Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets

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9780062407610: Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets
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The founders of a respected Silicon Valley advisory firm study legendary category-creating companies and reveal a groundbreaking discipline called category design.

Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose.

In this farsighted, pioneering guide, the founders of Silicon Valley advisory firm Play Bigger rely on data analysis and interviews to understand the inner workings of “category kings”— companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, and IKEA—that give us new ways of living, thinking or doing business, often solving problems we didn’t know we had.

In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains so they change their expectations and buying habits. While this discipline defines the tech industry, it applies to every kind of industry and even to personal careers.

Crossing the Chasm revolutionized how we think about new products in an existing market. The Innovator’s Dilemma taught us about disrupting an aging market. Now, Play Bigger is transforming business once again, showing us how to create the market itself.

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From the Author:

Too many innovations fail to find theirplace in the world. They never achieve company/category fit. We want to helpfix that. This book is more than a book. It's a mission. Thegoal is to incite a new global business dialogue about categories. Over years we discovered a connection, basedon data science, research and experience between the way markets work, brainscience, and the intuitive approaches used by the most successful entrepreneurialinnovators. It's the culmination of our life's work. And it's called categorydesign.


Category design is a new, management discipline that increases the odds of winning by teaching business leaders how to build a product, company and category at the same time. 


-A category designer is anyone who chooses not tocompete in an existing market and create their own.

-A category designer is anyone who hasre-imagined an existing market and made it their own.

-A category designer is anyone who has tried tointroduce the world to a new way of thinking, living, learning or working.

From the Back Cover:

What do Facebook, Google, Salesforce.com, Uber, VMware, Netflix, IKEA, Birds Eye, 5-hour Energy, and Pixar have in common?

In what way does Apple work like the 165-year-old glass company, Corning?

How do you explain why some start-ups last and build value while others shoot up and then flame out?

Why was Elvis not just the King, but a category king?

The key to each has to do with creating, developing, and dominating new categories of products and services.

Stick around and we’ll tell you how that’s done.

Winning today isn’t about beating the competition at the old game. It’s about inventing a whole new game—defining a new market category, developing it, and dominating it over time. You can’t build a legendary company without building a legendary category. If you think that having the best product is all it takes to win, you’re going to lose. 

In this farsighted, pioneering guide, the founders of Silicon Valley advisory firm Play Bigger rely on data analysis and interviews to understand the inner workings of “category kings”—companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, and IKEA that give us new ways of living, thinking, or doing business, often solving problems we didn’t know we had. 

It’s not about disruption anymore—it’s about creation. Category kings are the explosive and enduring companies that create value over time by opening up a category with vast potential and setting themselves up to control the majority of it. Category kings take seventy to eighty percent of the category’s economics. Category kings become famous brands because they become the symbol of the whole category—think Xerox, Google, Uber. A category king is almost impossible to challenge. These are the companies that shape our lives and alter the future. They play bigger than other companies.

In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains to change expectations and buying habits. While this discipline is crucial in the tech industry, it applies to every kind of industry and even to personal careers.

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