Like lego blocks, the canvas also invites an element of play and creativity which is healthy for achieving breakthrough innovation.
But most importantly, the lightweight nature of the canvas is ideally suited for the innovator’s journey which is best characterized more as a search than execution of a working business model.
Here is what a 1-page business model looks like: The image above shows the Lean Canvas format which is my adaptation of Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.
If you’ve ever written a business plan before, you should immediately recognize most of these boxes. You can use the same basic building blocks to build both simple and complex models.
Think of a business plan and the first thing that comes to your mind is a large boring chunk of a document that you only write when you are seeking investment from an investor.
But on a second thought, a business plan should not be that hard.
While carrying your core business model assumptions in your head alone might seem like the fastest alternative, you need to beware of the reality distortion fields that plague entrepreneurs.
Most entrepreneurs start with a strong initial vision and a Plan A for realizing that vision. Instead of chasing a mythical perfect plan, what you need is a well documented starting point and a systematic process for going from your Plan A to a plan that works before running out of resources. While writing a business plan can be a good exercise for the entrepreneur, it takes too long and more importantly, falls short of its true purpose: Facilitating conversations with people other than yourself.
It would be akin to building a house without a blueprint.
Or maybe you’re one of the lucky few who have never had to write one. But a no-plan alternative isn’t the solution either.