Category Archives: Startup Books

Business Model Generation – Review

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

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.

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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.

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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.

Startup Life – Review

Startup Life

I have really enjoyed all of Brad Feld’s books I have read. Venture Deals and Startup Communities were two of my favourites.  Startup Life co-authored by Brad and his wife Amy was the next instalment in his Startup series.  For some reason I was a little hesitant to read it. I was not sure I wanted to get the balanced life and relationship advice I thought it would offer.

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Luckily Brad had a competition a few weeks ago.  He offered a dinner with two couples and their partners as the prize.  All you had to do to enter was to buy the book and send him proof.  I obliged entering for both the amazon and B&N competitions.

So when I finished the Founders Dilemma’s, I started to read Startup Life. It turned out to be a really awesome read.  Brad and Amy offer some great practical life to help everybody in the family adjust to the pressures of startup life.

They’ve also included some advice and inserts from other entrepreneurial couples.  Since they don’t have kids, most of the chapters on kids was contributions by others who do have kids.

They have a big focus on communication, which forms a central theme throughout the book.  They give some great examples from their own relationship on how to work on improving communication.  They have some great suggestions like four minutes focused on each other each morning, life dinner and quarterly vacations off the grid.  Many of these suggestions came when Amy renegotiated their relationship years into their marriage.

I am really glad I read this one. Next step is to get my wife to read it as well. It will definitely help us have a better relationship going forward. Especially as I get ready to do my next startup.

==> Click here to buy: Startup Life <==

Thanks Brad and Amy for going to the effort of writing Startup Life, and being so open in sharing many of your personal thoughts and solutions.  I look forward to the next instalment in the Startup series.