Business Model Generation turned out to be a great book even though it started a little slow and I found it a challenge to read on my Kindle. In fact, I think it is the first book I have read on kindle that I would have preferred to read in hard copy. Business Model Generation is full of images, diagrams, and what they call the business model canvas, which was very hard to decipher on the kindle.
The deeper I got into the Business Model Generation the more I enjoyed it. They offer a very structured approach to strategize about a business model. The business model canvas, which they explain in great detail, force you to explain and write down the ideas one often have inside your own head about how your business works.
The authors refer to a business model design space, by analysing four areas of the business environment: 1) market forces 2) industry forces 3) key trends and 4) macroeconomic forces. I found the contrast that they point out between design attitude and decision attitude fascinating.
The authors reference an article “Design Matters” by Fred Collopy and Richard Boland, in explaining the two concepts. Decision attitude works from the assumption that it is easy to come up with alternatives but challenging to pick the best one, while design attitude assumes that it is difficult to envisage an outstanding alternative. In design attitude the clearly superior alternative then makes the decision very easy.
In The Business Model Generation the authors place a lot of emphasis on being patient in the following a process to get the best alternatives, and making sure you don’t jump ahead or ‘fall in love’ with a solution to early. I think I have been guilty of doing just that in the past.
There are opportunities for business model innovation everywhere. The Business Model Generation offers a fantastic structured approach to help anybody from a small startup to multinationals come find and explore these opportunities.