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Showing 1-10 of 461 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on December 14, 2009
This is an absolutely superb book and my first and only book on business models. It is so up to date and filled with gems that I feel no need to read another anytime soon.

The book is aptly titled, being all about how to generate business models. However, you have to know what it is before you can generate it. To this end, the first section of the book is devoted to introducing a standard language and format for talking about business models. They introduce nine key items which serve as the building blocks for all business models. These are listed below, illustrated with Skype's business model.

CUSTOMER SEGMENTS: Who will use the product?
1) web users globally 2) people who want to call phones

VALUE PROPOSITION: Why will they use the product?
1) free Internet and video calling 2) cheap calls to phones (SkypeOut)

CHANNELS: How will the product be delivered to the customers?
[...] and headset partnerships

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS: how will you develop and maintain contact with your customers in each segment?
Mass customizedMass customized

REVENUE STREAMS: How is revenue generated from which customer segments?
1) Free 2) SkypeOut prepaid or subscription

ACTIVITIES: What are the key things that you need to do to create and deliver the product?
Software development

RESOURCES: What assets are required to create and deliver the product?

PARTNERS: Who will you want to partner with (e.g suppliers, outsourcing)
Payment providers, Distribution partners, Telco Partners

COST STRUCTURE: What are the main sources of cost required to create and deliver the product?
Software development, complaint management

These building blocks are laid out on a page in a very specific way, referred to as a "business model canvas". As each chapter unfolds, we get a clearer and clearer understanding of each building block and how to use them to create, evaluate and communicate business models.

The business model canvas can be used to describe any of a wide variety of business models. Patterns emerge which correspond to categories of business models. For example, the Long Tail business model is all about selling less of more. The focus is on "offering a large number of niche products, each of which sells relatively infrequently". This pattern is illustrated with the transformation of the book publishing industry and Netflix.

Another example is the so-called "Freemium" business model used by Skype and countless other Internet businesses. This is compared with the standard Telco model making the two models easy to compare. A similar analysis compares the traditional computer gaming model used by Sony and Microsoft which competes on high performance with Nintendo's Wii business model which focuses on casual gamers and a dramatic reduction in development costs. Visualizing these alternatives on a canvas is very powerful (much easier than the above lists).

The Freemium model is a special case of a more general "multi-sided market" pattern which "brings together two or more distinct but interdependent groups of customers". For example, Google gives away a variety of services to one customer segment, the average web user, and earn income from keyword auctions from advertisers, which comprise the other side of the pattern. As is typical with the multi-sided market pattern, the key resource is the platform which facilitates interactions between the two customer segments.

Another major section of the book is devoted to designing business models. Very explicit instructions and tips are given in the context of an overall process. Different phases include: gathering customer insights, ideation/brainstorming, visual thinking, prototyping, storytelling and scenarios.

A major section on strategy includes a section on how to evaluate existing business models, identifying problems, and brainstorming about possible solutions. Nintendo's Wii is featured. One problem with the traditional gaming model is that consoles are sold at a loss to a relatively small market. By eliminating the huge cost of gaming platform development and adding motion-controlled games with a family focus, the market grew much larger.

The design and layout of the book is equally delightful. It is a cross between a Powerpoint pitch and a regular book, and is easy and fun to read.

The only negative I can think of is the binding. I don't know the lingo, but basically, the front and back (hard) covers are not directly connected to each other. Between them are the sewn and glued sections of the book that are normally hidden. Unfortunately, the book seems to be flimsy. But this is a minor niggle.

Overall, this is a brilliant book. If you have any interest in business models, get it as soon as you can. I got mine by chance on a recent trip to Europe while visiting a colleague. I saw that it was not available yet in the US, so he traded me for my copy of an equally excellent book: The new business road test: What entrepreneurs and executives should do before writing a business plan (2nd Edition).
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on February 4, 2015
If you own a business or want to, this book shows you how the angel investor community rates your ideas. And will teach you things about strategic management that will benefit any entrepreneur or wanna-be entrepreneur. A new and refreshing way to simplify the complexities of modern business.
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on July 8, 2013
This book is phenomenal. Provides a complete set of things one has to consider when building a business. What is your product, who are you customers, what is the value proposition that will make them want your product, what will it take you to do it, how much will it cost you, how much revenue might you generate. Hard work to get through all this - I'm no where near done. But I know what I need to do and Alex has given me the tool to do it.

