Chapter 3. Design

"Businesspeople don't just need to understand designers better; they need to become designers."

Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management

This section describes a number of techniques and tools from the world of design that can help you design better and more innovative business models. A designer's business involves relentless inquiry into the best possible way to create the new, discover the unexplored, or achieve the functional. A designer's job is to extend the boundaries of thought, to generate new options, and, ultimately, to create value for users. This requires the ability to imagine "that which does not exist." We are convinced that the tools and attitude of the design profession are prerequisites for success in the business model generation.

Businesspeople unknowingly practice design every day. We design organizations, strategies, business models, processes, and projects. To do this, we must take into account a complex web of factors, such as competitors, technology, the legal environment, and more. Increasingly, we must do so in unfamiliar, uncharted territory. This is precisely what design is about. What businesspeople lack are design tools that complement their business skills.

The following pages explore six business model design techniques: Customer Insights, Ideation, Visual Thinking, Prototyping, Storytelling, and Scenarios. We introduce each technique with a story, then demonstrate how the technique applies to business model design. Here and ...

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