Gennaro is the founder of FourWeekMBA, a leading source on business model innovation.
A tech business model is made of four main components: value model (value propositions, mission, vision), technological model (R&D management), distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), and financial model (revenue modelling, cost structure, profitability and cash generation/management). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build a solid tech business model.
Keep reading, if you want to understand how to use the framework.
In the value model we want to answer three core questions:
It usually all starts with a value model which comprises:
An opportunity: the size of the opportunity will be determined by whether the market exists, it’s still building up, and its growth potential. From the opportunity, it’s possible to evaluate the potential market size (usually tech companies look at TAM).
A problem to be solved: a problem can be practical, or it can go beyond that. Companies like Nike and Coca-Cola focus most of their efforts on-demand generation. This also applies to tech business models. Before the iPhone people didn’t know they needed a smartphone in the first place.
A set of value propositions: from the above a company will develop a core value proposition. As it will scale it will be able to satisfy a set of value propositions, which is the glue that keeps together customers and the company.
Mission and vision: as the company builds up its various models, it also develops its own core beliefs, which are comprised in its mission and vision.
Continuous Innovation: How do we handle engineering resources to sustain continuous innovation for business model expansion?
Breakthrough Innovation: How do we handle engineering resources to promote breakthrough innovation for business model reinvention?
The technological model is the enhancer of the product, and it helps merge together the value proposition with the distribution model. When engineering is done right, it helps bridge the gap between what customers still miss, the product and the way the product is distributed.
The technological model will help satisfy the need for a larger and larger portion of the market. From early adopters to potential laggards. This will determine the ability of the company to scale up.
In the technological model, the way R&D is managed to produce continuous innovation (to sustain the linear growth of the business) and breakthrough innovation (to enable long-term success of the business) is critical.
The distribution model helps to bring the product into the hands of customers. The company can leverage engineering, marketing, sales, or all of them, to make the product, in fit with the market, via its distribution.
That is why, based on what problems the product solves and for whom, it will have an organizational structure more skewed toward engineering and marketing, or engineering and sales, or perhaps a mix of the three. Other things like partnerships and deal-making are also part of the distribution model.
The financial model is what enables the company to keep generating enough cash to sustain its operations, not only in the short-term but also toward R&D and innovation. And it is made of several components:
According to the VTDF framework, a tech business model can be broken down into four sub-models:
Value model (value propositions, mission, vision) to answer questions, such as:
Technological model (R&D management) to answer questions such as:
Distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), to answer questions such as:
Financial model (revenue modelling, cost structure, profitability, and cash generation/management), to answer questions such as:
From the balance and mixture of those four building blocks, a viable tech business model is built.
Previously published at https://fourweekmba.com/business-model-template/
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