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Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,615 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews

The international bestseller — don't compete without it! A major bestseller in Japan, Financial Times Top Ten book of the year, Book-of-the-Month Club bestseller, and required reading at the best business schools, Thinking Strategically is a crash course in outmaneauvering any rival. This entertaining guide builds on scores of case studies taken from business, sports, the

Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 17th 1993 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1991)
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Riku Sayuj
Jan 08, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book on game theory. The examples from history, literature and from every day life make the discussions lively and entertaining. Mathematics and complex reasoning is kept to a minimum and conversational, easy-to-follow logic is generally adopted. The case studies at the end of each chapter helps to sum up understanding and we can easily breeze through the book with the assurance that the final chapter of case studies will refresh any idea that we might be unclear on. All in all, a grea ...more
Jarrod Jenkins
Apr 04, 2011 Jarrod Jenkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is how a book should be written.

It is a fantastic introduction to game theory for the intelligent layman. It covers strategic decision making for innumerable scenarios, including but not limited to: poker, political campaigns, takeover bids, business negotiations, baseball pitches, bargaining, labor relations, tax audits, and nuclear war. The authors strike the perfect blend of in-depth coverage of the technical topics, like Bayes theorem, with concrete examples illustrating the concepts. T
Ami Iida
Mar 19, 2015 Ami Iida rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the people intersted in game theory
Shelves: game-theory
It is a book to learn the game theory from basic.
This book is ideal as introduction to game theory.
Learning the game theory by using the game.
It is to incorporate all the basic essence of game theory.
Jun 22, 2010 Ivan rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Oh game theory! I agree with the fact that knowledge of how to play games matters but this book was more academic than mainstream. Economics is a dismal science though, and this book does not even make an effort examining moral implications of many games.

Things I learned:

- To improve the effectiveness of your backhand in tennis, improve your forehand so your opponent respects (and plays more) against your forehand.

- When you're #1 in the industry, let the competitors drive the innovation and imi
Alex Burgess
Dec 22, 2013 Alex Burgess rated it liked it
Thinking strategically is an excellent book for those interested in Game Theory or gaining a better understanding of how to effectively react to the oppositions move in various situations within business, sports and personal life.

The way in which each subject is outlined is brilliant; an introduction to an idea followed by a simplistic example then a case study to ensure that the reader fully comprehends the matter in discussion.

The only reason that I did not rate this above a three was due to
Kolagani Paramahamsa
It's not one of those 'motivation' books, the caption for the book is misleading. Application of strategies in all walks of life-sports, casinos, business, politics, and everyday life-using case studies are presented in this book. Although majority of the case studies are explained based on rudimentary concepts in game theory, there are instances of using probability and psychology concepts as well. Overall, a very good no non-sense read, which is not very thought provoking but interesting in mo ...more
Hesham Khaled
Jan 24, 2016 Hesham Khaled rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, business
الكتاب بيربط نظرية الألعاب بالواقع المجتمعي والمواقف التاريخية والسياسية . . مع الإعتراف بعدم اكتمال النظرية حتى الآن وتكاملها.
نظرية الألعاب هدفها تحديد الإستراتيجيات السليمة الواجب اتباعها ، كيفية اختيار الاستراتيجية الغير مسيطر عليها والتي لا تتوقف على قرارات الغير . . كما في مثال مأزق السجين الشهير.

نظرية الألعاب على المستوى الإقتصادي وحساب المنافع بتصبح أكثر تعقيدا خصوصا لو تدخل في القرار حساب المنافع وجوانب أخلاقية.

الكتاب منقسم لمقدمة بتوضح التصرف الاستراتيجي.

وبعد ذلك عرض لعشر قصص واقعية ع
Prakhal Goyal
Jun 27, 2016 Prakhal Goyal rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read! Inundated with examples of politics, sports, and business. Relevant case studies are provided post chapters. An active mind is required while reading the book. Definitely a mind expanding book!
Tin Wee
Dec 05, 2011 Tin Wee rated it liked it
A primer on game theory - it attempted to explain the main concepts in lay language, without going too much into the maths. Found portions difficult as some examples were drawn from baseball and american football, which I'm not familiar with. Still, there are many other interesting examples that will warp your brain. Some of the mathematical explanations were also beyond me. My main grouse with game theory is that it assumes that players are logical, which is apparently not true all of the time. ...more
Kathryn Davidson
Jun 07, 2016 Kathryn Davidson rated it liked it
The book focuses on game theory as strategy. The overview of the game theories is decent. Unfortunately, the authors attempt to convert everything to a quantifiable value that can then be run through standard formulas. Personally, I think a lot of the quantification is highly qualitative and therefore isn't quite as straightforward as it's made out to be in the book.
Dec 21, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
This book was an excellent introduction to game theory. It provides an academic framework but then applies it to real life situations, making the material feel relevant. I thought the section about building credibility to make threats was particularly great, and enjoyed the case studies about voting and QWERTY adoption. The final section is a collection of case studies, which I thought were the weak point of the book, however. They build on the previous material, but were difficult to solve and ...more
Santino Maguire
Apr 29, 2014 Santino Maguire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: high-value
Fantastic introduction to game theory. I would highly recommend this book to everyone I've ever met.
Brian Mcleish
Mar 28, 2013 Brian Mcleish rated it liked it
Tough going but a good overview of game theory as it applies to strategy.
Sean McKenna
Aug 07, 2014 Sean McKenna rated it really liked it
An accessible and comprehensive introduction to the core principles of game theory. The text is highly readable and relies on rich set of examples to explain strategic concepts. I especially appreciated two aspects of the way that the author leveraged his illustrative examples:

1) Many of the examples were drawn from historical events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and the D-Day landings. This serves to ground the material and make it feel more applicable.

