Summary: Business Model You by Alexander Osterwalder
Summary: Business Model You by Alexander Osterwalder

Summary: Business Model You by Alexander Osterwalder


 A business model describes how an organization creates, delivers and captures value. It’s about finding the best way to make money in the long term. The business model canvas consists of nine elements:

  • Customer Segments– Different segments an organization serves
  • Value Proposition– A description of how an organization is solving a problem or satisfying a need
  • Channels– How an organization reaches customers with communication, distribution and sales
  • Customer Relationships– The way relationships with customers are established and maintained
  • Revenue Streams– The way an organization makes money as a result of providing value
  • Key Resources– Assets required to create and deliver value
  • Key Activities– Main operations an organization has to perform to reach its goals
  • Key Partnerships– Outsourced activities and resources acquired outside an organization
  • Cost Structure– The main costs caused by the operation



Following the lean revolution, a new adjusted canvas was quickly born. The Lean Canvas also consists of nine elements:

  • Problem– Top three problems a targeted customer segment is facing
  • Solution– Startup’s solution for the customer’s problems
  • Key Metrics– Key activities a startup team is measuring
  • Unique Value Proposition– A clear message explaining why the startup’s solution is different and worth buying instead of the competitor’s one
  • Unfair Advantage– The part of business that can’t be easily copied
  • Channels – The main path of how a startup gets to their customers
  • Customer Segments– Targeted customers
  • Revenue streams– How the business will be making money
  • Cost structure– The main costs caused by the business operation



The idea of Business Model You is to help you with complex thinking when you want to make changes in your career. It helps you reinvent your career path by finding the best way for you as an individual to support yourself financially based on your talents, goals, needs, desires and environment. The Personal Business Model Canvas or Business Model You Canvas also consists of nine elements:

  • Who helps you – Your personal and business network that helps you and supports you in your career goals (family, friends, boss, mentors …).
  • What you do – What kind of activities do you perform daily and what defines your occupation (designing, teaching, calculating, writing, managing …).
  • How you help – What kind of a problem are you solving for employers/customers and how you help them achieve their goals (lower risk, better performance, stronger brand …).
  • How you interact – What kind of a relationship you have with your employers/customers and how you interact with them on a daily basis (personal service, communicating online etc.).
  • Who you help – What type of organizations you can help best.
  • Who you are & what you have – Your talents, the type of work you like and resources you have that can help you achieve your career goals.
  • How they know you & how you deliver – How can potential employer/customers find out about you, how can they hire you, the way you provide work and services, and how you make sure your employers are satisfied.
  • What you get – What you get paid for, how much and what are the other benefits you enjoy.
  • What you give – Soft- and hardcore costs related to performing activities, like your time, energy, stress, commuting etc.



The best way to use the canvas is to print it, stick it on the wall and use post-it notes to write your hypotheses down. You put post-it notes with written down hypotheses or proven facts in the corresponding segments of the canvas.

When you need to update you canvas, you can easily move things around, add new hypotheses, innovate the relations between canvas elements or do any other canvas updates. You can even use different colors of post-it notes to emphasize different iterations, the critical parts of the business model or anything else important.