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Entrepreneur Book of the Day: Competitive Strategy | Prof. Michael Porter

I met Professor Michael Porter. You would think that someone of his genius would act as if he created the world of business strategy single-handedly and might have an arrogant attitude regarding his accomplishments. He doesn’t. Professor Porter is a very nice person and his books have changed me forever. Competitive Strategy is a classic that should be read every year.

The book contains a diagram of the forces driving industry competition along with an elaborate explanation that's worth the price of this famous book just on this merit. Warning: this book is painful and wonderful at the same time. It is painful because it forces you, whether you want to or not, to think about competitive strategy for your business, and wonderful because you can get ideas on how to compete in the market.

Professor Porter has written other books and the natural progression is to read Competitive Strategy first, followed by Competitive Advantage. I don’t care what business you’re in, this book, despite being written more than 20 years ago, is still a powerful tool for strategy analysis.

Competitive Strategy is seminal work and actually caused me to think about the forces driving industry competition in the digital world. If you’re a startup entrepreneur looking to raise capital from venture capitalists, make sure you understand the dynamics driving competition in your sector. I even made a cheat sheet for you to make it easier to remember.

If you didn’t get accepted to Harvard Business School, just read Professor Porter's books. If you think about what he writes, you’ll have an MBA without ever attending school. What you will learn is worth real money as Professor Porter eloquently states: "The goal of competitive strategy for a business unit in an industry is to find a position in the industry where the company can best defend itself against these competitive forces or can influence them in its favor.“

Competitive Strategy is the “Bible of business strategy.” It’s a must-read for any entrepreneur or investor.

entrepreneurdex rating: 10 out 10

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