Good Start, But This App Needs a Few Pivots

The stars all seemed to be converging for me as a fan of the Business Model Canvas.

I am refining the 3.0 version of my syllabus for my planning class that has become largely centered around the Business Model Generation framework.  I have never been more energized going into a new academic year.  My class no longer looks like a traditional old business planning class.  Instead, students learn to develop a business model and pivot until the cows come home.  My old slide decks have been filed away and I have all new PowerPoints with fresh lessons, images, videos, and of course, Dilbert cartoons.

I have organised a group of faculty from across the US and Canada to present how we use the business modelling to teach our students how to successfully launch a venture that is responsive to the market.  We will be offering a pre-conference session at USASBE this coming January

I have been exploring how we might do some research into business modelling with a few colleagues.

Students and alumni who have been using the business model generation framework have been raving about its power and utility.

And then for Father’s Day, my wonderful family gave me an iPad.  Now I can finally get the Business Model Toolbox App.  I imagined connecting my new iPad to the LCD in the classroom so I had the ability to bring the business model canvas to life for my students.

But alas, even at the hefty price of $30, this app falls well short of what I hoped for. 

Is it a great tool for developing a business model?  Yes, but mostly if you work alone.  It is not easily shared unless you pass around your iPad and cannot be shown live and in motion via and external monitor or better yet LCD projector. (NOTE:  My friends at Aloompa tell me that it can work with an HDMI cable).

The beauty of the business model canvas is that it allows you to create a large visual representation of the business on a whiteboard or on the wall with sticky notes.  Then you, your partners, your team, and your advisers can all look at the same picture and refine it, improve it, or quite often pivot it entirely.

I am glad I bought the app, as it will be a great tool to work with students and alumni one-on-one in my office.  And I know my Apple-minded, shall I call them Apple-zealot, students will likely find it a great tool to learn how to use this incredibly useful tool.

But it has a ways to go to be a true app version of the original.

So for the entrepreneur on a tight budget, bootstrapping your way to launch, I still recommend the paper version and all of the free information available on the web.

The business model for this app needs a few more pivots before I recommend it as an essential tool worth $30.

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