Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation is described as a tool to help imagine and craft new business models through use of  something called the "business model canvas", a framework for analyzing business models and considering "what if..." type questions around potential different models.

The book is very pretty. It seems cut from the same cloth as Slideology and others like it. Lots of pictures, pages with sparse text and varied typographical styles. This makes the book easy, even a pleasure, to proceed through, and the concepts easy to internalize.

Two complaints I have don't necessarily mean you should shy away from it, but take them into account. First, the book is too lightweight on, well, details around business models. It would be nice to see a few case studies where it at least went to business plan level. Its easy to imagine thousands of business models, but whether they'll fly or not, well, you need to put some numbers behind them. Secondly, where there are case studies, they are all after the fact. It would be nice if they picked examples of businesses they'd worked with so they had the before-after case, including how the process was used to dream up the new model, what worked, what didn't, etc.

These complaints aside, it's still an interesting book. I think it would be of most use as a framework for a group exercise. Say if you and a few collaborators are trying to do a brainstorm on new business models.

So, if with that in mind the book still sounds interesting, by all means pick it up. Just keep in mind that the detail work is left as an exercise to the reader.

 Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

No comments: