Our Books

Design a Better Business, Business Model Generation & Value Proposition Design

New tools, skills and mindset for strategy and innovation

Turn uncertainty into opportunity. The world around you and your business is filled with uncertainty. But, within that uncertainty exist limitless opportunities to design (or redesign) game-changing businesses. These opportunities are there for the taking, if you know how to look for them.

Design A Better Business is a visual playbook about how to bring the accessible practices of innovation and entrepreneurial growth into any organization. This practical guide contains the full suite of road-tested business tools that support your teams from the earliest inception of an idea to a validated road map. Detailing over 50 case studies and real life examples from large corporations such as ING Bank, Audi,Autodesk, and Toyota Financial Services, to small startups, incubators, and social impact organizations. Design A Better Business provides a behind the scenes look at the best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Also included are personal insights from thought leaders such as Steve Blank on innovation, Alex Osterwalder on business models, Nancy Duarte on storytelling, and Rob Fitzpatrick on questioning, among others.

What are you waiting for? Let’s Design a Better Business…

The story behind the book
Imagine yourself wanting to write a book and your publisher tells you that you can, but it should be finished by next month. What do you do? It happened to Patrick van der Pijl, the Dutch CEO of international Strategy & Design Bureau Business Models Inc., when he and his team started working on Design a Better Business.They asked for a bit more time and eventually finished the book within a hundred days. On top of that, they literally designed the entire thing, from cover to cover. Read more about the story here.


The global bestseller Business Model Generation: a handbook for visionairies, game changers, and challengers has been written by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and produced by Patrick van der Pijl of Business Models Inc. in 2009. As we speak, 1 million copies of the book have been sold worldwide and the book has been translated into 30 different languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and even Mongolian – something unique for a business book. Business Model Generation has become a global phenomenon and an internationally adapted management tool.

The book and the Business Model Canvas

The book is an exceptional example of strategy and business design thinking, giving deep insights into the Business Model Canvas and the business model innovation method. It also provides a shared language and co-creative tool for describing, assessing, and changing business models. This visual way of working was new to the management world in 2009, and is now more and more applied universally.

The story behind the book

Patrick van der Pijl, CEO of Business Models Inc., approached Alexander Osterwalder in Spring 2008 after he read Alexander’s PhD research on business model innovation on the Internet. This resulted in the production of the book Business Model Generation. The team behind the book consisted of Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur (authors), Alan Smith (designer), Tim Clark (editor), and Patrick van der Pijl (producer). The book itself was also based on an innovative business model; co-created with 470 strategy practitioners from 45 countries, financed and produced independently of the traditional publishing industry. Traditional publishers only showed interest when sales of the book increased.

Refreshing strategy and business design thinking

Business Model Generation is a practical, inspiring handbook for anyone striving to improve a business model, or craft a new one. It offers you powerful, simple, tested tools for understanding, designing, re-working, and implementing business models. The book describes the Business Model Canvas, a strategic and visual management tool that allows organizations to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot their business models. It stimulates alternative approaches to business models and is more effective and challenging than lengthy business plans. The method is used by students, start-ups, entrepreneurs, strategists, innovation managers and CEOs worldwide. Alexander Osterwalder now runs masterclasses around the world about the Business Model Canvas, Patrick van der Pijl delivers strategy consultancy to organizations worldwide based on Business Model Generation.



Alex Osterwalder published the sequence to Business Model Generation in Fall 2014: Value Proposition Design. The book describes one of the building blocks of the Business Model Canvas – the value proposition. How do you create products and services customers really want? How do you design a successful business model around it? And how do you test it in the market? Patrick van der Pijl was one of the pre-readers of the book and added cases studies of the international practice of Business Models Inc.