Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Written in 2009
"Unfortunately, a general theory that can reliably predict the success of strategies for companies engaged in free and fair competition to make superior returns is very hard to come by. Companies are always trying new ways to make money, after all, and there is much reason to doubt that all of their efforts can be usefully marshaled under one theory. Anyone who did discover such a theory, furthermore, would undoubtedly become instantly rich. But a general theory that can explain how and why a company operating in monopoly or quasi-monopoly conditions can make superior returns is quite feasible. In other words: a theory about how to win in life is hard; a theory about how to cheat is, analytically speaking, a cinch." -- Matthew Stewart, in his combative, funny, and occasionally brilliant attack on the culture of strategic consulting, The Management Myth.