Business Model Generation

Book co-created by a crowd of 470 practitioners from 45 countries


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About the project Edit

Co-authored by 470 Business Model Canvas practitioners from 45 countries, the book was financed and produced independently of the traditional publishing industry.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

The founders of the Business Model Generation initiative launched the Hub, an online platform to share their writings from day one. anybody with an interest in the topic could join the platform for a fee that was initially set at US$24 and gradually raised to US$243. This revenue stream helped finance the book production in advance without the need to use the services of a professional publisher. It breaks the format of conventional management books in order to create more value for readers.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The book was entirely co-created by close to 500 contributors. The writing of the book became completely transparent. Content, design, illustration and structure were constantly shared and thoroughly commented upon by Hub members worldwide. Even though the book is not about a social topic, its design and distribution were uniquely democratic and collaborative.
Also, a triple bottom line business model has been recently added, helping assess the social and environmental impact (positive or negative) of a given business model.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

the book became a global best-seller, translated in 18 languages. 650,000 copies sold worldwide in 2013.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Alexander Osterwalder and Professor Yves Pigneuc at HEC Lausanne, Switzerland, were looking for an innovative way to stand out in a market where countless strategy and management books are published every year.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The whole process was funded through a combination of revenue streams, most notably trhough the set up of a fee-based online platform dedicated to the co-writing of the book. The US$250 entry cost kept the platform relatively exclusive without prohibiting access through an excessive fee. Distribution of the book relied on word-of-mouth and online referrals.

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