23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2011
There are not many books that present clear and compelling ideas in a graphically engaging format, with a wealth of real-world examples. This is one of the few.
I come from an enterprise architecture background and I have found in this book a practical and down-to-earth modelling approach for Business Architecture.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2010
Content: Understanding the relationships between the nine key principles - customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure - enables one to figure out fairly fast how and why businesses function the way they do. Also, at a very early stage, it becomes clear what is not working in ones own business as well as others. The nine principles or, key elements, can all be explained on one piece of paper, and that is where design thinking comes in. Instead of writing long, arcane and stuffy business plans, this is what one ought to do - figure it all out on one piece of paper first. That said, there are as many permutations and combinations of the nine elements. The authors give examples of how the business models for Google, Apple iPod, etc. work - very, very insightful!
Design: The design of the book has surely got to be one of its greatest plusses - it is a joy to behold. The horizontal format fits naturally in ones hands. The drawings, diagrams, paper, typeface, colours, printing, binding - everything has been carefully thought out, so much so that the design motivates one to learn faster and enjoy the process. Most business plan books are excruciatingly boring and painful to read. The way this book has been designed makes it fast and easy to understand fundamental business processes. Other business books ought to take their lead from this one.
Presentation & Production: The book was co-created by 470 participants from 45 countries. It just goes to show how much time and consideration has been invested in planning the book. It shows in the way the book has been produced. Business Model Generation is an aesthetic delight, making the book memorable and inspiring.
Price: Amazon gave me an almost 50% discount, making the book all the more attractive!
The prospective buyer may consider downloading an excellent free PDF from SlideShare to get an insight into the book before ordering it: [...]
This book really makes me smile! I get so much pleasure and knowledge out of it! "
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A different kind of business world calls for a different kind of business manual, and that's what Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur have achieved in their New Age guide to contemporary business modeling. Abetted by their "Business Model Innovation Hub" - with 470 online collaborators in 45 countries - Osterwalder and Pigneur practiced what they preached when they applied their modeling concepts to the book's production. And the concepts are not just theories: major companies such as IBM and Ericsson are converts to the "Business Model Canvas," a low-tech template for brainstorming and visualizing corporate roles and processes. The book's breezy, colorful format, replete with photos, drawings, charts and graphics, belies its intensely researched and reality-grounded content. A big sheet of paper and a slew of Post-it notes are all you need to get started; that, and the combined creativity, intellect and persistence your team brings to the project. getAbstract heartily recommends this comprehensive, pictorial handbook to entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to create or redesign their business models.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2013
Might this book have existed at school then my life may have taken another track, as the teaching layout offered here is almost child's play for right-brainers and idealistic INFPs (see Myers Briggs) being as it is a stimulating lesson in pedagogical osmosis. And as a business book in an emerging customer segment - the business designer - the presentational layout will no doubt appeal to anyone who has picked up a 'For Dummies' book and been attracted by its engaging format.
Such a wonderful introduction to business economics does make one wonder why it is not de rigeur for those pitching on BBC's the Dragon's Den. How many times have we seen prospective business partners - possibly those from the same emerging segment - stumble over the basics of economics?
With this said, a great feature and focus is in re-defining the role of business in the 21st century in developing an AGILE design 'attitude' rather than 'decision' based attitude (Collopy and Bolland). Much of the terminology it seems borrows from the former world with methods that lie along the adaptive end of the continuum to predictive. Adaptive methods focus on changing quickly to upcoming realities and the Business Model Generation positively encourages you to be always looking ahead.
In fact understanding the right-left brain distinction mentioned at the start of this review is very much the key to unlocking the secrets of business success. It is recognised that a successful business designer 'immerses' (Csikszentmihalyi) their thought process and seeks to 'invent' the 'thrill' of a 'value' proposition, but this is not to say that objective 'enquiry', 'killing' ideas and improving 'costs/efficiencies' are not equally important. I found the shift in business speak away from "selling" very effective in broadening the reach of what constitutes a model of capital generation.
