Business Model Generation: A Handbook

Business Model Generation: A Handbook


Among the many business books I have read in the last five years, the “Business Model Generation (BMG)” by Alexander Osterwalder has definitely the most impact on the way I approach business modeling today. The reason why this handbook simply changed the way I think about business models is simple: “BMG” manages to re-organize a very complex matter in a very simplistic and visual format. The business model canvas is a modular design system which correlates all the essential building blocks that make up a successful business model. The very appealing designs help to illustrate complex structures in a clear-cut visual structure. In case of this handbook the old proverb “a picture says more than a 1,000 words” is literally true.

Although BMG does not treat every part of a business model in great depth (especially the cost structure and the key resources need more in-depth consideration), it clearly teaches how existing business models work in different industries. While many business books fail to describe what makes good companies successful, Osterwalder manages to break down the success recipes of many sophisticated examples in simplistic illustrations.

But be careful: Solely because this compendium is so simple to understand that does not mean that BMG can provide all the input to the next killer innovation or multimillion dollar business. Unfortunately, life is not that easy. A lot of hard work and a solid dose of strategic thinking will still be necessary to take the most out of this book. Only if one understands the complex system behind the nine building blocks the book unravels it is full power. This way it represents a very valuable, inspiring, and of course enjoyable guide to design future business strategies. 

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