How the Business Model Canvas Helps You Develop Startup Ideas

Apr 19, 2021

“Ideas placed in the Canvas trigger new ones. The Canvas becomes a tool for facilitating the idea dialogue—for individuals sketching out their ideas and for groups developing ideas together.”  – Alexander Osterwalder

“The same products, services or technologies can fail or succeed depending on the business model you choose. Exploring the possibilities is critical to finding a successful business model. Settling on first ideas risks the possibility of missing potential that can only be discovered by prototyping and testing different alternatives.” – Alexander Osterwalder


Are you maximizing the success potential of your startup idea?


Before you execute on a startup idea, it’s a good idea to list and analyze several factors pertaining to the startup to evaluate your range of potential options. Traditionally, entrepreneurs drafted long, cumbersome business plans that could take days or even weeks to complete. The Business Model Canvas can be completed within one hour and you’ll have a clearer grasp of the alternative actions that can help your startup idea to succeed.


Using the Business Model Canvas may very well be the fastest way to develop and analyze the possibilities of your new startup ideas. Before you even start a business, you can use this canvas to contemplate possible partners, resources you’ll use, how you’ll connect with customers, demographics you’ll target, how you’ll market your business, the different ways you’ll make money, and more. With this canvas, you can create multiple business models and iterations for the same idea to broaden your options. In a relatively short amount of time, you’ll see several steps ahead and a multitude of alternative actions to take.

Quote - Business Model Canvas


The Business Model Canvas was created by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It’s been used by numerous Fortune 500 companies and its widely popular in the startup community.

Business Model Canvas:

Business Model Canvas


The Business Model Canvas consists of nine business model building blocks:

  1. Infrastructure
    • Key Activities: The most important activities in executing a company’s value proposition.
    • Key Resources: The resources that are necessary to create value for the customer.
    • Partner Network: Buyer-supplier relationships the organization cultivates so it can focus on its core activity.
  2. Offering
    • Value Propositions: The collection of products and services a business offers to meet the needs of its customers.
  3. Customers
    • Customer Segments: The customers the company is trying to serve.
    • Channels: How the company delivers its value proposition to its targeted customers.
    • Customer Relationships: The type of relationships a business wants to create with its customer segments.
    • Cost Structure: The most important monetary consequences while operating under different business models.
    • Revenue Streams: The way a company makes income from each customer segment.



To use the canvas more effectively, I recommend reading its accompanying book, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Out of the many business books I’ve read, I would rank this book in the top 10 must-reads for aspiring entrepreneurs and startup founders in the early stages of building a company:

Business Model Canvas - Book Cover


The Business Model Canvas will greatly increase your chances of succeeding with your startup. You can easily download a copy of the Business Model Canvas at the following page:


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