A handbook on the application of defensive strategies to business operations.
Calkins (Marketing/Northwestern Univ.; Breakthrough Marketing Plans, 2008, etc.) thinks there is nothing more important for a profitable business than protecting it. This may seem counterintuitive to those who think strategies aimed at securing growth might be the best approach. Against them, the author insists that to succeed, business leaders need accurate information about competitors, gaps in the market and their own vulnerabilities. He stresses a financial approach, insisting companies first understand their own finances and then figure out how to estimate the financial positions of their competitors. He shows how a new entrant with a product that takes a small part of an established company's market share can have a profound effect on the balance sheet over time. The best defense, he writes, is to keep competitors from getting new products off the ground at all. Some of the tactics he discusses—drawn from his knowledge of business practice—may strike some readers as somewhat unethical, and there is no camouflaging the reality that customers are the ones who pay for this additional overhead. No matter who wins the war for market share, customers lose from the lack of transparency and deception over purposes. The book concludes with “A Cautionary Word About Competition Law” written by the author’s brother, which indicates where the lines of criminality are drawn.
An eye-opening book, sometimes shocking in its straightforwardness.