AS THEY ALWAYS, ALWAYS SAY: that in retrospect, things look easy, damn easy and  even just so obvious.

All tech giants like, Microsoft, Intel and Apple all rose to unbelievable dominance as if their fates were just so inevitable.

Of course, of course, it never looks to clear as it's happening. Shelves full of books have been written about these three companies and the outsize personalities who went on to built them:

Bill Gates.........Andy Grove........Steve Jobs.

In a new book,  Professor David B. Yoffie of Harvard Business School, and Michael A Cusumano, a Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management-

Are adding to that literature by applying a strategic framework to corporate handiwork of the three, and finding common themes.

They call these shared features  ''Strategic Rules,''  which is also the title of the book.

Professor Yoffie and  Professor Cusumano have been studying these companies for nearly three decades and have been collaborating off and on for nearly as long.

Initially,  Mr. Yoffie was a specialist in  corporate strategy, while  Mr. Cusumano was an expert in  software development  and product management.

"David was developing high-level strategy, and I was focused on,  O/K., how do you get this stuff done," Mr. Cusumano recalled.

The two were known for taking more than academic approach in their research, doing a lot of firsthand reporting. Mr. Cusumano  dug into the workings of Microsoft for a  1995 book, written with Richard W.Selby, 

 "Microsoft Secrets."

And then Mr. Cusumano and Mr. Yoffie collaborated in a 1998 book that scrutinized the browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape:
"Competing on Internet Time."

That book was published just as the federal government's antitrust suit against Microsoft was coming to court. 

Microsoft obtained an early copy of the manuscript and tried to subpoenia copies of the author's transcripts from their interviews with 44 current and former Netscape employees.

A federal judge denied the request.

As for insider access, it certainly helps that Professor Yoffie is a longtime member of Intel's board. The new book benefits from interviews with Mr. Grove and other former executives at  Intel,  Microsoft and  Apple.

The handful of guidelines in the book, which flow from detailed observations of Mr. Gates, Mr. Grove and Mr. Jobs, including containing long-term vision with the steps needed to get there:

{ ''Look forward. Reason Back'' )

And building an organization that exploits a leader's strengths:

[ "Shape the Company Around Your Personal Anchor" ]

What really made these companies winners was their ability to understand and apply the dynamics of high-tech market:

['' Build Platforms and Ecosystems"]...............Just like, !WOW!

^In digital-age competition, the long goal is to establish an industry spanning platform rather than merely products.^.........!WOW!

*It is platforms that yield the lucrative flywheel of networking effects, complimentary products and services and increasing returns. The payoff is market power and huge profits*.

The Honour and Serving of the  ''technology operational research"  continues. Thank you for reading, and maybe, learning.

With respectful dedication to all the tech giants of the world : Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Tencent/ China, IBM, Cisco, Intel, SAP, Oracle, Yahoo, Google, Alibaba, Apple,....  and on and on.

''' The Students' Forecast '''

'''Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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