The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

Alan Smith ‘Helping businesses design value with Strategyzer’

John Carter
October 29, 2019
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Alan Smith ‘Helping businesses design value with Strategyzer’

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Episode Transcript

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Gerry: Hello, and welcome to Bringing Design Closer. My name is Gerry Scullion and I’m a service design trainer a practitioner based in Dublin City, Ireland. I was in Toronto recently for the service design networks global conference and caught up with Alan Smith, the wonderful co-founder and design leader at Strategyzer HQ at one of the coolest ends of the city. In this episode, we chat about the earlier days of forming the business with Alex Osterwalder and working with Yves Pigneur and how this led to becoming one of the most celebrated business educators on the planet.

We get into the nitty-gritty of sustaining momentum with their tools post-workshops and how they see the canvas is getting adopted into new ways of working. I also managed to get a look at their new third book: Testing Business Ideas. We discuss that in detail. That is due out in November of this year. Alan was such a great person to chat with and I really enjoyed out time together. Let’s get straight into the episode. Alan Smith, a very warm welcome to Bringing Design Closer. How are you?

Alan: I’m doing great and welcome to Toronto.

Gerry: Yes, man. I’m sitting here in the Strategyzer office drinking red wine, watching a sunset over an art college with Alan Smith, cofounder of Strategyzer. Alan, for people who don’t know Strategyzer and don’t know you, how do you describe yourself and tell us what you guys do.

Alan: Man, this is one of those things where I need to be concise, right? That’s so hard.

Gerry: Within ten minutes.

Alan: Within ten minutes? Okay, the first ten minutes, explain what do we do here? I’m a designer, I’m a design trained entrepreneur. Started out in design school, so probably like a lot of people listening to the podcast. At Strategyzer, we take really fuzzy, hard business problems and we try to make them easier to understand and talk about, create shared language, process, and ways of thinking about things that are just really, really hard. Like, the hardest things I’ve failed on so many times, we’re just trying to figure out how they work, break it down into smaller pieces, make it easier, and then give that to people.

Gerry: Yes, from speaking with you earlier, it’s an education business, you do great books, you also do workshops, and you also do web apps.

Alan: Yes, that’s right.

Gerry: There are lots of capabilities and lots of streams of design, different types of design.

Alan: That’s right.

Gerry: Today, we’re going to chat more about the evolution of the value proposition canvas and the evolution of the business model canvas and where you guys are at in this moment in time.

Alan: Yes.

Gerry: Talk to us, there’s a really good story for anyone listening, we’re going to hear it now from Alan now about the whole how it all came together, how it all started. Tell us, you had a brilliant design consultancy in Toronto called the movement. You were introduced to a workshop that was happening in the area.

Alan: That’s right. At the movement, we were launching products and they were all failing. I don’t need to give you the details, but we weren’t doing that well with our product development, okay. The products were nice, they were well-designed.

Gerry: Digital products?

Alan: Digital products. They were well-designed, they were easy to use. They were solving meaningful problems for people. We were asking ourselves, what do our clients do, right. We were young, we were really dumb. We weren’t that smart. I’m not that much smarter now, but I’ve picked up some experience along the way. The challenge we were having was, there was no business model, and that sounds silly now, sitting where I am today that that’s the mistake we were making multiple times, but I made that mistake multiple times, that we were creating value for people, but we weren’t capturing any value for ourselves. We weren’t thinking about outside of the product and the customer, what else was there to make this thing an engine that could move forward on its own?

I went to learn more about it, and I got introduced to this workshop and it was here at Mars Discovery District, which is a place where they train entrepreneurs here in Toronto. Shout out to Mars, they’re fantastic. They do excellent work. They use the canvases now, which is amazing. At that point in time, this was the first time the business model canvas came to Canada. I saw it on the wall and as soon as I saw it, I was like, that should be software, that thing should eb the business design. That should be Adobe Creative Suite for business. There were no tools that I had in my toolbox to help me with this type of problem. I was just immediately attracted to it.

It took up all of my headspace. It just felt like, you know, when a door’s been unlocked in your mind and it’s like, this was so much clearer than it was. I was just so confused. Now, I’m like, I think I can work with this. I just had this feeling of somebody put a hammer in your hand after scratching your head looking at a nail for hours. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, I can do this.

Gerry: That was a high-value $100 ticket for a workshop.

