Rating

8

Qualities

  • Overview
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take

Recommendation

Business is no longer linear and product-based. It’s nimble, customer-centric and service-based. Its fuel is subscribers. Tien Tzuo, co-founder of the subscription management software company Zuora, and Gabe Weisert of Subscribed magazine cover this sweeping change and how it affects each sector. Their overview includes specifics on what firms must change to adopt a subscriber model. Those changes are exactly the problems Tzuo’s business solves, so the book is also his calling card. It’s also useful for leaders wondering how to transform their firms to take advantage of the subscription economy.

Summary

The few companies that have remained on the S&P 500 list since 1955 have transformed their businesses with digital services.

The digital wave is known and highly visible. Consider General Electric’s advertising tagline: “The digital company. That’s also an industrial company.” IBM went from selling punch card systems to providing artificial intelligence. NCR sold cash registers to saloon owners during the westward expansion of the United States. Now it competes in digital payments. Box, Spotify and Uber have created new digital markets and new ways of doing business.

These successful businesses know their customers care about results more than ownership. In the next wave, Salesforce and Amazon were among the first to move from selling products top-down via multiple channels to building customer-centric subscriber relationships.

The secret of their success is putting customers first.

Amazon focused on customers over product from the beginning. Now 112 million people have Amazon Prime subscriptions. It has now launched its foray into physical locations with ...

About the Authors

Tien Tzuo is co-founder and CEO of the subscription management software company Zuora, which helps companies make the transition into becoming subscription service-based businesses. Gabe Weisert is managing editor at Zuora.


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