The term pattern comes from architecture and stands for the idea of capturing architectural design ideas as archetypal and reusable descriptions. In Business Model Generation we tried to do the same for business models: we described archetypal business models by using the Business Model Canvas as a shared language.

In Business Model Generation we limited ourselves to sketching out five business model patterns built on important concepts in the business literature. Of course, many more business model patterns are imaginable.

To qualify as a business model pattern a business model should have similar...

  • characteristics
  • business model building blocks (e.g. the same key activities, resources, etc.)
  • arrangements of business model building blocks (e.g. the same combination of revenue streams, customers, and value propositions)
  • behaviors

Which business model patterns should we try to describe and discuss on the Business Model Innovation Hub?

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The Monitor Group described MARKET-BASED SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBAL POVERTY in its report Emerging Markets, Emerging Models (on slideshare: ).

I experimented with BMDesigner on the first of the Monitor models: pay-per-use, here

It may be interesting to draft a canvas for each of the five Monitor models?
So pay-per-use could be for anything? e.g., a local 'telephone' service (e.g., cell phone), a village washing machine, refrigeration, etc.? did you have a specific 'thing' in mind? this is very cool and has been used in some areas already (e.g., the woman in a village with a pay-per-use cell phone for the village) - but it could be some ways it's also a bit like zip-cars.
Thanks Gert, very interesting.

I would like to use this also to express my interest in contributing to future work on the hub that targets emerging markets in particular and than I am thinking of a two way process, what can they learn from business models in more developed markets and what can developed markets learn form new emerging models. In geographical term, I would like to target Sri Lanka as I have some personal and work contacts there.
Link appears not to work for everyone. This one should be better.
Here is the pdf of Monitor's report.

Thank for PDF.

Business models for integrated solutions

I recently made a first draft of a business model for "integrated solutions" based on 'Charting a Path Toward Integrated Solutions' (Davies, Brady & Hobday, 2006). See also here for more.
For instance, I would like to propose for discussion, the business model patterns that small communities have, like the ones we can find in small farmers markets, or fishing communities, many of whom are being closed or disappearing, so its kind of a sustantability issue. How can we give those communities a new business model scenario? perhaps they can compete through tourism and not selling products a the lowest price? what is the value proposition this small communities have to offer?

I guess it could be interesting to hava a look at this
Take Madison WI as an example. From Spring to Fall the Madison Farmers Market spans the Capitol Square. Thousands of people come from as far as Chicago for the market. The market is a big draw to the city. One of the biggest aspects is a sense of community in shared space. Since the market is around the state capitol it is conceptually about democracy, bringing all aspects of daily life together every saturday. There is a wide range of price points for goods as well as margins. Also political interests and street performers and weekend festivals such as Art on the Square. The point isn't the sale of the product (though it is for the vendors) it is about selling Madison as a destination and one of the most livable cities in the US. For the city of Madison the weekly farmers market is a spectacle that defines the very nature of the town. It is a big reason that some many people choose to call Madison home. Quality of life has kept the Madison area housing market fairly stable, is a huge draw for prospective students who attend the University of Wisconsin and must be one of the reasons that Madison can command a premium for property tax.

Patterns for small communities should revolve primarily around quality of life. This involves social models as well as business models working in tandem. The value proposition that small communities have to offer, in the US, are about shared identity (who are we and is this compelling to others), democracy (how people come together to define a shared vision for the future) and quality of life (how do services support a sense of community that translates into a dreamy utopia that others want to be a part of or experience). The sense of community imo hinges on a community supporting reoccuring like the farmers market are consistent and can be counted on...if they are not consistent then nothing will build and transform. Time shapes experience!
My experience with patterns comes from the technical world. I had to get well acquainted with the use of paterns and anti-patterns during my Enterprise Architecture Certification Process at IBM so that I could know when to apply or avoid possible building fundamentals in the crafting of a solution. I see a lot of similarities between the possibility of having business model canvas patterns with that of technical patterns. What is even more interesting is how these technical patterns got recognized, documented, communicated and adopted by the architects on a wide scale. As with most things, there was a "tipping point" in this process, but there are some strong similarities and lessons learned that we can use towards evolving the business model canvas community knowledge towards a standard set of patterns that can help us get the fundamental components of a model in place thus setting us on the right track for the creative aspects of the rest of the model.

Here is a link from TOGAF that provides info on technical and business patterns - The IBM patterns are mentioned at this link, but the history of how technical patterns evolved is widely published in books and on the web. Do you also see such evolution possible for the business model canvas patterns? Have you come across initiatives that can contribute to such an idea?

a business model what I am missing is "trade-in".

I think it is a rather interesting business model, it could also be called "reverse long tail model". In opposite to the "long tail model" a "trade-in" model is intended to collect a diverse range of products instead of distributing it from sellers to buyers.

An example is "Greener Solutions" that is a company that is collecting used mobile phones in rich countries and selling them to the market where they are needed.

The same pattern could be used to establish a scheme that enables poor people in developing countries to collect "garbage" like plastic bags, tyres or other worthless things for further use in an economic manner.

Another - but by far more evolved example - is the "Gruener Punkt" in Gemany, which is in essence a monopoly for collecting and recycling garbage (read garbage as raw material). Gruener Punkt is a GmbH (German Ltd) which gets a premium for recycling the garbage.

I am not an expert regarding the situation of poor people in poor countries, but I do believe that any garbage can be used to make something more useful out of it.

Potential user base: 2-3 billion customers
Potential market size: hmm...some billion USDs probably
Ethic Impact: Huge
Environmental Impact: Huge

"trade-in pattern" or "reverse long tail pattern"

I suggest that FairPay, a radically new adaptive and dynamic pricing process, enables entirely new business model patterns that are very timely and deserve wide consideration.

FairPay combines the flexibility and participation offered to buyers by "Pay What You Want" (PWYW), but with the hook of consequences that make it fair to sellers. It works where there is a subscription or other ongoing relationship of continuing sales, by tracking how fairly each individual buyer pays over a series of transactons and letting the seller control whether to make continuing offers. FairPay is particularly well suited to the Internet and digital media, for which "outmoded business models" are loudly crashing and burning, and for which it is all too clear that new designs are urgently needed. FairPay offers a realistic and powerful way to change the game.

In fact, the adaptive and dynamic nature of FairPay is itself a process for generating the details of business models (because it can take on the characteristics of many different models), and thus can help bake this idea of business model generation into core business processes. Given this deep and broad impact, I suggest that FairPay offers a new business model "Pattern."

More detail on FairPay as a new pattern for Business Model Generation is given in my blog post at

I welcome feedback on this.


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