Alan: So much so. Afterwards, I shook hands with the guy who ran the workshops, I was like, great workshop, man, I really like this. I went to his blog afterwards. He had basically photos of cool looking books and was saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a business book like this?” I was like, well, absolutely. That’s the business book that I haven’t read because it doesn’t exist, and I can’t read regular business books because they’re a billion pages of text and one diagram. Not very exciting. I reached out and said, if you’re going to make that business book, you’re going to need my help. This was Alex Osterwalder and he believed me. At the time, it was like, we finished our first call and we were like, I think this is going to be a great exchange because he was really interested in design and bringing design thinking, which I knew, to business. I was really interested in business and bringing more of that to my practice and to designers in general, who had ideas for products. From there, we just kept going, the business model generation was the first book that we worked on. We spent nine months working on that book today.

Gerry: When was this? This was probably 2009/2010.

Alan: Yes, 2009, I think we launched it, self-published late in 2009. Then Wiley picked it up. We had like seven publishers bidding to get it.

Gerry: Wow.

Alan: Because the first copy was such a success because it was such a special product. We put so much work into it and really refined it and made it something good.

Gerry: What kinds of things were you and Alex doing at that time that made it such a success, in terms of activities?

Alan: Yes, absolutely. One, we were having offsites in beautiful locations, so being inspired helps. You’ve got to – Alex always says that he’s really lazy, so he needs cool people around to work and he needs to work in beautiful places. I was like, yes, that resonates with me. That’s pretty much been my MO as well. We were in nice locations, you know, Chalets in Switzerland. I spent a lot of time asking questions because this is not my space, so I didn’t know what was going on. Then Alex would scratch his head and be like, wow, I thought that was obvious. I’m realizing now that it wasn’t. That allowed us, having a non-subject matter expert paired with a subject matter expert, it really allowed me to amplify the messages and to help fill in the gaps in the content of the book. Alex and Yves came fully with the first chapter and the rest of it, we really fleshed out as we went along.

The first chapter came from his PhD, where he developed the business model canvas originally. It was such a useful tool to so many people already that there was a built-in audience, there were people who were really clambering for a book that wasn’t an idea that came out of nowhere. We spent a lot of time sketching, trying to get to the bottom of… I would ask, we came in with one design thesis. One small design detail that if you pick up a copy of business model generation, you’ll notice that there’s never an idea from one page that spills over to the next page. If you turn a page, you’re turning a page to a new idea.

There are sequences of ideas that are related, but they are always new ideas. We need to be really clear about every spread and said, well, what’s the one idea that we’re covering here. If it couldn’t fit, well, then okay, what are the two ideas that make up what we thought was one idea. Really, breaking that down, it took up a lot of our time. Finding the right visualisation, sorry, was the last thing that we spend a lot of time on. Sketching things over and over to try to figure out, what does this look like? A lot of these things have only been described as business concepts and words before, so it was very different.

Gerry: You were bringing the content design to life. That’s when we were speaking earlier. There was lots of understanding from the business perspective, but you were taking it to the next level, you were like an amplifier. I did say something earlier abut it be a conduit, but it’s more like an amplifier in that sense, where you took it into the human-centred side of things, like what does it look like to the end user, who’s going to read it and make sure that they’re actually going to get value from it?

Alan: I think that’s what a lot of great designers do. It sounds like I just called myself a great designer, so I’m going to backtrack on that, but focus on other designers who do this.

Gerry: Well, there’s a legacy. There are three really successful products and more in terms of when you look at the web app. You can call yourself what you like.

Alan: Let’s go back to the other successful designers out there. They pair with people who know things in different places and really amplify messages and connect dots. That’s a bit part of design, is connecting dots between people and ideas. That’s a big part of what I did on business model generation.

Gerry: After the business model generation book, the value proposition design book came out, which was hugely popular in Australia. Especially in the circles that I was doing a lot of Fintech work at that stage and there were a lot of product managers. We were chatting earlier about how initially, I was probably a little more cynical around the frameworks, but what I quickly saw was that there was a shared language that was starting to evolve between the communities of product, service, UX, and just generally in the business. It’d be like, where’s the value proposition canvas for this? It really helped. It’s what I always tried to do within any of the consulting work that I ended up doing, was trying to get that shared language and prove the communication between the teams. Talk to us a little bit more about that, your value proposition design because I think that’s when it starts to get more into – you start exploring into the digital realm of web apps and training and stuff. I’m really keen to hear your perspectives on that.

