Team Zipie places a lot of importance on growth, continued education and exercising our creative minds. Since seeing Matthew Manos from verynice at AAF Lexington advertising club’s Interactive Social 4, we’ve been dying to play his role-playing and ideation game, Models of Impact. The game walks players through a series of activities to generate new, sustainable business models and simulate the process of ideating and launching a social enterprise.

Each week, Team Zipie takes some time out of our work day to connect, learn something new and sharpen our creative skills. Models of Impact seemed like the perfect exercise for all three, so I divided the Zipie office into teams of two. They worked together to develop a business plan they would then pitch to me. The best business model would win. From the digital download, players select 20 impact models, 20 revenue models and add 20 of their own external factors.

According to the Models of Impact glossary, an impact model is defined as a method that allows for a non-profit organization or for-profit business to operate sustainably and effectively while simultaneously maximizing impact in the community they serve. So, One for One (like TOMS) and Coworking (like WeWork) are impact models. Revenue models are methods your business uses to make money. eBay, for example, uses an Auction revenue model. You get the idea. I selected the external factors completely at random. We had everything from Woodworking to Private Planes and Lip Gloss. 

To play, you roll your twenty-sided die once for each column, impact model, revenue model and external factor. From there, you craft a business idea. I prayed some unlucky soul would roll a 15-4-1 and have to pitch a Free Sample, Recycle/Upcycle Horse business to me, but alas, we got Farm-to-Table Greeting Cards and a Family Legacy E-commerce Wine business.

In thirty minutes, we played two rounds and pitched four new businesses even the judges of “Shark Tank” would have to consider. We laughed until we cried. And let’s just say that if anyone from the team that pitched the Hourly Rate Sandwich Upcyclers wanted to go the entrepreneurial route, they would have a solid business model. Aside from a good time, Models of Impact helped us challenge how we think creatively and work together, which is something we’re always looking for.

To understand the hilarity, you’ll have to play for yourself. Lucky for you, Models of Impact utilizes a Pay What You Want revenue model (just like RadioHead’s In Rainbows album) so you too can own this exceptional team building exercise for the low, low price of whatever the hell you want.

-Chloé

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