Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs

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9780062373953: Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs

The authors of the bestselling Competing on Internet Time (a Business Week top 10 book) analyze the strategies, principles, and skills of three of the most successful and influential figures in business—Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs—offering lessons for all managers and entrepreneurs on leadership, strategy and execution.

In less than a decade, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Andy Grove founded three companies that would define the world of technology and transform our lives. At their peaks, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel were collectively worth some $1.5 trillion. Strategy Rules examines these three individuals collectively for the first time—their successes and failures, commonalities and differences—revealing the business strategies and practices they pioneered while building their firms.

David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano have studied these three leaders and their companies for more than thirty years, while teaching business strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship at Harvard and MIT. In this enlightening guide, they show how Gates, Grove, and Jobs approached strategy and execution in remarkably similar ways—yet markedly differently from their erstwhile competitors—keeping their focus on five strategic rules.

Strategy Rules brings together the best practices in strategic management and high-tech entrepreneurship from three path-breaking entrepreneurs who emerged as CEOs of huge global companies. Their approaches to formulating strategy and building organizations offer unique insights for start-up executives as well as the heads of modern multinationals.

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From the Back Cover:

Between 1968 and 1976, Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs launched three companies that would define the world of high technology, create more than a trillion dollars in value, and transform our lives. How did they realize these incredible achievements? Strategy Rules examines these three individuals collectively for the first time—their successes and failures, comonalities and differences—revealing the business strategies and practices they pioneered while building their firms.

Eminent business professors David Yoffie and Michael Cusumano have studied these three leaders and their companies for nearly thirty years, while teaching business strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. In this enlightening guide, they show how Gates, Grove, and Jobs became masters of strategy. As CEOs, each approached strategy and execution in remarkably similar ways—yet markedly differently from their erstwhile competitors—keeping their focus on five rules:

  • Look Forward, Reason Back: They determined where they want their companies to be in the future and could "reason back" to identify the moves that would take them there.
  • Make Big Bets, Without Betting the Company: All three men made enormous strategic bets but rarely took gambles that put the financial viability of their companies at undue risk.
  • Build Platforms and Ecosystems: Technology leaders have to create industry platforms that enable other firms to create complementary products and services that make the platforms increasingly valuable.
  • Exploit Leverage and Power: Gates, Grove, and Jobs often turned opponents’ strengths into weaknesses and used enormous resources (once they had them) to dominate competitors.
  • Shape the Company around Your Personal Anchor: From Gates’ understanding of software to Grove’s devotion to process discipline and Jobs’ obsession with design, all three built their companies around their personal strengths while compensating for their weaknesses.

Strategy Rules brings together the best practices in strategic management and high-tech entrepreneurship, providing unique insights for start-up executives as well as the heads of modern multinationals.

About the Author:

Professors David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano are the authors of the bestselling Competing on Internet Time.

Yoffie is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School and is the longest-serving member of the Intel board of directors. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of nine books and has written extensively for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review.

Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in the MIT School of Engineering. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of eleven books, including the classic bestseller Microsoft Secrets and Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World.



Professors David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano are the authors of the bestselling Competing on Internet Time.

Yoffie is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School and is the longest-serving member of the Intel board of directors. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of nine books and has written extensively for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review.

Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in the MIT School of Engineering. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of eleven books, including the classic bestseller Microsoft Secrets and Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World.

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