Author: John Warrillow
John Warrilow starts the book with an interesting, common-sense, yet often ignored premise: subscribers are better than customers. Well, though subscribers are also customers, they are a sort of 'automatic' customer. Does a business need subscribers? Does it make the business better? Does it actually help in growing the business? He answers all of them, one my one, with a treasure trove of examples in The Automatic Customer.
"The biggest factor in driving up your Sellability Score is the degree to which your company can run without you, the owner. That’s a head scratcher for a lot of owners who are the best salesperson in their business. The secret is to build recurring revenue that brings in sales without having to resell the customer each month."
Automatic customers or subscribers, Warrillow notes, make the company not just valuable, but also makes it more enjoyable for the owners to run their Company. From WhatsApp to Amazon to Apple, most of these businesses succeeded thanks to their strong 'subscription-based' models.
The book is broken into three segments. In the first one, Warrillow takes his sweet time to discuss the numerous case studies as to the successful companies we know whose success is majorly due to their smart subscription models of business. We also get an insight into how exactly a subscription model works in a business, and how it drastically increases the value of the company- getting into mild details about recurring revenue models. In the second part, Warrillow discusses in detail on the nine subscription business models, devoting a chapter for each of them. These models open up a lot of new ideas for any industry of any size to adopt something that would fit them best by even doing a hybrid of those models! And, the final segment of the book gives a blueprint for building subscription for our business. This has some really good discussion on how to select the factors that will define subscription for your specific businesses, and also on the statistical aspects of it.
The best part of the book is how extensively it discusses the companies we know! When examples of Amazon or Netflix is given, the concept he tries to explain becomes so very clear because we are the "automatic customers" of these businesses! Warrillow has also made this one more actionable than just preachy about creating subscriptions. It's short and sweet, yet it manages to fill your head with countless ideas.
"My hope in sharing these stories is that they will inspire you—no matter what industry you’re in—to develop your own subscription business. I believe it will make your business less stressful and a whole lot more valuable. If I have sparked an idea for how you might create some automatic customers in your company, then this book will have served its purpose."
I think this is a great book to get introduced to subscription models, their advantage, and their issues- and this definitely gives you a direction on how to start thinking if you want to build a subscription model for your business. You know it's a good book when it answers all the interrogatives- what, why, how, when, and whether at all!
I really enjoyed this one!