books - Business Model Generation, Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

Finally!  It's the long awaited book report.  I didn't know what to think when I cracked this one.   Business Model Generation?  It's not a topic that I've ever really considered, even though I did own and operate my own business for several years, about 20 years ago.  Back then I got a license to do what I wanted to do, bought the equipment and got an office, and figured out a way to publicize my business. 

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that a book like this would not have helped me succeed at the time, but there'sa lot of great stuff in here to consider as I consider the idea of starting something new. I learned a lot reading this, and will definitely go back to it as a reference in the future, for a lot of reasons. 

The authors start with the idea of a canvas, broken down into the basic building blocks for a business model, including things like customer segments, channels, key activities.  I don't think anything here was actually a surprise to me, but it certainly helped me articulate things and see the relationships between the pieces. 

Next they walk through patterns, the basic types of businesses that tend to exist - the three big historic ones are product innovation, customer relationship management, and infrastructure management.  Then they take on design, and then suggest a framework for critiquing ideas, looking for flaws, and then projecting future market conditions and how those conditions might impact your choices today. 

They wrap it up with process, a really detailed way to go into this, and how to approach it differently if you're trying to update your business model in an existing company vs. creating something brand new. 

All of that stuff made it an amazing read for me.  I feel like I have a solid blueprint for the right questions to ask, the right people to ask them of, and what to do with that information.  Additionally, this book is beautiful.  It is gorgeously designed and illustrated, they take visual cues very seriously.  Overall, very well done.  I will definitely recommend this to people thinking about becoming entrepreneurs.