We see business models all around us: the way people organize to create value, capture value, and share value.
The quality of our lives is shaped by these business models.
Too often, our best ideas for the future are killed by reductive financial thinking. Our spreadsheets are not optimized for seeing which ideas will grow, and which new ventures will allow our company to survive, and then to thrive. Whom, how, and what we value is in question.
We believe that the practice of business modeling is a chance to shake up an old destructive pattern for how we collaborate to construct the future. Creatives create. Engineers engineer. Financial analysts analyze. Yet, in a world shaped by technology, networks, and flows of data. to be a business modeler you’re going to need to learn the language of all of these disciplines.
Business modeling as a practice needs to unite the best of creativity and computation with better financial reasoning.
Business modeling can help anyone learn about how business works, about how the world works when the world is shaped by money.
We can analyze, taking things apart, understand how and what we value, and then synthesize, putting things back together.
Jen van der Meer has exceptionally shaped perspectives about finance and valuation as tools for innovation in her roles as a startup founder, high growth executive, advisor, and professor. Jen has been the CEO of Reason Street for six years, a company that delivers business model design, capital strategy, and evaluation services to organizations and investors addressing climate, health, the future of work and automation, and other complex global challenges. Her work has been acclaimed in The New York Times, Business Week, and Fast Company.
Prior to Reason Street, Jen worked on Wall Street as a tech analyst and economist on the Netscape IPO, quickly progressing to executive roles in fast-growth companies Organic, Inc. and Frog Design. Jen’s startup experience includes Drillteam, a customer co-creation platform company that was acquired three times (by Powered, Dachis Group, then Sprinklr), Designers Accord, a global sustainable design not-for-profit, and One Drop, a diabetes tech company.
Jen is currently an Assistant Professor at the Parsons Strategic Design and Management Program and is a Co-Director of the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative, which gives students the opportunity to create and design models, movements, and organizations that learn and practice their way to a just economy. She also researches alternative forms of capital as a means to center communities as primary stakeholders for change. Jen earned an MBA from top-ranked Parisian business school HEC and a BA in Comparative Religion from Trinity College.