Written in teacher – disciple style, the book is a series of meetings between Steve Gardner, in his first job in the strategic planning function at a company that’s going downhill, and a veteran of the business world, David Zhao, consultant to the top-brass of several companies. The oriental last name of the teacher is a none-too-subtle parallel to Sun Tzu’s ‘The art of war’, which is a quoted a few times in the book. Over the course of 23 meetings (all held on Saturday mornings in Zhao’s office), they discuss different profit models successfully employed by companies.
There are 23 profit models discussed in the book. While that seems overwhelming, the book does not delve into the intricacies. I found some of the models; like Customer Solution Profit, to be simplistic. However, a few of the models are handy to have an idea about and while the examples help drive home the point, a few more would have helped. The models are also not mutually exclusive and I found it hard to distinguish between a few of them.
All said, the book is a light read and fitting for when one’s waiting for the boarding announcement.