Chapter 8. What about the Competitors?

Modern management thought presents two opposite views on how important it is to analyse competitors. One view is that understanding competitors and how to beat them is at the heart of competitive advantage and strategy. The other is that the important thing is to get on with your own life, learn how to serve customers best and reduce costs, and not worry too much about what anyone else is doing.

Our view is poised nicely between the two extremes. We would never start doing business unit strategy by looking at the competitors, except to help define the segments. The key things to understand from the outset are what your own firm is good at, where it makes the most money, and what your customers think of you. ...

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