I have also downloaded his Strategzer online tool. Again, very nominally priced and extremely useful, especially permitting me to print out the my initial business model canvas to share with others.
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on May 28, 2014
I have to admit: I did not have an extensive background with business models. But as an engineer turned IT consultant turned business consultant this topics was increasingly critical for me to understand. I scoured the landscape looking for an introductory text that would not eviscerate this complex topic, but that would introduce the topics in a thoughtful, and structured way. Unfortunately, the more I read, the more ad hoc the process of developing a business model seemed to be.

The "graphical novel" style of this book appealed to me when I saw it in a brick and mortar book store five years ago, and as I began to read, I uncovered, for the first time, a structure that could be used for every business model, across industries and technologies.. The book explores this structure, called 'The Canvas,' in great detail...providing examples of the nine different components. After describing the basic building blocks, the authors use the components to develop business model archetypes and discuss sophisticated strategies for common business models and business models that change over time--using famous brands to illustrate the points being made.

I have literally, without any context, shown this book to others, and they are able to understand the concepts after reading and reviewing the figures briefly; several times, I ended up given away my copy in an attempt to 'evangelize.' I also see the approach being used in this book becoming a standard for exchanging and discussing business models in many large consulting companies, which is a testament to it's breadth and applicability.

It begins simply, and creates a framework for understanding and understanding an important topic. It is easy to read, without being overly simple. As an introduction to an approach that is increasing becoming a standard, I could not recommend this book more highly.
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on March 9, 2015
The book changes the whole way I saw a business model. Laid out and completely redone, every facet of the business model was highlighted and explained in great detail. This book explained how one should create the perfect blueprint to own a successful and thriving business. I also love the case studies with real actual businesses and how they created their business models, and it also let you know how successful they currently are. I even did my own research to see if those companies are still thriving, and they are. This book is an excellent tool and I recommended to anyone who was going into entrepreneurship.
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on November 7, 2015
Read it. Make a million. Or read it and realize you're working for a doomed company. Either way, read it.

Note that you can get pretty much all of this content on the website, Strategzer.com. But you're probably going to be a dot-com millionaire and don't care about spending a few bucks on the way.
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on November 25, 2014
brilliant book and a must have for any business student!!! the BMC looks great in any report, and is definately a talking point! on top of that it is actually quite a handy tool for when you're first starting a project about a company or product.

but the best part of the book has to be just the way it's presented and the way it reads. it takes you through the business model canvas (BMC) bit by bit step by step with helpful examples and tips throughout. each step is loaded with pictures and absolutely brilliant sketches that just make it an absolute pleasure to read!!

i just wish more books about business topics were written and presented like this!!!
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on June 1, 2016
...and how to develop one for your business. Describes several types of business models and describes use of the Business model canvas in your own business to plot an existing business model or use the canvas to come up with something new and unique.
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on November 21, 2015
This book is a great resource, I keep it at my desk and reference it whenever I have a new project I need to start at work. There is a lot of great information, especially in regards to starting, maintaining, and completing projects.
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on November 19, 2014
I'm a university business school professor (formerly an investment banker) and use this in MBA course and 4th year entrepreneurship courses. Excellent way to frame up complex concepts while keeping collaboration among student teams vibrant and real. The authors have just released (Nov 2014) VALUE PROPOSITION DESIGN, which when used with "BMGC" covers the entrepreneurial landscape in ways many other texts only hope to achieve. Add the book, "GAMESTORMING" to these two, and your work groups will amaze themselves with the possibilities.

(BTW, just in case my review appears too positive, I can only say that I have no interests in these materials. I merely want to find practical learning resources that are accessible, productive and get results!)
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