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The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant When The World is Changing [Hardcover]

Saul Kaplan
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 24 2012
Business model innovation is the new strategic imperative for all leaders

Blockbuster's executives saw Netflix coming. Yet they stuck with their bricks and mortar business model, losing billions in shareholder value. They were "netflixed." Business models don't last as long as they used to. Historically CEO's have managed a single business model over their entire careers. Today, all organizations must be capable of designing, prototyping, and experimenting with new business models. The Business Model Innovation Factory provides leaders with the survival skills to create a pipeline of new business models in the face of disruptive markets and competition.

Avoid being netflixed. Your organization must be a business model innovator to stay competitive in today's turbulent world.

  • Author Saul Kaplan is the founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), a real world laboratory for exploring and testing new business models and social systems. BIF has attracted a global community of over five thousand innovators and organizes the internationally renowned BIF Collaborative Innovation Summit

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From the Inside Flap

Blockbuster's executives saw Netflix coming. Yet they stuck with their bricks-and-mortar business model, losing billions in shareholder value. They were "netflixed."

Business models just don't last as long as they used to. Historically, CEOs have managed a single business model over their entire careers. Today, all organizations must be capable of designing, prototyping, and experimenting with new business models. The Business Model Innovation Factory provides leaders with the survival skills to create a pipeline of new business models in the face of disruptive markets and competition.

Business model innovation is a team sport. It requires all of us to build stronger collaboration muscle and to become more comfortable with and much better at connecting across silos, disciplines, and sectors. The Business Model Innovation Factory provides innovators with a set of fifteen actionable principles to guide business model innovation efforts, including:

  • Realize that you are catalyzing something bigger than yourself

  • Build purposeful and flexible networks

  • Make systems-level thinking—and action—sexy

  • Be creative and engaged in designing the core models that drive businesses, institutions, industries, and cultures

  • Passion rules—exceed your own expectations and take risks with confidence

  • Be an inspiration accelerator and inspire many toward the end game: transformation

Innovators need to experiment and embrace the art of discovery. Innovation requires that you get off the whiteboard and into the real world. There, you'll discover how to design for this user-centered world. Don't get netflixed. Make your organization a business model innovator and stay competitive in today's turbulent world.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Business Model Innovation Factory

"To be competitive and stay competitive in today's business environment, you have to be fast on your feet. Saul Kaplan knows how to take innovation from napkin sketch to market share, and in this book, he teaches you exactly how to create your own 'innovation factory' from scratch. But be careful: once you start working with these ideas, it might be hard to stop!"
Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"Saul Kaplan, the innovator's innovator, shows you how to transform the sense of what's possible in your field, whether you're running a company or leading a community. If you want to win big, you have to change the game. This inspiring and instructive book is a game plan for game-changers."
William C. Taylor, Co-Founding Editor, Fast Company, and author of Practically Radical

"Saul gets below the buzzwords of innovation and provides an inspiring and actionable road map to help transform how any organization creates, delivers, and captures value. The Business Model Innovation Factory is a must-read for any leader who wants to deliver innovation in the twenty-first century."
Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO, Zappos.com, Inc.

"New products and tweaks to your current business model are not enough in today's environment. You need a way to continuously test new ideas and markets. Creating the 'business model innovation factory' described in Saul's book is the next step for any leader who wants to stay ahead of a changing world."
Alex Osterwalder, coauthor of Business Model Generation

"Saul Kaplan is a one-man business model innovation factory! Every established leader and budding entrepreneur needs to read this book to find the way to real market-making innovation. Buy it, read it, do it!"
Alan M. Webber, Co-Founding Editor, Fast Company, and author of Rules of Thumb


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
By Charles Dimov TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Saul Kaplan does a good job of uncovering many aspects of why companies do NOT continually change their business model. He articulates the Blockbuster / Netflix story in depth. Had Blockbuster been willing to innovate, and cannibalize it's own business... then it would probably still be in business, and possibly even thriving. It did not - and BlockBuster is now a distant memory of the 90's.

It is amusing to read Kaplan's other examples of:
-Amazon netflixing Borders
-Apple netflixing Tower Records
-e-Mail netflixing Postal Services
-Craigslist netflixing local newspaper
-Google netflixing encyclopedias and libraries
-Online education netflixing universities
-Peapod netflixing grocery stores

Kaplan provides good examples of why it is critical for all companies to spend at least 10% of its time and resources thinking about the next innovation in it's business model that it must undertake - even if it cannibalizes it's own product. After all - better that you eat your own lunch, than have the competitor eat it for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important Premise Aug. 28 2012
By Phil Simon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publisher.
****
I enjoyed Business Model Innovation Factory because of its premise. With the speed of business becoming faster every day (largely due to vast technological changes), I believe that large organizations will need to "pivot" more than once. Ditto CIOs. I just don't see too many companies remaining stagnant if they expect to survive.

Kaplan does a good job at laying out the case for innovation. As another reviewer has pointed out, "Saul sets the stage by explaining how disruption is becoming a commonplace, innovation a necessity and the inadequacy of product and service innovation to drive the system level transformative change that industrial crises require. At the same time, the book respects bot the need for context and plain speaking." I couldn't agree more. The premise of this book is sound and, to be sure, the book's concept would not have been as essential 20 years ago.

