How to apply the Business Model Canvas

What is the Business Model Canvas for & how do I use it?

Who are your customers? How do you create value for them and how do you make money?

The business model canvas is a framework to compartmentalise the various aspects that bring a business together to create value for its customers. 

The BMC is a incredibly useful tool that provides a visual representation of your business. It lays out how the different operations within your business function in relation to each other and quickly highlights the areas that have not been getting the attention they require. 

In this Meetup session we walk through each of the 9 segments discuss what they are and give some examples and then we applied them to some of our members businesses right then and there!

Some Snapshots of the evening

Some Next Steps

  1. Download your own BCM
  2. If you would like help with your business model canvas email Jason
  3. If you would like help with your business technology go here to create an account and submit a brief.  Sign Up
  4. See upcoming events

Stay In Touch

Meetup 7: Technology Skills of Tomorrow

Technology Skills of Tomorrow

Strong technical skills alone is not enough to run a successful IT project. A combination of communication and soft-skills along with business acumen is needed to be sure that objectives are met and outcomes are delivered.

The Problem

Business owners struggle to articulate what they need in a way that makes sense for a developer to do their job. And equally as much, engineers struggle to articulate the complexities of software to their clients in a way that makes sense to them. Technology is expanding and becoming even more complex, and businesses are relying on tech more than ever. So this problem is only getting bigger.

The importance of communication and soft skills in IT projects

The combination of technical and people skills in IT projects is so great that we have partnered with an organisation who specialises in coaching engineering teams in communication and leadership.

The Accelerator Program (Provided by Cred)

Cred works with governments and corporations to train and develop IT teams in communication and leadership and to focus on delivering business outcomes rather than focusing on only code and features. Cred has partnered with DV to deliver an accelerator program to enable IT specialists to level up their career, be in demand, over-subscribed, and to increase their income and stability. To learn more about this program click here..

The Digital Village Producer

A Digital Village Producer is a project leader who understands people, business and technology and can translate business requirements into technical solutions that deliver business outcomes.

Digital Village connects  ‘hybrids’ (a person who speaks both man and machine) to businesses on a contract and project basis. Learn more about the DV model here.

Meetup 6: Value Based Pricing for professional services. A Design Thinking Workshop

Exploring Value Based Pricing- a Design Thinking Workshop

On the 7th of March 2019 we held our 6th Digital Village Monthly Meetup. 

Value Pricing is a process of pricing a project based on its value to the customer as opposed to using traditional time and materials pricing method. Value pricing is still very early in its adoption within the software development profession. So we ran a workshop style Meetup using Design Thinking methods for us to collectively explore our concerns, considerations, possibilities and opportunities around value pricing. We then broke things down and agreed collectively on solutions to those problems raised.

This article documents the process and the steps we took throughout the design thinking process and summarises key problems and potential solutions.

Step 1: Territory Mapping

The first thing we did, was have everyone write down their assumptions, concerns, considerations and anything they know or understand about value pricing. Everyone is provided a pen and sticky notes and are asked to describe their understanding of Value Pricing.

Dondon Bales (Digital Village COO) introducing the session
The group sticks their thoughts and concerns on the topic to the wall

Step 2: Affinity Cluster

Categorise or group the inputs of everyone into common or similar themes to categorise patterns based on everyones’ input. It was interesting seeing the diversity in thinking and opinions of people and it was quite a challenge to then group the thinking into 3-4 clusters.

We determined 3 key clusters from the collected inputs and they were:

  1. Cons and Resistance
  2. Benefits
  3. Value Process & Value Determination
Communicating and determining Value
Cons and Benefits
Determining Value

Step 3: Define a Problem Statement

We broke everyone into 3 groups and each group was allocated a cluster and given the task of defining a problem statement that best represents that cluster.

A problem statement is structured by completing the following sentence:

How might we…”

The 3 groups discussing their cluster of ideas and coming to a summarising problem statement

The problem statements that were developed were:

  1. How might we address the needs and expectations of the customer in a collaborative and efficient way?
  2. How might we understand the core value proposition? How might we assess/evaluate the commercial value proposition?
  3. How might we measure and communicate value?

Step 4: Creative Matrix

Creative Matrix

Once the 3 groups had completed their problem statement for their allocated cluster, we were ready to create a matrix to explore possible solutions to each problem statement using enablers such as technology, process and policy, and anything else that may assist in enabling the possible solution to the problem.

We then did another round exploring what would you do if you were an… airline.

The 3 groups present their problem statements and Dondon adds them to the creative matrix


The collective intelligence of the group was fascinating. The ideas that come from each person being inspired by in-person communication and collaboration were original, dynamic and progressive. The emergence of new thinking from the amalgamation of thoughts and experience blew me away.

Everyone coming up with individual ideas for solutions

Step 5: Visualise the Vote

Once we had exhausted ourselves coming up with potential solutions to the problems, we individually voted on our favourite solution for each problem. This activity is carried out in one instance where everyone is to post their voting sticker on the idea that they believe to be the best. We do it at the same time to avoid people being influenced by others.  You can see the respective votes from the green dots.

