Digital Entrepreneurship and its Implications for Business Modeling: An Exemplary Implementation

Benjamin Hoffmann & Karl-Joosep Pärtel

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this work is to look into digital business modeling and to give a practical example of launching a service in the online marketplace sector. To that end, a business model framework named VISOR was taken under investigation to test whether it is suitable to build a particular e-business case upon. The VISOR framework incorporates common aspects of business modeling, but also the digital perspective, such as interface and IT architecture. In general, the authors deemed VISOR an applicable model, although found it slightly shallow and lacking explanations regarding its descriptors. In order to mitigate this issue, the authors elaborated on the different parts of the framework taking advantage of their study program material as well as other contemporary theoretical background. Hence, improving the model could also be seen as one the main outcomes of this work. While working stepwise through their business idea by means of the VISOR framework, the authors further identified the need for adding a marketing part to the work as they found it detrimental to understand the target segment and how to reach it. Finally, specific online marketplace challenges that apply to the case company were outlined as every industry has its own characteristics that general business model canvases don’t address. The case example itself is an e-business targeted towards students and interns that face the common difficulties of moving to new and unfamiliar locations and finding everything they need to settle there, such as housing, furniture, bicycles, information about activities, and so forth. Consequently, the authors took advantage of current digital possibilities and the modularized business environment that allows mashing up existing solutions into new offerings. Coming from the fact that the service itself has not reached commercialization yet, the authors acknowledge that much of this case example’s real outcome remains hypothetical until the project is launched. Nevertheless, the authors believe that it could hold valuable insights in setting up new online ventures for future entrepreneurs. Most importantly, the motivation for this work came from a constructivist standpoint of learning by doing and this thesis provided a valuable experience to end the studies with a hands-on project of creating a digital startup, which in that sense proved useful and relevant.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages148
SupervisorsLeif Bloch Rasmussen