Alan: Yes. First, I’ll speak conceptually about what we were trying to do with value proposition design and the challenge that we saw was, we looked at a lot of business model canvases and people were just piling the value proposition component and piling the customer segment with all kinds of details. Like, who are these people, what are they trying to get done, what are the negative outcomes they see? What are the success criteria for the jobs they’re trying to get done? In the value proposition, we just saw freaking everything, man. People put everything there. It was just so much; it was so unclear. This was a signal to us that this was an area that was really lacking shared language and lacking a framework. The more we looked, the less we found. Alex, as a deep student of business was really familiar with Clay Christianson’s work and Tony Olek’s works on jobs to be done. That’s really popular now. This was back in 2013 when we started on this. Not as many people knew about it, especially not in the design thinking world.

Gerry: No, that’s correct.

Alan: It was kind of fresh. There’s been a lot of talk about jobs to be done since then, but what we were trying to do was to state jobs to be done, to make it even more actionable. To say, right, the jobs to be done are good, but what happens when you get the job wrong? What are you actually – the job is the task, but what does success look like? When you do it right, how does that feel? What does good look like as far as that? That expanded to this idea of the customer profile, which was one half of the value proposition canvas. Just making that really clear, this is the target and the whole idea of Tony Olek and Clay Christianson’s thesis is that jobs stay the same, but products change. Different products serve different jobs, but the jobs, often they’re for a very long period in time, especially the very foundational ones. They’re supporting ones, and those can be more connected to relevant technology or whatever. My Bluetooth headphones are hard to pair or whatever.

Well, okay, well, pairing is like a supporting job, but the high-level stuff, if we’re going to focus on that was, this gives you a very clear target for innovation. To say, okay, well if that’s your target, we’ve just made that really clear in a very simple way. There is lots of stuff on personas and different ways of creating customer profiles. What we tried to do with that customer profile in the value proposition canvas, was to just have three things that you look at. If you just look at those three things, we’re going to get your 80 percent of the way there. Look, you can go deeper, don’t get my wrong. There’s a job context, which is very important. There’s more about the demographics, which may matter, right. All of that stuff is valuable in terms of understanding your customer.

We said, if you just focus on these three things, and then you connect it to three things in your value proposition, what’s the product or service and then what are the pain relievers and gain creators which connect to the pains and gains that your customer feels when they do the jobs. Basically, what you get is basically some sort of verb to their noun, and this sort of really easy left to right connection. If it’s there conceptually, man, you nailed it. Now, what we had provided to people was a way to zoom in to two building blocks on the business model canvas that they were really struggling with. That was the intent with that book specifically.  

Gerry: Yes, because I remember the business model canvas, that those value proposition segments tend to be left. We’ll have to come back to that. Or, they might have a one poster there with a really crappy task on it. You know, upload money.

Alan: Or you write the name of a product there. It’s like, is the product really a value proposition? Not really. Right. It was tough to capture that in one word. Giving people a few pieces to break that down and to… what are the features or parts of the product or service and then why does that matter? Which is basically the pain reliever and gain creator, is, that needs to connect to something the customer is feeling. If it doesn’t, then, not much value in that proposition, I guess, right?

Gerry: When we were chatting earlier, we were chatting a little bit more about impact. One of the things that I got hung up on earlier when I first discovered the business model canvas was its impact on the world. Like, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I guess I’ve seen the business model being used within the Fintech world. It’s all about the mindset of, that capitalistic mindset of making more money, faster, quicker, grow, scale, scale. We had a good conversation about that. I just wanted to get your thoughts on the evolution of the business model canvas and how it might include those things?

Alan: I can share with you two thoughts. One of them is, we hear this all the time, which is, guys, great canvas, we really love it, but you forgot a block. Oh, yes? What is it, let me know? What do you think, right? Everybody thinks we forgot a block. These are generally very legitimate things that should be paid attention to in the design of a business, but they’re not necessarily a part of the business model. A lot of people complain and say, “Hey, you forgot the competition.” Well, competition is not part of your business model, they’re part of the environment that you exist in. That’s a different thing. The impact isn’t part of the business model either. Some people say, “Hey, you forgot the impact.” We’d say, no, the impact, it’s almost like the exhaust of that business actually running. It’s like, what does this business create by existing and operating within the framework that you’ve outlined in your business model canvas, right.

Gerry: The by-product is your sustainable piece, like, if that by-product is oil, how are you going to dispose of it?