The visually addictive business "canvass" with its 9 building blocks is the lynch pin that is described much in detail at the start and then the latter chapters on patterns, strategies and processes become worthy additions borrowed from guru speak elsewhere: an up-to-date business reader may have already come across the Star Model (Galbraith), SWOT analysis (Humphrey), Blue Ocean Strategy (Kim and Mauborgne), the Long Tail (Anderson)and Unbundling (Hagel and Singer) as well as open business practices (Chesborough) to name but a few.
However sometimes the additional material can come across as "bolt-ons" making for a tenuous connection, for example the Star model to my mind appeared too precariously superimposed upon the business canvass like a crude approximation rather than an elegant fit, and I often wondered how much of a good idea had been watered down rather than expanded.
In summary, though this is the kind of book that may date or even eat itself with its own words, its over-riding messages will surely become staple business fare for many years to come. Quite literally unputdownable and unpardonable!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2014
It's not the Desire, the Intent, the Love - no in Business these are drivers, but what counts is the Delivery. Being clear about the Business purpose, what it sets out to do, what resources to call up, where the revenue is to come from, how customers are to be engaged etc. - these are all inherent in the mix of any (decent) Business Plan, where Business Model Generation wins through is by providing a straight and well thought out template to order your thoughts - about what it is you are setting out to do.
Populate your content into the sections and see what emerges, be prepared to be surprised, and look forward to a well rounded, well considered construct, which has every chance of Delivering and creating a Business Fit for Purpose.
Of course Owners, Directors need to get a grip of what the Business is doing and where it is going, but what a great tool to share and inform everyone else in the Business, get them alongside, pointed in the right direction and before long - harmony and drive, perhaps just as importantly surface the nay sayers who are playing to a different agenda and set right or get rid.
Also bring some clarity to not just the 'Business' but the 'Businesses' within the Business, Profit centers if you will, do each of these have clear purpose, drive and delivery outcomes - if not why not?
Buy the Book if you want clear a strategic view of where you're at and chart the way forward to where you want to be - an easy 5 Stars. The other books in the series - Business Model You and Value Proposition Design add weight to this direction of travel - these are also recommended.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2011
Very simply: This book has given me tools to understand, analyze, question and develop business models. It provided me a simple framework to think and talk about business models for my ideas, helping me to identify the critical parts of a model.
69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
"Then He said, 'To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?'" -- Mark 4:30 (NKJV)
You've probably heard the old saying that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Well, this book has more illustrations, sketches, design flourishes, and graphic displays in it than pages so you can probably imagine how much content it covers. In addition to sharing ideas about business model generation, you'll learn about business strategy, change processes, story telling, design, and creativity . . . among other subjects covered in a few paragraphs or pages. If you haven't read many of the books about business innovation that have come out in the last ten years, you can just use this one to get a brief summary of the key ideas in each of those areas. So your cost per subject is almost nothing. What a bargain!
If you get bored easily, you will like this book. It covers most subjects in almost no space. By using small type, a lot of information is concentrated onto just a few pages.
A lot of my graduate business students tell me that they like books that teach them a lot of the technical terms that business people use. Business Model Generation is excellent for that purpose. It's jammed full of C-level business jargon and lots of flow diagrams of the sort that technology managers and engineers love to use.
So, what is a business model? "A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value." Got that? "This concept can be a shared language that allows you to easily describe and manipulate business models to create new strategic alternatives."
If that isn't clear to you, the authors offer nine building blocks that give you the whole picture:
1. Customer Segments
2. Value Propositions
4. Customer Relationships
5. Revenue Streams
6. Key Resources
7. Key Activities
8. Key Partnerships
9. Cost Structure
Each of these nine elements is conveniently broken down into still more subsegments of what to consider.
Fans of Michael Porter's work on competitive strategy will note the strong resemblances between this approach and his pioneering work of 30 years ago. But Professor Porter doesn't include as many graphics and his examples are much longer and more detailed. If you want to learn more about advantaged value chains, Professor Porter's work may be more helpful to you.
