Applying Business Model Canvas on Design Thinking Approach

From the Business Model Innovation blog

Where is the invention from design thinking that changed the industry? Where is the  iTunes or the  Kindle of Ideo? The problem with design thinking starts very early in the process with the problem  definition phase. And that is where large corporations fail. They define the scope too narrow and than you get nice new things that sustain your current business but not new business models that rock your industry and yourself.

Let’s see the differences, according to the article,

Business Innovation – Novo Nordisk, Pioneer, New inventions, Walmart/Aldi/Zara/H&M, Industry-changing (new business models, new ways to increase profits)

Design Thinking – IDEO, Lilly, Catching-up, Modular Shopping Cart, New shopping experience (think the blog missed out this is about making the experience more pleasant so that shoppers will return to the supermarket for future purchases, which is probably another way to make (more) money)

So, to adapt the definition phase of design thinking, the article suggests to first review your current business model and value proposition. And then, challenge the hidden assumption or dominant logic of the industry, which would lead yout to some groundbreaking results.  

The design thinking part kicks in: explore which jobs do you solve for your customers? who are the different users? how can you solve very different jobs for different customers with the same product?

I think this aspect is rather well-demonstrated with the case of the newspaper industry and the ground screw innovation on the other pages of the blog.

Lessons Learned: Jobs to get Done

  • Do not ask your customers what new products they want but look which job you can solve for them in a better and more economical way.
  • Segment your market according to the jobs that people are trying to get done. Understand that job not the product category. The market for ground screws was previously a market for spates, concrete and construction workers. If you think in along these market categories you could not have found the job of fixing something in the ground.
  • And then help them to get that job done as efficient and economic as possible. Don’t create with the problem solving new problems.
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2 Responses to Applying Business Model Canvas on Design Thinking Approach

  1. Hello, great post. That is exactly what I think we need to do. But we should not say Business Model Innovation VS Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a great method but it is important to ask the right questions and here the business model canvas can help.


    • bellamela says:

      Hi Patrick,
      I didn’t mean to pit Business Model Innovation against Design Thinking. When I wrote that, I was thinking about how the two could work together. Will edit the title to avoid future confusion. 🙂

      I actually practise design thinking in my profession, and for my school project I have to apply that on the creation of a business model, which is rather new to me. Your articles are a great help. Thanks!


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