Reading “Business Model Generation” was destined for me, I am sure. I have seenreviews for this book at least five times online, a friend called me one weekbefore Christmas to let me know she has bought this amazing book and whilehaving a twenty minutes break at the university, the first book that arrived inmy hands while looking at the library was this one. I decided not to fight itanymore and to find out what is so special about it. A few weeks later, I cancertainly say it was a great decision and that it surpassed my expectations.Starting withthe cover, the phrase “you’re holding a book for visionaries, game changers andchallengers” immediately raises your curiosity and desire to find out what itis inside.
Continuing with the Table of Contents, I found out that the book isstructured in five sections: “The Business Model Canvas”, “Business ModelPatterns”, “and Techniques for designing the business models”, “Reinterpretingstrategy” and “The process of tying together all the information”.The first part describesthe 9 building blocks of a Business Model Canvas, at that was honestly the onlything I already knew about the subject of the book. What helped me most inbetter 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 essayin order to document the process. The most interesting part of this chapter wasthe page called “How do you use the canvas?” because it clarified the fact thatit is not only necessary for the project initiator, but also for its colleaguesand for all the other people he is interacting with. The second partof the book puts together 5 types of patterns and describes how each and everyone of them operates through graphics, research and company examples. I findthe last element the most important because it made me truly understand whythese companies though very successful, are very different one from each other.
After analyzing all the concepts, I realized that Activity Camp can be associatedwith “The ling tail”, the pattern that only targets the most profitableclients, as we do with the camps since we only present the concept to teachersand parents that can immediately become our clients. The third part,”Design”, brings into the reader’s attention techniques that can help himdesign a more innovative business model. These techniques and tools can begrouped into 6 categories: customer insights, ideation, visual thinking,prototyping, storytelling and scenarios. The one I relate the most with isstorytelling because I strongly believe that this element is the mostaccessible to me at the moment, but also the most powerful. Since the momentthe camps idea popped up, I have described it throughout images, texts, talks,videos or quizzes, all expressing publicly our story. Storytelling is probablymore effective to our business than to others because we try to emphasize theimportance of learning and to touch a sensible cord.
“Strategy”, thefourth part, is mostly for more complex businesses because it portrays ways ofevaluating business models and managing multiple business models. Nevertheless,I found a few things that are applicable to my current situation, one of them beinghow to assess if the business model passes a checkup or not. The easiest methodis represented by SWOT, a way of highlighting the strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and threats.The last part iswithout any doubt the one that raised me the most dilemmas and questions. Thefive phases of a business model design are mobilize, understand, design,implement and manage and each of them are illustrated by two elements, criticalsuccess factors and key dangers. Even though I believe I am in theimplementation phase, I have skipped a few steps from the previous phases and Iam still finding out how this is going to affect the business. In conclusion,”Business Model Generation” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur is amust-read for any entrepreneur at the start of their journey.
Personally, itchanged the way I see the evolution of a business and I am certainly going toapply more and more the tools presented in this book that I will start to calla manual.