Venture Anatomy

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An online course will be released Fall 2023. Sign up to be notified when course registration opens.

Venture Anatomy diagram, showing the systems and resource flows in businesses and organizations.

Venture Anatomy Diagram

I developed this visual representation of the typical systems and resource flows in a business to illuminate the basic anatomy of business ventures, which in turn can help diagnose problems and suggest solutions.

The resource flows in my diagram — money, information, product/service, etc. — are common to all successful ventures. By understanding these systems and flows, you’ll be better positioned to develop plans and strategies to keep the flows going.

What is Venture Anatomy?

Venture Anatomy is a methodology for developing organizational structure, based on an understanding of the functional moving parts — the systems — underlying all successful ventures. When you understand this basic anatomy, you’ll be able to see which systems should be a priority at any given time and can shift your resources accordingly.

The Venture Anatomy system is well-suited to small, independent enterprises, including creative projects, pop-ups and nonprofits. It is essentially a framework for any project that aims to connect with an audience and engage in transactions of information, money, goods, or other exchanges.

How to Use Venture Anatomy

This approach starts with understanding the systems at work in a well-functioning business. At the outset, it’s less about absorbing rules for what you should do, and more about recognizing these “laws of nature” for ventures.

Once you have an understanding of this conceptual basic anatomy, the next step is to start building the business model for your venture. You’ll outline functional groupings of tasks towards defined outcomes, and specify who in your business will be responsible for those tasks. These groupings could be called Teams, Departments, Groups or other names.

Venture Anatomy for Teams of One

In many cases, there may be just one person responsible: you. That’s fine and super common, especially in the early days of your venture. Even if all the systems are handled by you, you’ll benefit from learning the Venture Anatomy system in a number of ways:

  • You’ll have a clearer sense of what your goals are for specific activities, helping with efficiency and mental overwhelm.
  • You’ll be able to solve problems more effectively by knowing which systems are experiencing the pain points.
  • You’ll position yourself to be ready to hire help and be an effective manager.

Want to learn more about using Venture Anatomy to develop your business plan? An online course will be available in Fall 2023. Sign up with the form at the top of this page to be notified when course registration opens.