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The Art of Profitability

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  41 reviews
An extraordinarily new business slant on how companies can generate greater profits. Presented in 23 compact lessons, "The Art of Profitability" features an ongoing tutorial between two fictitious individuals.
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Warner Business Books (first published September 1st 2002)
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Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: investing
Good summary of different business models but I personally thought 23 models are way too many and many of them overlapped. It eventually falls down to 4-5 models - reselling profit, scale profit, diversified profit, early mover profit, profit multipler - The way the author structured the story - conversation between old mentor (zhao) and young guy (steve) made it easy to understand but was distracting.

- "switchboard profit model" reminds me of power of network effect in the business
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
An easy read, but the lessons aren't far-fetched or mind blowing. Decent read since you can finish it in one sitting, but don't expect lightning in a bottle.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Art of Profitability" uses the same novel approach as "The Guy Who Fired His Boss" & "Lost and Found", two books which I read earlier, except that the delivery style is reminiscent of Gu Long, the late Taiwanese Wuxia novelist, who had a habit of not explaining everything explicitly in his novels.

This is good in the sense that it leaves you to ponder over the concepts and draw (quite literally) your own conclusions. On the flip side, sometimes there is too much backstory going on for i
Mustafa Shaqdih
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Since i wanted to take the author’s advice by going slowly through the book, it took me almost 4 months to finish it as I was trying to observe all ideas, And read as much as i can from the other readings that were mentioned through the models.
In my opinion 23 models were too much, there were models almost the same with a very small difference between them so i thought it would be better to combine them to avoid the confusion, however, I can say I learned many great and new lessons and ideas.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the summary for this fabulous is that there are many ways to make profit and it is unlikely that your business does all of them. People will pay different prices for the same thing in different situations Good profit models are easy to brainstorm and hard to execute. YESSS I would recommend this book.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patterns for business development

One of the best books I've read delivering inspiration for business development and strategy discussions. I am sure I will return to it many times. Plus, it comes with a lot of recommendations on further reading.
Gabriel Adamante
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Genius. Genius. Genius.
I look this book.
Maxim Nikonov
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finance
Didn’t finish, stopped at the middle. Lots of unrelated information, trying to present this book as a story( unsuccessfully imo). Very superficial diving in to the actual subject of a profitability.
Ahmed Bin Madhi أحمد بن ماضي

This 160 pages book makes for a very interesting and enjoyable reading.

The book's main premise is that Profit works in highly definable pathways that can be analyzed, modeled and reconstructed. The author does an excellent job in defining and describing various profit models.

The book is uniquely structured as a story in the narrative, chronicling the tutoring sessions taking place between two fictional characters: Steve, a young strategic planning specialist working for a diversified conglomer
Alberto Lopez
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was sooooo slow that I struggled to catch its main points. I found myself constantly having to go back because its tediously slow fable-style made it impossible to discern what was important and what was just a filler. Since I found the subject potentially interesting nonetheless, I will try to read the author's other books on the subject with the hope that the terrible nature of this one is an abnormality. My suggestion to you is to skip this book at less that you are an ambitious fiv ...more
Mugizi Rwebangira
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it a lot. The main idea is to look at the circumstances which drive profitability or which differentiate profitable ventures from unprofitable ones.

Probably the most basic idea about profit is that products which enjoy a monopoly or limited competition are generally more profitable than those which have strong competition. The trick is to go beyond that and look at profitability in a more sophisticated way.

One criticism you could level at the book is that the "23 profit models" do not
Tony Canas
This is a wonderful little business fable in the style of "Who Moved My Cheese" and "Five Disfunctions of a team" which tells the story of a young man and an old man. The mentorship relationship that develops between them helps the reader understand step by step 23 different ways in which a company can create profitability. The story is very enjoyable and can teach you a lot. My favorite part is that even though the story is fictional the examples used are real and the student gets homework each ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Even although I had the audiobook version of this book, i found it very hard ti complete this book. - even bad books can sometimes be listened to passively on audio and ultimately completed, however I found the non-fiction story style of teaching business models very boring, hard to follow and a bit pointless as its hard to take seriously. Maybe its just the way I prefer to learn, but it came to a point midway through this book I found myself absolutely forgetting whats going on or even remember ...more
Abdullah Alzahim
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-summary
Reading Soundview's summary of the book, the fable is about Zhao, the mentor, and Gardner, the mentee. Zhao teaches Gardner the art of profitability in an informal way by starting with the old-fashioned business models to eventually the newest ones; this is the methodology used by Zhao and noticed by Gardner in the end.

