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7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy Paperback – 25 October 2016

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Product details

  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 210 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0998116319
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0998116310
  • Customer reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

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Review

Daniel Ek, CEO and Co-Founder of Spotify Hamilton Helmer is the best kind of big thinker - he offers great insights that you can turn into real world action. At Spotify the 7 Powers are widely used as we discuss new initiatives. His distillation of the key types of strategic power, how to find them, how to leverage them, and how to maintain them is a fantastic toolset for companies at every stage Reed Hastings, CEO and Co-Founder of Netflix The forces of competition are just incredibly strong. Everyone is trying to eat your lunch, and if you don't read 7 Powers you're going to die a lot sooner. Jonathan Levin, Philip H Knight Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business 7 Powers lays out a clear, compelling and insightful framework for thinking about the persistent sources of competitive advantage. Helmer draws on three decades of experience to break down how companies establish power and shape their industries, illustrating at every turn with entertaining and illuminating examples. Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and investor Hamilton Helmer understands that strategy starts with invention. He can't tell you what to invent, but he can and does show what it takes for a new invention to become a valuable business. Bruce Chizen, former CEO of Adobe 7 Powers provides vital guidance for any business person developing strategy. I have known Hamilton for over a decade since his time as a strategy advisor to Adobe, and I am delighted that he is now sharing his original and compelling business insights. Pete Docter, Pixar director and two-time Academy Award winner for Up and Inside Out Hamilton is a deep thinker who makes a compelling connection between passion and good business. His ideas are well thought out, wise, and often challenging. I always look forward to what he has to say. Mike Moritz, Chairman of Sequoia Capital Making a small number of decisions wisely is far more important than making a lot of decisions correctly. Hamilton Helmer explains exactly how the leaders of the world's most successful businesses get that small number just right. Patrick Collison, CEO and Co-Founder of Stripe Silicon Valley correctly places enormous value on execution and on culture. However, I think this sometimes leads to insufficient importance being placed on strategy. Hamilton Helmer's deeply incisive work will hopefully help correct that. Blake Grossman, former CEO of Barclays Global Investors 7 Powers is a highly innovative approach to understanding some of the key underlying drivers of company value and capturing ideas that certainly are not very well understood in the markets. And the result has been one of the most exceptional and sustained alpha records I've ever seen. Daphne Koller, President and Co-Founder of Coursera This book is a must-read for anyone starting or growing a business. It lays out an elegant and insightful framework that really helped inspire my thinking about building and maintaining strategic advantage in a competitive landscape. Mark Baumgartner, Chief Investment Officer, Institute for Advanced Study A master in the discipline of strategy, Hamilton has condensed 40 years of thought and practice into a single readable book. Read it and to your benefit you will see the 7 Powers everywhere you look. Greg Hinckley, President, Mentor Graphics Corporation Mentor has benefited from a continuing consulting relationship with Hamilton for the better part of 20 years and has incorporated many of his ideas and principles into the core of our strategy. 7 Powers consolidates those ideas and principles into a powerful framework and vocabulary to describe and permit analysis of where a company stands in its competitive space. It's a powerful work.

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 60 reviews
David J. Rosenthal
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best business books I've read in my career
12 February 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best business books I've read in my career
Reviewed in the United States on 12 February 2020
I work as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, and first heard about this hidden gem of a book from a fellow VC. Having now read it, I can say it is more than just a gem - this is one of the very best business and strategy books written in the past 30 years, up there with Innovator's Dilemma, Lean Startup and Good to Great. As you can see from the photo, I've covered nearly every page in notes and highlights. In reading it, I found Hamilton providing both:

1) Incisive theoretical frameworks for dynamics that I'd observed intuitively in my work as an investor and board member for startup companies but couldn't quite put my finger on explaining. E.g., that individual company leaders are not sources of sustained competitive advantage ("cornered resources" in Hamilton's terms) because their services can be bought and sold and thus their value is arbitraged by the market. (Note this applies even to company founders - "superstar" teams will typically raise capital at much higher prices than "unknowns". Very often the price paid by investors for this talent does not adequately compensate for the market risk still faced by the fledgling company.)

and 2) whole new ways of thinking about the relationship between market opportunities (what most startups and VCs blindly chase), and the potential for sustainable, differentiated value to be built by a single firm within that market opportunity (Hamilton's concept of "Power"). I can't wait to apply these lessons to my own career going forward, and will be recommending Hamilton's ideas to all companies and entrepreneurs I work with from now on!
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6 people found this helpful
Christopher J Finlayson
4.0 out of 5 stars A brief summary of strategic principles
2 August 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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2 people found this helpful
Rishi Gosalia
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read strategy book for every founder and investor today!
2 December 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read strategy book for every founder and investor today!
Reviewed in the United States on 2 December 2019
“Any strategy framework, to be broadly useful to a businessperson, must address all the key strategy issues facing an organization. Hamilton has long been been aware of the deficiencies in existing frameworks. His solution? To forge ahead with entirely novel conceptual advances, and then to bind these together into a united whole.” This is what Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of Netflix, writes in the book introduction!

The book is an absolute must read if you are a founder building a business or a long-term investor and betting on the durable long-term competitive strengths of the business. Hamilton Helmer, the author, defines the meaning of strategy and power:

Strategy: The study of the fundamental determinants of potential business value
Power: The set of conditions creating the potential for persistent differential returns

and then goes to show that a business derives its Potential Value = [Market Scale] * [Power]. Hamilton lays out the seven sources of Powers for a business, all from first principles, and illustrates these with very good examples from the real world. The seven powers: Scale economics, Network economics, counter-positioning, switching costs, branding, cornered resource, process power.

My favorite power is the one called “Counter-Positioning”. I have read all the popular strategy books and I don’t think I have come across this concept as clearly articulated in any other book. He defines Counter-Positioning as follows: “A newcomer adopts a new, superior business model which the incumbent does not mimic due to anticipated damage to their existing business.”

Here is what Reed Hastings says about Counter-Positioning in the book’s introduction. “Throughout my career I have often observed power incumbents, once lauded for their business acumen, failing to adjust to a new competitive reality. The result is always a stunning fall from grace. A superficial thinker might pin this on lack of vision and leadership. Not Hamilton. By inventing the concept of Counter-Positioning, he was able to peel back the layers into the deeper reality of these situations. Rather than lacking vision, Hamilton established, these incumbents are in fact acting in an entirely predictable and economically rational way. Our earlier battle with Blockbuster bore out this notion”

Hamilton is not only an author and an academic. He was also an early investor in Netflix and had tremendous impact on the strategy at Netflix and many other organizations. This book is a must read. I strongly recommend it!
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One person found this helpful
NDH
4.0 out of 5 stars A way of thinking about business strategy in terms of product/service differentiation.
3 January 2020 - Published on Amazon.com
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
25 January 2019 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful