Business Model Generation 2010 Conference in Rotterdam

Last week I had the very good fortune to find myself in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to spend time with my colleagues in the business model community and discover new friends in the leancamp community. The reason for my adventure from Canada to the Netherlands was to join Patrick van der Pijl and Camilla van den Boom at the 2010 Business Model Generation conference hosted by
Business Models Inc. and Kluwer (publishers of the Dutch version of Business
Model Generation).


I was thrilled at the opportunity to exchange ideas with some people whom I have admired from afar and get a feel for the business model innovation community in the Netherlands. It was a huge bonus that Alex joined as the keynote speaker. Though we have spoken many times over Skype, the last
time Alex and I were in the same room was 2008 in Toronto. Throw in, on top of all that, the opportunity to learn about leancamp and all the activity around startup entrepreneurship with Salim Virani, originally from Vancouver now living in London.


The event was fantastic; my congratulations to Patrick and Camilla for the event site (SS Rotterdam), the schedule, and quality of the presenters.


The day began with our popular guru Alex talking up a storm about the business model innovation world. What followed was a series of presentations by three representatives talking about their business models; all developed in conjunction with Business Models Inc. Hans Mayer made a great
presentation on the business model around Citizen M hotels; using blue ocean strategy to clarify the innovations they have brought to their hotel concept. Michiel Muller talked about Tango and how they have reconceived the gas station business. Michael Maasdam spoke about the innovation he has spearheaded in KPN telecom business.


I have to confess I missed the next presentation by Maurice van Steensel on the business model they developed for the medical environment. I was grabbing a rare chance to spend some time with Alex in a private conversation over a cup of coffee. I was getting some advice on my own presentation on business model innovation at the upcoming Business Analyst World in Ottawa.


The afternoon’s session began with a great panel discussion with Alex, Patrick, Michiel, Hans, and Michael answering questions from the crowd. Annemarie van Gaal, who was a real treat, moderated the panel. Next, there was a change of pace with JAM providing a session on drawing. The afternoon wound up with a very interesting session with rock star Hind talking about her evolution and a
crowdsourcing session on ideas to innovate her music business model; concluding with a musical performance.


It was a wonderful day of presentations and conversations. I had a chance to talk with Michael Maasdam about mobilizing senior management support in large organizations and with Willem Klijnstra of Utrecht University about the business model canvas and its uses. There were many other
conversations with people who were pleased to see me there and interested in my experiences with BMG in Canada. I have to pass along a special thanks to Patrick van der Pijl who served as ‘whisperer’ for Salim and me, giving us simultaneous translation for the sessions in Dutch.


Congratulations to Business Models Inc. and Kluwer for a great event.

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Comment by Alex Osterwalder on December 3, 2010 at 1:52am
Hey Mike, was good to chat, indeed! And keep churning out those visual slides. No more bullet points!
Comment by Patrick van der Pijl on December 1, 2010 at 9:02am
Mike, it was a real pleasure to meet. We had great fun and so much to share and talk about. We will continue the journey... Thanks for your post. The video will be uploaded soon... (next week). Cheers from Amsterdam

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