I laughed when I read that the official language for one of his projects was English (read: not consultantspeak). To that end, Kaplan writes well and sans jargon--always a plus for me in a business book.

So, what could this book have done better?

I have three main gripes. I would have preferred to see a longer book with more detailed case studies. Second, to my liking, Kaplan makes far too many references to his halcyon days at Accenture. The way he would tell it, this is the perfect consulting organization and it just seems a little to idyllic for me. I have yet to come across a perfect consultancy and I've been in the field for a long time. Further, there seems to be a bevy of plugs for his own company, making the book at times read like a marketing brochure.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think big, Start small, Scale fast April 16 2012
By James Hamar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"A business model is a story about how an organization creates, delivers and captures value." Simple enough right? It is this same thoughtful, yet direct commentary that makes this book so entertaining for a business model novice like myself.

I do not consider myself an innovator, nor am I an innovation junkie. Yet while reading this book, I began to identify with so many of the points Saul makes about creating value with passion, connecting to unusual suspects that are outside of your industry, and not being afraid to take an honest look at yourself and transform not only the way you operate as an organization, but also as an individual.

I rarely read business books, and to me, this doesn't feel like one. It is an inspiring collection of insights and stories to help you get better at what you do. There is always a better way, and thankfully there are books like this to question if you are doing all you can to become a Business Model Innovation Factory.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe to much text Sept. 4 2012
By Michael Moradiellos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
HI,
I've read the book with a lot of expectation due to the work of Saul Kaplan and the BIF but I've the sensation that he repeat to much the exact sentences in different parts of the book, like copy paste. It is really ennnoying and give the sensation to be back in the book.
Also he present some ideas on cities as Innovation Hubs like something extraordinary (10 pages) and it is not. I was looking more for information about how it works and some successful case.

I have the feeling that the same content in half book could be enough.
Thanks.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cities as living labs. April 17 2012
By monika hardy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So, Saul Kaplan wrote this book about innovation. And I'm thinking, if we are so inclined to take it in, act on it, we could have the cities, the communities, the world, our souls crave.
Saul's book is a story of humanity, of being alive, of mindfulness, of spaces of permission.
As I read his words, a resonating repetition made the story incredibly alluring. It made me want to live it out.
Saul encourages us to play in the grey spaces between the silos, to notice and connect with unlikely suspects, to create spaces of freedom where people have nothing to prove. He tells us it is there we will see brilliance, ongoing innovation, aliveness.

He writes of when he first thought of innovation through the lens of a community:
"We must create a wholly new vision and experiment our way to its emergence. Tweaks won't do it.
The system change we need must be directly relevant to real people in real neighborhoods.
It is essential to get out more.
Cities should be living labs."

He writes of the freedom needed to experiment and presents connected adjacencies as just that type of platform:
"Serial entrepreneurs will tell you it's a waste of time writing a fancy business plan that details all of the components of a proposed new business model. What is contained within the initial plan will have little to no bearing on what business model will ultimately gain traction and work under real market conditions.
So agency leads are stuck continuing to do work they know isn't the most important or relevant work they could be doing.
Those working in the adjacencies must be empowered to borrow and flexibly deploy capabilities and technologies from inside and outside the organization in novel ways."

He encourages us to disrupt ourselves:
"Intrinsic motivation is what counts today and most companies are still focused on managing external motivation factors.
We must find a way to move beyond our cynicism.
We must play offense.
What are we waiting for?
If we don't learn how to reinvent ourselves we are at risk of being disrupted."

Saul Kaplan ..gracing us with a work of love. Imagine if we dared to take his lead, to act on it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovation is a Contact Sport April 16 2012
By Michael A Dila - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Business model design and innovation is a hugely important subject.

Business model talk is not new, but it's no longer focused mostly on analysis, but increasingly on the task of creating new business models or innovating existing ones.

Saul Kaplan's book joins the company of Alex Osterwalder's Business Model Generation and Steve Blank's The Startup Owner's Manual in an emerging literature that is laying the groundwork for the literacy of business designers.

Osterwalder's book did the very important work of establishing the business model as an object of design. Blank's new book is an overhaul and extension of his Four Steps to the Ephinany, and addresses the very practical concerns of startup entrepreneurs who are trying to find a business model.

Saul sets the stage by explaining how disruption is becoming a commonplace, innovation a necessity and the inadequacy of product and service innovation to drive the system level transformative change that industrial crises require. At the same time, the book respects bot the need for context and plain speaking.

Saul makes a hugely important contribution to the need for literacy about business models, their design and their role in transformative innovation. His chapter on Business Models 101 makes a vital contribution to how we understand what business models are for and why thinking about them and learning to collaborate on their design is so crucial.

What I admire most about this book, and about Saul, is its pushiness. We all know that incremental innovation works, but Saul challenges us to want more, expect more, demand more from our aspirations to innovate. Saul wants to see innovation become a contact sport and I hope that after reading this book more people will want to suit up!
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