Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billion Dollar Lessons - one of the most important books ever written on business strategy, October 5, 2008
This review is from: Billion-Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years (Hardcover)
This extremely well researched book is a very important addition to the available literate on the subject of business strategy and it is very unlike any other book on the subject. Most books on strategy spend a good deal of time presenting methodologies for strategy development. Carroll and Mui take a very different approach; the book contains no methodology for strategy development, they have left that to others. Carroll and Mui seek to help individuals, groups, and corporations improve their strategies and decisions by learning from the mistakes of others.
This book is a must read for practitioners in M&A, investment banking, equity analysis, and corporate leadership. This book will give you a healthy dose of skepticism and questioning, especially when you encounter a business case based upon hard to quantify benefits such as `synergy' and `scale'. It is very apparent that the book was written by management consultants, not academicians. The authors provide great insights with case examples, not theory. Examples discussed in the book cover a host of household names including American Standard, Avon, Chrysler, Fed Ex, Ford, Kodak, Merck, Motorola, Tyco, USAir, Xerox, and many many more. They present the example and tell the reader not only what went wrong by also why it went wrong. The authors examine a litany of business sins such as overpaying for acquisitions, underestimating change management, failing to perform adequate due diligence, lack of contingency planning, creative accounting, and excessive use of debt. The book is even somewhat prescient regarding the current financial system meltdown with warnings on the danger of IBG YBG deal making in the financial services industry (IBG YBG = I'll be gone, you'll be gone).

Billion-Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years
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