Reading “Business Model Generation” was destined for me, I am sure. I have seen
reviews for this book at least five times online, a friend called me one week
before Christmas to let me know she has bought this amazing book and while
having a twenty minutes break at the university, the first book that arrived in
my hands while looking at the library was this one. I decided not to fight it
anymore and to find out what is so special about it. A few weeks later, I can
certainly say it was a great decision and that it surpassed my expectations.
the cover, the phrase “you’re holding a book for visionaries, game changers and
challengers” immediately raises your curiosity and desire to find out what it
is inside. Continuing with the Table of Contents, I found out that the book is
structured in five sections: “The Business Model Canvas”, “Business Model
Patterns”, “and Techniques for designing the business models”, “Reinterpreting
strategy” and “The process of tying together all the information”.
The first part describes
the 9 building blocks of a Business Model Canvas, at that was honestly the only
thing I already knew about the subject of the book. What helped me most in
better understanding each box were the questions that linked the information.
They helped me really build a Canvas that I will attach at the end of the essay
in order to document the process. The most interesting part of this chapter was
the page called “How do you use the canvas?” because it clarified the fact that
it is not only necessary for the project initiator, but also for its colleagues
and for all the other people he is interacting with.
The second part
of the book puts together 5 types of patterns and describes how each and every
one of them operates through graphics, research and company examples. I find
the last element the most important because it made me truly understand why
these companies though very successful, are very different one from each other.
After analyzing all the concepts, I realized that Activity Camp can be associated
with “The ling tail”, the pattern that only targets the most profitable
clients, as we do with the camps since we only present the concept to teachers
and parents that can immediately become our clients.
The third part,
“Design”, brings into the reader’s attention techniques that can help him
design a more innovative business model. These techniques and tools can be
grouped into 6 categories: customer insights, ideation, visual thinking,
prototyping, storytelling and scenarios. The one I relate the most with is
storytelling because I strongly believe that this element is the most
accessible to me at the moment, but also the most powerful. Since the moment
the camps idea popped up, I have described it throughout images, texts, talks,
videos or quizzes, all expressing publicly our story. Storytelling is probably
more effective to our business than to others because we try to emphasize the
importance of learning and to touch a sensible cord.
fourth part, is mostly for more complex businesses because it portrays ways of
evaluating business models and managing multiple business models. Nevertheless,
I found a few things that are applicable to my current situation, one of them being
how to assess if the business model passes a checkup or not. The easiest method
is represented by SWOT, a way of highlighting the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats.
The last part is
without any doubt the one that raised me the most dilemmas and questions. The
five phases of a business model design are mobilize, understand, design,
implement and manage and each of them are illustrated by two elements, critical
success factors and key dangers. Even though I believe I am in the
implementation phase, I have skipped a few steps from the previous phases and I
am still finding out how this is going to affect the business.
“Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is a
must-read for any entrepreneur at the start of their journey. Personally, it
changed the way I see the evolution of a business and I am certainly going to
apply more and more the tools presented in this book that I will start to call