Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Blown to Bits: How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy Hardcover – October 1, 1999
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Evans and Wurster, both executives of the Boston Consulting Group, argue that the Internet demands new business strategies because it provides companies tremendous "reach" for customers without sacrificing "richness," or the quality of the information about products and services. The book shows how some businesses--Microsoft and Intuit in personal finance, Dell Computer in retailing, and the Automotive Network Exchange in manufacturing supply--are thriving amid a rapid expansion of connectivity and the widespread acceptance of new technical standards on the World Wide Web. Clearly written and tough-minded, Blown to Bits is required reading for business leaders, entrepreneurs, strategists, and others concerned about the new economics of the information age. --Dan Ring
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I think I understand more about business strategy than an average bear, but I also believe that a bunch of children are creating a new reality that is destroying those models, and I began reading some books--this was one of them--to help me try to understand what that will mean for business strategy. I found the book valuable. While I think some of the authors' opinions--consider the hypothesis at the top of page 107--beg to be tested empirically, the references are both current and relevant, the book is clear, and I found it thoughtfully done. You don't have to be an academic to read it. The authors don't use much jargon that they don't explain, and they go to some lengths to avoid using words like isoquant.
I'd contrast this book with the very popular "Killer App," which I found trivial. "Blown to Bits" is superior in its clarity and breadth, and in the quality and relevance of its cited source material. I mention the contrast only because you may tend to listen more carefully to people who know a lot about what they are talking about, and my impression is that Evans and Wurster do.
If you are reasonably well-trained or experienced in business strategy, but feel like you need to better integrate the transformation to an information-based economy into your models and your thinking, I recommend this book.
The material areas the authors revolve the economics of things v. economics of info (when the former is sold it's gone; when the latter is sold, it can be sold again and again at a negligible cost); (2) the idea of reach v. richness seems to be the linchpin of their profound tome and is perfused throughout the book. This of people that can share a piece of information is inversely related to the quality of that information. Witness a salesman's pitch v. a direct mail letter - the former has greater richness and adaptability, while the latter has greater reach but less richness.
The book ends with some advice for businesses. According to the authors, the new digital game involves the application of applied economics, refined segmentation, and the analysis of value chain information flows. The authors encourage businesses to be contrarian, pre-emptive, and experimental. I agree that the HBR article is more parsimonious and lucid. Nevertheless, this is a solid book in the genre, and the authors clearly know this developing area. A worthy read overall.
I'm of the opinion that while it isn't as revolutionary as some books that have received similar hype (Innovator's Dilemma, Competing for the Future), it is an excellent read. It has some strategic insights that are very useful for leaders and aspiring leaders in the developing economy. It helps motivate those in start-ups to aggressively pursue stodgy corporate America, while giving corporate America the kick in the pants it needs to shape up or lose out to these young guns.
Two knocks: it is difficult reading at times which while not neccesarily a bad thing (James Joyce isn't easy either) is a negative for time-constrained executives.
Secondly, some of the middle chapters were seriously deficient in value.
Suggestion: skip chapters 5-8 and the book becomes an enjoyable 130 page read.
Chapter 4: "Deconstruction" and Chapter 11: "Monday Morning" are both excellent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was one of the best books I've ever read about online business [when I first read it, more than a decade ago]. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mark J. Welch
In my opinion, this is a fundamental book that explains the digital economy and its implications. I know that it was written in 1999 (11 years ago) but it is still relevant today. Read morePublished on July 30, 2010 by Bernard K
"Blown to Bits" is a book about the "new economics of information technology" and its impact on businesses. Read morePublished on January 28, 2007 by V.H. Amavilah
Traditionally, companies have had to focus their information strategy on either richness or reach.
Richness is a measure of the quality of the information. Read more
Although tempered by the DotCom bust, information technology is still very real and continues to shake up industry after industry, and an untold number of companies are being... Read morePublished on April 6, 2005 by Michael Davis
This book is an important e-business classic. But despite the authors' clever recommendations, an epilogue is missing, as the Internet revolution they announced did not... Read morePublished on August 31, 2004 by Peter Leerskov
The authors must be embarrassed. But they are probably too busy on their next bogus book full of more mananagement consulting buzzspeak and claptrap. Read morePublished on December 9, 2003
BLOWN TO BITS
How the new Economics of Information transforms Strategy
Authored by Philip Evans & Thomas S. Read more