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If You're in a Dogfight, Become a Cat!

Strategies for Long-Term Growth

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


When Yellow Tail wines launched in 2001, they battled 6,500 other wineries for a share of the American market. By 2007, Yellow Tail sales in the United States exceeded the sales of all French wineries combined. How did this new business enter such a crowded market and succeed?

If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! explains how businesses such as Yellow Tail survive and thrive in industries embroiled in “dogfights”—intense competition among established companies for a small piece of the market. Leonard Sherman, a longtime business consultant and faculty member at Columbia Business School, has developed a three-part strategy based on years of consulting for such companies as Audi, Toyota, and United Technologies. His advice: compete on different terms to attract new customers. FedEx, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks have thrived as cats by differentiating their businesses, aligning their goals and practices, and continuously innovating their products. Rather than compete head-on with other PC manufacturers, Apple introduced a new category of tablet devices to unlock latent demand for mobile computing. Yellow Tail turned beer- and liquor-lovers on to casual, inexpensive, drinkable wines through youthful packaging. In this book, managers of companies big and small encounter dozens of model strategies for product design and forward-thinking organization that have resulted in real long-term, profitable growth.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 14, 2016 – A cutesy title isn’t enough to differentiate a familiar take on gaining the competitive advantage in this strategy guide from Sherman, who boasts over three decades of experience in management consulting. Now a teacher at Columbia Business School, Sherman reports discovering over the course of his career that most companies simply can’t sustain success; one study found that, over the last 50 years, only 13% of Fortune 100 companies showed as much as 2% real revenue growth annually from one decade to another. Here, he seeks to explain how businesses can create and maintain lasting growth. He distinguishes between “dogfights,” in which strength pays off in the short term but the fighters eventually get weary, and “catfights,” which use innovation. He urges readers to pick the latter, further suggesting taking up the three “strategic imperatives” of continuous innovation, meaningful product differentiation, and business alignment. Insisting there are no unwinnable industries, Sherman cites those companies that beat the odds and generate long-term profitable growth, including Netflix, Apple, Yellow Tail Wine, and Costco. The case studies are interesting, and M.B.A. students looking to grasp the subject may find this useful, but the titular metaphor isn’t enough to help this one stand out from the pack.
If You're in a Dogfight, Become a Cat!
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  • $28.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Business & Personal Finance
  • Published: Jan 10, 2017
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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