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Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry Hardcover – March 31, 2011
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"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.
Top customer reviews
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.
Most startup advice tells us to not worry about the competition. To not set out to kill the giant in the industry. But sometimes things don't go according to plan. If anything, thinking about stuff ahead of time and acknowledging that you are in a competitive environment and that these things could happen really matters.
Though the name of the book implies that there's a competitor, I think the real Giants are the unforeseen problems that not even the competition is seeing. It's also the giant blinder (psychological biases) that's inside of us that needs to be killed.
That's the message behind Killing Giants.
Most of the strategies in the book (or anywhere) are psychological in nature. For example the strategy of 'Eat the Bug' makes the point that Giants, just like people, get stuck in doing things in a certain way. This provides an opening to do what they are unwilling, and sometimes unable, to do.
The other strategy is 'Thin Ice' where you force a giant to play in unfamiliar territory, where they can't use their strengths. Where their legs shake because they feel insecure, giving you a better opportunity to win.
For fans of strategy, most of these strategies are not new. You heard about them in some way or another from Sun Tzu in The Art of War, the Chinese text The 36 Stratagems and synthesized in The 33 Strategies of War.
What you'll take away from this book though is how they apply to your world, not just military history. Plus, he keeps it simple. Only 10 strategies, not 100 or more. You have to love that!
Stephen Denny has written an excellent book that will stretch your mind in terms of thinking about strategy, with great stories about companies that used these strategies to their advantage. It's definitely a useful book!