Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers


We often have trouble concocting innovative business models because we are held back by our status quo thinking. This type of thinking stifles the imagination. One way to overcome this problem is to challenge conventional assumptions with “what if” questions. With the right ingredients for a business model, what we thought of as impossible might just become doable. “What if” questions help us break free from constraints imposed by current business models. They provoke us and challenge our thinking. They accost us as intriguing, difficult-to-execute propositions.

What if...

…furniture buyers picked up components in flat pack form from a large warehouse and assembled the products themselves at home? What is common practice today was unthinkable until IKEA introduced the concept in the 1960s.

…airlines didn’t buy engines for their airplanes, but paid for every hour an engine runs? That is how Rolls-Royce transformed itself from a floundering British manufacturer into a service provider that today is the world’s second biggest supplier of large jet engines.

…voice calls were free worldwide? In 2003 Skype launched a service that allowed free voice calling via the internet. Five years later, Skype had acquired 400 million registered users who had collectively made 100 billion free phone calls.

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