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Doug

Entrepreneur, marketer, Zen Buddhist.

Member Since 2010

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  • 1 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 510 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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  • Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Joan Magretta
    • Narrated By Erik Synnestvedt
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (127)

    Michael Porter’s groundbreaking ideas on competition and strategy have unfolded over three decades and are spread across a dauntingly long list of publications. Every manager can name individual pieces of his work - competitive advantage, the value chain, five forces - but no one, not even Porter himself, has put the entire puzzle together to reveal it as an integrated whole. This lucid, concise audiobook does just that. This book provides an engaging summary of Porter’s ideas and an invaluable synthesis of this important body of work....

    Brad says: "Excellent book... but the narrator kills it"
    "Clearer Than The Original"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The writing of many great thinkers can be difficult to follow. Their great points are often much clearer in the hands of other writers. Author Joan Magretta demonstrates this with the works of Michael Porter. It seems that most executives are aware of Porter, but few bother to read Porter because it's difficult reading. Magretta's work takes that barrier away.

    Everyone directly involved in business strategy needs to know Porter's thinking. "Understanding Michael Porter" is an excellent way to do it.

    One of the biggest and most common flaws Porter finds with typical business strategies is that they fall into the trap of thinking that if the company is the best at something, that will make the company successful, and further that there's something unique that the company can do to be the best. In reality, all the competitors are working hard to execute well. Striving to be the best is a zero-sum game that has everyone copying everyone else and that does not lead to profitability. Rule #1 is not to make this mistake.

    From there, Porter gets more complicated, describing the various types of strategies that can lead to superior profitability. The key thing is differentiation. Managers must make emotionally difficult decisions to ignore some opportunities so that they can focus on others.

    In my consulting work, I apply a simple test to determine whether the strategy avoids the error of aiming just to be the best and embraces differentiation. Write out the strategy in one or a few sentences. Reverse the meaning of the strategy statement. If the result sounds somewhat plausible as a strategy, then you have a real strategy. If the result sounds ridiculous, then you have a ridiculous strategy.

    Several reviewers have commented negatively on the performance given here by Erik Synnestvedt. I concur. The reader has an odd and annoying sing-songy drawing out of the end of most sentences, depending on the vowel sounds involved. You can hear it in the sample. At first it doesn't seem so bad, but after a couple of hours of it, it gets increasingly annoying and distracting.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • It's Not Just Who You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tommy Spaulding, Ken Blanchard (foreword)
    • Narrated By Dustin Rubin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In It’s Not Just Who You Know, Tommy Spaulding—the former CEO of Up With People—has written the new How to Win Friends and Influence People for the 21st century. Success—in business and in life—is all about relationships. In this powerful guide to reaching out to others, Spaulding takes Dale Carnegie’s classic philosophy to the next level—how to create lasting relationships that go well beyond mere superficial contacts and “second floor” relationships.

    Glenn says: "Another networking book"
    "Tommy Spaulding Talking about Tommy Spaulding"
    Overall

    This book desperately needs editing down. Far too many words for too little content.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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