Business Model Generation book review

This book was one of the ‘recommended reading’ books for a Enterprise Development paper I did in 2012 at Massey University and in 2013 when I was in the Ecentre (Massey University’s business incubator).

As I first read it in 2012 I was already working as a Business Development Consultant and was able to use the ‘Business Model Canvas’ method immediately – to great effect. Since then I have repeatedly used the same method to increase success in several roles for different organisations. I found it to be just as relevant in established businesses as ‘start ups’. The authors have a copy of the Business Model Canvas on their website here – if you want to have a peek at it prior to buying a copy of the book. Although I would suggest it will be of much more value after you have read their book.

Business Model Generation changed the way I do business! Fabulous! Can’t sing enough praises about it!

Business Model Generation, A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changes, and Challengers is written by Alexander Osterwalder @AlexOsterwalder and Yves Pigneur. However, the authors acknowledge the contribution of 470 Co-Creators – yep, 470!  The 9 years putting it together (and over 28,000 Post-It’s) was worth it. In my opinion it’s a fabulous book! The authors say “the Business Model Canvas … allows [readers] to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot [their own] business model.”

The content of the book is arraigned very cleverly and attractively presented Business Model Generationtoo. They encourage hands-on approach. As you work though the book I would suggest buying a stack of Post-It notes to ensure ideas can be recorded quickly enough to not hinder your creative juices can run riot. Business Model Generation has colourful chapters around the sections in the Business Model Canvas. These are Customer Segments, Value Propositions, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partnerships and Cost Structure. Chapters end with real case studies with their own Business Model Canvas printed beside them.


I have used Osterwalder and Pigneur’s method and had business owners admit I obviously knew more about how their business ran currently than they did. Being able to specifically pin down where a businesses issues are meant that the right strategy and objectives be set moving forwards. By applying your existing business knowledge (or assumptions) you can actually see how various aspects of the business interact. It’s a simple was to know the way things will work best for your unique situation. I sometimes use if for existing businesses by creating two versions. A ‘right now’ version and another that illustrates where they need to change and the impact it can have.

If you haven’t read Business Model Canvas yet… I really, really recommend this as a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. To be honest I even have two copies! One to lend out to friends to prove how amazing it is.

If you want to have a flick through before buying you can do that here. But I’m sure you’ll end up wanting your own 🙂  I have some (affiliate) links below to various some places online where you can buy your copy now.

You might also like to invest in the iPad App. I found it worked fine on my iPad Mini – I needn’t haveBusiness Model Toolbox Apple Icon worried that the screen would be too small. The automatic equations make testing financial models considerably easier – clearing linking where things are coming/going from. Very nice!

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