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Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Since becoming a business school professor in 1992, John has published five books, numerous cases and more than 40 articles in a variety of outlets, including Harvard Business Review, the MIT Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. His research has won national and international awards from the Marketing Science Institute, the American Marketing Association, and the Richard D. Irwin Foundation. He is a frequent speaker to audiences in entrepreneurship and venture capital.
John's first trade book, The New Business Road Test: What Entrepreneurs and Executives Should Do Before Writing a Business Plan (4e, London: Prentice-Hall/FT 2013), now in its fourth edition, is the definitive work on the assessment and shaping of market opportunities. His second, the widely acclaimed Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model (Boston: Harvard Business Press 2009), co-authored with Randy Komisar, a partner at the esteemed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in California, was named to "Best Books of 2009" lists by BusinessWeek and INC Magazine.
John's newest book, The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance or Grow Your Business with Your Customers' Cash, (Jersey City, Wiley 2014), was named one of five "not-to-be-missed books" for 2014 by Fortune magazine. It challenges the widely held assumption that among an entrepreneur's first and most important tasks is that of raising investment capital.
John has consulted with and done executive education on five continents for a variety of organizations both large and small, including Endeavor, Kenya Airways, Merck-Serono, Time Warner Communications, the European and African Venture Capital Associations, Pumpkin Ltd., the Young Presidents Organization, the Entrepreneurs' Organization, and the International Finance Corporation of The World Bank, among numerous others. He has served on the boards of fast-growing entrepreneurial companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Asia.
Top Customer Reviews
The book in three bullet points:
* The business model concept is in the book defined as the pattern of economic activity comprising of five key elements that together determines the viability of any business. The five key elements being the revenue model, the gross margin model, the operating model, the working capital model and the investment model. Companies are successful when the five elements work together.
* Getting to Plan B is about the process of discovering a business model that works, with the assumption that the initial plan is most often wrong. The discovering process can be made systematic by constantly formulating different hypothesis and measurements and continuously follow up and iterate the business model into a new Plan B.
* The starting point for a new business model is to learn from successful examples worth mimicking in some way and examples to which you explicitly choose to do things differently, where the ultimate judge is the customers and the cash flow generated from your business model.
A brief summary of the different chapters:
1.Read more ›
This book is a collection of stories in the style of "Founders at Work" or "Art of the Start" or any one of the other Startup Genre books. And as such, it is interesting to read the authors analyses from an academic stand point, hence 2 starts, but it offers little advice for someone starting a company.
However, as a guide for building a business, this book can be summed up as follows:
Your first idea will fail, plan on it failing but you need to start somewhere, so get going and look for opportunities to change course or pivot in the startup parlance.
It's an important notion that has been covered on numerous blogs and in great depth, which you can read for free, without paying money for the book; just do an online search for "startup pivot" and you will find plenty of examples by industry veterans.
Since Plan A almost never works, it is critical to quickly learn from failure and move on to a successful Plan B (or C or D or E...). This book provides an exceptionally helpful framework for how to do this. Its power lies in its analytical framework combined with vivid examples from companies - including both for-profit and non-profit.
Contrary to popular perception, most successful businesses did not strike it rich from the beginning. A company like eBay, profitable from day one, is the exception that proves the rule (and Pierre Omidyar has said that he realizes how lucky he was). Even eBay has struggled to figure out how to make money from new business lines such as Skype. Google would not be the behemoth it is today - and might even be out of business -- if it had not discovered its own Plan B, paid Adwords. Amazon burned through hundreds of millions of dollars before it hit upon the right business model that made it profitable. Today, the jury is out on whether Twitter and even Facebook will find profitable Plan Bs that sustain their early growth.
What matters most is not the quality of the initial business plan, but instead the ability of the team to iterate successive business plans as a means to finding what works. Merely flailing about from Plan A to B to C increases the chance you will run out of cash before finding the right Plan. So the trick is to experiment quickly but intelligently, and with discipline. That is what this book helps you do.
Anyone who is thinking about starting a new business should read this book.Read more ›
Much to my surprise, this is a very different book. Most new venture planning and strategy books remind you of doctoral dissertations--moving bones from one grave to the other. There is nothing new.
This is different. It challenges you to delve deeper into a venture (new or growing). What can you learn from other companies experiences. Mix and match what you learn. Figure out what you don't know and develop tests to learn.
This book is also the best I have seen in blending its unique approach to the business model--revenue, gross margin, etc. It shows how the components work together to create a sustainable business. Its examples are stimulating.
The answer to the riddle in this book is hard work and creative research and continual learning. There are no eggs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I mentor early stage companies located in underserved areas that are trying to do good. The tools and process outlined in the book has helped me develop a framework to increase... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Darrell J. Glasco
As a retired co-founder of a design and manufacture business who just read Plab B, I would have benefitted from it not only at start-up but as our growth slowed. Read morePublished 10 months ago by John Neumann
This book is outstanding. I'd recommend it as a must read for any entrepreneur or accelerator program. The wisdom in this book underpins much of the teachings in The Lean Startup. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Daniel E Ripoll
The basic premise of this book is to understand that getting to a successful business venture will involve having an initial idea but then testing it at every step and realizing... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Joshua Tibbetts
Great book. Really helped me to understand that sometimes your first approach is only a step along the way to a much better business plan. Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by SurvivalGuy
Very helpful for businesses on every level. A must read if you own a business or are starting a business or project, Life Changing!Published on November 2, 2013 by Satya
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