The Lean Canvas Business Model is a variation of the original “business model canvas” devised by Alexander Osterwalder (thanks to its Creative Commons BY-SA license).
Extremely simple in its design, the Business Model Canvas empowers entrepreneurs to create, visualize and test business models without wasting capital or overcomplicating their approach.
Today, it’s used by startups to break new ground, as well as massive companies like GE, P&G and 3M to explore new models and keep up with the competition.
It’s also the core of the book Business Model Generation (co-authored by Osterwalder and Pigneur), which has sold over a million copies in 30 languages.
Harness the power of the Lean Canvas if you are a startup or a new corporate venture.
THE ORIGINAL BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
It’s said that no business plan survives its first contact with customers– Osterwalder.
The Business Model Canvas was partially born out of this need to create more flexible plans that could be tested and changed quickly to meet customer needs.
Most importantly, it standardizes the elements of business models and turns them into modules that predictably interact with and influence one another.
The Business Model Canvas is constructed out of nine building blocks? nine blocks that equip you to think of thousands of possibilities and alternatives (and find the best ones):
- Customer segments (your audiences).
- Value propositions (the product or service you provide).
- Channels to reach customers (distribution, stores).
- The type of relationships you want to establish with your customers.
- Revenue streams you generate the key resources you have to work with (capital, talent).
- The key activities you can use to create value (marketing, engineering).
- Your key partnerships (who can help you leverage your model).
- The cost structure of the business model (what you must invest).
These nine elements are arranged to show how they impact each other.
THE LEAN CANVAS BUSINESS MODEL
There are several variations, but the Lean Canvas has gained traction thanks to the lean startup movement. The Lean Startup was made popular by the book written by Eric Ries, if you haven’t read it I do recommend it, it outlines the philosophy and methods used.
Each tool adopts takes a different approach to the original by Osterwalder based on the to the goal or the development stage of the business idea.
One of the most popular of these alternative versions is the “lean canvas” created by Ash Maurya. I’m going to walk you through how it differs from the original and show you when and how to use it.
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Lean Canvas vs Business Model Canvas
The difference between both tools lies in the alteration of the four units:
- Key Partners (Business Model Canvas) vs. Problem (Lean Canvas)
- Key Activities (Business Model Canvas) vs. Solution (Lean Canvas)
- Key Resources (Business Model Canvas) vs. Key Metrics (Lean Canvas)
- Customer Relationships (Business Model Canvas) vs. Unfair Advantage (Lean Canvas)