He mentioned thingamy which he described as "lets businesses composite business models pretty much any way they choose." then "A nice idea if you've got business modelling skills but not so good if you're a smaller business."
I know Dennis would like some templates to take some of the modelling part out of the equation - make life easier for the hard-pressed small business owner.
And I concur - having templates for thingamy, just like you can download templates for Excel, would be nice, a kind of library of "applications". But...
Only yesterday I said that "flow is everything", and I mean it.
Applications are like workstations in our hobby woodworking set-ups in the garage - a place where we love to tinker with one piece of wood and get the immense satisfaction in seeing it change and develop.
I see the same when using Keynote / PowerPoint - little tweaks, add an image, tweak again, lean back and furrow my brows, dip into it again... and the hours flies satisfactory.
Or when writing a report, a dash content then layout, layout and more layout tweaks, then some small rewrites and more layout tweaks.
Not to talk about the mere joy of messing around with some spreadsheets, pure joy.
We like to tinker, it's instant gratification.
We're in a state of "flow".
Albeit a self-indulging flow. Not much overall efficiency going on there, excellent little snippets of creations yes, but total value creation for the client? Not really, that requires a more holistic flow.
Take a look at Microsoft's presentation of Vista at CES the other day - "here you can instantly change the image inside Word, awesome!", "see, the desktop background can be live, amazing!". The main office workspace now having added tons of new tempting ways for self-indulgence... cool.
With the head deep down in the intricacies of a spreadsheet or the colours of a slide we do not see much of the whole issue. The whys, the ultimate value to be delivered, the reasons for doing business at all - are such in focus when you're in the margin-tweaking-and-font-choosing flow of the letter writing?
Nope, guess not. And that's not good for business.
And as business is a flow, nothing but a flow, a holistic flow also called the Business Model - that should be the focus.
When you click on your Outlook or Calendar you start a one-event-flow, a meeting. Hardly a flow.
But that single event is always a part of a bigger flow, a flow that is important for the well-being of your business. What happens prior to the meeting? What's the reason? What happens after? A report to be written, then sent to somebody else who will then add some or decide what to do next? An offer to be created and sent?
Applications delivers limited personal flows, space for self-indulgence, they simply do not deliver holistic flows, natural business flows - the stuff that is the reason for doing business at all.
And Dennis, even small business owners knows their holistic flow - they know their Business Model! Thus they are business modellers on a daily basis.
But they cannot do that easy using the "workstation-applications".
That's why I drag my feet on templates, that is why I'm trying to offer a tool that can entice and give satisfaction beyond tweaking layout and choosing fonts.
It is fun to tweak business models and choose paths in a real business flow!
That is my favourite pastime, thinking about how to do stuff better, how to smoothen the flow, how to help my customers - on my bike, on my skis, in the shower.
Why not bring that joy into the workplace? And that is not a rhetorical question ;)