Alan: It can be, or it can’t be, right. Either one, you could capture in the business model canvas, you can capture unprofitable businesses or profitable businesses. You can capture extremely negative planet killing businesses and you can capture incredible future-thinking organisations that are what we’d call planet saving. Equally well. They’re both in there. It’s really the outcome and the intent of the design, it’s design intent. What are you trying to really do? That’s the question that for a long time, for people in the business world was, well, let’s increase shareholder return. For many organisations, that’s still the case. A lot more organisations we’re seeing now, especially have some sort of a larger mission. They think about that mission when they’re trying to design the business model of, okay, well, not just how are we creating more shareholder value necessarily, but how we are creating a positive impact in some way.

Or how are we creating an impact towards this mission that we have? There’s a secondary tool that I just want to share in case people are interested in this, which is one that we developed to basically forget about the money, if that is what made it easier to focus on this. There were a lot of organizations that we were finding that, like, a Dutch museum and they got their money from the government and they had a set amount of money that they got every year. They were spending money every year. Really, they had a mission. That was what was more important for them to focus on. Their mission was to get more impressions of Dutch art every year.

Was that to, as far as designing their model, how would they do that? Having that as basically the revenue that they were looking for in a way, right, is that number of impressions, that’s all that mattered to them. We created this thing called the mission model canvas with Steve Bland, you can Google it, search it, if you’re looking for that kind of thing.

Gerry: I think I’ve seen this, yes.

Alan: It just reconfigures a few things a little bit if you’re really a number one mission driven business, like those guys were. It still covers the other components, but we did reconfigure it a little bit to just allow people to feel like they were focused on that. I believe that it’s useful to keep that separate and just use the regular business model canvas, but for some people it’s just so much easier to include it inside and make it one thing.

Gerry: Absolutely. There was another canvas that came out in between the value proposition canvas.

Alan: The link canvas?

Gerry: The link canvas, but the culture canvas.

Alan: Culture map.

Gerry: The thing you did with Dave Grey.

Alan: Yes, with Dave Grey.

Gerry: Yes, which was fantastic. I’m keen to hear, there are all of these interesting projects that happen in between the books. We’re going to come to this new book that I’m lucky enough to have had a flick through this new testing business ideas book that I’d seen on LinkedIn.

Alan: With David Bland. He’s the genius behind this one.

Gerry: Absolutely. I’d seen Alex talking about this one on LinkedIn and I was like, I’m intrigued to see what this is like, you know. Does it include those types of mission canvas and the culture map in this, as well?

Alan: Yes, well, jumping back to what you were saying about the idea of these tools are all designed for a reason, right. They all do something different. Sometimes people get really excited about the business model canvas. Like I did the first time I saw it. This could do it all. This is all we need, tear down everything else.

Gerry: This is going to make me a million dollars.

Alan: Come on, a million dollars isn’t cool, man, a billion is cool.

Gerry: Yes, true.

Alan: Then this idea of it becoming a silver bullet and then quickly fading within an organisation. That can happen very easily. Where you get your hopes up too much and this doesn’t do everything like I really hoped it would. The business model canvas helped to understand how you’re capturing value for your business, right? How you’re creating and capturing value in general, then the value proposition canvas makes really clear how you’re creating value for your customer. The culture map that we worked on with Dave Grey in between helps you show how you’re creating value for your employees and what’s your operating system of your company in a way, right? I remember we were driving around with Dave Grey. He was in Switzerland for something and Alex and I were both there.

We were driving around in the car and Dave was saying, I’m working on a couple of new things. He shared one thing where I was like, okay, that’s kind of interesting. Then he said, “I’m thinking about making a map for culture.” The hair on the back of my neck went up. I was like, we need that map. Let’s make the map, come on, it’s going to be an exciting. Let’s do it. The first map he came up with had like 19 boxes. It was like 19 different building blocks. Over a series of iterations, I’ve got to give credit to Alex and Yves here, they’re just really good at narrowing down the categories and realizing, like, well, what are we really talking about here? I had a couple of contributions to that but really, Alex and Yves worked with Dave to bring that down to the three boxes.

Gerry: Yes, to distil it down to those three things.

Alan: Those three. It works so well. Between that top layer of what you can see happening, as far as the behaviour. What’s driving that behaviour? What are the enablers or blockers to the things that are driving or blocking?

Gerry: It’s fantastic. I’ve used it with several clients, and it went down very well.

Alan: Good to hear.

Gerry: One of the questions from a previous guest, actually, he’s on the Slack channel, Faruk Avidy. It’s more around the success planning of the application of these methods. Say, you do a business model canvas workshop and within that, you might also a value proposition canvas, as well, and everyone is really pumped, everyone is really amped. They’re like, “Who is this Alan Smith? Who is this Alex…?” I’m only joking, they probably are. After the workshop, they go away and the canvas is hanging on the wall. What have you seen and what have you seen from people who’ve adopted it and that’s worked to improve the succession of these maps to become a part of the DNA and of the processes and how they’re working?

