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The Art of Profitability

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  736 ratings  ·  65 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. ...more
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
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
It is about different profitability models - 23 of them. This book is written in the form of the novel through asking question by mentor and answering them by mentee. It is short read but it took me a while to chew the concepts of profit making through lot of discussions. Normaly I like to read business books as novels but in this instance it was dificult.

So this is my assessment of the book The Art of Profitabilityr by Adrian Slywotzky according to my 8 criteria:
1. Related to practice - 3 star
Ibrahim Niftiyev
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book more interesting and scientific compared to other business-related books that dominate the book markets nowadays. It is full of terminology and interesting laws. Everything is related to the concept of profit. If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, you might find this book very instructive. Moreover, you can collect your own data and try to fit it into the concepts that the author talks about. Definitely worth reading.
Maciek Wilczyński
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Storytelling concept in business books is not something I'm hyped about - it looks more like content filler to something you can present on slides (actually, this is where I've met Slywotzky's concepts for the 1st time).
Some of the 23 models were repetitive and provided limited value as they had some minor differences between each other.
What I really liked, was the "literature list" and case studies of Ovitz (need to read more about the guy), Walton, P&G or Barbie.
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. ...more
Scott Wozniak
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Solid fable on the ways that companies make profit--what they do better/differently than their competitors. A mentor teaches 23 different systems for making profit, from old school models like economies of scale (the bigger you are the cheaper it is to make your product) to the support system (win the market with a low cost, basic good and then own the only game for selling the high margin peripherals to that main item).

It's a short book, and well written (just enough story to keep it interesti
Rao Kasibhotla
Mar 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the essence of the book. As a product manager, I always look for different perspectives on understanding product lifecycle. This one surely rates as a must because of its view on product purely from profitability POV.

I am not sure about this whole fable style. I thought it was silly and took too much space away from real subject. It has things like "his mind tightened".

Lastly, the book nearly needs an update. In the age of "lean startup" and internet, a book talking about "VCRs and F
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
A quick-read. I'm no businessman, but i am a man that has just recently started a business. This book was a short intro into the business thinking and i think it does just that. The writer has included many interesting references, so as a starter is not a bad book.
That said, i didn't do any of the assignments, i read it in a day -although the writer insisted on week-long intervals between sessions- i didn't think about the issues it raised much, and i don't know much about business.
All-in-all, i
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.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business-finance
Though I can agree that the profit models outlined in this book were definitely useful and triggered curiosity to continue learning about them elsewhere, I did not enjoy the format of this book for a few reasons. A lot of storytelling between fictitious mentor and mentee, often going into detail about their feelings, their tones, and other things I didn't find useful in learning about profit models. There was also a lot of nuance in the final explanation of each profit model towards the end of e ...more
Kevin Eikenberry
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Most business novels or business fables help someone work on an interpersonal or leadership skill, and the best books in this genre do this very well. This book, while clearly in this genre, has a different goal – to help a business owner or leader think about how they make a profit, and how they could make a greater one by changing their model or approach to business.

The book is a story, and you do get to know the two characters throughout, but the book doesn’t rely as heavily on the characters
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This has to be re-read over and over to learn from it every single time.

Slywotzky highlights the the most-known models of profit that, as he claims, no successful business got out of it. Those are 23 profit models each in a chapter.

The book is more as financial classes disguised as novel. The story keeps you can't get your eyes out of the screen (it's not easy to find the paperback).

The books is less than 200 pages as I assumed I would finish it on my weekend but took a whole month to write n
Lisa Van Gemert
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business-books
I own my own business, and I've been spinning in a million directions with tons of ideas of things I *could* do. I've been called an idea factory, but it's not really a compliment because ideas are easy - execution is hard.

This book was recommended by a friend and it helped me focus on choosing a model that would work for me. It's possible to blend them, but in my case, one was the right fit.

The book has kind of a silly story that's not that engaging - it's clearly just a framework for the infor
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.
Joe Conley
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting review of different profit models. The narrative is light enough not to really get in the way. Was kind of hoping for a bigger payoff or grand conclusion at the end, but otherwise pretty quick and interesting read. If you're just looking for general business ideas you can probably quickly skim, however if you have specific challenges or questions probably best to "play along" with the protagonist and go through all of the exercises and homework he does.

Great list of book references t
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.
Omar Alshaker
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s not a generalist book by any means. It’s for those who are running a business and facing profitability challenges. If you’re just curious this book isn’t for you. And the back and forth conversational style didn’t go well with me, too much wasted time in making it interesting, if I didn’t find it such, I wouldn’t have bought it.
Jorge Fonseca
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not your typical business book, it's written as a tale, a story, very easy read.

The concepts thought in the book are interesting but I feel that some of the business models could be the same.

Non the less, it's a good book.
Adam Ashton
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Some interesting ideas in here and some new things I hadn’t really read before, but the format didn’t allow for any depth or thorough explanations. Some nice high-level ideas but perhaps lacking real-world-applicable substance
Akshay Iyer
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
Such an incredible book. As if i was in person taking lessons from david Zhao.

Beautiful book, 100% wisdom and a great narration. Would read more books by adrian soon.

Was totally addicted and hooked on this one. Deserves a full 5 star. In 160 pages, the author has done an INCREDIBLE job.
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.
Gabriel Adamante
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Genius. Genius. Genius.
I look this book.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simple yet elegant book.

Whatever you pay for it, this excellent guideline will surely create the value you spent on the book.

Awesome and simple read.
Abhishek Kumar
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: must-read, economy
It's an underrated book on business models with a memorable writing style. ...more
Nikolay Theosom
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
always wanted one of those. it is probably shallow for a professional, but it's a neat catalogue. also, generated a pretty generous reading list ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for all entrepreneurs. Once you read it, you will know way

I like it, and I recommend it to all people trying to increase profits or expand a business
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I'd have done with a simple handbook with all the profit models explained there with examples.
But yes a good book
Josh Dunlop
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Strong book, loved the part about pyramids and profit multipliers.
Jeremy Hung
"More than models and equations, profitability is a way of thinking." ...more
All you need to know about the different revenue models and how to profit off of them
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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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