Design, eat, sleep and repeat: 48 hours Design a Better Business



It is not about theory, theoretical examples and a single solution explained by the teacher. It is about going on a learning journey together with participants and facilitators. We designed a total experience training course where business people learn, network, design, prototype, share and party in 48 hours in cooperation with Zoku longstay living in Amsterdam.


Experience uncertainty during a training

“I was fascinated by the idea to have participants of our training course experience uncertainty themselves. What would that look like. How would they feel. We wanted to create a different experience. An unstructured set of two days where we simulate the business world we currently live in” says Erik van der Pluijm, designer of Design a Better Business (DBB). “It is not just about the world that is changing and showing the single right solution. Such a world does not exist. We don’t want to look into other successful concepts. We want to learn” according to Maarten van Lieshout, designer of DBB.

DBB events are both practical and insightful. In stead of telling you what to do and how to do it, you’ll be immersed in a context that will provide you with many aha moments. Insights you can immediately implement into your (business) live. Along the way we will also introduce you to a plethora of useful design tools that you can add to your toolbox as tomorrows design thinker.

We don’t believe in throwing theories and information at you and haphazard approaches. We do believe in well orchestrated interaction and dialogue. In learning from the experiences of others, to be challenged. That’s why we design our DBB events in great detail, to make sure you’ll get the triggers you’ll need to grow and make it your personal experience.

Zoku Loft An Intelligently Designed Small Home Office Studio pertaining to Home Office Studio - Design Decor
Zoku Loft, your hotel room when you stay over at the 48 hours training course.

From a business model to a real hotel concept

Patrick met Hans Meyer six years ago at CitizenM, a new hotel concept that started in Amsterdam. At that time Hans was working on a new concept for expatriates. Such concept should focus on customers who want to stay longer in Amsterdam and not visit for just a few days. The Zoku longstay as Hans called it has moved from a business model canvas and value proposition on paper on to a real prototype. Hans became a master in design, eat and repeat. Now Zoku opened last fall with a long stayers hotel for global Nomads. Zoku turned the hotel industry upside down again. Literally. The entrance is at the top of the fifth floor with 133 rooms; the roof as a garden and greenhouse, common areas of the hotel where you can work and connect. Zoku is far from a traditional hotel. On paper can a room be booked for one night, but it is focused on a stay of one week to three months and on the emerging generation of young businessmen and women who are not served at five stars, but is looking for a combination of work and relaxation.


A new training design for Design a Better Business

What would a training experience look like when we design it from scratch? “We evaluated our pilot training course of Design a Better Business back in fall 2016 and our participants looked for something more” Patrick van der Pijl says. Not the traditional set-up. They wanted to co-create with facilitators. Not the traditional examples like Google and Amazon but working on their own concept. Not leaving the facility 5 p.m. but working till late. Not back to your own hotel but stay with the community. Not staying in the venue but go out of the building and test your concept. “That’s exactly what we want to design and create in our Zoku concept. Make sure participants can come earlier, stay overnight and work wherever they want. We help design such experiences through designing the touchpoints in our journey. That’s where we want to make the difference. And during the program I will explain what the design journey of Zoku looked like: Design, eat, ok – sleep – and repeat.

What you will learn?

We will give you all the necessary tools, skills and mindset to do business model innovation and value proposition design for your new design venture. You will learn how to navigate in the double loop (the design process) and using our toolbox with tools like the context map, team charter, vision canvas, business model canvas, value proposition canvas and beware! there will be times when you feel uncertain and uncomfortable as you need to go out of the building and talk to real customers. Oops! Thats a different ballgame! Are you ready? Do you have the guts to join us?

Want to join our 48 hours Design a Better Business Training? Check out the program and join us in Amsterdam on March 1st and 2nd. 

By Patrick van der Pijl - Author

Patrick is CEO of Business Models Inc. and producer of the worldwide bestseller Business Model Generation. He is passionate to help entrepreneurs, leaders, rebels and corporate companies to innovate their business model and design a future strategy.