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7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  265 ratings  ·  21 reviews
What are the secrets to making a company enduringly valuable?

7 Powers breaks fresh ground by constructing a comprehensive strategy toolset that is easy for you to learn, communicate and quickly apply.

Drawing on his decades of experience as a business strategy advisor, active equity investor and Stanford University teacher, Hamilton Helmer develops from first principles a
Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Deep Strategy
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Joshua Auerbach
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a good starting point to think about business strategy, but has a few flaws and over-generalizations.

My biggest personal annoyance that pervades the book is a conflicting view on markets that is never reconciled. In one chapter Helmer proclaims that passive etfs are superior to other forms of investing, but later posits that his methodology has allowed him to outperform the market. The examples are cherry-picked to fit a narrative and the book primarily focuses on all or nothing st
Robert Martin
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book I had envisioned when people (especially technical folks like software engineers) make jokes about MBAs and their love of strategy books. There is a tonne of jargon and most of the book is spent reframing the world in the author's framework.

This all sounds very critical but the truth is that I really enjoyed it. The 7 Powers is a digestible but comprehensive look at the subject of "competitive advantage" – value investors endlessly preach about the value of finding a moa
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Read this in preparation for the book club. I think it will be most useful as a kind of guidebook, a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Whiteboard if you will, for diagnosing different businesses and their strategies. I also think it'll be interesting to apply its principles to startups and side hustles that aren't your typical tech fare like Netflix or Intel et al. Also, the formula parts went way over my head. I should read a math book...
Gaurav Juneja
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good framework for analysing business staretgy

Very clear framework for determining the industry economics and competitive positioning of a business. Case studies are empirical evidence of the Powers in action. Specially suitable from looking at a business from the angle of an investor. Believe the equation / math stuff was not really needed / useful.
Bernard Leong
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
The best business book that I have read so far this year. The only problem with Hamilton Helmer is that he did not read Clayton Christensen's 2nd book "The Innovator's Solution" that addresses his understanding of the innovator's dilemma. It's a book that I will re-read constantly similar to Robert Greene's "48 Laws of Power", "33 Strategies of War".
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book as a great short hand to think through what creates sustained, differentiated profits and at what point in the product life cycle each type of barrier or benefit is usually created.

It's given me a few shorthand "rules of thumb" on questionable tactics based on either a product's maturity or a competitor's position.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
What unbearable garbage. The author may have good ideas, but I couldn't hang in there long enough to really find out. The writing itself is really terrible; it reads like it was written by a sociology student dropout. Ug.
Benedict Bleimschein
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i liked the book for what it is mainly about: the 7 types of power in business. well explained, good examples. Helmer only gets annoying when he starts bragging about making money using it for investing. Its simply not the topic of the book, no idea why that made its way into the book.
Tim Trefren
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really, really interesting. Provides a framework for thinking about strategy that is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to be useful. I appreciated the case studies on Netflix and Intel.

Strongly recommend to anyone involved in business strategy.
Yu Zhou
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is incisive and practical. This book also reinforces a lot of business common senses. It does highlight the available destinies of companies. I think it could be useful compass to many people.
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty good overview of business strategy basics. Fun tech stories in each chapter. The derivations of the math behind each pillar seemed mostly academic.
Doğan Hayyam
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant
Brent Maxwell
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
An uninspiring book outlining key ways in which companies can succeed. Nothing revolutionary, but he frames it like a college dissertation for the most part. The case studies are good.
J Arr
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great mental models around strategy
Harry Pidd
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for startup founders looking to unseat incumbents. Prioritise 7 Powers on your reading list, it could prove invaluable!
Emil Svartström
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is good stuff, but would not recommend as an audio book since has a lot of graphs, illustrations and formula's
Antti Aalto
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Simple but not simplistic treatise on seven ways of achieving sustainable competitive advantage.
Robert Jackson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Luis Orozco
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tried it as an audiobook, better probably as a written one. Still quite useful.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What does it mean to "know" business? For me, it means to have read and thoroughly understood the concepts outlined in this book.
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