2) Rather than simply jumping to the point
Jan 22, 2011 Zahwil rated it really liked it
Not being familiar with game theory, and being someone who finds a lot of mathematics intimidating, I took a lot from reading this book. I liked following the logic the authors use, which is expressed very clearly and step by step.

Of course, they reduce all their problems, drawn from all ares of life (politics, business, sports, etc.) to a 2x2 matrix (occasionally the models get more complex), whereby there are two players who place a fixed value (or at least an ordered ranking of preferences)
Jan 07, 2015 Duncan rated it liked it
Good primer on game theory. Book is obviously old - examples are from the 80s. Since it's content is generally good, it could be updated to make it much better and much more readable. More recent or timeless examples would be the first change needed. Second, and more importantly, the whole writing structure/style needs to be heavily edited to make it more direct, easy to follow, and engaging. Authors try, but come across as too wordy, involved, and technical at times. Thirdly, graphs and figures ...more
Moshe Zioni
Jun 27, 2010 Moshe Zioni rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics, self-help
It should have been titled the same but with the prefix: "A General Introduction to"-

Sometimes, to cram load of examples into one book doesn't make it readable - but irritating, to me, anyway.

Another thing that disappointed me with this book is that it constantly trying to get around the math without acknowledging it directly and the result is excessive use of words over a simple matter, and to put things worst - there is not even an appendix that explores the far reaches of the subject to those
Stuart Marshall
Oct 18, 2015 Stuart Marshall rated it really liked it
Nice intro to game theory. It's interesting, there's a lot in game theory that seems kind of obvious. And a lot that seems like we learned it playing competitive games in grade school. But a very nice thing about game theory is that it formalizes how to think about the field. It raises it from vague intuition to a logical framework.
Hisham Hafiz
Jul 31, 2015 Hisham Hafiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
If you are interested in game theory, you will find this book very interesting. It is scientific and it provides tools useful in all domains of life. I listened to this book in Audio, but I believe it is better read, since it is really difficult to follow some of the examples and arguments if not reading the text.
Aug 23, 2016 Gabigabigabi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math
The games are in our consciousness perceived as something childish, frivolous. As the saying goes - "the whole of our life - is a game.". Actually the book by Avinash Kamalakar Dixit for me was a revolution in my psychology, and I think the book will push many people to master the game theory. The book by two professors ''Thinking Strategically: The Competitive Edge in Business, Politics, and Everyday Life''
by Avinash K. Dixit, Barry J. Nalebuff can be needs in strategic thinking, planning their
Oct 19, 2014 Clark rated it liked it
Game theory as introduced through anecdotes. This is a much chattier way to learn game theory than the online Yale course, and it's clearly not as rigorous. But the case studies are good and this might turn out (for me at least) to be a more useful way to approach it.
Tim Johnson
Sep 06, 2015 Tim Johnson rated it really liked it
Politics, negotiations, market penetration, all rely on elements of game theory. Wished those college course books would've actually described what game theory is all about. If they had, I would've taken a few courses in college!
May 19, 2014 Fernando rated it really liked it
I listened to it. I strongly recommend the print version because of tables and graphs. Even though the examples are dated the book is a very good way to introduce game theory and backward rationale
Brendan Hall
Interesting game theory book. Opened my eyes to ways to evaluate different situations in life in order to create a strategic advantage. Applicable on the basketball court and in the office.
Lesley Chen
Mar 17, 2016 Lesley Chen rated it really liked it
Interesting stuff, the theories in this book can be applied to economic studies, political studies as well as game analysis.
Tim Dugan
Jul 07, 2015 Tim Dugan rated it it was ok
So far it only covers a small part of strategy, that game theory related aspect.

The game theory stuff not bad, but the title and the subtitle (?) neither say anything like that
Jan 21, 2012 Ash rated it it was amazing
Loved this book, picked it up after a recommendation from the Yale Game Theory coursework. Although the book lacks math, the concepts from the theory are beautifully explained. The authors try their best to ensure that the reader appreciates the strategies, they do this by citing a real world application (mostly from history) of the technique. Think political science (how a candidate must structure his speech to convey his support for certain policies) or how countries negotiate their war treati ...more
Tarun Chakraborty
Jul 26, 2015 Tarun Chakraborty marked it as to-read
John Nash and Von Newman's rival ideas meet to describe a winning strategy
John Kaufmann
May 22, 2015 John Kaufmann rated it really liked it
Shelves: game-theory
Excellent book about game theory.
Canty Lyo
Oct 05, 2016 Canty Lyo marked it as to-read
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Avinash Kamalakar Dixit (born August 6, 1944 in Bombay, India) is an Indian-American economist. He is currently John J. F. Sherrerd '52 University Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics at Lingnan University (Hong Kong) and Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.

Dixit received a B.Sc. from Bombay University in 1963 in Mathe
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“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.' In other words, love is a dominant strategy.” 6 likes
“Khrushchev first denounced Stalin's purges at the Soviet Communist Party's 20th Congress. After his dramatic speech, someone in the audience shouted out, asking what Khrushchev had been doing at the time. Khrushchev responded by asking the questioner to please stand up and identify himself. The audience remained silent. Khrushchev replied: "That is what I did, too.” 1 likes
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