The primary misunderstanding about business innovation, which leads to inaction, is believing that reinventing or innovating your business starts from technical implementations.

Innovating in business means redefining value for your existing customers to understand how to enhance it. Or determining what new value can be delivered to new customers with similar needs. Or yet, defining a whole new set of values to be delivered to a new customer base.

We can start the process by mapping our business boundaries.

Define the value customers get and your business boundaries

In order for you to redefine and innovate, you need to understand first the current value you provide.

For instance, if you have a barbershop, are people just coming to you to cut their beards? Not really; many of those people might come to you for several reasons:

  • They want to look good
  • The place is near their home
  • The environment is good
  • They like to talk to you

You can develop a whole offering of services and products based on the reasons above.

For instance, if you're cutting hair, why not sell some of the products you select to your customer base?

Understanding the needs of your customers helps you structure an offering:

  • Sell-related products
  • Add-on offerings for related services
  • Simple offering with a flat fee
  • Subscription-service kit with curated products

Those are highly relevant now, so go to the end of this newsletter to find them out!

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Within and beyond your business boundaries

By setting the boundaries of your business and existing customer base, you can also define those experiments that would provide further value and enable your business to transform.

This also means being able to experiment with the following:

  • Providing more value to existing customers with an expanded offering
  • Create a whole new product for an existing customer base
  • Tweak an existing product to serve new customers
  • Or build a whole new product for a new customer base

Let's see now some case studies and examples of how companies are reinventing or surviving difficult times.

Recap: In This Issue!

  • Business innovation: In this issue, I emphasized that business innovation involves redefining customer value. It is not solely based on technical implementations but rather on understanding customer needs and finding ways to enhance or create new value.
  • Mapping business boundaries: To innovate, defining the current value provided to customers is important. By understanding these needs, businesses can develop various services and products to cater to their customer base.
  • Structuring offerings: Understanding customer needs helps in structuring offerings. This can include selling related products, offering add-on services, a simple offering with a flat fee, or even creating a subscription-service kit with curated products.
  • Expanding boundaries: By defining the boundaries of the business and its customer base, companies can explore experiments that provide additional value and enable business transformation. This can involve offering more value to existing customers, developing new products for the existing customer base, adapting existing products for new customers, or creating new products for new customer segments.

Similar Frameworks

Real World Case Studies

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • Microniche Strategy: AWS started by offering cloud computing services to developers and startups, targeting a niche market in need of scalable and cost-effective infrastructure.
  • Scale Unlocked: As AWS gained trust and adoption in the developer community, it expanded its services to cater to larger enterprises, unlocking massive growth in the cloud computing market.
  • Experimental Framework: AWS encouraged experimentation by allowing developers to easily test and launch new services, fostering innovation within the platform.


  • Microniche Strategy: Netflix began as a DVD rental-by-mail service, targeting movie enthusiasts who preferred the convenience of home delivery.
  • Scale Unlocked: After establishing itself in the DVD rental market, Netflix transitioned into a streaming service, reaching a broader audience and revolutionizing the way people consume content.
  • Experimental Framework: Netflix invested heavily in data analytics to personalize content recommendations and continuously tested pricing models and original content to optimize user engagement.


  • Microniche Strategy: Shopify initially focused on providing e-commerce solutions for small and niche businesses looking to establish an online presence.
  • Scale Unlocked: As e-commerce grew, Shopify expanded its services to accommodate larger enterprises, powering online stores of all sizes.
  • Experimental Framework: Shopify offered a platform for developers to create apps and themes, allowing merchants to customize their stores and experiment with different features.


  • Microniche Strategy: Slack started as an internal communication tool for a gaming company, targeting a niche market of gamers and tech startups.
  • Scale Unlocked: Recognizing broader applications, Slack expanded to serve teams and organizations in various industries, becoming a popular team collaboration platform.
  • Experimental Framework: Slack encouraged third-party developers to build integrations and bots, fostering an ecosystem of productivity-enhancing tools.


  • Microniche Strategy: Tesla began with the Roadster, targeting a small market segment of electric vehicle enthusiasts and early adopters.
  • Scale Unlocked: Tesla expanded its lineup to include more affordable electric vehicles, gradually scaling up its production and market reach.
  • Experimental Framework: Tesla continuously improved its battery technology, autonomous driving features, and charging infrastructure, pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle innovation.


  • Microniche Strategy: Airbnb started by offering air mattresses in their own apartment, targeting travelers looking for affordable lodging.
  • Scale Unlocked: Airbnb expanded its platform to include various types of accommodations, attracting a global user base of hosts and travelers.
  • Experimental Framework: Airbnb introduced features like instant booking, reviews, and host guarantees to build trust and reliability within its community.


  • Microniche Strategy: Dropbox initially targeted individuals and small teams with a simple file-sharing solution.
  • Scale Unlocked: Dropbox expanded its services to include business plans, attracting larger enterprises and organizations.
  • Experimental Framework: Dropbox continuously improved its file synchronization technology and added collaboration features, such as Dropbox Paper, to enhance its platform.


  • Microniche Strategy: Uber launched as a premium black car service, targeting urban professionals seeking a more convenient alternative to taxis.
  • Scale Unlocked: Uber expanded its service offerings to include various ride options, catering to a broader demographic and global market.
  • Experimental Framework: Uber experimented with ride-sharing, food delivery (UberEATS), and autonomous vehicles to diversify its business and stay at the forefront of transportation innovation.


  • Microniche Strategy: Pinterest started as a visual bookmarking platform for hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts.
  • Scale Unlocked: Pinterest expanded its user base by attracting a broader audience interested in discovering and organizing ideas across various categories.
  • Experimental Framework: Pinterest introduced features like guided search, shopping pins, and promoted pins to enhance user engagement and monetization opportunities.


  • Microniche Strategy: Instagram initially focused on mobile photography enthusiasts, offering a simple platform for sharing photos.
  • Scale Unlocked: Instagram expanded its user base by incorporating features like Stories, video sharing, and e-commerce tools, making it a widely used social media platform.
  • Experimental Framework: Instagram regularly introduced new creative tools, filters, and advertising options to keep users engaged and attract advertisers.


With ♥️ Gennaro, FourWeekMBA

Business Engineering Printed

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The Business Engineer

At the intersection of business model strategy, technology, and business development, The Business Engineer is the only official newsletter of, the leading blog about business model strategy and business engineering. The blog reaches millions of business people each year.

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