Episode 120: Alexander Osterwalder, Founder of Strategyzer.com and Co-Creator of Business Model Generation

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In this episode, I interview Alexander Osterwalder of Strategyzer.com. He talks about business planning versus business model generation, and why this is important for young entrepreneurs and young people interested in business.

Guest Bio:

Alexander Osterwalder, Founder of Strategyzer.comAlexander Osterwalder is an entrepreneur, speaker and business model innovator. Together with Professor Yves Pigneur he invented the Business Model Canvas, a practical tool to visualize, challenge and (re-) invent business models. The Canvas is used by leading organizations around the world, like GE, P&G, Ericsson, and 3M.

Alexander is a frequent keynote speaker and has held guest lectures in top universities around the world, including Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, IESE and IMD.

The Business Model Foundry, his current start-up, is building strategic tools for innovators. Strategyzer.com and the Business Model Toolbox for iPad are the Foundry’s first applications.

Alexander holds a PhD from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland, and is a founding member of The Constellation, a global not-for-profit organization aiming to make HIV/AIDS and Malaria history.

(source: amazon.com)

Show Notes:

(02:12) When people ask you what do you do, what’s your typical response to them?

(02:34) One of my favorite things is figuring out, digging into people’s backgrounds. So, where did you grow up?

(02:46) What about your parents? What were their profession?

(03:00) What got you into the business model game? What was your passion, getting into business model generation?

(03:34) I heard you talk in different videos about business plans versus business model generation. Can you tell me what you noticed as far as  what the previous process was for developing businesses and why you came to develop the business model canvas?

(05:19) Can you explain for the audience who may not be familiar with the business model canvas, the 9 different components and how it’s laid out?

(06:17) I use the business model canvas a lot. One of the things that really caught me is I find it to be, rather than a linear process which is the typical business planning process, it is much more dynamic in the way you go about it… What was the process behind designing what the 9 components would be, and how you were thinking about making it a dynamic process to go through?

(08:35) It’s become a staple in the start-up tech communities. It’s become this really huge framework in that world. How did this grow into such a phenomenon in that space? I’m curious to see how that branding took place.

(11:38) You just mentioned a bunch of larger corporations. Are you seeing more integration in those larger corporations now taking this approach?

(12:26) In working with the business model canvas, value proposition is one of the 9 components. Can you walk through why you decided to write this next book on value proposition design?

(16:04) One of the things I talk a lot about on the program is that high achievers tend to be goal-oriented but the really successful ones are the ones that focus on the process rather than the outcome. What do you say about the organizations that have been most successful that you’ve worked with in implementing these tools. What do you see in these high-achieving organizations and people who implement the right way?

(19:52) You’ve been doing a lot of work with entrepreneurs and with big corporations, kind of entrepreneurial type activities… What about in colleges? I’m curious as to how much this shift in mindset from the old-school model of developing business plans to really focusing on a collaborative, a dynamic approach, a business model generation approach. How much work, how much change have you seen at the college level, as far as developing business people and entrepreneurs?

(22:00) I wonder what it’s going to look like in 5 to 10 years when we start to see these students come out with a different mindset, with a different framework?

(23:36) When you think of the word successful, who’s the first person that comes to mind?

(24:36) What book has most influenced you and why?

(25:25) If you could have dinner with one person you admire, past or present, who would it be and why?

Rita McGrath


Website: strategyzer.com



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