If your only tool is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.
Joseph Weizenbaum

While pursuing research to find a good way of visualizing internet based business models, I investigated existing forms and tools of visualization from both theory and practice. This led me to the conclusion that there are many models, in addition to the original Business Model Canvas introduced by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, that can be helpful when designing, investigating or communicating a business model. Considering the value network of a business is an example of how their model can be complemented. In addition to filling in or expanding the original canvas, designing a value network can reveal the relationships of different actors engaged with a business. There are different means for achieving this – more will be published soon in the business model toolbox. Checking the core logic of the business and growth strategy by using a cause-effect model or even by elaborating the business processes to understand how to generate and capture value are further examples of complements to the original canvas. Based on my research and the interesting tools I discovered, I realized that we often apply the original canvas as a hammer. Despite there being other possibly better tools available, we are primarily concerned with learning how to hammer better. To share these other approaches for analyzing business models, I decided to publish a toolbox that introduces you to different tools so that you can choose according do the particular task at hand.


The toolbox will introduce you to different patterns as an inspiration for business model innovation. What do I mean by „patterns“? Think, for example, of the Razor and Blade model introduced by Gillette to sell the core product at a low price and the expendable product at a high price. Companies like Nespresso, HP, or Kindle have successfully translated this pattern into their own products and industries. An interesting research study, conducted by Prof. Oliver Gassmann and his team at the St Gallen University (http://www.bmi-lab.ch ). revealed that many successful companies with innovative business models utilized existing patterns to apply them in novel contexts.


The Business Model Toolbox should become even more valuable with your input and feedback with regard to how you applied the the different tools and patterns for your specific scenarios. To support you in this process, we would like to give you the opportunity to reach out to us to discuss specific tools and patterns of interests.


Currently we are working on a solution that should make it easy for you to find suitable tools, or just to get inspired by creative solutions.


Future news and developments of the Business Model Toolbox will be posted on this blog. Join our newsletter, and never miss an update 🙂