When you purchase an iPhone, you’re not buying a piece of hardware, you’re buying an ecosystem and an innovative business model, all packaged together.
You might not be realizing that companies that create a lasting advantage also innovated their business model. But when Apple is selling you an iPhone at a very high-profit margin, it’s using a reverse razor and blade business model strategy.
Where the content you can download on iTunes and the countless number of Apps you can find on the Apple Store, is given to you either for free or for a low price and no friction.
While its piece of hardware is getting sold to you at a high price, in this scenario, understanding how business models work is critical.
Thus, I’m suggesting five books that helped me navigate in the topic by combining theory and practice. I’m not earning any affiliations from those books (you might notice there is no link to them).
Those are books I believe you must read if you want to develop an un-understanding of the discipline, quickly.
100+ Business Models Book by FourWeekMBA
This is our flagship book, the master guide to get you from basics to advanced in the shortest time possible:
The business model navigator is a book that comes out from the research of
Often a good analysis might be coming from balancing the several tools available. The business model navigator has a straightforward way to understand and define business models.
Also, the authors have done massive and exciting research into 55 and over business model patterns that have shaped our times. It is an excellent source of inspiration.
The amount of insights and knowledge distilled in the book is massive. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn together with Chris Yen, goes through a methodology they called Blitzscaling.
Look at it as growth hacking on steroids. Where growth hacking tries to define a process to find growth, quickly.
Blitzscaling focuses on 10x growth, especially in situations where the business might be threatened by competition and either survive or die in the short term.
It’s about going all in. As Reid Hoffman puts it “An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.” Blitzscaling is almost like building the world’s largest aircraft on the way down.
Blitzscaling also offers an alternative way to look at business model innovation, which can be summarized in the infographic below:
And the canvas below:
You might want to read this!
Reinvent Your Business Model
Having a set of tools for your business means being able to understand what tool might work best in specific scenarios.
In the case of a mature company that is well established in a business model, but suddenly needs to reinvent itself to keep being successful in the long run, this is the best reading.
Indeed, this book helps you understand where is the white space for your business and how to go after it. In that respect is also offers you an alternative way to look at your business model:
Business Model Generation
This is a classic in the business modeling literature. It will introduce you to the concept of the business model canvas, which focuses on a few key elements such as:
- Key partners
- Key activities
- Value proposition
- Customer relationship
- Customer segment
- Key resource
- Distribution channel
- Cost structure
- Revenue stream
This is a must-read:
In the era of digital business models, platforms have become the most emerging and influential tech companies. The authors do a fantastic job ad deconstructing the way those platforms work and the tactics they have used to scale up:
What other book have you found it worked for you to understand business modeling?
The resources you need to get started with your business model:
- Business Models
- Business Strategy
- Business Development
- Distribution Channels
- Marketing Strategy
- Platform Business Models
- Network Effects
Popular case studies from the blog:
- The Power of Google Business Model in a Nutshell
- How Does Google Make Money? It’s Not Just Advertising!
- How Does DuckDuckGo Make Money? DuckDuckGo Business Model Explained
- How Amazon Makes Money: Amazon Business Model in a Nutshell
- How Does Netflix Make Money? Netflix Business Model Explained
- How Does Spotify Make Money? Spotify Business Model In A Nutshell
- The Trillion Dollar Company: Apple Business Model In A Nutshell
- DuckDuckGo: The [Former] Solopreneur That Is Beating Google at Its Game