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Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers [Paperback]

Alexander Osterwalder , Yves Pigneur
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 41.95
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Book Description

July 13 2010
Business Model Generation is a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. If your organization needs to adapt to harsh new realities, but you don't yet have a strategy that will get you out in front of your competitors, you need Business Model Generation.

Co-created by 470 "Business Model Canvas" practitioners from 45 countries, the book features a beautiful, highly visual, 4-color design that takes powerful strategic ideas and tools, and makes them easy to implement in your organization. It explains the most common Business Model patterns, based on concepts from leading business thinkers, and helps you reinterpret them for your own context. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a game-changing business model--or analyze and renovate an old one. Along the way, you'll understand at a much deeper level your customers, distribution channels, partners, revenue streams, costs, and your core value proposition.

Business Model Generation features practical innovation techniques used today by leading consultants and companies worldwide, including 3M, Ericsson, Capgemini, Deloitte, and others. Designed for doers, it is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new models of value creation: for executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all organizations. If you're ready to change the rules, you belong to "the business model generation!"

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Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers + The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses + The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
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Product Description


' impressively comprehensive compendium of many of the most current ideas concerning the structure and development of businesses.' (, May 2011). '... this handbook is likely to prove an excellent help for evaluating business models'. (, July 2011).

From the Back Cover

You're holding a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers striving to defy outmoded business models and design tomorrow's enterprises. It's a book for the business model generation.

Disruptive new business models are emblematic of our generation. Yet they remain poorly understood, even as they transform competitive landscapes across industries. Business Model Generation offers you powerful, simple, tested tools for understanding, designing, reworking, and implementing business models.

Business Model Generation is a practical, inspiring handbook for anyone striving to improve a business model - or craft a new one.


Business Model Generation will teach you powerful and practical innovation techniques used today by leading companies worldwide. You will learn how to systematically understand, design, and implement a new business model — or analyze and renovate an old one.


Business Model Generation practices what it preaches. Coauthored by 470 Business Model Canvas practitioners from forty-five countries, the book was financed and produced independently of the traditional publishing industry. It features a tightly integrated, visual, lie-flat design that enables immediate hands-on use.


Business Model Generation is for those ready to abandon outmoded thinking and embrace new, innovative models of value creation: executives, consultants, entrepreneurs — and leaders of all organizations.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Then He said, 'To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?'" -- Mark 4:30 (NKJV)

You've probably heard the old saying that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Well, this book has more illustrations, sketches, design flourishes, and graphic displays in it than pages so you can probably imagine how much content it covers. In addition to sharing ideas about business model generation, you'll learn about business strategy, change processes, story telling, design, and creativity . . . among other subjects covered in a few paragraphs or pages. If you haven't read many of the books about business innovation that have come out in the last ten years, you can just use this one to get a brief summary of the key ideas in each of those areas. So your cost per subject is almost nothing. What a bargain!

If you get bored easily, you will like this book. It covers most subjects in almost no space. By using small type, a lot of information is concentrated onto just a few pages.

A lot of my graduate business students tell me that they like books that teach them a lot of the technical terms that business people use. Business Model Generation is excellent for that purpose. It's jammed full of C-level business jargon and lots of flow diagrams of the sort that technology managers and engineers love to use.

So, what is a business model? "A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value." Got that? "This concept can be a shared language that allows you to easily describe and manipulate business models to create new strategic alternatives."

If that isn't clear to you, the authors offer nine building blocks that give you the whole picture:

1. Customer Segments
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Approach April 5 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure if I should do a business model or not, my sense of urgency was pushing me to just get going, but my prudent decision to slow down and do the model was worth it. Using this book as a reference when developing the model made me factor in all aspects and refine my idea more. Well worth it, and hopefully saved a few headaches down the road.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guidebook for strategy consulting Sept. 17 2010
This is an excellent source book for management / business consultants. It provides a basic framework for defining Business Models. This framework allows you to understand how a business works, on one page. This framework can then be used as a starting point for improvemnt, or even radical change.
The book is full of real examples, as well as suggested creative exercises that can be used to lead a company through stratregic reflection.
I am a consultant and have used the contents of this book with a number of my clients already, with great success.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By tonzito
I live in a rural town of 3,000 that is a 15 hour drive from any major urban center. My purpose for buying this book was to gain a deeper understanding of how the tool works in light of my inability to partake in the Startup Weekend events or attend courses/workshops in person. I also bought this book as a recommendation for the Udacity course by Steve Blank on The Lean Launchpad. Before purchasing I listened to the Standford's Entrepreneurship Corner podcast on the Business Model Canvas. All in all, I had high expectations for this book.

What I discovered was 1/5th of the book explained how to fill in the blanks and 2/5ths explained the merits of story telling, using illustrations, what is prototyping, the importance of designers. The last 2/5ths focused on how famous management tools like Porter's Five Forces or concepts like Freemium can be represented using the business model. As such, I found 3/5ths of it useful.

As a critique on the Business Model Canvas itself, I felt it should be flipped horizontally for western cultures (reading from left to right, start with customer segments instead of key partnerships).

I'm a big fan of Value Network Analysis. A key component with VNA is linking the deliverable (value proposition) via transaction (channel and customer relationship) to the role (customer segment). Furthering this, there logically flows a linking of these to key activities and then key resources which determine the cost structure. The book fails, in my opinion, to adequately offer techniques for linking. I see that some practitioners of the Business Model Canvas have come over this by using colours, attaching string, drawing arrows, etc... to demonstrate linkages.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing New Feb. 21 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is self-described as a way to "design tomorrow's enterprises" by "defy(ing) outmoded business models", but there's really nothing new here. It simple goes through the standard business modelling process, but does so with pictures for each part of the process.

If you're new to business models and are looking for the fundamentals, this is a good book; it does show you the elements you need to consider. But if you're considering this book as a new way to look at business models, don't buy it. Yes, the illustrations are nice and they do a great job of design, but don't let that fool you -- there's nothing new here.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting and easy to understand with lot of real life exempel
Published 13 days ago by Antoine Sirois
1.0 out of 5 stars I recommend the hard copy but would like to return the ...
I have used the original Business Model Generation with many groups and given away many copies. I bought the Kindle version and find it impossible to browse, the images are... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Howard Elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars great book to use as a resource for small business ...
great book to use as a resource for small business start ups. Very clear and straight forward concepts and layout!
Published 1 month ago by Ana Sierra
5.0 out of 5 stars Business foundations for me!
Just what I was looking for.
Published 1 month ago by Philippe Noel de Tilly
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Fantastique book and fantastique proposable. A must read for any entrepreneur looking to change his game.
Published 1 month ago by William Roberto Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This is a very good book for any entrepreneur in the process of starting a business, launching a startup or writing a business plan.
Published 3 months ago by Ade McWealth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for new entrepreneur!
Well it's a great tool for new entrepreur. It show you how to buld a business model vs the old business plan. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mathieu Normandeau
5.0 out of 5 stars The Template for Startup
This book is amazing. As an entrepreneur, author and writer, this book helped me to better understand the world of business which I never learn in school. Read more
Published 6 months ago by O. Stephen Peart
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Useful for those that want a simple and effective way to lay out some broad strokes and develop a general idea that can then be extrapolated further. Read more
Published 7 months ago by kris canadic
4.0 out of 5 stars Business Model Phenomenon
I love the way the model is broken down to bits and pieces so it is understood. Also love the examples and solutions it offers. Great Read! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Faria
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