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Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets Hardcover – June 14, 2016
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“Every entrepreneur looking to alter the landscape and every CEO looking to reimagine their business can learn from this book. Play Bigger provides inspiration and a framework for building companies that transcend gravity.” (Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce)
“Play Bigger is the new how-to guide for entrepreneurs and executives who want to build legendary, enduring companies.” (Jim Goetz, Partner, Sequoia Capital)
“Business leaders of the future need to create movements with passionate employees and fans that change the world’s point of view, not just companies with employees that sell products. Play Bigger shows how category design is the roadmap for making this happen.” (Mike Maples, Founding Partner, Floodgate)
“Every entrepreneur who wants to take their game to the next level needs to read this book. Category design applies to sports governing bodies, event owners, national teams and even athletes.” (John Bertrand, Americas Cup winner, Olympic medalist)
“Category design is a principle that every successful entrepreneur has intuitively embraced. Now it is outlined here in Play Bigger for all business executives to learn and apply. An absolute must read for every person interested in the secret sauce found in Silicon Valley.” (Ann Miura-Ko, Lecturer, Stanford University and Co-founder Floodgate Fund)
“Play Bigger shows why it’s so important to build category kings and what it takes to succeed in this new discipline of category design. This is must read book for all brand marketers, VC’s, and board of directors who want to take market creation into their own hands” (R "Ray" Wang, Principal Analyst & Founder, Constellation Research, Inc. Author Disrupting Digital Business)
“This important work should be available to everyone thinking of pursuing a business career.” (Library Journal)
“This is a very special book, and it will make a huge difference to businesses trying to understand how they can succeed initially and for the long term. Play Bigger ranks up there with Christensen’s “Innovators Dilemma” and Moore’s “Crossing The Chasm” as the three must-have books to succeed.” (Kathleen Goolsby, Managing Editor, SandHill.com)
“a new spin on the ‘something from nothing concept’ … Aimed at entrepreneurs, this book has practical advice for anyone in business.” (Booklist)
From the Author
Too many innovations fail to find theirplace in the world. They never achieve company/category fit. We want to helpfix that. This book is more than a book. It's a mission. Thegoal is to incite a new global business dialogue about categories. Over years we discovered a connection, basedon data science, research and experience between the way markets work, brainscience, and the intuitive approaches used by the most successful entrepreneurialinnovators. It's the culmination of our life's work. And it's called categorydesign.
Category design is a new, management discipline that increases the odds of winning by teaching business leaders how to build a product, company and category at the same time.
-A category designer is anyone who chooses not tocompete in an existing market and create their own.
-A category designer is anyone who hasre-imagined an existing market and made it their own.
-A category designer is anyone who has tried tointroduce the world to a new way of thinking, living, learning or working.
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone's trying to find their niche, and then these guys come along and say "f*** that, let's dominate our own category."
It's been the tactical answer to the notion of "just think outside the box."
It's changed the way in which I lead my organization and also the language I use to convey my message.
Get this on your shelf!
What?? It’s not because the first nine chapters are bad—not at all. There are a ton of ideas in this book--written by a TEAM of authors. I struggled to clearly see the main points. But--If you first go through Chapter Ten (then start the book at the beginning) you will have a “roadmap” of the main themes of the book. You will be miles ahead.
PLAY BIGGER is an interesting perspective on how to become a huge “game changer” in your field. The authors call this creating a “New Category.” Throughout the book, they emphasize that you want to do something DIFFERENT—not just something BETTER. “The most exciting companies create. They give us new ways of living, thinking, or doing business, many times solving a problem we didn’t know we had—or a problem we didn’t pay attention to because we never thought there was another way.”
There is a huge advantage to being "different" compared to better. Something that is different has an “exponential value of different versus the incremental value of better.”
These game changers are called “Category Kings. These kings "create entirely new categories of business, or entirely new ways of doing things.” For example, the big startup Uber is not just a better taxi service—they created a business quite bit different, because they gave a new solution to a current problem: “Uber made all of us aware that we had a taxi problem—and that the problem had a new solution.”
There is something in this book so special, that if you just got this one idea, you have made a good investment. Here it is:
“You can position yourself, or you can be positioned.”
You can be at the mercy of business—getting pushed around a “positioned,” or you can be the one doing the positioning. The authors tell a funny story about how Dave discovered he was being positioned. “Dave discovered then that Christopher was making ten times more than he was.” So, he complained to Christopher. “Christopher, as only Christopher can, looked at Dave with a straight face and said, “Well, Dave, you have two choices in business and in your career. You can position yourself, or you can be positioned. And I’ve positioned myself as a CMO in this company, and you’ve been positioned as the lowest person on the totem pole.”
Ha! Well said. One person was on the bottom being “positioned” by the one at the top, who happened to make 10x more money.
Even outside business strategy, think of different versus better: “When thinking about your personal category strategy, always remember different versus better. When you seek better, you are moving into someone else’s territory, always fighting for attention and having to prove that you’re better. When two people say, “I’m the best,” one of them is lying. When you seek different, you aren’t climbing someone else’s ladder—you’re building your own ladder.”
Of course, this book is written by a TEAM of authors; in most places that works, but sometimes the ideas are not presented in the clearest fashion. The authors have chosen to use personal stories and anecdotes as a way to present concepts. This is okay, but I found myself wishing they would sometimes just say their points clearly, without so much storytelling.
Nevertheless, I think the ideas presented in PLAY BIGGER are worth some digging and pondering. So all in all, I thought the ideas PLAY BIGGER are genuine and insightful. As noted above, the recommendation on getting “Positioned” is outstanding.
Advanced Review Copy courtesy of Edelweiss Book Distributors.
The process of developing a new category is explained fully. An example is Robotic Surgery. The idea behind robotic surgery is to perform surgical procedures with precision while minimizing invasive cutting of body parts in the process. Conditioning the market to demand the new and unobvious solution is important too. If consumers demand a product, then the justification for making it is self evident and the impediments to bring the product to market are reduced or eliminated.
At bottom, a new product has to offer something big, bold, unobvious and new. Then, the company will have the case to develop a moat to protect the product from competition through various means like a patent. "Play Bigger" by Al Ramadan et al. teaches these things and more. As such, the book is a solid read for inquiring minds.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Two stars because the main idea of "category thinking" is very sound (although...Read more