Other Sellers on Amazon
Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance Paperback – March 1, 2000
Inspire a love of reading with Amazon Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Amazon Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new Amazon Book Box Prime customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"A practical and persuasive guide that focuses on how all businesses, even risk-averse old-line organizations, have an opportunity 'not just to survive but to exploit dramatic changes' wrought in their markets by technology.... Instead of shrinking from the hard problems facing existing corporations, Mr. Downes and Mr. Mui attack them head-on with 12 technology strategies to help build what the authors call 'killer apps.'" -- The New York Times
"It's rare that a business book distinguishes itself among the pack of cookie-cutter manifestos. KILLER APP rises above with skillfully written analysis and compelling company profiles that combine to map today's digital landscape." -- The Industry Standard
"Provocatively counterintuitive.... Truly eye-opening." -- Technology Review
From the Publisher
- Publisher : Harvard Business Review Press; Revised Edition (March 1, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 243 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1578512611
- ISBN-13 : 978-1578512614
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #580,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
On the other hand, the last chapter inspired one great idea for our dotcom business.
I think that the Blue Ocean Strategy book is what this book should have been and is a much better read regarding development for market segment domination.
According to Bill Gates "Going digital will put you on the leading edge of a shock wave of change." Maybe you missed the dot-com boom. Are you going to miss the Wireless boom - which will change the world a thousand times over. The time is now to seize opportunity and the "Killer App" will help you do it.
What exactly is a killer app?
"Killer App - a new application so powerful that it transforms industries, redefines markets, and annihilates the competition." Not just a recent digital age phenomenon; inventions like the compass, moveable type, eyeglasses, the steam engine, and lightbulbs have impacted society in a huge way. Downes and Mui did a fantastic job of describing the characteristics of true killer apps and have aptly illustrated the degree of impact they can have on society.
You certainly don't have to look far to see that technology, particularly the Internet, is driving today's economy. Turn on CNBC, read Business Week or browse the Wall Street Journal - you'll find that technology is the prime force creating growth in almost every industry.
Downes and Mui argue that the dominant trend behind the proliferation of killer apps is a combination of Moore's Law (CPU processing power doubles every 18 months) and Metcalfe's Law (network value increases dramatically with each additional user.) These two laws are fundamentally changing how businesses interact with each other and with their customers. Owing to the today's rapidly changing business environment, business owners will inevitably lose out to competition if they're not utilizing the latest technology.
Unleashing the Killer App is divided into three parts:
Designing the Killer App
Unleashing the Killer App
In Part I, there is a brief discussion of one "killer app" in the Middle Ages, the stirrup, which added mounted cavalry to the battle equation. The "lowly stirrup" played a singular role in rearranging the political, social, and economic structure of medieval Europe.
In Part II, what they refer to as "a few rules of thumb." They suggest three stages of "killer app" design and carefully explain each. They identify 12 specific principles on which to base the design process.
In Part III, they shift their attention to "Unleashing the Killer App" and correctly stress the importance of communication, one which "speaks with the language of ideas, scenarios, options, and what-ifs."
Think of and measure your daily operations as a series of unique transactions. Then focus on how these transaction costs can approach zero. With technology allowing for greater interactivity, the ability exists to create online communities where people can share in ways never imagined.
Unleashing the Killer App is an awesome book that will certainly make you think about ways to ride the waves of technological change surrounding us. With that said, it is prudent to consider both traditional and digital strategy, particularly in light of the Dot Com Bust, when developing strategic plans. Two interesting concepts are illustrated in Table 3.1 "Strategic Planning vs Digital Strategy," p. 59 and Figure 3.1 "The New Forces," p. 65.
Michael Davis, President - Brencom Strategic Business Consulting
The co-authors divide their book into three parts: Digital Strategy, Designing the Killer App, and Unleashing the Killer App. In Part I, there is a brief discussion of one "killer app" in the Middle Ages, the stirrup, which added mounted cavalry to the battle equation. The "lowly stirrup" played a singular role in rearranging the political, social, and economic structure of medieval Europe.
In The Lever of Riches, Joel Mokyr identifies countless other "killer apps" throughout history such as paved streets and sewerage disposal; the lever, wedge, and screw; the heavy plow and three-field system; the weight-driven mechanical clock; spectacles; the printing press; the steam engine; the telegraph; the bicycle; ...each of which also had a truly profound impact.
To repeat, Larry Downes & Chunka Mui concern themselves with the technology of transforming information into digital form. Thus in Part I, they examine the "killer app", explain what they call "the new economics", and then shift their attention to the nature of a digital strategy. They dully acknowledge the disruptive power of "killer apps" which can suddenly destroy the equilibrium of what appeared to be stable systems of commerce and government. For them, business change now originates with digital technology; more specifically, with "killer apps." Strategies are needed to manage (to the extent possible) their impact to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. These strategies must accommodate three new forces: digitization, globalization, and deregulation. The "dirty little secret" to which Gary Hamel has referred is that the strategy industry "doesn't have any theory of strategy creation." The success of any digital strategy may well be the result of what Hamel calls "lucky foresight." Downes & Mui seem to agree with Hamel while offering, in Part II, what they refer to as "a few rules of thumb." They suggest three stages of "killer app" design and carefully explain each. They identify 12 specific principles on which to base the design process. In Part III, they shift their attention to "Unleashing the Killer App" and correctly stress the importance of communication, one which "speaks with the language of ideas, scenarios, options, and what-ifs."
In Chapter 7, the reader's attention is directed to two major corporations, McDonald's and VEBA AG, which illustrate digital strategy in practice. These are, in effect, mini-case studies. It is important to point out, however, that effective digital strategies are not the sole province of major corporations such as these. A "killer app" can quickly increase or reduce the size of any company. Consider the fact that a single dry goods store in Kemmerer (Wyoming) can become the J.C. Penney Company which, in turn, now struggles (with mixed results) to compete successfully with a company whose own history can be traced back to the Walton 5&10 in Bentonville (Arkansas). Downes & Mui assert that "Developing digital strategy...requires components of both problem-pull and technology-push...operating together in a well-functioning organization [in which] the process becomes not only circular but indistinguishable...in a pragmatic, indeed opportunistic, response to the new digital environment."
In the final chapter of their brilliant analysis, Downes & Mui suggest that cyberspace "is fueled by free computing power and free bandwidth...and free software." Consequently, "the social conditions that resulted are raw, and the nature of the business climate, by necessity, less developed." As with The Golden Rule dry goods store (in 1902) and then the Walton 5&10 (in 1950), today's companies must seek out new areas of opportunity and start doing business there. "Those who make the transformation by developing a digital strategy are choosing to engage the frontier on its own terms, just as their counterparts from Europe did in settling the New World."
Larry Downes & Chunka Mui have outlined the process of digital strategy, explained the twelve design principles, and described the experiences of organizations that are transforming themselves so that they can unleash "killer apps." Which companies will conquer the "frontier", whatever and wherever it may be? Which companies will not? In the Digital Marketplace, we won't have to wait very long for the answers. Probably in what seems to be about five minutes. Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to read Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point.