Alan: Think about it like this, how many workshops have you been to that were really exciting and they never went anywhere? Right, it’s most of them. That’s most of them. Faruk’s question is really good because he’s recognizing the main pain associated with that sort of first step of the job that he might be experiencing is, I need to create a shared language for talking about one of the most important parts of our business. Our value proposition. I need to connect sales and marketing and product and support, customer success, to really understand, who is our customer? What are we offering them? they bring everybody together into a workshop and people love the workshop, they’re like, cool, we made these canvases that’s great. Then what happens afterwards? I think this is so common.

Gerry: It’s a cultural thing, though.

Alan: It really is. What are the behaviours that drive people to have the outcome of speaking the same language more often? Culturally, using tools is something that a lot of organizations don’t do. Business as usual is just so much easier, just falling back on a conversation or saying, yes, I just wrote up a new Google Doc and just put it all in there. Yes, I just reorganised a CRM like the seventh time to just try to capture some of this stuff. Yes, it’s all in there, but, no, nobody else can edit it, it’s just me. Yes, sorry, let me know if you need any changes to that. None of these work, right. The big challenge is, one, there needs to be a mindset shift.  A lot of people in the organisation need to understand why this is important and why this tool is one that’s really going to help us.

This really goes beyond just our tools, I’m speaking about tools in general, right, because I love tools in general, don’t get me wrong, I really love and believe in the Strategyzer tools, and I’ll talk about those all day, but just talking about tools in general, and processes in general. The second thing is, bringing everyone up to a level of competency where they feel like they can actually continue to contribute. I can hang back in a workshop and pretend like I’m figuring things out, but when it comes time to like you send something to me, I can pretend I’m busy like seven times before I actually do anything or don’t do anything.

Getting everyone to that same level of competency where nobody feels like they’re getting left behind, that’s something that’s really important. Having some sort of rituals in pace, or ceremonies, where tools and that language is being brought back up again or shared between people. Every Monday, we have our customer evidence meeting. Well, rather than just telling stories, we present things using the customer profile as an example. How are these tools then integrated into existing habits, or ceremonies the company already has is a great easy hack of saying, “Well, we’re already doing this, hey, can I tack on this tool to this thing?”

Gerry: Yes, it’s like whenever I’ve used the value proposition canvas, I actually use that almost like a form of persona in some ways. Especially if you’re working in a product-centred organization. As you’re doing your more research, it’s fluid, it’s changing, it’s always being updated and always being maintained. The problem is, if you’re not maintaining it and you’re keeping it up there and that’s your source of truth, your customers are evolving, and your tasks aren’t evolving and you’re not putting any definition around what a task is and stuff. That’s when it becomes more problematic.

Alan: It breaks so quick. It’s like you’re on a great track, you’re going to the gym four days a week, you’re doing really good. Then one day some mates are going out, so you go out, then you miss a day, and then you miss two days. Then you’re way behind. Now, there are like two versions of this thing and nobody wants to do the extra work to get things hooked back up again. Having to refresh the working document from the other new working document. It’s that easy to fall off the bandwagon with a lot of this stuff. It’s like we all know the value we get from good habits. Yet, it’s so difficult to keep on track with good habits.

Gerry: It is ops at the end of the day. It is maintaining it. It is ops.

Alan: It’s strategic ops because this is all the strategy, right. There’s Strategyzer, strategic tools. Then how do you change the way you operate when it comes to strategy and to go beyond a conversation, which is how, again, a conversation on White Board is how 90 percent of this stuff gets done. If you think that that’s as effective, you’re fooling yourself. It doesn’t work as well.

Gerry: We’ve gone through the business model, the value prop, now, we’ve got this book in front of us, Testing Business Ideas. It sounds, and this is not a sales’ pitch, it sounds exciting because it’s more like a…

Alan: Yes, I’m excited about this book, man.

Gerry: It is, and it sounds like it’s going to be a great tool for people who are on that trajectory. To be able to have these recipes for workshops and what they can and can’t do and what they should do.

Alan: Let me reframe a component of that, which is that if we talked about the questions, the other tools to answer, how do you create value for your business? How do you create value for your customer? How do you create value for your team, your employees? Then this one is really, how do you know you were right? We can have a great session on a white board or on a canvas, whether that’s online or in person and be completely wrong. It could be like a total group think. It could be like…

Gerry: In the wrong direction.