Visualise to Vote: the group voting on their favourite solution
Completed Creative Matrix
How might we understand the core value proposition? How might we assess/evaluate the commercial value proposition?
How might we address the needs and expectations of the customer in a collaborative and efficient way?
How might we measure and communicate value?


From the session we discovered that the most popular solutions to all 3 problem statements all included a common thread of transparency, collaboration between stakeholders, feedback, data collection and measurement. The collective findings show that the key elements of successfully implementing value pricing would entail engaging in open questions to determine what’s valuable to the customer, co-creating solutions with the customer to address their true needs, conducting qualitative research and determining ways to quantify and measure the value of the outcomes.

Value Pricing has great potential for both buyers and suppliers to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. The better the communication, the more likely the result to be satisfactory.

The biggest take away in this for me was the way in which such completely different ideas can come to work together and produce totally unique outcomes. Most of all, it was fun.

Feedback: Rose, Thorn, Bud

In the spirit of design thinking, we took 1 minute for everyone’s feedback on the event and on their experience of Digital Village in general. There was some lovely notes, and there was some valuable lessons that can be learned for us to improve what we do and what is important for people.

Rose: All the positive things a person like about it.

Thorn: Things they didn’t like.  

Bud: Opportunities and suggestions for the future.




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Find out how Digital Village can deliver value to your business

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Meetup 4: Tech Project Role Play

A People first approach to running tech projects

People are the centre of everything we do. Friends, family, community, business, economy.

Although we live in a digital world, we are still people. The purpose of these Meetups is for us as people, people in the technology space, (whether that be building it or relying on it for our businesses) to share and learn from one another and hear perspectives from both client and developer sides to help us all run better projects together.

In this Meetup we explored some common scenarios where people are at the centre of the problem, not the technology. We then re-group to sit down and examine each scenario in a  little more detail.

Role Plays

Each participant is given a script with a character to play.

On your card you will see a character and persona of your Village alter-ego. You have a problem you are trying to solve or a job you are looking for. Take a walk around our makeshift Village to find a person that matches your needs.

If you meet a person and they are not the person your looking for, move on to asking the next person nearby. You should have a card that provides leading questions to ask the other person.

Once you have matched with someone, and have completed the questionnaire, write that person’s name at the top of that meeting for later. And then move onto the next conversation.


1. Ecommerce Post-Life Cat Shop

Jenny has an Ecommerce site selling post-life cats. Her taxidermy felines from all around the world were a big hit last year but this year she has seen that her cart abandonment rate has increased to over 80% for the last 6 months.

View Conversation Scripts

Questions rasied

  • Might this scenario result in a successful outcome for both parties?
  • Are desirable outcomes/results likely to be achieved?
  • Feeling of trust and partnership?
  • Likelihood of future engagement?

2. Mobile App for a Startup

Malcolm has been working with a developer to build this mobile App that enables people over 70 to learn how to skateboard. The project has been deemed complete bt there is some bugs that he has found and wants to talk to the developer about fixing them.

View Conversation Scripts

Questions rasied

  • Might this scenario result in a successful outcome for both parties?
  • Are desirable outcomes/results likely to be achieved?
  • Feeling of trust and partnership?
  • Likelihood of future engagement?

We hold these Meetups to share and learn from each other to make the journey an enjoyable and fulfilling experience that results in success for our personal and business lives. Whether your a freelancer, agency, startup or established business. We all experience the same problem; People. The right people for the job, the right people to work with,  communicating effectively to people, and understanding people. (We may never fully understand people).


Meetup 5: Live Web User Testing and UX Recommendations

Why you should run regular usability tests on your (or your client’s) website

A user test or (usability test) involves observing someone using your website and noting any issues that arise.

They are an incredibly powerful technique to get deep, granular insights into your page elements, copy, site structure, web features, etc. and identify how users interact with them and if they use them as was originally intended.

User testing not only improves the user experience of your website but essentially helps users move through your conversion funnel.

User Testing as a tool of Conversation Rate Optimisation

“Your Conversation Rate represents the percentage of your visitors who end up reaching a given goal”

CRO is the process of pulling together all the available tools, techniques and skills with the goal of improving a website’s conversion rates. It’s a series of strategies and activities that allow you to achieve a significant increase in profits from your website.

CRO process constitutes a search for a perfectly designed page to generate more sells, or get signups, or downloads, or whatever the page is for.

User Testing as one of the CRO tools uncovers site issues or potential improvements and A/B testing allows you to carry out tests to confirm or disconfirm prior hypotheses.

The term CRO was coined by Dr. Karl Blanks and Ben Jesson, Founders of Conversion Rate Experts. ‘Making Websites Win’ is highly recommended for everyone who is serious about improving any websites.

Now, let’s get to our 2 brief User Tests

Our setup was quite atypical. We didn’t separate participant from the observation group and we only used one participant to test the site.

Generally, it’s recommended to test at least 3 participants trying to accomplish 3 to 6 of the same tasks. The number of tasks depends on the web site and what you trying to test.

Observation group and participants need to be separated in order to avoid any external influence and distractions.

