This last week I met with Alex Osterwalder and about 7 others to review his new book, Business Model Generation and talk about how we are using it in our own practices. It was a fascinating conversation about business innovation and how designing business models can help.

Inspired by the chat, I opted to try to bring it in within Startup Weekend. It was the first time I had run a session and had about 30 minutes to do it. Let me start by saying that simply wasn’t enough time and I failed miserably. However, that meant that I had a lot to learn. Here’s what I figured out:

1) When working with startups whom are not well versed in business lingo, simplify the language. Make it accessible to your audience.

2) Encouraging people to draw is actually far more challenging than I expected. You may need to lead with examples of what they can do.

3) Sometimes breaking down the language and getting the conversation going can help if you are willing to illustrate the conversation and start adding in the components into the model.

4) The model can feel complicated and overwhelming. Make it more approachable to the non-business user.

5) For encouraging people to share ideas, encourage the ideas to be posted/sketched to the model first. Don’t allow conversation around the ideas just post them first. Then go back and see what works and what doesn’t.

Alright that was my rapid fire thoughts; back to work on the prototype.