Enjoy our 1st book chunk, which we are floating for your feedback on the forum. Pls read the remarks, feedback procedure and questions


  • This first chunk is an outline of the structure of the upcoming book content
  • The design and style are currently ad-hoc by Yves and me. The design team will start working in January
  • There are most certainly several grammatical errors and typos regarding the English (we prefer eliminating these in later more stable versions of the chunks)
  • The currently planned book format is ISO A5

Feedback procedure:

  • We will try to reply to each feedback as soon as we can
  • We reserve the right to integrate and reject feedback, but will try to clearly outline the reasons for our decisions
  • Please keep in mind that this is just as much an experiment to you as it is to us... we are exploring the future of writing and publishing together

Some basic questions:

  • What don't you like?
  • What do you like?
  • What do you think of the tripartite structure (language, design, patterns)?
  • What success chances would you give this book based on the outline?


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Add to the eBook train of thought an iTunes premium podcast - starting with an audio version of the book (multiple languages should be relatively simple to arrange), plus a subscription to BMI updates etc.

I tested this recently when I purchased a US$50 premium podcast (see - www.pmprepcast.com) to suplement my current PMP (Project Management Professional) exam study and found it to be great (even better assuming I pass the exam, hey!).

Thank you Richard! A premium iTunes podcast is a great idea! Fits perfectly with our overall innovation effort. All we need now is the book ;-)
Great start Alex.

I have followed a lot of your thinking on-line, reading your PhD paper a couple of years ago and then watched most (if not all) of your Slideshare presentations and regularly read your web-site. You have a great platform to work from. Personally I love the way the book is emerging and you have had some fantastic feedback in the previous 8 pages of comments.

My Comments:
I love the layout concept - I like the horizontal A5 format (which I'm also using myself in material I'm currently putting together). As mentioned in an earlier comment by someone, I found the grey text hard to read when I printed the material out - black would be better IMHO. I love the white space, large pics, etc.

I think the tripartite structure is workable - the proof will be in the practice as sections are written out.

I would suggest that a stronger recognition of the external forces facing the business needs to be included. This came thru well in your PhD on page 16, but seems to have lost its emphasis as you've developed the model in the last couple of years. Is this intentional - if so could you explain.

I would also suggest you consider presenting the material in three formats in the one book. By this I mean providing the ability for (1) a reader to flip thru the book at speed and glean the main points, (2) a reader to go with the flowing text as per the 1st chunk; and (3) the opportunity for those who want to dip in deeper to do so from time to time. This could be accomplished by (1) the use of callouts and headings; (2) the majority of the material just as you are currently planning to show it; and (3) occasional pages of denser type every now and then amplifying a point in greater detail. (Again this is a pattern I am exploring with my own writing.)

Success??? - unfortunately one can never tell, but your hard work to date suggests you're on the right path.

@Gordon, great to see that you've followed the evolution of this approach! I think with this platform we can create even more value, based on the experience and insights of the Hub members.

Thank you for the feedback, here my take:

A5 Format: Opinions about the format are split, some like it, some don't. I think the ultimate test will come with the following book chunks. As to the grey fonts, this will be addressed...

External forces: Yes, I have emphasized it less in my recent work, but it must be addressed in the book. It will most likely be in the form of design constraints/opportunities... I talked about it less recently because I wanted people to focus on the business model (construct) and the possibilities to create alternative business models within an industry...

3 levels of content: Very good input to design the book in a way that it can serve different purposes... I like it!
Hi Alex,

Thanks for the opportunity to join your effort and contribute with feedback and ideas.

1. What don't I like?
It would be helpful to highlight the shift from "industrial" economy to "networked information" economy and the impact it is having on business models. Sources of value creation are shifting. What was once capital intensive is now free in many cases. Your Business Model Hub approach is a great example. While it is extremely helpful to establish a template for business model analysis, extra value would come from applying the template to innovative business models enabled by networked information, communication and collaboration.

2. What do I like?
The use of collective intelligence and community to create the book and extend the thinking. It is a proof point of #1 above.

3. What about the tripartite structure?
I'm a fan of establishing common language and frameworks to drive alignment on innovation and strategy. The structure helps do that.

4. Chances of success for the book?
The book will be successful in spreading the concept of business model innovation and creating new revenue opportunities for you and others. Two thoughts here:
a) The book will be more successful if it gets prescriptive in helping people move from industrial economy to networked information economy. Clarify for the readers how networks, markets and communities can create new business models for growth and change the sources of advantage?
b) It would be helpful if the Business Hub community defined 3-5 measures of success for the Book. What would the Hub define as success?
@Bruce, interesting feedback! Here some comments:

"networked economy": This will definitely be part of the intro. You bring up some interesting cases, such as the emergence of "free"!

focus on networked economy:
I would like to see this first book as very general. Follow-up books - maybe established by the Hub - can then focus on particular perspectives, such as the networked economy.

Success factors:
we should start the discussion on that...
Dear Alex,

I could have missed out some points in the earlier discussions.

On the whole, in my opinion, the approach in the layaout and design of the book is excellent--relevant, simple and applicable.