Task 1- First Impressions

We tried to get participant’s first impression of the site, i.e. whose site it is, what can be done on the site, what it is for, what is interesting about the site.

Task 2 – Specific Task

You’re a member of ANZ bank and have a credit card. You have accumulated a significant number of rewards points.

In your ANZ account dashboard, you see options to choose how you spend your points. You see a voucher to donate $100 worth of your points to a charity of your choice and you click on it.

You get an email from ANZ bank to complete your purchase. You clicked on the link and you landed on Points4Purpose website. Proceed from there to donate your voucher to a charity of your choice.

Task 1- First Impressions

Task 2 – Donate your points to a charity of your choice

Key Takeaways: 

  • Confusion regarding the main navigation bar.
  • Long paragraphs tend to be scanned or skipped completely.
  • Missing a clear value proposition.
  • Through the donation process, some steps were not understood right away or were not considered completed.

Quick Fix Solutions:

  • Use a single horizontal bar for all main options including “sign in” and “register”.
  • Instead of writing long paragraphs either make the content easier to read by separating every 1-2 sentences or add visual elements to clarify the content.
  • Focus on benefit-oriented headline and content that states “why” should visitors engage with the product, what’s in it for them, and why they should choose you.
  • Make sure that the most important final steps are visually dominant and stand out from the rest.

Task 1: First Impressions

The user is asked to give their first impressions on the home page. 

Task 2: Specific Task – You are a Principal

You are a principal in a school in Sydney and you looking for a motivational speaker for students that are about to finish high school. Your budget is $1,500. Find and book your favorite to appear at your school on the 15th of March at 9 am, for 50 students.

Task 3: Specific Task – You are a Motivational Speaker

You’re contracting motivational speaker and enjoy the flexible schedule that allows you to run your workshops anywhere in New South Wales at any time. You offer a 3-hour workshop for high school students (years 10 to 12) at the price of $2,000. You would like to find more work through RedBridge Education. What would you do?

Task 1: First Impressions

Task 2: Find and Book a Supplier


Task 3: Sign Up

Key Takeaways: 

  • Repeated images for different options. The text over pictures is not visible without further inspection.
  • Confusing search functions on the home page for Services as well as Locations.
  • Duplicate images for listings make the selection process more complicated and descriptions are vague and impersonal.
  • Any error messages lead users to believe the site as a whole is not fully functional. These kinds of errors result in drop-offs and loss of credibility.
  • Confusing form field descriptions.

Quick Fix Solutions:

  • Use a variety of relevant pictures that better describe what each section is about. Content on pictures should always be easily readable. Add contrasting background color under the text.
  • By allowing plurals and misspellings in Search feature enable users to carry on their task without getting stuck. Add “Did you mean..?” feature. Location search could be improved by Intuitive Search or Autofill or Location suggestions.
  • Create more engaging listings. Each listing should have a unique image, a name of the speaker or service provider and a standardized description.
  • Every feature or link on the site must be functional. It’s always worth the time to double check all possible errors rather than losing potential customers.
  • Where needed add “i” to form fields that would provide a further explanation of what is expected, especially when form fills are required.

This Live User Testing session was run by a Digital Village Specialist.  Contact Tomas or other digital marketing specialists today.

Hire a digital marketing specialist

Meetup 3: Playing Cards

Aligning work and life so they compliment each other

The purpose of this meetup was to connect with fellow Digital Project Managers and tech specialists and share our experiences and knowledge for us all to run more effective projects.
To explore how we as technologists and change makers can build a solution to the following question:

How can we (as people in tech) align our personal purpose with our work so to make a good living by working on projects that have a positive contribution to society and the world?

This is something I believe to be important not only to our personal happiness and fulfillment but to the world we live in. If we are not working towards a better future for people and planet, then we cannot expect life to remain as dandy as it is now.

We are now at a point in time where we have the technology, the knowledge and the capacity to solve all the problems in the world. These meetups are a step towards building technology for a better future.

Talking work, talking life

20 technologists, change makers and business owners created a circle at the beautiful Sydney Work Club and played cards. Thankyou to everyone for sharing and the great conversations that were had.
We spoke about;

  • Careers and life choices
  • The challenges of Freelancing
  • Problems faced when building technology products
  • Successful Project Management Insights
  • social organisational structures
  • and much more


How does the card game work?

There is 6 decks of cards and each deck represents a category (Web Development, Freelancing & Entrepreneurship, Technology & Impact, Project Management, Work:Life Balance, and ‘Did you know”). On each card is a statement or question.

Sitting in a circle, a dice is passed around, and when rolled the landing number dictates which deck of cards the participant picks ups, reads out and starts a discussion.


Some questions asked


In the design process is it better to work with one person or a team to make design decisions?

I’m just starting out in Web Dev, am I better of specialising in one Language?

How To Quote a Project based on value rather than by the hour?

Why do people Freelance?

As a business owner. what are your biggest challenges faced when building your product or website?

What makes a good Digital Project Manager?

When is it a good scenario NOT to use offshore teams?

 You can hear some snippets below and send us your email to subscribe to the whole podcast and future recordings. 

Join us at the next Meetup!

Join us at the next Meetup!

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