Course – Project 2 – Business Models

Project 2: Business models

Often, we freeze in the face of change not because we don’t have ideas, but because we’re afraid that we will fail.

The purpose of this project is to set aside the fear part. To sprint for quite a while, with no regard whatsoever for whether or not the idea is a perfect one.

Ask anyone who has successfully made change happen, “where do you get all your good ideas,” and the honest answer will be, “ask me where I get my bad ideas.”

There are two parts of useful preparation for this project:

  1. Learn to brainstorm as professionals do
  2. See the marketplace with the perspective of someone who understands business models

Watch this video about the Seth Godin/Pictionary method.

Consider the Brainwriting technique as an alternative.

PS Throughout this course, you’ll need to be ever smarter about talking about your projects strategically. Worth reading this.

The key decision to brainstorming with others is to have a process that all participants agree upon. The assignment for this project begins with that process, and then challenges you to do it with abandon.

The goal of this project is quantity.

ACTION: As a group, all of you will create one document, an annotated list of 99 new businesses. First, agree on the resources available (is it for a big company? A VC funded startup? A bootstrapper?). Then, using domain knowledge as well as the concepts in the business model book, create micro-business plans (3 to 10 lines each) for 99 businesses.

You should do brainstorming/brainwriting as a group. If you choose to brainwrite, you can write individually then come together to share your ideas and build off of them together. A key part of this project is the group component, so you’ll want to work together.

One approach that some teams have tried: group work for fifty, then a solo sprint where each person creates a few more, then group work again to simplify and amplify.

Keep your list of 99 ideas in a Google Doc. When you’re finished, one member of the group should post the list on the altMBA site and link to the members of the group. The other members should each link to that person’s post, with a paragraph highlighting their takeaways from the process.


All team members in your group should publish a link to the Google Doc on your own public WordPress page.

The best comments aren’t about whether a particular idea of the 99 is good or not, but will go deeper into the boldness, completeness or generosity of the approach. The purpose of the exercise is to refresh our expectations of how much opportunity is available, of how deep and wide our opportunities run.

Due dates:

Project due: Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 11:59pm (your cohort’s time zone)

Comments due: Friday, January 20, 2017 at 8pm (your cohort’s time zone)

RS due: Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 6pm (your cohort’s time zone)

If you have any questions about the program, feedback, technical issues or thoughts to share, message @kelliwood on slack and she’ll get back to you.