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Business Model Innovation – from dreams and ideas to a change in the world we thought we knew

Bibel Tablet
There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them.

(Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

Does it ring any bells to you? Have you noticed that recently the world has been increasingly engaged with such notions as disruption, innovation and, of course, the main innovation hub, the Silicon Valley? What is this hype all about?

Come join me on my exciting comprehensive discovery tour in the topic of innovation! The word originated from the Latin verb „innovare“, also „review” or “change“.
While being used in rather an inflationary manner today, this word, nevertheless, has a specific narrower meaning when it comes to new products, services, outside-the-box implementation of some processes, and, undoubtedly, startup ideas which for obvious reasons become success stories.


Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The term of innovation in the economic framework was introduced by Joseph Schumpeter, one of the first evangelists of entrepreneurship. This term embraces some process of change that occurs in connection with something new, something that no one has done before. The novelties in various methods and procedures can concern many aspects of the business — it may concern a new production method, new markets, supply sources for raw materials, or a new market position.

You don’t even have to take into account what is available now, — this is the point Schumpeter makes in his book „Business Cycles“1939: „ Creative destruction refers to the incessant product and process innovation “. Furthermore, I got inspired by the scientific work by Susanne Webers "Fragen zu einem Leitbegriff moderner ökonomischer Strategien".

"Fragen zu einem Leitbegriff moderner ökonomischer Strategien".

What makes an entrepreneur innovative?

Here is our compressed version of Thai Nguyen's 10 Traits of the Most Innovative Entrepreneurs, , which we really can recommend. So, here we go with an innovative entrepreneur who
  • constantly look for patterns

  • are brilliantly lazy

  • are obsessive note-takers

  • preach perfection, but practice progress

  • try to get along with their fears

  • don’t wait for things to break

  • understand the creative process

  • pursue multiple streams

  • possess a healthy arrogance

  • embrace paradoxical thinking


Agile innovation methods

In terms of innovation, you have probably heard about agile methods such as Design Thinking, Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Design, Minimum Viable Product, and Rapid Prototyping.

Today you want to approach your startup project lean and come up with flexible solutions not to be sitting later in a quiet chamber contemplating on how to solve the problem after a lot of time and finance has already been invested. To minimize risks you can try utilizing lean and agile methods, of which I will briefly tell you below.

We have been inspired by Dr. Judith Genz guest contribution at Hamburg Startups with the topic Die große Klammer um agile Innovationsmethoden. Another powerful source of inspiration that I have discovered for myself has been Entrepreneurship Campus by Prof. Faltin who gave me effective tools for my effective handling of ongoing projects as well as a better vision of the scope and potential of my future projects.

View Axis Canvas / Perspective Canvas

Business Model Canvas

Value Proposition Canvas

Lean Canvas


The thing with disruption

The worldwide startup stage has seen many pitches, and here and there a word popped up, „disruption” and it became a fashionable term to refer to. The theory of Disruption, which has become one of the hotly debated management theories over the last 20 years, was developed by Professor Clayton M. Christensen. Despite broad dissemination, the theory’s core concept has been widely misunderstood and its basic tenets are frequently misapplied. In his article for the Harvard Business Review, Professor Christensen explained that Uber, for instance, which is frequently referred to as a disruptive company, actually did not make a Disruption effect on the transport market.

The typical path of a disruptive company is to address lower customer segment and unprovided consumers. Then, they focus on the mainstream market. However, Uber has adopted the opposite approach. „They have initially built a strong presence in the mass market, and only later started focusing previously overlooked segments.“

Apart from Uber, Christensen also spoke about their competitors, MyTaxi, of so-called sustained existing innovation. A backlash of the established market players should typically follow this type of innovation. They are expected to introduce new technologies to secure easier customer growth, for instance, to call a taxi or order a service.



The topic of innovation is incredibly extensive and pliable offering multiple connection and application possibilities. In this article, I have just chipped on the tip of the glacier, and it is time for me to move on. So, I am moving on and ahead, true to the agile and lean approach of the innovation method outlined above.

So, I would like to give my forecast:
The field of the application does not really matter: it can take place in the active founding environment, utilized by a business owner, or a freelancer, or an employee. Soon, the capability and skill for innovation along with the tools associated with it will become an integral part of the educational system in schools and colleges. Innovation is our power to build a brighter future.

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André Wehr
André Wehr
As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important Traction and Customer Centricity is. It makes the difference between a nice idea and a viable business.

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