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Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
There's one exception to my education at HBS - the part I don't think was a waste. It was the Consumer Marketing class I took with Youngme in my second year.
I am not a marketing person. I have tended to work for technology/internet companies and have a technical/math background. First year Marketing at HBS opened my eyes to the fact that marketing was more than just advertising fluff, but it was Youngme (second year) who really taught me things that I regularly use today to both see the world and shape the products I manage.
I remember when she was able to tell us - *4 YEARS BEFORE THE IPHONE CAME OUT* that the ipod was obviously a stealth way for Apple to get back into the smartphone business after their brand disaster with the Newton. That if they came out with anything that seemed like they were entering the smartphone business, there would be too much baggage. I went back and told my friends (outside of school) "The ipod is Apple's entry into the phone business!!!" and they all thought I was nuts. Apple was too pure for that. Well of course, she was right and in hindsight it seems obvious (but go back and ask people in 2003/2004 what they thought and it wasn't so obvious then ...).Read more ›
Differentmay well break into the business vernacular as powerfully as Jim Collins' Good to Great and Built to Last and Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and Outliers. Her insights are just as powerful and counter-intuitive and her storytelling and language are breathtaking. What I love about Different is that it's like two books interwoven into one coherent narrative. One is a brisk marketing strategy volume that any CEO and marketing officer should read if they want to understand, perhaps for the first time, why despite their best efforts and 24x7 pace they often feel that are running so hard just to stay in place. The second book, though, is interlaced throughout, and is for me personally, even more impactful. Youngme offers the clearest explanation I've seen of the world we live in and why we often feel numb by all the dazzling technology, abundance, and utter convenience with which we find ourselves. Or why, as parents it's hard to understand how it is that our kids don't appreciate "how lucky they are." Youngme says aptly that Different is "a book for people who don't read business books."
Here are just a few of the gems offered up in Different:
* There will always be a place for brands, or people, or things that are hard to come by. "Restraint," she writes, "can be the new desire." Value is created by being mindful of what we have in abundance and then offering something that is scarce.Read more ›
From the beginning, the author says that Different is the start of a conversation and not a how-to. It is successful from that perspective, but at the same time, since it never really gets in-depth, I found myself unsatisfied and wanting more. Each of the discussed brands justifies its own in-depth analysis, and Different only really scratches the surface. While the Harvard Business School case study numbers are provided for further reading and these reports do go in depth, they are not free.
I decided to buy this book after reading about it and watching the animated trailer. I honestly learned a lot and thought the fresh take on brands I was already familiar with was intriguing. I also appreciated the advice about how to nurture the creative process.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome book on improving our design thinking to escape from the competitive herdPublished 15 days ago by Vishal Jain
This book will make you think. Do you want to revert to average or create a strong distinction on a few attributes? Highly recommended.Published 2 months ago by Glitch
This is the classic over-stretching of a HBR article to sell books. The book can be summarized in "there are three categories of approached to develops brands that are different... Read morePublished 5 months ago by user666
A must read for anyone that works in marketing. Unless you want your marketing efforts to be just like your competitors and in that case don't read it, you're doing just fine.Published 5 months ago by BroLip
"A poetic beacon". NYTimes got it right. This book is mesmerizing, and profound.Published 5 months ago by Yuhang Zhao
original thinker-great bookPublished 6 months ago by Susie Greenwood, former President International Women's Forum
As I am starting a small company in a saturated sector but in a less saturated sub segment I find the book extremely helpful. Read morePublished 6 months ago by martk
Quality writing and easy to read. Not a bore but makes a point. The things we all know but dont say are acknowledged here in simple language.Published 7 months ago by Molly Plank