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Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will [Hardcover]

G. Richard Shell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 2004
THERE IS A NEW TRUTH ABOUT BUSINESS STRATEGY: HE WHO MAKES THE RULES MAKES THE MONEY

A few savvy executives understand a vital but hidden truth about business in fiercely competitive markets: Making the rules of the game means the difference between winning and losing.

• Bill Gates has known this since he was nineteen, when he personally drafted his first licensing contract for a start-up company called Microsoft.
• Henry Ford learned it the hard way in the early days of the automobile industry when a powerful industry cartel tried to drive him out of business with a bogus patent.
• Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch are both masters of this truth--and have led Viacom and News Corporation to sustained competitive success as a result. They are as comfortable in a courtroom as they are in a boardroom.
• Napster founder Shawn Fanning learned the lesson too late, only after incumbent recording companies in the music business had driven him from the market.

G. Richard Shell, an award-winning professor at one of the world’s leading business schools, brings the strategic insights of leaders like Gates, Ford, Redstone, and Murdoch into bold relief. Using stories drawn from both today's headlines and business history’s rich treasure trove, he shows exactly how to make the rules in your market and how to defend your interests when rivals beat you to it. What kind of rules? The rules that executives negotiate into contracts, lobby into new laws, litigate into court decisions, and persuade bureaucrats to write into regulatory standards.

Many managers run away from the rules, terrified of lawyers and afraid of political entanglements. The smartest executives know that the law is far too important to leave to the lawyers. They follow the example set by legally savvy corporate leaders: Learn the 10 percent of legal strategy that makes 90 percent of the difference in winning competitive battles.

Shell’s book will completely change the way you think about:

• Branding. What if your competitor tries to deny you the right to use your product name, as Coke did when it launched a worldwide campaign to stop Pepsi from using the word “cola”?
• Pricing Strategy. Wal-Mart is crushing you by discounting. How about writing rules to protect your profits? Gas retailers did this to stop Wal-Mart from selling discount gas in the United States.
• Crown Jewel Products. A giant competitor copies your hit products, markets them as its own, and laughs at your threatened lawsuit. What is your next step? Nintendo’s leaders faced a situation much like this when it battled Universal Studios over Nintendo’s first megahit game--Donkey Kong.

Rules that shape the way markets work are like the invisible electric fences that keep pets inside a yard. The businesses that write the rules can offer their products and services with relative freedom--while their rivals must stay inside the fence. Make the Rules or Your Rivals Will provides the ?rst comprehensive guide to this crucial, largely hidden aspect of corporate strategy.

Someone is going to write the rules in your market. Will it be you or your competitors?

Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140005009X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400050093
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,882,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable & informative 13 July 2004
By Keith Appleyard VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Confession - I do the occasional work as an IT Advisor for a Global Lobbying group, and I wish I'd read this book a few years ago, I could have been doing my job better.
This is not an apologia for Lobbyists, it represents both sides of the fence. Some excellent case histories, such as when FDR re-scheduled Thanksgiving, and when Margarine had to be coloured pink.
It is not US-centric, it does contrast & compare many US & International customs, practices & procedures, and is comprehensive, covering many different Industries.
I liked the story in the Chapter on Litigation, how the Ancient Greeks discouraged Appeals : if you lost your appeal, you could be sold as a slave - nice idea we could do with today, to stop time-wasting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough World, Good Book 16 Sep 2004
By Trevor Cross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
There are many wise lessons in this book. In some ways, it has a zen or eastern quality in that it doesn't shy away from the hard reality of business. Instead of moralizing (so common today in the wake of the Enron, Worldcom messes) it says, this is the way it is, and this is how you can prosper in this type of an environment. It is like a survival book for a jungle fighter in the middle of a guerrilla war. Very useful and practical.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Include Legal Stratagies in Your Business Planning! 20 July 2004
By Andrew C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Shell has written an excellent book that opened my eyes regarding the central role legal strategies have played - and will continue to play - in American business. Indeed, the reality is that business is conducted in an environment with many constraints that need to be considered. Those business leaders treating legal questions in an ad hoc fashion or tactically may find that they have been out maneuvered by a competitor and left with few, or at least painfully expensive, options.

I especially appreciated Dr. Shell's writing style that illustrated the heart of the principles of law involved without bogging down in difficult legal language.

I believe this book should be required reading for emerging MBA students and new managers alike.

If you're not using your legal team as an active advisor to your business management group, you may revise that after reading this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable & informative 13 July 2004
By Keith Appleyard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Confession - I do the occasional work as an IT Advisor for a Global Lobbying group, and I wish I'd read this book a few years ago, I could have been doing my job better.
This is not an apologia for Lobbyists, it represents both sides of the fence. Some excellent case histories, such as when FDR re-scheduled Thanksgiving, and when Margarine had to be coloured pink.
It is not US-centric, it does contrast & compare many US & International customs, practices & procedures, and is comprehensive, covering many different Industries.
I liked the story in the Chapter on Litigation, how the Ancient Greeks discouraged Appeals : if you lost your appeal, you could be sold as a slave - nice idea we could do with today, to stop time-wasting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A framework to understand how law can help or hurt businesses 8 Aug 2005
By Ludovic Meilhac - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Richard Shell describes in a very organized and systematic way how legal moves can impact the firm's profitability for the short and long term. Legal is viewed as a key component of a strategy. Numerous relevant examples are provided by the author to demonstrate "law making in action". The perfect balance between theory and concrete examples contributes greatly to the clarity of the book.

Excellent book, so good that I had to read it twice.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Include Legal Strategies in Your Business Planning! 19 July 2004
By Andrew C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Shell has written an excellent book that opened my eyes regarding the central role legal strategies have played - and will continue to play - in American business. Indeed, the reality is that business is conducted in an environment with many constraints that need to be considered. Those business leaders treating legal questions in an ad hoc fashion or tactically may find that they have been out maneuvered by a competitor and left with few, or at least painfully expensive, options.
I especially appreciated Dr. Shell's writing style that illustrated the principles of law involved without bogging down in difficult legal language. His explanation of the difficulties of tort reform was the clearest I have ever come across.
I believe this book should be required reading for emerging MBA students and new managers alike.
If you're not using your legal team as an active advisor to your business management group, you may revise that after reading this book.
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