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Platform Canvas Framework vs Business Model Canvas

~ by Alan W

Which one should I use for my online marketplace?

I have used Platform Canvas Frameworks (PCF) when I designed online marketplaces.  I do think a Business Model Canvas (BMC) can also help. It is easier to understand/consume and I'd suggest making it visible in the place of work (using sticky notes) and invite anyone to participate.  Then use BMC together with your PCF.  I played around with a BMC for a knife sharpening marketplace.

Please note: this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Business Model Canvas for Online Knife Sharpening Marketplace.

Typically BCM’s consist of nine building blocks.

Customer Segments:

  • Consumers: People who want their knives sharpened. Examples: house hold, restaurants, caterers, knife collectors, outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Producers: Individuals or businesses providing knife sharpening services.

Value Propositions:

  • Consumers: Convenient and professional knife sharpening services. Quality, choice, transparency.

  • Producers: Platform to showcase and sell their sharpening services, choice, transparency.


  • Online platform (website or app) where consumers can request knife sharpening services.

  • Marketing channels to attract both consumers and producers.

  • Collaboration, Partnerships with culinary schools, outdoor shops, or knife manufacturers.

Customer Relationships:

  • Online support for consumer inquiries.

  • Community-building features to connect consumers and producers.

  • Sharpening Tips & Guides: Educational content on knife care and maintenance.

  • Loyalty Programs: Discounts and reward points for repeat customers.

  • Reviews & Ratings: Transparent platform for showcasing sharpener expertise and building trust.

Revenue Streams:

  • Service fees charged to producers for using the platform.

  • Transaction fees for each successful knife sharpening service.

  • Subscription plans for consumers.

Key Resources:

  • Online platform (website or app).

  • Marketing and customer support teams.

  • Technical infrastructure for smooth transactions.

  • Network of sharpeners.

Key Activities:

  • Platform development and maintenance.

  • Marketing and promotion activities.

  • Quality control and assurance for sharpening services.

Key Partnerships:

  • Collaborations with knife sharpening professionals.

  • Partnerships with suppliers for any necessary equipment or materials.

Cost Structure:

  • Platform development and maintenance costs.

  • Marketing and promotional expenses.

  • Customer support and quality assurance costs.

By filling in the details for each of these components, you can create a comprehensive business model for your online marketplace.

Work with Alan W

“Solving niche challenges Founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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