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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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,563 ratings  ·  97 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

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Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 17th 1993 by W. W. Norton Company (first published January 1st 1991)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  2,563 ratings  ·  97 reviews


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Riku Sayuj
Oct 14, 2011 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 ...more
Toe
Apr 04, 2011 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.
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Ami Iida
Mar 19, 2015 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.
Ivan
Jun 22, 2010 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
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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 ...more
Tin Wee
Dec 05, 2011 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 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.
Prakhal Goyal
Jun 22, 2016 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!
Sandy Maguire
Nov 08, 2013 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.
Alex Petkus
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting, quick, and easy read. The only dry section was about 20 pages on politics, of the 376 pages; somewhere around 280. The politics section, in my opinion, is more about winning for the sake of winning and less about winning with meaning, principles, or a philosophy in mind; basically, become as bland and ordinary as possible, more ordinary than the people you are running against, and you will be more likely to win that election- that is a major waste of time and a loss in my ...more
John Blackman
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book should really be called an introduction to game theory. I certainly enjoyed it as a way to think about problems and reduce them to a polynomial equation that solves for a particular variable. You can take this a step further and find local minimum and maximum in any given function to find optimal solutions which is essentially what is most of modern machine learning. The hard part is getting an accurate function to define your problem which generally takes a lot of data. This book was ...more
Iryna
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book after we started the "Game Theory" topic at university. I started with listening Audible version but later understood that, for this book, illustrations are important. My main conclusion is that the book is a great introduction to the Game Theory.

The book provides us with a good overview of strategic principles. One of its advantages is that the authors give a lot of examples from various industries and life situations, which helps to better understand the theory. The
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Alex
Aug 18, 2013 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
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Alex
This is a qualified 4-star. The examples are somewhat dated as the book was written in 1990, and they do have a decidedly American flavour to them. This feels like a book written by people at Harvard business school, *for* people at Harvard business school. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.

The major take aways:
- Look to the last action and reason backwards. This will help you recognise and avoid forced moved.
- There are differences in outcome depending on whether the game you are playing
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Brian Mcleish
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Tough going but a good overview of game theory as it applies to strategy.
Duygu
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still working through this book. It is a great introduction to game theory and demonstrates how it can be used in real life. This can be a great supplementary book for students learning game theory and need further examples or anyone who would like to have an overall understanding of game theory without going into the mathematical details, Nash equilibrium and etc.

One thing which has been missing so far (25% of the book) is what one should do when parties have incomplete/imperfect
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Dustin Knighton
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. The book goes through basic concepts of game theory in detail, using examples and diagrams to break down a concept. The book is written in a way that explains a concept then expands upon the subject with examples and case studies. The examples are great for explaining concepts and make this book an interesting and informative read. The authors use real-life examples that all people can relate to in everyday life as well as political, business, and military games. The ...more
Domas Markevicius
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I came to Thinking Strategically with already sparkled interest in game theory and read it just out of curiosity. The book is driven forward by examples. That's not a bad thing by itself, but I found them too artificial, dry and bookish quite often, not to mention all of the baseball and American football ones (somehow a fact that not all readers would be from North America was overlooked). In general it was slow and low-energy read which failed to capture my full attention and imagination. Some ...more
Pedro Pinto
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pricing
Good introduction to the game theory topic (my rating would be 3.5)

You can clearly date the book based on the examples given, but nonetheless worthwhile Reading. Sometimes the cases are too simple and sometimes, in a couple of exemples, the rationale is not presented clearly that obliges the reader to go back and forth in the books pages to grasp it.

For all interested in the subject (that should be at least every economist, financier or manager), opens the door to this importante topic that
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CHRISTINA
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I woke up one morning and I decided that I want to learn more about game theory, mainly affected by Prof. Daskalakis of MIT and his Nash theorem proof. The book describes in detail game theory concepts and how these can be applicable in business. I would categorize it more as an academic read, and for a niche audience. Not easy to read and not really with a captivating flow. But I dont think this was its purpose. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to learn about game theory, and has at ...more
Sinan
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginners to game theory, prospective economics majors
This book covers applications of basic game theory very well. The first part will focus on introducing you to game theory from the very basics (payoff tables, dominant strategies, prisoner's dilemma, etc.) The rest of the book is a multitude of ways game theory and strategic thinking can be applied to life. Some of the examples very too simple for me, however, I was pleasantly surprised by ~5 examples.

Do NOT read this cover to cover; try to skim through and skip case studies that you already
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Kirk
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy math, statistics, and strategy so this book is great. Since I am not an expert in any of those fields it was a little tough to follow at times (or should I say just plain over my head). It is certainly a great book that I will read a couple more times to fully grasp. The subject must intrigue you or you will not enjoy the book. The author explains everything very clearly so it is certainly something that can be reread and understood. One of my major issues was that I tried to ...more
Adolfo Builes
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This books does a great job at explaining game theory using a high level introduction to the different areas of decision making. Overall the examples where easy to follow with a couple of exceptions. I don't feel like an expert in game theory after reading this, but now I have a starting point to keep exploring.
Fan Zhang, CFA, Ph.D.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
A brilliant book, in particular chapter 2, 4 and 10.
It is really funny to think about that many people intend to turn co0rporation (win-win) situations to competition situations where there must be a loser or losers, whose decision-making are often out of emotion without Logical deduction.
Gene Desrochers
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Somewhat confusing at times, but mostly enlightening book on game theory and how to bargain. I think I'm smarter having read it even if I did not get it all. Perhaps a second read will take me further.
Audrey Vandomme
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The example are a bit too old and too American, as a French reader with few knowledge in American politics or baseball or other American speciality I felt sometimes difficult to get the example.
Hatlogo
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically social interaction with extra math.
Prianka Sameer
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Great concepts covered overall, plethora of examples
Sven
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy
Excellent introduction into Game Theory and a practical use of this discipline
Dale
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do not be fooled by the title, this book is about game theory application to strategic thinking.
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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
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