Lessons from the tactics and strategies of ninja warriors applied to international and domestic battles in consumer electronics.
Consumer Electronics Association CEO Shapiro (The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream, 2011) writes that his views of what constitutes a “successful person, company, and organization” are shaped by the discipline and habits of martial arts. The author provides an overview of many different fields of combat, and his narrative makes clear that the ninja model is not just a metaphor. The different battlefields are united by the rapid pace of technological innovation, which has driven the consumer-electronics business to $200 billion of U.S. factory sales in 2012 and worldwide sales in excess of $1 trillion. Shapiro recounts in detail the battles involving the development of HDTV, which required not only outpacing Japanese competition, but also uniting different domestic business and political interests behind the proposed solutions. Shapiro's approach is based on many of the tenets of the ninja: a commitment to victory, the development of resources for success through teamwork, a lack of fear about operating clandestinely and stealthily behind enemy lines. Their tradition is very different than the one the author attributes to the more rule-bound and feudalistic samurai warriors. The CEA is a trade group, not a lobby, organized around annual conventions and efforts to promote its members' businesses. These events have brought Shapiro into close contact with innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others, and provided him with additional insight into business and its leaders. The author is a proponent of strengthening consumers' rights and an opponent of efforts to restrict innovation.
A different perspective that brings out commonalities between business competition and combat.