I just finished Business Model Generation this week and I have to say, wow. This was the first paper book I read in 2011 (the rest are ebooks). Even with my “schooling” and a lot of practical business experience, I still had a lot of eye opening moments.
The two best parts of the book are the Business Model Canvas and the Patterns.
The Business Model Canvas is basically a single piece of paper that visually shows how the business works. Seeing my business (and products) expressed visually really helped me see the source of some problems I’m having. I’ve already created four more canvases to test out some ideas and a few Lean Canvas (as in Lean Startup).
The Patterns is just what you’d think: several generic ways businesses can work. All of the classic startup patterns are there along with a few ones that are new to me:
- Long tail
- Open Source
- Bait & hook
- Outside-In (buy innovation and implement)
- Inside-Out (research and sell innovation)
If you’re thinking about starting or need to make some changes to your business, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Business Model Generation. Even if you only read the first two sections, I bet you’ll have tons of new ideas.