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The Lean Canvas

John Jonelis

ENURemember when you wrote that 50 page business plan—the one that nobody actually read? Well, you never have to do it again! Now you can put it all on ONE PAGE.

It’s called the BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS, a.k.a. the LEAN CANVAS. It’s fast. It’s visual. It’s a living document. It’s the new tool of choice among startups, big business, and major universities.

I’m at my old school, taking in the big, all-day “entrepreneur@nu” conference and they just handed me the Canvas on a slick clipboard, complete with a dry erase marker. Want to see how it works in 2 minutes? Check out this cool video from the genius that developed the concept:

Here at Northwestern it looks like total commitment. All the departments are teaching the Canvas. This entire event actually feels like walking around the Canvas itself.

This new line of thought originated with Alexander Osterwalder. I remember when it became a huge subject on LinkedIn—people were struggling to find ways to implement his brilliant conception. Then books came out, refinements were made, and software got developed—some by Osterwalder and more by a number of other people like Steve Blank and Ash Maurya.

Everybody’s got a slightly different slant on the details but they all reach the same goal—incredible efficiency and flexibility. Check out the weblinks below. You can find lots more if you look around.

I’ll be back later with more new thinking and just who won all the money at e@nu.






e@nu Conference  http://entrepreneur.northwestern.edu/conference/2013/

Alexander Osterwalder – Business Model Canvas www.businessmodelgeneration.com You’ll find the video here.

Steve Blank – Lean Launchpad http://steveblank.com/2012/09/06/the-lean-launchpad-online

Ash Maurya – Lean Canvas http://leancanvas.com/

Forbes – Article on Business Model Canvas www.forbes.com/sites/startupviews/2013/01/28/getting-the-most-out-of-getting-out-of-the-building

Wikipedia – Article on Business Model Canvas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvas

Photography by Northwestern University

Video from Alexander Osterwalder


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