Big Winners and Big Losers Summary


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Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/big-winners-and-big-losers-summary/

The 4 Secrets of Long-Term Business Success and Failure


Is your company a market loafer or a market leader? Which qualities define the two?

In the following summary of “Big Winners and Big Losers,” we list those qualities that determine your destiny.

Scroll down to find out how to stay in the sweet spot and move from the sour spot of your chosen market.

Who Should Read “Big Winners and Big Losers”? and Why?

“Big Winners and Big Losers” is so clearly written, that you may get the impression that you can quickly identify its ideas and put them into practice.

However, that is not the case.

Alfred A. Marcus identifies the four qualities that big winner companies have, and big loser companies lack, which determine their fate. He uses charts, numbers, and narratives to paint a picture of his theory which is bound to lead you to do business the right way.

We recommend this book for every businessperson there, since the core principles that “Big Winners and Big Losers” offers is applicable in any industry and market.

About Alfred A. Marcus

Alfred A. Marcus is an author, co-editor, and Professor of Strategic Management and Technology leadership at the University of Minnesota and the Technological Leadership Institute.

"Big Winners and Big Losers Summary"

Winning companies share the same four fundamental qualities.

First, they occupy a sweet spot in the market. Second, they possess agility. Third, they are disciplined. And lastly, they are highly focused.

Occupying the top slot of the market means offering products of value which are hardly replaceable.

Of course, this is not an easy thing to accomplish.

You have to create a perfect package consisted of low prices and a unique product. Also, you need to know and defend your niche, since once you find it, competitors will follow.

Study the qualities of winning companies that your business possesses, and do everything in your power to maintain them and develop them further.

The next three characteristics of big winners are agility, discipline, and focus.

This, as well, is not easy to achieve since these qualities clash.

Agility is the ability to respond and move quickly. Discipline, on the other hand, means holding your current stable position. Focus means having an unchanging vision.

To integrate them, you will have to negotiate trade-offs at all times. In other words, each time you go after a goal, you give up another one.

Make sure you create and use feedback mechanisms, stay in contact with the market and your customers’ needs, and regularly reflect on your business. Staying close to your customers is vital for defining the sweet spot.

What are the ways you can develop closeness?

Well, you can let customers be a part of the designing or customizing process of your products. You can include yourself in your clients’ organizational structure. Alternatively, even better, you can find out the needs of your customers and do everything you can to keep those needs satisfied.

Now, if all of the characteristics mentioned above are typical for big winners, what defines big losers?

Market relationships define them, as well. Only they operate in markets with intense competition and many products which are similar to the ones they offer. They do not know what their customers want, and they cannot fulfill those needs. Some of them suffer from over-design, or from having an unrealistic business model.

To avoid becoming a big loser and staying stuck in a sour spot in the market, monitor your company. All of your expenditures, focus, and positioning have to match the needs that the market shows. Do not put money into research you do not know the purpose of.

Lastly, pay attention to all phases of the business cycle. Only then you will be able to move forward.

Key Lessons from “Big Winners and Big Losers”

1. Big Winners are Agile; Big Losers are Rigid 2. Big Winners are Disciplined; Big Losers are Inept 3. Big Winners Are Focused, Big Losers Lack Focus

Big Winners are Agile; Big Losers are Rigid

If you want to succeed, you have to be agile – to respond quickly and grab opportunities. If one aspect of your business is not doing so well, be ready to make improvements in other areas so you can compensate.

Big losers, on the other hand, are rigid, and they cling to their services or products even though there is no more potential in them. As a result of their stubbornness, they stay in a market’s sour spot for years.

Big Winners are Disciplined; Big Losers are Inept

Discipline is another critical characteristic of big winners. Work on reducing your expenses and raising quality. Develop a corporate culture that will support this behavior.

Big losers are inept in many areas. Most of them are good at their specialties, but not good enough. They do not adapt quickly to changes in technology and the way of doing business. When they face hard times, they cut services to save money, which makes them lose even more business.

Big Winners Are Focused, Big Losers Lack Focus

Discipline fuels focus. Be aware of your strengths and focus on those areas. Identify which markets have the most significant growth potential and expand there. Always stay up to date with changing customer needs, and try to fulfill them the best you can.

Big losers have diffused focus and the low connection between their business units. When they try to expand in new markets or market areas, they fail to create synergy between their units.

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“Big Winners and Big Losers” Quotes

[bctt tweet="Being a big winner means carrying out a well-executed niche strategy that achieves a balance between agility, discipline, and focus." username="get12min"]

[bctt tweet=“Big winners not only understood where to go and how to get there. They also understood how to protect the positions they occupied.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=" Big winners created scarce and hard-to-imitate capabilities that enabled them to protect the ground they inhabited." username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“Companies find themselves in sour spots when they lose control over the classic five industry forces, the most important of which is customers.” username=“get12min”]

[bctt tweet=“The key to being a big winner is to find a sweet spot. Focus on it. Have the discipline to protect it. Have the agility to move it.” username=“get12min”]

Our Critical Review

“Big Winners and Big Losers” easy to read and understand. However, even the author admits that identifying winning qualities in other businesses is much easier than defining them in your own company.