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Tien Tzuo is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Zuora, which has raised $250 million in funding - so clearly it's worth listening to anyone with that on their CV... however while I found his book interesting and thought provoking, I'm not convinced by all his explanations.
For example on page 17 he says "People increasingly view the prospect of buying something as unnecessary baggage. That's why most of the big box retailers I grew up with are gone now: Circuit City, Tower Records, Blockbuster, Borders, Virgin Megastore." The stores may have gone but many people still want *things* - for example, many people are buying their music on vinyl, and lots of people still buy books - it's just that they're cheaper at Amazon than they were at Borders.
On page 20 he says, whey talking about the 'old' (non-subscription) model: "Of course there must be a customer on the other end buying all this stuff, but often you didn't really care who they were, as long as more units flew off the shelves." Really? I have no doubt many product managers, marketeers and focus groups (whose work he has just dismissed at a stroke) totally cared about who the customers were, as this was the only way that they could indeed 'make the units fly off the shelves'.
On pages 51-53 he writes about how to operate a subscription service for cars. I really can't see that the approach that he describes would be so simple in practice - what about damage to vehicles, different drivers having different accident histories and therefore different risk levels, etc.
His general tone throughout the book is totally dismissive of non-subscription organisations: I really do think that there's a bit more to a lot of those organisations than he realises.
So while I definitely found the book thought provoking I thought a lot of it was far too glib and simplistic.
An introduction book to the new digital and direct to consumer businesses. A lot of introduction examples of best in class DTC, but also experiential brands etc. For me doesn't go indepth enought on the different subscription models, pricing, strategy etc. Tendancy also to put all digital DTC startups in the 'good' category vs other models, which I found a bit simplistic and not looking at certain datas (a lot of subscription models selling products are not profitable if I'm not mistaken...).
I’m fascinated by subscription models (we use one at RBC) and Tien has built a successful business to business model. Interesting to see how many big companies like Adobe are switching to recurring revenue to save themselves and grow again. 7/10
Whether or not you work in the subscriptions business, this is an important guide to how this new business model is changing the way we should think about our customers. However the author is a bit too gungho for my liking and the book cites too many cheerleaders.