Emmit Takes On Business Models: An Intuitive Approach (Part 2)
A Few Days Ago…
I rambled through an explanation of business models, and cobbled together five questions that a proper business model addresses. You might want to keep them handy, so here they are again:
- What value does your thing create or enhance?
- How do you capture that value?
- How do you deliver that value?
- Who do you deliver the value to?
- How do you keep that process sustainable?
Seems pretty logical, so far.
Ready For The Weird Part?
This is where Emmit-His-Self got involved.
(If you’re not familar with Emmit yet, well… he’s a bit hard to explain. Emmit is my business plan, and he’s sort of a cross between Eddie Izzard and Bozo The Clown – if Bozo were a closeted drag queen with a fetish for sparklies)
Anyway, when he first heard I was writing about business models, Emmit got all excited. On went his best Italian clown nose, and the Big Shoes from Prada, and he strutted off to the Fashion District in search of a new career.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we weren’t talking about that kind of model, so I just sorta went with the flow.
I mean, who am I to say he’ll never be one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels? Once your business plan dresses up in circus lights, the idea of him becoming a fashion model doesn’t seem all that shocking.
So I Got Out Of The Way
… and let the image develop in my brain.
There, in my mind’s eye, was Emmit was, strutting in the spotlights and looking quite yummy, actually. Confident, cool, suave, without even a shade of the self-conscious goofiness you’d expect from, say, me. Or from pretty much anyone, if they were modeling the latest styles of business-clown wear.
Flashbulbs were going off all around; the audience was going wild. As he moved down the runway, His Emmit-ness interacted with the crowd, handing out info-packets, books and swag as he went. Every so often he stopped, bent over, whispered something in an ear, and they’d either grin and nod, or double over in laughter.
But no matter what he did, it somehow seemed both responsive, and self-determined.
And he was rocking it.
Now, This Is Where It Gets Useful:
Remember those five business model questions at the top of the post? I used them to sort of interview Emmit, as he stood on the runway, playing at being a business model. (Actually, it was more like interviewing the visualization, because Emmit hisself was too busy strutting to stop and answer.)
The result? Some surprisingly useful information. But before I tell you my model, let’s see if we can’t get yours visualized first. Ready?
(If you’re really serious about this, you can turn it into an audio session, recording it as you go – me, I’m never THAT serious. I just wing it and hope I remember what happens.)
Relax your eyes, your jaw, your shoulders.
Take a deep breath.
Find your center, if you need to.
Now, look at that big movie screen inside your head; let the images start to play across it freely. Maybe it’s just a flicker of light, at first, but slowly, it comes into focus.
There… do you see that, up on the screen?
It’s the model for your business!
Let it take whatever form it chooses; don’t try to force or shape the images. Allow them to find their own way, gently, on their own terms.
Maybe the image is resolving itself into a fashion model on a runway, or in a magazine, or catalog.
Maybe it’s a model plane.
Maybe it’s a cabin made out of popsicle sticks.
Just let it be.
Notice as many details about it as you can, the color, texture, any emotions, scents, sounds. Explore. Poke at it. Interact.
And when you’re ready,
ask the first of your five questions:
What value does this Thing create or enhance?
Your Thing is your business, project, adventure or whatever. Ask the question, and let the image do whatever it wants to do, even if it seems absurd. Maybe especially if it seems absurd. Record the resulting images, with as much detail, and as many senses as you can. And give the answer some space. Got it? Awesome. When you are ready, repeat with each remaining question.
How does this Thing capture that value?
How does this Thing deliver that value?
Who does this Thing deliver the value to?
How does this Thing keep the process sustainable?
Rinse, Lather, Record, Repeat.
When you’re finished, you should have some interesting, perhaps puzzling new information about your potential business model.
If it seems unclear or puzzling, try analyzing it like a dream.
But don’t think because I’m comparing this visualization to dream analysis that it’s all woo-woo-fluffy-stuff. This may seem wacky, but it’s pretty grounded, practical, psychological stuff.
The point is to get your preconceived, limited ideas of business models out of your way by shutting down the limits on your vision. It’s about turning things over to your subconscious, broadening your horizons.
It’s about looking at your business potential with fresh eyes, and fresh imagination, and taking the most formal, intimidating business concepts and making them approachable, even fun.
It’s about shedding the (ridiculous) idea that you, as a Quirkipreneur, should deliver your value in the sort of package you’d be happy buying from a major corporation.
Or a street-arts vendor.
Or a high-end gallery.
Or anyone but someone like *you*
Because while your business model may share some similarities with those established ways-of-doing-business, you’re quirky. Your model should, by definition, be different – it needs to not just allow for those differences, but exploit them.
Coming Up Next?
My own results from this exercise, complete with the visualization, interpretation, an official proposed business model and maybe even an action plan.
Oh, and of course Emmit’s own commentary!
Have your own commentary to share?
Variations on the idea?
Refinement to the questions?
Just want to share your results or talk about what kind of tea you like best?
Go for it!
- Emmit Takes On Business Models: The Intro + 5 Questions (Part 1)
- Emmit Takes On Business Models: An Intuitive Approach (Part 2)
- Emmit Takes On Business Models: The Results Show!(Part 3)