Found 3 comments on HN
mindcrime · 2014-06-24 · Original thread
Wow, lots of good recommendations in this thread already... I skimmed them, but apologies in advance for any dupes:

I'd suggest some general "business strategy" works that will help you understand the context of how/why the very highest level business decisions are made, as well as some works that deal with tying together strategy and tactical execution (which includes technical initiatives).

1. Understanding Michael Porter - John Magretta.

Porter's framework is VERY influential in the business world, and having at least a passing familiarity with his work is important at the higher levels. Going straight to the primary sources (Porter's books) can be a bit daunting as they are big, dry, and academic and not exactly what you'd call "page turners". This book is a fairly solid overview of the key elements of Porter's approach, and a good read before diving into the meat of Porter's works.

2. Competitive Strategy - Michael Porter.

3. Competitive Advantage - Michael Porter.

4. On Competition - Michael Porter.

5. Good Strategy, Bad Strategy - Richard Rumelt.

6. Blue Ocean Strategy - W. Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne. This book has its critics, but I think it's a worthwhile read. Some people argue against the whole idea of a "blu e ocean" market, but even if the authors aren't 100% right about everything, I think the lines of thinking this book fosters are valuable in a general sense.

7. The Discipline of Market Leaders. I think very highly of this book and the author's approach to strategy. It's not radically different from the Porterian approach in some ways, but I'd say it's narrower in focus and simpler. The big takeway is the idea (which should be obvious, but often isn't) that "you can't be everything to everyone". The authors push a model of choosing a market discipline to appeal to a certain type of customer, and making that discipline the core of your business.

8. The Machine That Changed The World. Have you ever wondered what this "lean" stuff is all about? Or why Toyota is so revered by business leaders? Here's a good place to find the answer to those questions.

9. Working Knowledge- Davenport and Prusak. Perhaps the seminal book on Knowledge Management, or at least one of them. If you want to understand the importance of knowledge in an organization, this is a very valuable read.

10. Outside Innovation - Patricia Seybold.

11. The Future of Competition.

12. The Balanced Scorecard.

13. Strategy Maps.

14. The Strategy Focused Organization.

15. If Only We Knew What We Know. Another seminal title in the Knowledge Management world.

16. Common Knowledge - Nancy Dixon. Another seminal title in the Knowledge Management world.

17. Winning The Knowledge Transfer Race.

chegra · 2010-10-04 · Original thread
This is a paraphrase of some of the things Michael Porter said in his book,Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance - : There is not much gain in having a first mover advantage by itself. But, if the first mover locks up key resources for success then that gives a sustainable advantage. This can be done by fast followers also. The competitive advantage strategy should be to capture resources so that competitors can't access them. For instance, he mentioned Walmart strategy of buying key locations before their competitors figure out that these location were necessary for success.

Other means of locking in resources may include contracts with suppliers and with authorities or patents. The main theme is to block competitors from resources they need for success.

brent · 2008-04-09 · Original thread

Should I send a copy of this to 37 signals? I thought this was business 101. If you don't have a sustainable competitive advantage you will undoubtedly suffer. 37 signals doesn't have said advantage.

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