Recommended Books and Articles
Below we provide a list of recommended books and articles. The AlignTro Group's Top Picks and interesting Studies and Guides are available for your convenience when you click on the links.
Book: "Blueprint to a Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve Exponential Growth" by David G. Thompson, Wiley, 2006
Net/Net: The author has analyzed a unique group of high growth companies which IPO'd since 1980 and have since reached $1B+ in revenue. By analyzing these companies the author has extracted their success patterns and formulated 7 essentials (or success ingredients) to achieve such exponential growth. They are: a Breakthrough Value Proposition, High-Growth Market Segment, Marquee Customers, Strategic Alliances, Exponential Returns, the Mangement Team and BofD with required experience. The book provides some good frameworks, concepts and models. The biggest contribution of the book is to articulate clearly what essentials are needed to achieve an extraordinary growth. The book is well written and structured with a large number of graphs and tables as well as provides quotes and insides from the leaders of successful companies.
Books: "Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done" and "Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right" by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, Crown Business, 2002 and 2004
Net/Net: The books are well written and structured descriptions of how to run a disciplined business. They talk about how to link together people, strategy and operations as building blocks to instill the consistent practice of the discipline of execution in an organization until it becomes embedded in the company's culture. The second book is focused on a completely new way to understand and use the business model as a primary tool for confronting market reality. The essense of this approach is to establish wether or not a compny's fundamental business model is under competitive pressure and to discover where best business oppportunities and biggest threats are.
Product and Technology Strategy
Articles: The Top 10 Emerging Technologies; Technology Review; May/Jun 2011 issue, Authors: Multiple (pages 42-58).
Net/Net: Those are a must read articles for technology executives, technology strategists and product managers. Every year, Technology Review publishes the list of the top10 technologies that are going to have the biggest impact on the world. This year's list includes: Social Indexing, Smart Transformers, Gestual Interfaces, Cancer Genomics, Solid-State Batteries, Homomorphic Encyption, Cloud Streaming, Crash-Proof Code, Separating Chromosomes and Synthetic Cells. Link: www.technologyreview.com/tr10/;
Book: "Secrets of Software Success: Management Insights from 100 Software Firms around the World" by Detlev J. Hoch, Cyriac R. Roeding, Gert Purkert, and Sandro K. Lindner, Harvard Business School Press, 2000
Net/Net: The book investigates the software industry's best practices in order to define what it takes to build a successful software company participating in the global markets. The biggest contribution of the book is to condense success factors into "principles" as well as to deliver counterintuitive ideas for software executives.
Article: "Transforming Strategy One Customer at a Time" by Richard J. Harrington and Anthony K. Tjan, Harvard Business Review, March 2008, p. 62-72
Net/Net: This article is about business transformation that has taken place at Thompson Reuters. However, the biggest contribution of this article is to illustrate how innovative market segmentation and in-depth understanding of customer needs lead to introduction of successful products and increase in market share. The authors also describe market situations when a "front-end customer" strategy makes sense.
Books: "Crossing the Chasm", "Inside the Tornado", "Living on the Fault Line" and "The Chasm Companion" by Geoffrey A. Moore and Paul Wiefels (the fourth book), all Harper Business, 1991, 1995, 2000 and 2002, respectively
Net/Net: These books are strategic marketing "classics" for technology companies. The author has introduced several new concepts that are now widely accepted in technology. The Chasm Companion is a unique book that builds on the ideas covered in the three books listed first, but translates them into actionable strategies and implementation programs.
Articles: "The Strategic Way to Go to Market" and "The Promise of Channel Stewardship" by Sean Silverthorne (based on interviews with Prof. V. Kasturi Rangan of Harvard Business School), HBS Working Knowledge, July and June 2006, respectively
Book: "Transforming Your Go to Market Strategy" by prof. V. Kasturi Rangan, HBS Press Books, 2006
Net/Net: The articles and the book are not specifically focused on technology companies, but discuss some critical concepts in the GTM strategy's design. Prof. Rangan explains why so many GTM strategies are "designed" by companies using the inside-out paradigm, thus they are not optimized to serve customers or channel partners.