New e-course adds compelling visual elements to the practice of business model design

Business Model Design e-course

If you’ve been looking for an effective visually-oriented method to brainstorm and explore new business models for your organization, a new video e-course can show you the way.

Designing Business Models by Patrick van der Pijl teaches you the basics of the popular business model canvas model from the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. He then supercharges the process of business model design by demonstrating how it can be combined with several simple visual thinking techniques.

While many executives may have heard of the concept of business models, few people realize what they are, how they can be used and how to create them. Designing Business Models demystifies the process and arms you with the tools and techniques you need to explore and create your own profitable new business models.

This video-based e-learning format helps bring the canvas to life by showing you how to use it to describe, design, challenge, invent and pivot your business models. It also enables you to learn the basics of business model design in a fraction of the time it would take you to read the book.

As it does in other contexts, visual thinking conveys a wealth of meaning within the concise business model framework, stimulates creative thinking among your team members and helps you to communicate your finalized business model with greater impact.

Course content

This course consists of self-paced online video content, with additional PDF downloads and creative exercises. It contains six modules that have been designed to walk you through the process of business model design from A to Z:

  1. Understanding the essential building blocks of a business model
  2. The business model canvas and how you can use it in your organization
  3. Visualizing with Post-it notes
  4. Visualizing with simple drawings, and how to integrate them into your business model canvas (taught by Peter Durand from Alphachimp, the developer of the Become a Rockstar Scribe e-course)
  5. Your visual library and how to use it to enhance your business model designs (taught by Peter Durand from Alphachimp)
  6. Business model innovation techniques, including how to facilitate team discussions of business models

Quality content and presentation

Each module digs deep into its topic, ofBusiness Model Design e-coursefering multiple video lessons that explain the what, the how and the why of business model design. Presentations are clear and easy to understand, and display excellent production quality. Several lessons contain additional exercises and resources you can download, such a visual libraries of icons and simple sketches you can use as inspiration for developing your own business models.

Incorporating visual thinking techniques like sketching into business model designs adds a lot of value to them. Complex relationships can be expressed easier in a sketch than in words. They provide a rich environment that can help your team members to generate additional ideas. Plus, strong visuals substantially increase your chance for success when communicating your business model to others.

The content of Designing Business Models is well organized, and clearly and compellingly communicated. The production quality of the videos is excellent and the content is very informative. Combining van der Pijl’s deep understanding of business model design with Durand’s talent for teaching sketching techniques is one of those cases where 2+2 equals more than 4. Together, they bring a vibrancy and creativity to the business model canvas that just filling in boxes with words wouldn’t provide.

The last module, business model innovation techniques, is particularly meaty, covering some valuable modeling techniques (fresh watching, epicenters, patterns and trigger questions) that I’ve never encountered before, even though I was publisher of the world’s leading innovation website for a decade.

The e-course closes with a detailed business model case study about Hilti, a construction tool manufacturer. It explains the challenges the company faced and how the epicenter technique was used to help it move away from a rapidly commiditizing segment of the market toward a more profitable business model that wraps a number of services around its traditional tool lines to provide much higher value to its key customer segments. This case history is very informative, and helps to bring the lessons learned in the course to life.

Who is Designing Business Models for?

Designing Business Models is ideally suited for any leaders and managers whose job involves setting the strategy and direction of their organizations. It can benefit entrepreneurs and business owners, business development managers, project leaders, consultants and marketers. It’s also valuable for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of how to put this type of higher-level, visually-driven thinking to work to transform their organization’s strategy.

About the teacher

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves PignetPatrick van der Pijl is CEO and Partner of Business Models Inc., an international consulting firm that helps organizations and management teams find new ways of doing business and generate revenue by assessing, innovating, validating, and implementing new business models. He has 17 years of experience in innovation, organizational design, process design and business modeling for international organizations in many industries.

Van der Pijl is the producer of the book Business Model Generation, written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, which provides a shared language and co-creative tool – the business model canvas – for describing, assessing, and changing business models. Business Model Generation has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into 26 languages since it was first published in 2009.

In other words, you won’t find a more knowledgeable teacher about business model design than van der Pijl.


Designing Business Models fills an important place in the world of business planning and innovation. It extends the concepts of the business model canvas by adding valuable visual elements to it, helping teams to bring fresh energy and creativity into the process of rethinking their business models and inventing new ones to help drive future growth.

For more details and to sign up for this excellent course, please click here.


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