Book Review: Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation


Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur

My Rating

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My role as a software developer is to make the revenue-generating wishes of business people a reality. If I can better understand what they really want, I can provide greater assistance and operate more efficiently. Having just finished reading Business Model Generation, I now have a deeper understanding of business models and feel more empowered to help my business-minded colleagues.

If you’re a software developer, and you enjoy making a difference - not just to the number of tickets in Jira, then I highly-recommend you read this book. You will better understand the needs, objectives, and thinking patterns of the people you are building software applications for. You will be in a better position to prevent errors that occur through loss of translation in business-technical communication. See my related blog post for more information.

Visual, Straight-talking, Easy for Anyone to Follow

I am particularly impressed with how Alex Osterwalder and his team made this book so easy to read, and made the information so easy to absorb. They achieved this through intelligent visualisations and jargon-free, down-to-earth discussion. Honestly, this is a business book, but even children could understand it.

Business Models, Innovating, Organisational Learning

I was compelled to read every single page of this book. From part one that explains what a business model is, to more advanced chapters that teach you how to create your own business models, keep them upto date, and even innovate on your own or collectively as an organisation.

Perhaps I was so compelled because each point made was backed up by real world examples, from Nintendo’s Wii, to Amazon’s expansion into commodity IT infrastructure. I felt like I was being taught by an expert and I didn’t have to be wary that I was being sold duff information.

The Business Model Canvas

Throughout the book a visualisation technique called the Business Model Canvas is used. This is a tool that communicates a business model in a single image. It seems so useful, and I’m sure I will be using it throughout my career to better understand the needs of the businesses I work with.

Some books are well presented. Some books have game-changing content. This highly-polished book has it all.

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