model Press to help students run with business model- and customer development, without having to fight PowerPoint and Photoshop or get into yet another software. But in the world of The Lean Startup every entrepreneur is a student, so I wanted to share it with my readers alike.

What if you could easily use your blog to visualize, share, and get feedback on your business model assumptions, leveraging Lean Startup and customer development techniques? Would you use it?

Why not head out to BusinessModelPress.com and get yourself a beta invite?

You should follow me on Twitter here.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Nilesh June 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I think it is a very great idea to release this as a plugin. Will the business model be posted as a new Post or a Page?

Any examples of those samples (live)

Nilesh
InfoCaptor

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tor June 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Thx for feedback, Nilesh. You can share it both as a post and a page, using shortcodes. Will share samples and other goodies to beloved beta testers soon.

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taxisostenible June 7, 2012 at 8:48 am

We will test it! Thanks to @yoemprendo to recomend us

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tor June 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Glad to have you on board :)

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Michael June 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm

We will test it too on our internal blog.

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tor June 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Good news, Michael. Would love to learn about how you’re using your blog for business development / internal communication today?

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company naming service June 20, 2012 at 7:04 am

Making a tool for blogging and use blogging as a business/customer development tool gives a best way to get an attention of the customers towards the company, also take advantage of sharing the views.Thanks for sharing

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tor June 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for feedback. Do you have experience using blogging as a customer development tool?

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Calendar42 July 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Hello Tor
We are a startup company from Netherlands, currently working on the business model design. We think your tools can really help us and have subscribed on the BusinessModelPress.com also sent your the email but didn’t receive the respond yet. Could you sent us a beta invitation or at least feature description of this product?

Thanks

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tor July 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for reaching out. Please find my response in your inbox. I’d be happy to learn about your needs over a Skype call or similar. Looking forward to hear from you.

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register a company July 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Thanks for your excellent article.

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business broker August 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

I am working on a case for strategic management and we are to identify the business model for Sun Microsystems. It is not discussed in the case.

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tor December 30, 2012 at 9:58 am

Hey, what case are you referring to?

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amy September 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

Nice post!!
The tool which you have shared here is interesting and i would like to work with that tool also.
Thanks for sharing this tool with us.

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tor December 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

Happy to hear that, thanks. Feel free to sign up for the beta on businessmodelpress.com.

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Ben September 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

Nice Post :)

I’m also using blogging to help build engagement and to validate ideas – it is a great way to go. Not only can it be used to gauge interest, it really forces you to hone your ideas and where you add value – if you cannot even blog regularly with original compelling content then how will you engage with customers. I’ve signed up to the Beta list – looking forward to hearing more!

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tor December 30, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hi Ben. Happy to have you on board. Where might I find your business model blog to learn about your approach?

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Tarciso November 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I’m developing a WordPress Multisite focused on startups. This plugin “Business Model Press” would be immensely helpful. Certainly I will pay for a Multisite license.

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tor December 30, 2012 at 10:44 am

Glad to hear that. I’m looking forward to get your feedback on this as soon as we launch and learn about how it can help you forward.

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Octavio November 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Hi there! Just wondering what is the state on the releasing of the beta version. I´m eager to try it, in my current project. Looking forward to hear from you!

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tor December 30, 2012 at 10:46 am

Hey. We’re looking to release the beta in early 2013. How can I reach you?

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Larry December 12, 2012 at 9:41 am

I feel very glad to use this tool surely I will try it out and come back soon.

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tor December 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hi Larry. I’m looking forward to get you on board as soon as we launch.

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Roger Auge January 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

Hey Tor…I can’t wait to get an invite to Business Model Press because I’m right in the middle of getting my best idea ever and I could sure use the help.

Roger

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tor January 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

Hey Roger. Thanks for your interest. We’re almost there. In the meantime, let me know if I can be of any help. I appreciate your patience.

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Ben January 22, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hey Tor,

Me also – still keeping an eye on when you launch so that I can give it a try

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tor January 22, 2013 at 9:55 am

Thanks for the heads-up, Ben. Looking forward to get you on board as soon as possible.

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Dave Bergen February 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

We just started a blog for the express purpose of researching potential clients’ response to our business model. This will be a very useful tool. Can hardly wait for you to launch!

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Pedro Maia March 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Hi Tor,
How is the development of businessmodelpress? I’m using wp to manage my clients and bmp you be a wonderful tool.
I applied for beta tester a time ago. Are you still open for testers?
Regards,
Pedro

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Marty KOenig March 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Looking forward to a beat invite. Looks like an awesome solution.

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Suhit July 2, 2013 at 4:56 am

Hey

Great work. I was wondering how long it would take to get a beta invite. I am on the list for a while and I want to use it on my website.

Cheers
S

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