Strategy Rules Book Summary - Strategy Rules Book explained in key points
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Strategy Rules summary

David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano

Five Timeless Lessons From Bill Gates, Andy Grove and Steve Jobs

4.1 (137 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Strategy Rules by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano is a book that explores the strategies used by successful tech companies, revealing the fundamental rules that underpin their success. It provides practical insights into strategy development and execution, and how to apply these lessons in your business.

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    Strategy Rules
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    Strategize by creating a vision, setting priorities and anticipating customer needs.


    Wouldn’t it be great to know how top companies like Apple, Microsoft and Intel came to dominate their industries?

    The answer is simple.

    They all share a common key to success, vision. In short, they’re the best because they started with a clear picture of where they wanted to go.

    But knowing where you want to go isn’t helpful if you can’t get there, as these companies knew. So after setting their visions, they developed the strategies to make them realities.


    Start realizing your vision by setting your priorities.

    Take Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel. In 1964, Moore predicted that computing power would double every 18–24 months. Andy Grove, Intel’s CEO, used this information to foresee an industry shift from a horizontal structure where companies built and sold complete systems to a vertical structure where they focused on smaller product groups to boost efficiency.

    So Grove shifted the company’s priority from producing complete computers, including all hardware and software, to microprocessors – specific components – thereby leading to Intel’s dominance in the field.

    But Moore’s discovery went beyond Intel. Bill Gates used his own interpretation of it to define Microsoft’s priorities.

    Here’s how.

    Gates realized that if computing power increased exponentially, it would eventually become virtually free. So, instead of selling hardware like processors that were sure to drop in value, Gates focused on software to fully take advantage of this computing power.

    Priorities are essential to realizing your vision, but anticipating the needs of your customers is also crucial because it will help keep you on track.

    For instance, in 1979, Steve Jobs visited Xerox’s research center and saw the first graphical user interface (GUI). Until this point, operating systems only responded to typed command lines, making them difficult to use. Jobs knew that in order to appeal to customers, personal computers needed to be more user-friendly, and seeing the future of computers in GUI technology, he used it to create an accessible user interface that made computers mainstream.

    It’s clear that having a vision, setting priorities to realize it and anticipating your customers’ needs are all essential to guiding your company. But what are your goals as you move forward?

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    What is Strategy Rules about?

    Strategy Rules (2015) explores the business strategies and leadership styles of three hyper-successful tech CEOs: Bill Gates of Microsoft, Andy Grove of Intel and Steve Jobs of Apple. These blinks break down the strategic expertise necessary to build a competitive business and ensure long-term success.

    Strategy Rules Review

    Strategy Rules (2015) by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano is a comprehensive exploration of strategy in the digital age. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical insights and guidelines from two leading scholars in the field, providing readers with a valuable roadmap to navigate the complexities of the digital era.
    • The book presents in-depth case studies of successful companies like Apple and Google, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their strategic decision-making processes.
    • Written with clarity and expertise, it breaks down complex concepts into manageable, easy-to-understand explanations, ensuring readers can apply the strategies discussed to their own businesses.

    Who should read Strategy Rules?

    • Businesspeople who want to learn from the success of Microsoft, Intel and Apple
    • CEOs looking for a strategic boost
    • New entrepreneurs looking to develop a vision for their ideas

    About the Author

    David B. Yoffie, in addition to being the longest serving member of the Intel board, teaches business administration at Harvard Business School. He is a prolific writer and the author or editor of nine books, including the bestselling Competing on Internet Time (co-written with Cusumano).

    Michael A. Cusumano has been writing about the software industry since 1985. He is professor of management at MIT and the author or editor of 12 books, including the classic Microsoft Secrets.

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    Strategy Rules FAQs 

    What is the main message of Strategy Rules?

    The main message of Strategy Rules is to provide practical guidelines for developing effective strategies in the digital age.

    How long does it take to read Strategy Rules?

    The reading time for Strategy Rules varies depending on the reader's speed but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Strategy Rules a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Strategy Rules is worth reading as it offers valuable insights into strategy development and implementation in the modern digital landscape.

    Who is the author of Strategy Rules?

    Strategy Rules is authored by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano.

    What to read after Strategy Rules?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Strategy Rules, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink
    • Move by Patty Azzarello
    • Presentation Advantage by Kory Kogon
    • The New Strategist by Günter Müller-Stewens
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim