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Business Model Generation

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Business Model Generation

A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Innovative picture book on the serious topic of business modeling

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


A different kind of business world calls for a different kind of business manual, and that’s what Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur have achieved in their New Age guide to contemporary business modeling. Abetted by their “Business Model Innovation Hub” – with 470 online collaborators in 45 countries – Osterwalder and Pigneur practiced what they preached when they applied their modeling concepts to the book’s production. And the concepts are not just theories: major companies such as IBM and Ericsson are converts to the “Business Model Canvas,” a low-tech template for brainstorming and visualizing corporate roles and processes. The book’s breezy, colorful format, replete with photos, drawings, charts and graphics, belies its intensely researched and reality-grounded content. A big sheet of paper and a slew of Post-it notes are all you need to get started; that, and the combined creativity, intellect and persistence your team brings to the project. getAbstract heartily recommends this comprehensive, pictorial handbook to entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to create or redesign their business models.


“Design Tomorrow’s Enterprises”

Upstart technologies and lightning-fast implementation drive various new business models that are radically altering industries and commerce. Just look at how Apple’s iPod has revolutionized the music industry, how Skype has turned the telecommunications field upside down and how Grameen Bank has “popularized microlending” as a new form of finance. A business model – defined as “the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value” – can launch an entrepreneur’s new idea or readjust the thrust of an existing company.

The Swatch Group is a case in point: Previously specializing in high-end watches, the Swiss company diversified into the production of the low-priced Swatch line of watches in response to Asian rivals. The Swatch Group has thrived in both the upper and lower segments of its market largely because it chose to serve these segments by using different business models. Swatch is an example of a company that manages not just one but a “portfolio” of business models.

Constructing a Business Model

Strategizing an innovative business model, a process which sometimes can resemble structured chaos...

About the Authors

Alex Osterwalder is an author, speaker and adviser on business-model innovation. Yves Pigneur is a professor of management information systems at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Comment on this summary

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    R. T. 2 years ago
    As the other reviewers say, this is a decent enough summary of a truly great book (which never seems to date). The book itself is a must-read if you have anything to do with starting a business.
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    O. A. 9 years ago
    This is the gold standard for building models. It is also visually outstanding - one of the best I have ever seen. Easy to read, easy to apply... this is a resource every entrepreneur should have. getAbstract please let us have a summary of the second book Business Model You. Thanks!
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    D. E. 10 years ago
    I read the book and the summary and both are excellent.