A request for help

February 1st, 2013 by Patrick Stähler

Dear readers

You might have realized that I have written just a few post in the last months. The reason is very simple. I have teamed up with Thomas Meyer, a young,  unconventional bestseller author, Gottschalk & Ash, a design agency and Wolfsburg AG, an innovation agency to develop a toolbox for entrepreneurs.

The work with Thomas and the others is absolutely stunning but also very time consuming since we do not like to stick to the first best solution but thrive for the best.

And this means a lot of iterations and testing. E.g. we decided to write in a thought provoking, easy to read and funny style, Thomas is well known for. But of course, this irritated our sponsor at the beginning. They expected a semi-scientific work adapted to entrepreneurs. However, we thought there are enough boring books out there so we decided to be different and hopefully better.

Bringing the whole team behind the same ideas and values takes time. However, this is extremely important since otherwise we cannot shoot for the stars. Later the customers have to decide if they like what we have developed. But of course, we have tested the toolbox with a variety of entrepreneurs. We used it with social entrepreneurs at the Hub Zurich. Students at the University of St. Gallen developed stunning ideas that made already an impact in the life of other students. We tested it at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin, etc. All of this takes time, but makes the tool box better. Thanks for all the feedback and ideas we got.

The bad news for most of readers is: The toolbox will be in German. The reason is very simple. Since we are German-speakers and live in German-speaking countries, we believe that we have to give something back. We believe that in Germany, Switzerland and Austria we need more, better and more creative startups. And if we can make a small contribution to this, that would be awesome. It is striking that the first ideas about the business model innovation concept emerged in Switzerland at the end of the 1990s. Alex is also Swiss by the way. It is fun to see an idea spreading worldwide from a country most people expect watches to come from but not management trends.

And since we want to foster entrepreneurship in all parts of society we decided to write in plain and simple German with little Fachvokabular (technical vocabulary). This is pretty tricky and needed a lot of creativity to explain the most essentials ideas in a very understandable language. Particularly, since a business model describes briefly all disciplins of businesses (marketing, sales, operation management, financials, HR, leadership) on a card. That is a challenge.

Your help is needed

So here come the two requests:

  • For all German speakers, if you like the idea about the toolbox, please enter your mail in our list so we can inform you about the progress.
  • The second request goes to all experts in business model innovation, strategic innovation management, customer insights via jobs-to-be done technique or entrepreneurial design. If you would like to contribute to this blog, we would love to hear from you. This blog is not my personal blog, but a blog about business model innovations. We look for cases, though provoking ideas, reflection but not for PR material. The average post has around 3.000-5.000 readers but this depends very much on the topic. Most articles are typical “long-readers” and reference articles that attract a lot of traffic via Google. A typical article is “Who says paper is dead?” with almost 9.000 visitors. And of course, the article will be published under the name of the other.

In the next months we have many challenges ahead with our toolbox. One is that we need a publisher who is willing to accept new business models in the publishing industry like publishing under Creative Commons or finding creative ways to bundle the books for teams. Will be an interesting journey.

Thanks for all your support and ideas.

Cheers Patrick

4 Responses to “A request for help”

  1. Tim Kastelle Says:

    Good luck with this venture Patrick! I might have to re-learn some of the German that I’ve forgotten. It sounds like a great initiative.

  2. Norris Krueger Says:

    Patrick – I am happy to contribute to your blog. How do I get started? norris.krueger[at]gmail or @entrep_thinking

  3. Patrick Stähler Says:

    Hoi Tim

    Thanks for your kind words. You will get a version of the book anyway.

    Cheers Patrick

  4. Patrick Stähler Says:

    Hoi Norris

    That is a great idea. I think we need more thoughts on classical business models for entrepreneurs. All the blogs and books are full of ideas for scalable business models aka web or software based firms. But still there is a physical world and great innovations from entrepreneurs happen there as well.

    What are the subjects you think about?

    Patrick

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