Alan: Exactly. We were just too excited. We built it on our assumptions, which were valid or invalid at that point in time, right or wrong, and the chances that we were 100 percent right in our design the first time around is basically zero. That never happens. The idea of… this is something that’s familiar to people in the UX. You do usability testing because you design something and you realise that what you intended didn’t connect with people in a certain way, just because.

Gerry: Or it can always be evidence-based research.

Alan: Evidence-based research. Going out and collecting evidence. This idea of collecting evidence in a systematic way that is not just building the business because you can collect evidence that way. It’s just really expensive to do it that way. It takes a really long time. How do we compress that cycle and create evidence to support a business idea or a product shift? Whether it’s a business idea for an entire business and a product line, or a change within it, or like, we’re Adobe and we’re trying to go from box software to cloud. That’s a big move. How do you create evidence to suggest that this is going to work? There are these components that you need to look at. This book helps answer the question of: How do you know if you were right in your business idea?

The three components that break down into different parts of the business model canvas and value proposition canvas come from IDEO originally and some other places. David was trying to actually source it and he was like, “There are seven people…” I keep using the number seven today as far as my random go to… there are like 93 people who are apparently should be credited for this desirability, feasibility, viability, like trifecta or if you can look at is this something people want? Desirability and that’s the value proposition canvas, as well as the front stage of the business model canvas. Is this something we can build feasibility?

Can we do that? Can we support these costs? Can we figure out that technology? Can we build the right partners and infrastructure to make that happen? Lastly, the viability. If we do that, is this worthwhile as a business? Most changes to any existing business or any new business overall has some amount of risk. Any new change has some amount of risk because again, it’s built on the assumptions that we had when we were just two super smart good-looking guys working on an idea on a white board.

Gerry: You’re talking about us?

Alan: Yes, us.

Gerry: Okay, sorry.

Alan: No, I’m projecting to the listeners who are also two… yes.

Gerry: Of course.

Alan: This idea of systematically reducing that risk, that’s the job. Of rather than how do we build this thing? It’s let’s identify the risks, figure out which are the ones we have evidence for already because there’s always some evidence in the organisation, right? Adobe had seen things that told them that this was the way of the future. There were other things that they were making changes on where they weren’t quite so sure. What are those? How do we product evidence to suggest that we’re not going to blow everything up when we make this move? The search for that evidence is going to save us much more time in the long run rather than just trying to build the thing 99 percent of the time.

Gerry: Adobe is probably a good case study. In fact, that they may have had a really successful workshop at the start but may not have been evaluating as they go along. They lost me and a number of the people in the community as customers because the value that they were giving us versus the cost, you know, it just wasn’t there. The ratio was gone. Now, we look at Affinity, this new software that’s come out in the last couple of years, and we’re all in with Affinity. A large part of the community has deleted cloud and they’ve moved off it. They’re like, you get this backlash.

Alan: It’s like, I have 92 subscriptions. Now I’m using 92, not 93.  92 subscriptions, I can’t afford anymore subscriptions. Why is everybody trying to subscribe me to something?

Gerry: Yes, that whole model of, let’s just do a subscription model. People pay $10… really? The run costs of doing your jobs is only in the thousands.

Alan: It adds up really quick. Certainly.

Gerry: Yes, it just scales. I’ll drop a link to this book, for people to pre-order, if we get it out in time. If not, I’ll drop a link into the show notes for this book. It’s going to be out on November the 16th, is that what you said?

Alan: I think November 12th, they’re shipping it from Amazon.

Gerry: Not November the 7th?

Alan: Or November the 93rd.

Gerry: In November, it’s out. We’ll drop a link into the show notes anyway. Alan, it was brilliant chatting to you. I’m delighted that we’ve managed to connect in Toronto. If anyone wants to reach out to you directly, are you on Twitter, LinkedIn?

Alan: No, I’m a pretty ghost type guy, but I have email. You can email me at:

Gerry: Great stuff.

Alan: A-L-A-N and Strategyzer is strategy with a Z-E-R on the end.

Gerry: Alan, thanks so much for your time.

Alan: Thanks.

Gerry: There you have it. Thanks for listening to Bringing Design Closer. If you want to learn more about the other shows on the This is HCD Network, feel free to visit:, where you can also sign up to our newsletter or join our Slack channel, where you can connect with other human-centred design practitioners around the world. Thanks for listening and see you next time.

End of Audio

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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