How do you get from space technologies to Zara’s successful fast fashion? By discussing business models of course!
The focus of today was discussing business models alongside their importance and looking at various factors that contribute to making a successful business. The course was very interactive today as we worked on different business models through interactive activities. In smaller groups, we picked an idea, made a preliminary business model, innovated this model, and tried to assess the perceived value and competition.
A problem organizations face is the need to cope with complexity and strategic change in the face of a future strongly influenced by VUCA- effects (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous). This is where business models can step in. As Professor Erwin Hettich explained, “the business model is the car, and the driver is the strategy”.
Within the realm of businesses and business models, there are red and blue oceans. Red oceans are filled with metaphorical fighting fish, lots of players within a similar industry often leading to price fights, the so-called “Cola-Pepsi wars”. On the other hand, blue oceans allow you to swim out as far as you like, these are niche markets with limited or no competition.
The word of the day was ‘value’ – linking the most important element of the business model – the customer value proposition. This value can be innovated by either focussing, expanding, shifting or uncovering activities.
It was great to see many current business examples being used to underline the theory discussed and although we did slightly diverge from the space topic during most of the lectures it could always be brought back as many companies make use of satellite data.
My key takeaway, apart from learning that the University of St. Gallen has a very impressive art collection, was that with a bit of imagination, creativity, and technical knowledge there are some very nice ‘blue oceans’ to find in the space sector.