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

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  964 ratings  ·  44 reviews
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 movies, politics, and gambling. It outlines the basics of ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published April 17th 1993 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1991)
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Riku Sayuj
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
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
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
Tin Wee
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
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
Brian Mcleish
Tough going but a good overview of game theory as it applies to strategy.
Sean Mckenna
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
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
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)
Alex Burgess
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
Moshe Zioni
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
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.
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
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
Alex Kitchens
This was my first introduction to Game Theory and it was one of my great influences on pursuing math and computers. It's one of very few books that after reading it, I want to restart it from the beginning.
Nice introduction to game theory. Enaging and easy to read, though not as deep as David M. Kreps'Game Theory and Economic Modelling, but still very insightful. Ideal for general readers or undergraduate students in their first years of study in the social sciences.
I read this book as part of an effort to develop my professional skills in this area. Gratefully, the book was unexpectedly very good. Many interesting examples are used to explain game theory in a fascinating way. There was some repeat of how explainations were conducted, which dragged the pace a bit in places, but for a book on what could be a boring treatise on strategic thinking and game theory, I can enthusiastically recommend this tome.
Wonderful read if you are curious about game theory, and would like to start learning it! The authors nicely cover different techniques with case studies and clear explanations and make it real fun! And also allows you to understand what really happened here:
If a little math doesn't scare you and you enjoy the "nerd non-fiction" sub-genre, this is a fascinating book. It's pretty straight forward in that it introduces some fundamentals of game theory and makes them pretty easily accessible to non-mathematicians.
I recommend it if politics, programming or board games interest you.
Spencer Heckathorn
This book was simple but still interesting. Mostly it is stuff that you already know or as you read it you may think you should already know. It's rapid fire strategy I do recommend the read but don't look forward to reading again. However a few situations have come up that have cause me to use the information from this book.
Sam Motes
A good layman's review of game theory including topics such as the prisoners dilemma and other strategies to negotiate for optimal outcomes. Key theory was put yourself in the other person's shoes and look ahead to know where they want to end up and the plan back to drive for your optional outcome.
Jul 01, 2007 Robert rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: maybe
This was recommended to me by one of my professors. In his words it's a "must read" for anybody in business/economics. I'm not far in enough to say, but it seems pretty decent for anybody looking for a primer on Game Theory. Oh... I should mention that it IS written for the layperson.
Doc Opp
This is a nice intro primer to game theory. Its well written, and easy to understand. It doesn't go into mathematical formalization, or anything advanced though, so if you've got some exposure to game theory already, this is probably not going to give you much more insight.
Said Al-Maskery
The book is a must read for anyone. It gives basic tools for rational thinking and strategic manouvering in everyday life. Game theory was made easy through the case studies presented throughout the book and the last chapter.
I highly recommend the book
A phenomenal book to describe negotiation and strategy at many levels in a mathematical and logical way. The analysis and insight, and the applicability of these gems make this book unique in the world of broad, vague and esoteric strategy tomes.
This a very complete treatise on strategic thinking that also has the advantage of being very accesible to the casual reader. Unfortunately it could use a new edition with more current example, as those included seem a bit dated.
John Roberson
A good, understandable, applicable explanation of many basic concepts in game theory. It gets a bit long, and you may come out the other side a touch more Machiavellian.
Daniel Kessler
The book was very well written and the subject matter is interesting, but the lessons learned from the book aren't as applicable to real life as I would have hoped.
Hassan Zakeri
An insightful book on concepts of game theory. Maybe the only annoying part of it was the authors' effort to make it appealing for MBA audience.
Overall, I give this three stars. If goodreads asked, rate it as a political science text, I would have given it five stars.
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