Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Art of Profitability” as Want to Read:
The Art of Profitability
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Art of Profitability

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  53 reviews
An extraordinarily new business slant on how companies can generate greater profits in 23 compact lessons with ongoing tutorials between two fictitious individuals.
In the past, companies taught their employees about quality. In today's unstable economy, employers must stress the importance of profitability. Now with scores of examples from the global marketplace, the
...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Business Plus (first published September 1st 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  53 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Art of Profitability
Youngju
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.

*highlights
- "switchboard profit model" reminds me of power of network effect in the business
...more
Jim
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Maciek Wilczyński
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.
Rao Kasibhotla
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
...more
Masoud
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gustaf
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.
Mustafa Shaqdih
Since i wanted to take the authors 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.
Ps:
...more
Carlos
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Its not a generalist book by any means. Its for those who are running a business and facing profitability challenges. If youre just curious this book isnt for you. And the back and forth conversational style didnt go well with me, too much wasted time in making it interesting, if I didnt find it such, I wouldnt have bought it. ...more
Jorge Fonseca
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Some interesting ideas in here and some new things I hadnt really read before, but the format didnt allow for any depth or thorough explanations. Some nice high-level ideas but perhaps lacking real-world-applicable substance ...more
Nick
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read, economy
It's an underrated book on business models with a memorable writing style.
Sebastian SALAMANCA
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
Gabriel Adamante
Genius. Genius. Genius.
I look this book.
Nikolay Theosom
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Maxim Nikonov
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Didnt 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. ...more
Alexaki
All you need to know about the different revenue models and how to profit off of them
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
...more
Alberto Lopez
Feb 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Robert
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
Waseem
Dec 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Stephen
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"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
...more
Abdullah Alzahim
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dorotea
There are some profitability/entrepreneurship/business/selfhelp books that are so bad I cant 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 porters cost/differentiation strategies, price discrimination in a mitigated way. These entrepreneurs are the same people who advocate that university wont give you a proper education. One economics class would have saved ...more
Ben Donahower
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success
  • How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
  • Ca$hvertising: How to Use More Than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make BIG MONEY Selling Anything to Anyone
  • A Technique for Producing Ideas
  • The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything
  • The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts
  • Einstein's Dreams
  • Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
  • Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Business Man
  • Enough.: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life
  • Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
  • Never Split the Difference
  • The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why Now Is the Time to #Join the Ride
  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques
  • Market Wizards
  • The Obstacle is the Way (Summary): Summary and Analysis of The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  • The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
  • The First-Time Manager
See similar books…
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
...more

News & Interviews

Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts thro...
44 likes · 11 comments
“The big-ticket hardware folks invest the capital, take all the risks—which are huge—suffer the losses and the write-downs, and then let somebody else capture the business that has predictability, lower price sensitivity, higher margins, recurring revenue, and the opportunity to create an ongoing customer relationship, because the frequency of purchase is ten times greater than the frequency of the initial transaction. “So” 0 likes
“So I don’t understand why the computer guys let others sell the follow-up memory, why the car guys let others sell the insurance and the extended warranty, and so on.” “I” 0 likes
More quotes…