Although the author presented 23 business models, most of them have subtle nuances. Overall, I found out that there are 4 major business models, namely:

1. customer solution profi
Jan 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are some profitability/entrepreneurship/business/selfhelp books that are so bad I can’t believe people actually praise them and recommend them as holy bodies of truth. All they offer is some basic Econ 101 concept - the basics of creating a competitive advantage, Michal porter’s cost/differentiation strategies, price discrimination – in a mitigated way. These “entrepreneurs” are the same people who advocate that university won’t give you a proper education. One economics class would have s ...more
Ben Donahower
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I understand what the author was trying to do by making this book ultimately a conversation with a mentor and a student of his who was frustrated in a company that didn't understand the art of profitability. It made for an interesting read but also for a book that left me feeling like I wasn't using my time most effectively. The author presents 23 business models that you might incorporate into a business. The fictitious or generic examples reinforce the point. I learned something but also found ...more
Richard Stephenson
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Just as I suspected... since I didn't take the author's advice and take it easy with this one... to really absorb the info and work with the story... I didn't get a whole lot out of this one - at least not consciously.

I enjoyed the story, the presentation of the lessons, and appreciated the overall package. The audiobook was nice as the two main characters were voices by separate people - it worked well.

I'll have to revisit this one later.
DS Hendler
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This is a cool book, broken up into small reasonable chapters, each with its own reading assignment. I've read some of the books suggested--in one chapter his main character even recommends the author's other book! They weren't all gems, but this book itself is pretty good. Especially for someone who doesn't know a lot about business or profit models.
Owen Mullings
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading this book

It's told in the format of a story

The story is about a mentor's relationship with a student and they cover 23 forms of profit models with examples

This information is incredibly powerful for anyone in business

Loved it!

Wish I had a get to the point version so I would want to listen to the book several times per year.
Brad Pickler
Jun 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
I respect people enjoyed this book, but I read two lessons and I really did not like the tales around the subject, so I stopped it. Maybe is not a writing style like. I think this book could have one third of the pages.

If someone want this book, I give mine for free.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a good read on different profit models in business and told in fictional manner. The fun part is that you learn along with the protagonist. Reminiscent of The Richest Man in Babylon in that way.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Очень интересная книга для всех кто собирается заниматься бизнесом (не важно каким). В книге описаны модели прибыльности (model of profitability). Описано более 20 моделей.
Очень разные и разнообразные из различных индустрий и времен.
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Semi-interesting catalog of 23 profit models. But I always find the "instructive conversation" style in books really contrived and painful. Pair with "Staying Power", by Michael Cusumano for another interesting perspective.
Kevin Li
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
business models are an art
Александър Катев
За писател не става този човек... А и бизнес уменията му не звучат да са на мн високо ниво.
Mark Fallon
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it
An fable with and explanation of 23 models for generating profit.
Jinan Kim
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Lots of people in a work place already know that how to make profits. But they don't know how to explain OR just don't want to. Make profit is not a magic. and also it's hard to feed them The Art.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Helpful in understanding different business models. Poorly connects the ideas and don't love the attempt at story line.
Jarkko Laine
Jan 05, 2011 is currently reading it
Currently listening to while exercising.
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Should be required reading in a business school. It was such a good book, that needs to be read over a long period of time.
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Adrian J. Slywotzky (born in 1951) is a consultant and author of several books on economic theory and management. Slywotzky graduated from Harvard College and holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has worked as a consultant since 1979 and is currently a partner at Oliver Wyman.
Slywotzky wrote several books on profitability and growth, namely the bestselling
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