Archive for February, 2011

Modern companies such as Zipcar are focusing on customers who need simple, individualized solutions for their temporary transportation needs. They want cost flexibility and a variety of cars for different occasions. There are many potential advantages to both the customer and the supplier when the transaction is based more on subscriptions than on one-time purchases. Modern companies such as  Zipcar want to have a lot of members since that will guarantee them predictable revenue streams. Zipcar subscribers also want to  be able to easily find the cars they hire. They can do so with Google maps, which displays all the locations of Zipcar pick-ups and drop-offs. This convenience makes Google maps the perfect distribution channel for Zipcar offers.  When a customer uses the car, he /she can employ Google maps for navigation and to discover where  the car can be returned once it is no longer needed.


I respect books as personal experiences, encounters with the creative mind of a writer. When I read books, it is a peaceful, even a spiritual, interlude. Books stimulate my imagination and inspire me to creative thinking. I like paper books, which has caused me to have some reservations about how widespread and popular online books might become. But some days ago, I watched a very thought-provoking IDEO video about the future of online books in the context of business model combining. It made me re-evaluate some of my opinions.

It was a five-minute video exploring the possibilities of digital books, and it examined three current concepts: the Nelson service, the Coupland service, and the Alice service. All three target groups of potentially interested users, but they differ in their offerings.

The Nelson service value propositions enable books to become the basis for critical thinking tools. They do so by combining all kinds of information, which can then be connected with a book’s content and author, providing multiple perspectives, references, and current conversations on that text. The layers of information beyond the book itself enable it to be seen in a much wider context, throughout history, the present time, and the future. If want to use the Nelson concept, we have to combine the books’ business models with the partners’ business models, the sources that have all the additional data connected with the books’ contents.

The Coupland service stimulates readers by connecting them into “book clubs” and other social layers where discussions, collaborations, suggestions, lists, and purchases can help each reader share and learn from others. The Coupland business model combines readers’ personal  business models.

The Alice service combines new ways for users to interact and affect the content of the books. Active participation allows each reader to utilize geographic location, communicate through the characters, and contribute to the storyline.

These kinds of services were used in the case of the book Business Model Generation, where readers co-created the content and style of the book. These concepts seem to indicate that the future of books will depend in large measure on support services which enable new value propositions, collaboration, co- creation of new contents, and new ways of learning. Those services will follow from new business models and business model combining.

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Techno cake presently has forty-nine members, and that number could, and most likely will,  increase with each talk. Techno cake can exist in the long run only if we have a sustainable business model that extends beyond just  profit.  This is the  reason that I created the prototype of the Techno cake business model and now, to further develop that prototype,  I need  to brainstorm with the current members of the movement.


Business Model Canvas, Osterwalder, Pigneur & al. 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Syndicom, founded in 2000, is a leader in on-line collaborative communities for medical practitioners and medical device companies. Its business model has established a platform for a community of spinal surgeons who meet virtually and share information about patients to further the development of new therapies. Syndicom also offers medical device companies private, peer-to-peer medical education, collaborative product development, and real-time sales support.

Syndicom’s R&D team combines the business models of many surgeons into the Syndicom business model. They form a crowd source for the Syndicom value propositions for the R&D of service (for orthopedic, trauma and spinal cases) and peer to peer medical education. The surgeons involved are the same-time partners and customers of the Syndicom value propositions of products and services. Syndicom has its own offer as a value proposition for membership into Syndicom, R&D database information, and real-time service.

Companies which offer medical devices combine their business models into the Syndicom business model because by doing so, they can sell on-line to clinics or hospitals where surgeons work. The Syndicom network brings a value proposition to its members and can enable best client relations.

Syndicom’s cost structure is based on the key costs: the R&D of services cost, the platform management cost, and the platform maintainence cost. These are mostly fixed and are determined by the number of network members. Syndicom gets a revenue stream from membership fees, on line sale fees, and advertising fees.

Why should surgeons and medical device producers join the Syndicom business model? Surgeons can gain the opportunity to co-create new products/services, to use other services, and to profit from the know-how and experiences of other surgeons. Medical devices producers join the network because it offers them an on-line channel to many potential customers.

Business Model Canvas, Osterwalder, Pigneur & al. 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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