9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The best strategy book of the decade,
This review is from: Fast Second: How Smart Companies Bypass Radical Innovation to Enter and Dominate New Markets (Hardcover)
This brilliant book argues that big companies should not waste time and resources trying to discover new products and markets. Their sheer size, embedded culture and traditional mindsets are prohibitive factors. Radical innovation is much more likely to emerge from the efforts of all those small companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs that dream of becoming the next Microsoft. They are flexible and can afford to take risks without being burdened by rules and bureaucracy. What they lack, however, is the ability to turn a niche market into a mass market. This is when big companies should step in. If they are "smart" enough to spot the markets of the future early on they should leverage their brand name, pricing power, distribution network and marketing muscle to turn these niche markets into profitable mass markets.
Markides and Geroski use brilliant and highly accessible language to convey their message. They support their thesis by providing a whole range of examples of companies that succeeded in creating new markets by being "Fast Second" rather than "First". They also offer detailed recommendations on how to scale up and dominate a new market.
The book's thesis is very credible in a world where companies are increasingly outsourcing innovation and relying on others for ideas. And by being so specific in terms of what it recommends, "Fast Second" is superior to Gary Hamel's "Leading the Revolution" and Kim & Mauborgne's "Blue Ocean Strategy". These authors recommend that big companies should aim to grow by being open to new ideas and by attempting to create new markets themselves. But they fail to say how to do this.