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Competing Against Time : How Time-based Competition is Reshaping Global Markets Hardcover – March 1, 1990

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Donald E. Petersen Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ford Motor Company In Competing Against Time George Stalk and Tom Hout make a compelling case, supported by extensive research, that a new, time-driven paradigm differentiates successful companies from the "also rans." Through the use of numerous examples, the authors demonstrate that customers seek "the most value for the least cost in the least elapsed time," and that customers are willing to pay a premium for less elapsed time. This book is essential reading for businessmen who want to set, rather than follow, the pace in their industries.

Roger Milliken Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Milliken & Company Quick Response is clearly an innovation that will provide outstanding results for those companies that embrace its principles. Stalk and Flout give the rationale for change and a wonderful road map for implementation.

R. Donald Fullerton Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Competing Against Time should be in every CEO's library, but I sincerely hope that very few of my competitors get their hands on this book at an early date.

Robert A. Hanson Chairman, Deere & Company Today, timely response means competitive advantage; it can even mean survival. Stalk and Flout provide a clear view of present realities and offer sound counsel to business for acting upon the opportunities before us.

John Sculley Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Apple Computer, Inc. The best opportunities always come from changing the ground rules. Competing Against Time is a provocative and well-researched book with some insightful ideas for competing in the 1990s.

Frederick W Smith Chief Executive Officer, Federal Express Corporation There are few profound business books. Competing Against Time is one of them. Stalk and Flout demonstrate conclusively that organizations must adopt fast cycle methodologies or succumb to those that do. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

George Stalk, Jr., is vice-president and director of The Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, Illinois, coauthor of Kaisha, The Japanese Corporation, and author of "Time—The Next Source of Competitive Advantage," which won the 1989 McKinsey Award for the best Harvard Business Review article of the year. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 29th edition (March 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029152917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029152911
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In 1990 this book was revolutionary. Today, it is mostly interesting as the first book on the subject. Nobody in todays (business) world can have missed out on the concept that time is (or can be) a competitive advantage.
If you have missed this basic fact, do read this book, it explains in rather boring terms why it is so.
Personally I think they put to much emphasis on time as a competitive advantage, and tend to disregard other factors, equally important. A more relevant reading would in my opinion be D'Aveni's Hypercompetition, that takes the concept to its logical conclusion, which Hoult and Stalk misses.
Unfortunately, neither of the authors are very entertaining writers, especially as this book is usually mandatory/recommended reading in most MBA classes on strategy.
In conclusion, good, once revolutionary, but today mostly over-rated.
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Format: Hardcover
Today's readers will think that this book is simply stating the obvious. That shows how much influence the book has had. Prior to the book's publication, most people felt that "getting things right" was more important than speed. This book points out that speed can actually be helpful in getting things right by encouraging you to improve your management processes so you do things right the first time.
Many companies have had trouble implementing this concept in the way it is articulated. They simplify their process, but may not improve it. This may mean that new products arrive in the market that are not really ready for the customers. That can be all right if you can quickly fine-tune the products in beta tests and the customers have that expectation because you are giving them so much benefit anyway. If you do this with me-too products that don't work, the results can be disastrous in terms of damage to your company's reputation and customer relationships.
The authors do not spend enough time on helping people understand how to improve their processes, and how to create more speed without killing stress on the people involved. For many companies, this book can be dangerous. I think this book could use a new edition that would address these two areas in more detail.
On the other hand, if you have any doubts about the potential benefits from speedier action, you should read this book. It will change your mind using excellent examples.
Have a speedy read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read an article where it said that Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, recommended this book to new hires. After reading the book, I learned a ton about business and how the time-based competition method works. I began to realize how Apple works better and understand Toyota's importance in the automobile industry. Even though I'm in the tech industry and may never touch a manufacturing plant, I was able to quickly incorporate a ton of the ideas quickly in my startup. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Simply put, an oustanding book that has all the nuts and bolts needed to allow a company to transition to a time based focus from a cost based one. Easy to read, the logic is perfect. A must buy to have on your shelf (better yet ... on your desk). I read it first when I received my MBA ... read it again this last week .... and gave copies to top management I know around the country.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across this book after stumbling upon a recommendation from Tim Cook of Apple. After reading the book, I came to understand how Apple dominated its turf in quality products backed by smart supply management & strategies by racing ahead of time & market. Time is money and there are customers who are willing to pay a premium if you can deliver above & beyond average speeds. A great book for those who are starting out their own brand and having to deal with various vendors in supply chain.
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