Business Model Generation is simply the go-to book for developing a business model. New start businesses have gradually transformed their approach in trying to fit into templates of business models and realised that every business has its own unique business model. "A business model describes the rationale of how an organisation creates, delivers and captures value". This book is the roadmap.
The format of the book is very engaging, very graphic, and very snappy and to the point. There has been a wealth of experience behind this book and nowadays there is a lot of evidence that this really works. I've drawn up numerous business plans in the past and they serve only one purpose, to raise money, and then they become scrap. "Planning is everything the plan is nothing" The business models you will develop using this methodology will become live and dynamic and provide real insight and validation that your company is on the right track and where you are going.
This is a remarkable triumph of visual design. I don't think I've ever seen a book like it before.
I have some criticisms about how easy it is to read and the fact that the content is more style over substance. For one thing, to create space for all the funky images, the words are in a small font. I was OK but I know that some people will struggle.
I like the idea of the one page Business Model Canvas which is described as "a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and changing business models." It looks very useful to summarise your existing business model and for moving towards better ways to create, deliver and capture value.
The Business Model Generation Canvas has nine elements:
As you can see, it is a tight summary of a business with a balance between external and internal factors.
Business models are important because they are the means to deliver your differentiation strategy. Without a coherent plan, any differentiation is likely to be shallow. Marketing hype may fool the customers into buying such a shallow differentiated product once but probably not again.
The exercise of filling in the Business Model Canvas will help you to focus on the few things of business model design that matter although you need to have thought through your differentiation strategy first.
Beyond the the Business Model canvas, I was disappointed. Because the book looks so different and special, I was expecting the content to match.
But it didn't. I thought it was pretty superficial.
It is a good introduction to thinking about business design although it assumes that's the answer you want rather than giving you a diagnostic to establish whether business design lies at the heart of your business issues.
I'd have liked to have seen more consideration of the value proposition and how it is different from competitors now and what they are likely to develop in the future. The authors have since written another book to address this issue but again, I was disappointed and only gave that book Three Stars.
This one however, overall and despite its flaws is an important book and the Business Model Canvas has become a popular tool.
Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck.
This review first appeared on my Differentiate Your Business blog in August 2011.
As a professional consultant I'm always curious and bought this book in case there were any good ideas I could adopt.
It's generally a good book... unfortunately, let down by a silly faux pas. I recommend strongly that if you buy this book, you do not use the brainstorming exercise on page 145 as-is. You will appear unprofessional, lacking in awareness and, even worse, bereft of good judgement. I could not in all seriousness use an exercise called "The Silly Cow Exercise" in a professional setting, even if it was an all male group. I'm sure it has been conceived in naivety and the spirit of 'good fun'. This may well misfire should you try to use it, however.
I've written to the publishers to suggest they review this before any reprint.
I've also not yet progressed beyond this page, so don't know if anything else unusable awaits me. Otherwise, it's a good book... pages 1 - 144 that is
I have used the business model canvas in the past for structuring business ideas and always found it very useful for covering all the bases. I really like the visual approach the book takes, this makes reading much more enjoyable compared to some boring black and white text.
I recently finished my undergraduate degree in International Business and still find the book to have taught me new concepts and most importantly a more structured approach to business model generation and innovation.
In conclusion, if you want to innovate within your company or create a business from scratch, this book will be a good investment.
Great book, if you're not familiar with this framework it will really lay down the foundations for what to consider when thinking about starting a business. The key is for you not to read this but to practice as you read so by the end of the book you end up with a business plan.
I run a small consultancy business and I am always looking for new methodologies, frameworks and conceptual tools to apply to my research when working with companies. Although I was aware of many of the tools in the book there were surprisingly many powerful models which I had not encountered before. I rate the book highly as a manual that you can dip into when required. The text also explains a range of scenarios where you could use the huge variety of models. I think it's a great book with good illustrations of how models work that provides many problem solving tools for bringing about change.
Most small businesses do not have the resources or time to study business modelling theory in any depth. This book is wonderfully graphic and explains concepts in a clear and memorable manner. Highly recommended for business owners or college / university business school students.
This book was part of the recommended reading for my final year at university and helped me considerably thorough the business planning assignment. I would recommend to those looking to put together a business model. The book offers a less traditional approach to business planning and is set out in a really interesting way.