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Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry Hardcover – March 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (March 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843832
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Killing Giants is an essential manual for any company with a habit of fighting above its weight class. If you want to take on the big boys and win, this is required reading."
-Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid and The Think Big Manifesto

"For Method, taking on Big Soap means moving fast, fighting dirty, and changing the game by flipping the giants' strengths against them. Now you have the playbook."
-Eric Ryan, cofounder of Method

"A mind-clearing book for startup entrepreneurs, cash-strapped strategists, and other Davids armed only with their wits."
-Marty Neumeier, author of Zag

"This book reconfirms, through insightful and diverse stories, what I've always believed: We are most creative under the greatest constraints."
-Karim Rashid, designer, author of KarimSpace and Design Your Self

"Size and scale are not the only formula for success. With examples from around the world, Denny outlines powerful strategies that you can use to overtake larger competitors in any business and marketplace."
-David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR and Real-Time Marketing & PR

"Chock-full of provocative marketing strategies, this book might just give you the stones to take out the Goliath in your industry."
-Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head and The Creative Whack Pack

"Learn why quick and dirty is better than shock and awe in this timely book."
-Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and cofounder of Alltop

"Killing Giants recounts the tales of successful entrepreneurs who started from scratch, became scrappy and innovative, and learned how to compete successfully in an arena of giants. The information here is practical, valuable, and actionable."
-Jim Koch, founder and brewer, The Boston Beer Company, maker of Samuel Adams

About the Author

STEPHEN DENNY is president of strategy, marketing, and branding consultancy Denny Marketing. He is a frequent contributor to The Daily Fix and Marketing Profs as well as his own marketing blog. He lives outside San Francisco.
 
Visit www.stephendenny.com
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Leverage fascinates me.

I've always liked stories that describe how people took scarce resources or limited capabilities and produced results that others thought impossible. The upstarts were always heroes, from business to sports to life in general.

In Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry, I interviewed over 70 of the world's most effective business leaders, as well as professional gamblers, hostage negotiators, war planners, athletes, screenwriters and others to see how their experiences applied to ours. They do, and the combination makes for a thought-provoking discussion. This is a universal story. We've all been the upstart, the underdog, looking up at a giant competitor.

* * *

Stephen Denny consults to corporate clients in the areas of competitive strategy, branding + messaging, demand generation and channel engagement. Prior to consulting, Denny spent over twenty years as a senior marketer at brands including Sony, OnStar, Iomega and Plantronics.

As a speaker, Denny delivers keynotes on competitive strategy, marketing and leadership. His writing has appeared in Marketing Profs + The Daily Fix, Small Business Trends.com, The Conference Board Review and the Hubspot Inbound Marketing blog. He also authors the blog, StephenDenny.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
Denny's book is well-written, easy to digest and well worth the time it takes to read it.
Lucy B. Siegel
The practical, real world stories help you to identify with a situation and immediately start to apply the tactics to your own business problems.
Germaine W
Where their legs shake because they feel insecure, giving you a better opportunity to win.
Jorge Barba

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Bibliophile on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First off, I have an overall positive opinion of this book. There are enough strategy/marketing concepts covered so as to make it likely you'll find some ideas that are applicable to your particular situation, whether you're a marketing executive, small business owner, or entrepreneur. For each concept, there are several examples in the form of two or three-page profiles of companies/people that have used the concepts that are explained. The only criticism I have here is that some of the examples were a bit brief in explanation; I would have loved for some of the more interesting strategies to be described in more detail.

As a matter of personal taste, I don't really care for some of the writer's style. For the most part, he's a decent writer. But he begins each profile example in a pattern that goes from that sort of abstract/disjointed position and then chunks down to a point where the reader finally realizes the context and can make sense of the content. Some people love that style. I can enjoy it to a certain extent, but not when it's used extensively, or in this case - exclusively.

Again, this book is educational and can definitely spark the creative side of your business strategy/marketing acumen - if you read it thoughtfully and allow it to. That said, I actually thought the title was a bit misleading. I don't recall a single example in which the "David" in an industry actually toppled a "Goliath" - even if they have staggered them enough to grab some good market share. There is an example of Coke toppling a product released by Pepsi. Aside from that, I don't think any of the giants were killed. That might seem like a minor point, and the stories profiled are certainly still being played out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Sager on May 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a quick and enjoyable read. Denny provides a framework to challenge industry titans in the form of ten strategies, illustrated through specific business stories. I enjoyed it’s because it is not just about a small company challenging the large one, but rather about any company or division competing with a competitor in a stronger initial position.

While the ten strategies are independent, Denny emphasizes a few themes throughout. Giants have fundamentally different problems. And there are some places they cannot go anymore. They do not like to fight, especially against smaller players. Most importantly, they can be crippled by competitors who embrace their challenger role as a defining strength. The stories in this book will help you think of specific strategies for your situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jack Ruskin on June 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This provides an original take on competing in difficult situations. He stresses the need to learn about situations outside one's industry. While all the evidence indicates that breadth of experience will outperform depth of experience, very few companies and people follow this. If you're an industry expert, you need even more to read this book (and many others). He talks about how to avoid head to head competition on the ground of the competitors' choosing. Most people do not even consider this, much less know how to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Reiff on July 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author's ten strategies most remind me of ju-jitsu. The book is written in a non-linear fashion, so if there is a topic that is of interest or more relevant you can simply skip to that section and it is user friendly in that regard. The examples used to corroborate the strategies are diverse in terms of scale and industry, and most include interviews from people directly involved. The author reminds the reader that even if you work for goliath, the strategies are still relevant because the niche you are responsible for may not be the market leader. My criticism of the book, which generally holds true for the genre as well, is that it only talks about successful implementations. There would have been additional value if the author would have included either observed or potential pitfalls when firms have implemented these strategies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Evans on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
As a former strategic planner for a large organization, I found powerful, new ideas in this book. Emerging companies will especially want to study the real-life success stories presented by Mr. Denny. Lot to learn here. --Tom E.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daryl Starr on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like practical teaching but not a workbook then this is great. I honestly think this will change our business for the better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The insight, strategy and fun reading this book is a game changer, especially if you are in business, or life in general.
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Format: Hardcover
Giants, as this book explains, are the companies that dwarf underdogs in terms of size, money, and power -- they can also be old ways of thinking, bureaucracy, and industry conventions.

Denny takes on the topic of taking on these giants -- and the result is a fine collection of words of wisdom. Some of my favorites:
- experts are more powerful than evangelists
- companies that have trouble communicating don't need to communicate more -- they need to reduce the need to communicate
- decision making is a cultural phenomenon
- create question marks where your giant believes they have already put a period
- what's vivid is remembered long after what's valid is forgotten
- a superior product is built from its constraints, not its features
- strong brands are never caricatures; they are not exaggerations of reality; they are distillations of meaning and association

The book reveals the blessing of constraints and the power of ideas. Here's to the underdogs!!
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