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

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?

PS. This plugin is currently out of development. If you’d want to pick up the code, please let me know.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

33 thoughts on “Turn Your Blog Into a Lean Startup and Business Model Design Tool

  1. Nilesh says:

    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

    • 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.

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    • 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Octavio says:

    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!

  7. Roger Auge says:

    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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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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