The book similarly borrows deeply from 20 other standard business and strategy references.
Who is the ideal reader for this book? I think it's someone who hasn't been introduced to business models before and has just been asked to work on developing one at work. The book seems to be aimed at people without much business education such as technologists and designers.
If you are such a person, be sure to take notes on where to find the examples you want to refer to. There's no index to the book and you'll be thumbing through all the pages to find what you are looking for.
The approach emphasizes a small group of people doing the business model generation for a business or a company. That's pretty typical of a venture being formed (venture capitalists always want to know what the business model is), new ventures, and smaller enterprises that need to make a big change in direction.
The recommended approach is 180 degrees away from what many business model innovating companies do which is to encourage stakeholders and employees to continually develop low-key, inexpensive experiments and then to expand the successes.
I always find books such as this one more helpful when they teach me about businesses I've never studied before. So if you don't know about the Swiss private bank, Pictet, France Telecom, KPN, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Siemens, book publishers, LEGO, Metro in Stockholm, Google, game console makers, Apple, Flickr, Red Hat, Skype, REGA, Gillette, P&G, Glaxo SmithKline, InnoCentive, Amazon, Microsoft, and Yahoo, you'll get some new knowledge. You may find that you'll have to do more homework on your own in many cases. Most of the references are 75 words or less.
The book was co-produced by hundreds of contributors. It shows. There's a lot here. Much of it is from the service provider perspective (consultants, design companies, and researchers), but you can probably get a sense of who you want to hire by reading this book if you find that you cannot implement what it tells you by yourself.
Over the last 35 years, I have interviewed hundreds of successful executives who created business model innovations that changed their industries in major ways. I must comment that this book is a lot more complicated than what those practitioners think about and do. So it's possible that this book is capturing an emerging practice that will obsolete how all business model innovation is done. But I don't think I've ever met anyone who did it this way. Most of these practices are normally applied to developing new products, redesigning old products, to repositioning offerings, and adjusting the value chain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2014
Easy to read. Easy to understand. Get's everyone involved in the business planning process and gives the body of a workable business plan in order to start drilling into the details. You can save yourself a lot of money and time in feasibility testing by adapting some of the methods of this book. It's not MBA level business planning, but let's face it, that kind of expertise is more about Fortune 500 business expansion than creating a start-up or even expanding an existing service.
A lot of business colleges would be broke if the Business Model Generation's down-to-earth, collaborative techniques were taught in basic business classes. As it stands now I am wondering what I wasted my money on in getting my MBA after reading this.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2010
Alexander Ostervalder and Yves Pigneur takes a unconventional step towards modelling business processes.
The main idea of the book can be adapted in few hours and can be taken in to use immediately. Plentiful examples are described in a clear and idea emphasing way so there are not much of an regular business jargon with it. These examples gives you really lots of ideas how to make things differently and therefore guide the reader or the user of the model towards archicectural innovation Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation(p:498) or value innovation Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant
I find the represented consept of analyzing busines model useful regardless the intent of the business. Wether you are going for non-profit services or aiming for a dominance in technology for a spesific market. The way of thinking lets you concentrate for the relevant: Customer and the value mechanism.
The book is written (or drawn) in such way that it may fit better for people who have right brain dominating their thinking. Ideas, wide consepts, the big picture etc... Not concentrating on details.
Hope that this reviev gives something for someone who is thinking the purchasement of this book. -My comment for that is: "It is worth for every penny."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2013
As a framework to understand how a business or business unit might work, it has lots of value, particularly if the reader has no prior knowledge of some of the other literature on businesses, industries, etc. (For example, Prof. Michael Porter's work on Value Chains, 5-Forces, etc.)
Where I felt that it added most value was in terms of the practical side: for example, using Post Its, having a story that shows the customer's perspective, etc. I will definitely use these aspects in the near future.
Overall, I would recommend, albeit that it is not a 5-star review.