Monday, August 12, 2013

The Art of Profitability

PlanMaestro of Variant Perceptions recommended the book The Art of Profitability, and I loved it.

It's another novel involving the type of student/teacher interaction that is so common in business fiction (other recently discussed examples that follow this format include The Shipping Man and my personal favourite, The Goal). This time the "student" character is played by an intern at a conglomerate that is being run into the ground, while the "teacher" role is played by a long-time investor and consultant. No surprise at the latter's occupation, considering the book was written by a VP at Mercer.

The intern and the consultant go through some 20+ types of competitive advantage that firms can use to improve their profitability. Numerous business examples are discussed, and the intern attempts to apply some of the models to the fictional conglomerate for whom he works.

If you're a fan of understanding competitive advantages, I don't see how you wouldn't appreciate the structured way in which this book dissects the various types of moat opportunities businesses can pursue.

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