Say hello to Business Toybox.
A tool designed to help you understand your ideas. Carefully made for fun.
It’s hard to make something new. It’s even harder to make a business around it. Business Toybox is a tool made by game designers to help you find the path you need to take to create a working business model in a way that’s fun and easy to follow
Business Toybox has these things called Canvases. You won’t be doing too much writing on a Canvas. Instead, it feels a lot more like you’re playing with your ideas to get a better feel for them. It kind of feels like you’re painting a picture of what your business model looks like, but our Canvases also feel like maps to better ideas, and maybe sometimes a board game designed for a fun experience. At least, that’s what we think, we’ll let you draw your own conclusions on what they feel like.
A lot of our canvases are based off pre-existing diagrams such as the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas. These have already helped millions of people map out their ideas, so they seemed like a good starting point. We’re also experimenting with some of our own unique canvases designed to tackle unique problems.
Each Canvas - and the rules that come with it - have strengths and weaknesses that can help you come up with unique insights and experiences. Feel free to explore. We’ll also be adding new ones soon.
Once you’ve picked out a canvas you can add Tokens to it. Tokens represent you and your team’s ideas. The key thing though is that they’re no longer just thoughts, words, or sticky-notes. The closest comparison we can think of are game tokens. They’re designed to easily represent broad ideas from the get-go. With a tiny bit of work, you and your team can customize them to fit the particular idea you want to convey.
It’s just about picking Tokens, but also about where to place them. Tokens can be moved around to places that make sense. You can place a Token in a special section of your Canvas for a certain set of ideas, or place a Token next to other Tokens with similar ideas behind them.
Canvases are like a creative sandbox for you and your team, Sprints are kind of like a game, with rules and objectives.
Every business model starts out relying on a lot of assumptions and what ifs. In at least some way, almost all of them are going to be wrong. Turning assumptions into evidence-backed facts is important for avoiding the landmines that could potentially cripple your idea, and for uncovering hidden paths to a better business model.
So, how do turn assumptions into facts? Try using our Sprints.
Each Sprint starts off asking you what assumption of what if you want to tackle. They also ask how much time you’ll need to find whatever it is that you’re seeking (it’s part of the reason why they’re called Sprints, they’re designed to finish quickly). Once you’ve created a Sprint, it’s up to you and your team to work together and use the tools the Sprint provides to go out and collect evidence, feedback, answers, etc.
Remember those Sprint things we mentioned earlier? They do expire eventually. So what happens then? We give you and your team as much time as you want to reflect.
Each Sprint asks to look at how things went and ask yourself if the stuff you’ve gathered and the things you now know support what you assume about your business model. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they don’t, and sometimes you honestly have no idea. Don’t take it too rough, sometimes losing is it’s own special kind of winning.
Then we take you back to your Canvas and ask you to take a look at it. Here you can pause and think about the individual Tokens and decide just how well they’re supported. Even if your overall business model is solid, you and your team might decide that one of the Tokens representing an idea about the business has to go. Alternatively, you might learn that your business model has a lot of flaws, but one of the Tokens is strongly supported by what you learned from your Sprint.
Either way, your ideas gets better. Now you have more actual evidence to back it up, even if some of that evidence proved that you and your team were wrong about a few things. The important thing is you don’t have to stop here. You can change your ideas around, create another Sprint, and keep going. Each time you repeat the process things just get better.
Each time you finish a Sprint, we create a record of it. This record includes a before-and-after snapshot of the Canvas and all your ideas inside it, along with all the things you and your team did during the Sprint. We call all the records you create along the way your Journey. It’s really just an archive, but it does more than just keep old Sprints handy, it shows you where you’ve been.
Besides being nice to look at, you can also use these records to go back in time and test a “what if we did this instead” idea by creating a new Sprint based off an older Canvas. You can’t change the past, but you can see what might have been and chart a new course for the future.
Every account comes with a 7 day trial with plans as low as $10 per month or $100 a year