Business Patterns FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there more patterns? Will you be writing new ones?
A: There are a few patterns that went to conference review didn't make it into the book. I can't remember the logic of not including each one but generally I felt that the pattern either needed a lot of rework or the material was covered by other patterns.

The Porter Patterns are not in the book because a) they don't relate to software specifically, b) they were an experiment and c) I came to the conclusion that Michael Porter's models were interesting but did not address specific problems, i.e. they are a solution without a problem.

You are free to read
the Porter Patterns and the few patterns not in the book, they are available at

As to new patterns… a lot of ideas for patterns still exist on my hard disc, some of these are partially written and I have had plenty more ideas since. If I had completed every pattern the book would have taken several more years! I am sure I will write more business patterns in time but right now I am not working on any.

There are a few other business patterns available. Some from Linda Rising (who wrote the forward to the book,
Customer Interaction Patterns) and some from others. I will try and add links to these in time.

Right now I'm very excited by the work
Michael Weiss and Claudius Link are doing on Open Source. Many of the patterns they are creating cover business aspects, specifically, how to run an Open Source as business.

Q: What is the picture on the front cover?
A: The cover picture the Liverpool waterfront, specifically, the landing stage, Royal Liver, Cunard and Mersey docks building, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This picture was chosen for three reasons. First, by tradition pattern books have pictures of constructions on the cover - see the Frank Buschmann’s Pattern Oriented Software Architecture for example,
volume 1, volume 2, and all the way up to volume 5.)

Second these building represent the coming together of earlier technology and commerce - the technology that made Cunard liners possible, and made Liverpool the second city of The Empire.

Third, the author grew up on the opposite side of the river Mersey so regularly saw this skyline.

Q: How long did it take to write?
End to end, a little short of nine years.

The patterns which began this series, the Porter Patterns, were written in late 2003 and reviewed in workshop at EuroPLoP 2004. However these patterns didn’t make it into the final book. You can
download the Porter Patterns for free from Allan’s website. These patterns are: Cost Leadership, Differentiated Product, Market Focus, Sweet Spot and One True Strategy.

Some patterns written slightly later and reviewed at VikingPLoP 2004 did make it into the book. And a few patterns which were reviewed over the next few years didn’t make it into the book.

The final patterns in the book were reviewed at EuroPLoP 2011. And one or two patterns in the book never received a conference review.

Once the patterns were done the non-patterns chapters still needed writing and all the patterns were extensively edited.

Q: If all the patterns can be downloaded for free why buy the book?
Because the book brings all the patterns together and adds more material. About twice as much in fact.
Second because the patterns were extensively edited and updated between writing and publication.