Some Food For Thought:

a) Generally, I would like to categorize businesses into: New Entrant (Neeja's case), Follower ("me-too"--could be Ted's case) and Leader (leading the pack). I feel that the business model for each of these businesses will be different because they are at different stages of growth and their repective business models evolve with time and business environment they are in. How about a story on a business leader be included in your introduction?

b) A business evolves, so does its business model, at least partially, during its business cyle. Would you be addressing this issue too?

c) As I try to explore the nine building blocks of the business model more holistically, I find it difficult to allocate the very important intangible assets, namely human capital (core competencies) and organizational capital (culture) in the model. You may suggest to include them in the Key Resources block. Since they are so important that they may deserve a block by themselves called Human and Organizational Capital, perhaps.

d) For any business, the ultimate goal is to generate key shareholder value. This calls for achieving the desired results ultimately. In a other words, we have to translate the building blocks of the business model into actions via measures, targets and initiatives as expounded by Kaplan and Norton in Balanced Scorecard. If this is accepted, what if we classify the building blocks into 4 perspectives: Financial, Customer, Internal Processes, Learning and Growth? What do you feel about this?

e) I hope the tools will have the necessary guidelines or approches or templates to enable us to move from the "As Is" business model to an innovative "To Be" business model. I am looking forward for this.

Hope the above will help in a small way.

@Ray interesting remarks!

a) Stages of business model innovation:
It is true that depending on the nature of an enterprise (size, growth, maturity) there will be different types of reflections as to business model innovation. I'm not yet 100% sure how we will address this topic... but we will definitely do so.

b) Life cycle: This will be one of the core messages of the book. Business model innovation is a continuous process that has to be managed systematically over time.

c) Intangible assets: These are definitely part of the key resources. I would hesitate to create a separate category.

d) Kaplan & Norton: A systematic way to translate a business model into actions, targets, initiatives, etc. just like in Kaplan & Norton's work would certainly add value to the approach. As to your second remark regarding the four perspectives: We already use those perspectives with the exception of the "learning and growth" perspectives. It does make sense and it highlights the similarities between the two approaches.

e) Guidelines & templates:
This is what we are trying to achieve. With the help of the Hub we should be able to create a crystal clear methodology to move from "as is" to "to be"...
Ray and Alex,

Kaplan and Norton have recently released an interesting book "Execution Premium" in which they attempt they provide a framework to translate strategy into actionsm targets and initiatives (defining strategy, strategy maps, determining the Capex needed for strategic initives, balance score cards and monitoring/reporting).

As many of us have found defining a business model innovation is one thing but the execution quite another. Especially because business models touch many asects of an oganisation.
Hence, it indeed makes sense to progress to such a framework as described by Kaplan & Norton. But than again this might very well be the topic of another book..;)
I like your take and completely agree: execution is a must have topic and a big issue when it comes to business model innovation - but I think to honor its importance it should be in another book.
Hi Alex,
Thanks for the opportunity to engage on such a wonderful endeavor.

Sorry for coming late to the party. Here are a couple of comments that I hope are not too redundant with the preceding ones.

General comments
I really like the notion of the book as a practical users guide for business model innovators. If you don’t take the concepts, no matter how sound or well explained, down to the level of practical application, people will misapply them, abuse them, and eventually deflate the impact of the concept itself. Following from that, the tripartite structure is not only good, it is essential. The common language is essential for building knowledge. The basic terminology and structure you have put together offers all practitioners in the realm of business model innovation a sound basis for that purpose. I think of your model and approach as non-dogmatic while it is comprehensive, captures the basic elements of a business model, and accounts for their interdependencies. I look forward to your comparison/mapping of the models of others as evidence of the robust nature of the model.

I concur with many other comments on the layout, personas, and so forth, and will not address them here.

Implementation of a new business model –
I do not believe this book should go in-depth on implementation. That is a subject unto itself. I think you should frame implementation by explaining the basics and any particular considerations that vary by context. You may even need to touch on it in the event you use iterative design practices that do varying degrees of implementation as the organization moves down the path of innovation and realization. But I would keep the focus of the book on insuring that the reader is taken over any hurdles they might have to approaching business model design and innovation in the first place. Stick with the right-brained stuff, including where the right and left need to intersect, but steer clear of the hard-core left brained implementation.

The icon for key resources is a factory. Most key resources are intangible, as you show in your examples. As an example, Chaparral steel, an advanced producer in heavy industry, has as a key resource its organic learning system. The CEO tours competitors through the factory and shows them almost everything because he knows they can’t take it home with them (Dorothy Leonard, Wellsprings of Knowledge, pg 7). Maybe a brain or thought type of a symbol would be better.

The key activities item, a check mark, does not ‘read’ activity to me – maybe an arrow, a box with an arrow in and arrow out, or a runner.

What success chances would you give this book based on the outline?
I think it will be successful as long as it carries through on the three key elements – a simple but comprehensive business model, the practical application of the model in diverse circumstances, and the reconciliation of this model to models and approaches of others. The last factor is respectful to the reader, who may have already invested his or her time in learning what others have to say on the subject, by making this book’s contribution to their knowledge cumulative rather than ‘in place of.’

Best regards,
Kim Korn
I enjoyed reading the first chunk. My first reaction when I arrived at the personas (Neeraj) was that the content was going to be more about small business and startups than enterprises. An explanation on how this audience for the book is would be helpful. Maybe the framework is apprrporate for all businesses. Issues of change management and OD would be covered for mid-sized and large enterprise.

I'm intrigued by the notion of design thinking. I recently finished an interesting book titled a whole new mind by Daniel Pink. He describes the growing importance of r-directed thinking in business (right brain). I think there are some interesting common points to consider when approaching new business models

Based on interest in the topic, I think the timiing is very good. I recently attended a presentation by IBM where the topic of Innovation Jams was addressed. Business model innovation initatives are being considered by most of the executives who participated research that was cited during the presentation


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