Make Way for the Little Guy
In this first installment of the Johns Hopkins University series on entrepreneurship, an all- star roster of strategy experts charts the intersection of two areas of business research: how competitive actions and responses affect a market, and how new ventures start and develop. “We are still way off from a thorough understanding of the marketplace dynamics triggered by entrepreneurs,” write Carey Business School interim dean Phillip H. Phan and Colorado State University professor Gideon D. Markman, who edited the book, The Competitive Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Market Entry (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011). The volume functions as a primer, compiling seminal papers dating as far back as the 1980s with retrospective updates from their authors. There are also important new contributions, such as Theodore L. Waldron’s look at how new market entrants that aren’t competitors (such as nonprofit interest groups) can reshape a competitive landscape. And embedded with the academic theory is a strategic insight for the entrepreneur: You will arouse less hostility from incumbent players if your own disruptive entrance expands the playing field for everyone.
Early in That Used to Be Us (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum cite the post–World War II “Long Telegram” in which U.S. diplomat George Kennan warned of the growing Soviet threat. This new book by Friedman, a New York Times columnist, and Mandelbaum, a professor of American foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, is, in effect, a Long Telegram for 2011. It warns of the major threat America poses to itself because of its failure to tackle four great post–Cold War challenges: globalization, the IT revolution, chronic deficits, and energy gluttony. The authors argue that our polarized, instant-gratification society has mislaid the tried-and-true formula for American greatness—a formula built on education, infrastructure, immigration, research and development, and prudent regulation. The co-authors’ conclusion is a call for a “radical centrist” presidential candidate who would talk grown-up sense about setting proper national priorities with the long view and the sense of sacrifice that once defined us and could again.