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Business Model Canvases

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Challenge introduction

Much like any complicated topic, being able to understand and describe your business clearly comes down to having the right tools for comparing all the parts of it and describing how they work together. The canvases you’ll study in this lesson will allow you to create a clear model of a business and give you the language necessary to explain it in a comprehensible and quick fashion to outsiders. It will help you discover misalignments and create alignment between sections.

Background research

Challenge outline

You’ll be researching various canvases for creating and understanding business models and choosing the appropriate ones to apply to a business you’re already familiar with.

Recommended process

  1. Start by going over the background research listed above. Discuss what you learn with your mentor or a member of the strategy team.

  2. Pick a business you are familiar with (former employer or a product/company you are deeply familiar with). Apply the appropriate canvas(es) based on the business, what stage it’s in, and what you’ve learned about each of the canvases researched.

  3. Using the information you’ve gathered devise a simple explanation of the business and how it functions. This should not be a comprehensive outline of everything in the canvases, it should be a simple and insightful statement that could not have been devised without doing the canvas work.

  4. Develop a short (no more than 10 minutes) talk to present to your fellow apprentices describing what you learned and tips for how somebody would go about learning and applying these tools, including any insights you’ve identified during the process that may not have been part of the background research you conducted.


  • The relevant canvases applied to the chosen business.

  • A simple explanation of the chosen business derived from insights gathered during the canvas creation process.

  • A short talk on business model canvases and how one would go about learning and using these tools.


You’ll have just under two weeks to complete your work. The challenge starts on a Monday and is due for evaluation by Geordie Kaytes, Evan Ryan, C. Todd Lombardo or Steve Hickey the following Thursday. We highly recommend checking in several times with members of the strategy team along the way. There will not be any project extensions, you are responsible for delivering on time. Part of delivering on time is making sure you’re on the correct path at several intervals along the way.

Your brief talk will be due for presentation the day after the challenge is due.