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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
I did no know what I was going to read, but I just did it. The book is often too academic and spend too much time on terminologies an definition. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Luca
Should have been a ten page paper. The messages are not breakthrough or new. I also did not appreciate the author's concentrated efforts of using fancy word (where better fitting... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Manylander
Rarely do I buy books any more. But I did pick this one up and buy it at a used book store. And despite what one reviewer said; this book is far more than 3 cats (categories). Read morePublished 22 days ago by Dan Mask
The tone of the book is unlike any other business book - it's less ”do this and you'll be successful" but rather "consider these ideas". Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chi Fan Johnson Cheng
True to its thesis, this is somewhat of a hostile, breakaway take on the typical marketing book. The narrative approach is not for everyone, but for this reader, it worked: no... Read morePublished 3 months ago by RedLev
Youngme explores what makes brand boring and what makes them inspirational in this book about breaking away from your competition. Read morePublished 3 months ago by curtismchale
Awesome book on improving our design thinking to escape from the competitive herdPublished 6 months 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 7 months ago by Glitch