Learning the Essentials of Business - Part I

My experience attending Designer Fund’s Workshop

Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash
  • The workshops focused on Business Model Basics, Prototyping with Numbers, and the Business Value of Design
  • My cohort included over 110 designers from companies like LinkedIn, Google, Adobe, Dropbox

Session I: Business Model Basics

To kick things off, we set out to answer three questions:

  • How can I deconstruct the business model of any company?
  • How can understanding a company’s business model help me be more strategic?

Defining a business model

So the business model. It’s defined as the way a business creates, delivers, and captures value.

Business Model Canvas
  • Feasibility: Is it possible to technically possible to build?
  • Viability: Is this financially sustainable for the business?
The Three Lenses of Innovation

Talking the talk

Developing a shared vocabulary has benefits. How often are you lost in the conversations your stakeholders are having? You think, ‘I have no clue what the hell they’re talking about…’. Yep, definitely been there. The Designer Fund team demystified basic terms. Now terms like gross margin and net income recurring revenue aren’t so intimidating.

Prioritization and tradeoffs

Everything can’t be important, right? We prioritize things for a reason. A company’s business model determines what they focus on. Here’s an example. We’ll compare the priorities of Dropbox, a SaaS company against Netfilx. Dropbox will likely focus on the average revenue per user, conversion, and churn rates. But, Netflix uses a media subscription model. Netflix will focus on monthly and daily active users, engagement, and click-through rates.

Thinking Strategically

Our facilitators shared a simple definition of strategy. Strategy consists of the goals you choose and the action you take to achieve those goals over time.

  • Transformation: an existing business model is changed into another business model
  • Diversification: the current model stays in place and an additional business model is formed
  • Acquisition: an additional business model is identified, acquired, and integrated

Digital product designer at Dialexa, advocate for BIPOC, speaker, and hustler.