Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 3 September 2014
Although the case stories were often quite old this was a very throroughly grounded book and made some real contributions to strategy theory by integrating strategic analysis, economic value and game theory in a deeper way than in my own PHD on linking the two which two decades ago made real progress on this richly complex area.It did a very deep critique of more naiive valuations of businesses and strategies using EVA although I would differ a bit in their possibly over prudent suggestions on how to frame the assumptions.I will be using this debate on my next course! They were spot on in highlighting how often growth destroys shareholder vaue- Dr Tony Grundy
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 June 2014
It's a great all-rounder book and teaches in very simple terms and vivid examples about competitive advantages and strategy. It's an easy read of essential concepts that I think everyone should have a good understanding of - I can't think of any position in a firm that this book wouldn't benefit.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 October 2007
There are so many excellent books already in print that focus on the formulation, implementation, and refinement of business strategy. (Several are identified within this book's Notes section.) That said, I remain convinced that senior-level executives should complete some due diligence on several volumes available by reading the comments on those which are rated highest in the Customer Reviews provided by Amazon. I also think it desirable to consult more than one source (preferably several) which seem most relevant to the specific circumstances within the given organization.

In this volume, Greenwald and Kahn succeed remarkably well with clarifying their readers' "understanding of strategy and to reframe their approach to it. We want executives to know how their markets work, where there competitive opportunities lie, and how to develop and protect them. To this end, we include both broad discussions of general principles and detailed case studies of actual competitive interactions. Taken together, we think they present a useful guide for people who make strategic decisions."

In large organizations, there are entire departments responsible for strategic planning. (Obviously, their efforts are supervised by senior-level executives and usually a board member or two.) In much smaller organizations, strategic planning may be conducted by the owner/CEO alone or by one or two executives. Whatever the situation, strategies are still "hammers" which drive "nails" (i.e. tactics) and invariably require both long-term commitments and substantial allocation of resources. Strategies are the cornerstones of plans for achieving and then sustaining success, plans which specifically focus on the actions and responses of competitors. Therefore, in essence, as Greenwald and Kahn correctly observe, "strategic thinking is about creating, protecting, and exploiting competitive advantages." That is as true of the family-owned neighborhood store as it is of a Fortune 500 company. The only major differences involve those of scale (e.g. operations and resources). However, I doubt that many owners of neighborhood stores will read this book.

I was especially interested in what Greenwald and Kahn have to say about business strategy at work within companies such as Wal-Mart, Coors, the Fox Network, and Kiwi Airlines as well as within others in direct competition: Compaq vs. Apple, Coke vs. Pepsi, and Kodak vs. Polaroid. I was also interested in what they have to say about mergers and acquisitions, venture investing, and brand extensions. In all organizations (regardless of size or nature), it remains imperative for their decision-makers to decide who their organization is...and who it isn't...before launching business development initiatives to become more successful, whatever the given competitive marketplace(s) may be. Greenwald and Kahn's final observation provides an appropriate conclusion to this commentary. In the absence of competitive advantages and barriers to entry, those initiatives have only one strategic imperative: "The efficient use of all the resources they require."
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 November 2009
This is a fabulous book on learning about a company's moat. Warren Buffett coined this term, which simply means a competitive advantage. A moat protects the company's revenues from competitors just like a moat protected a castle from invaders. I found this book extremely helpful because it helped me with competition and market analysis. I also read Michael Porter's books and I enjoyed them very much, but this book was simpler to understand.

In this book, readers learn how to evaluate if the company has any benefits from barriers to entry and whether the moats come from a proprietary technical advantage, customer captivity or economies of scale.

For readers looking for more books on this subject, I also recommend The Little Book That Builds Wealth by Pat Dorsey of Morningstar. In his book, he describes that moats can come from intangible assets, switching costs, network effect, and cost advantages.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Need customer service? Click here