Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Announcing "Map the Future," a Better Way to Create Business Strategy

I wanted to let you know that my book on business strategy, Map the Future, is now available. Map the Future is a how-to book for business strategy. It teaches you how to combine information about competitors, customers, and technology trends to spot future opportunities and problems before they're obvious. That lets you grab opportunities before anyone else, and get ready for your competitors' responses before they happen.

This is not a theory or case-study book. It’s a practical how-to manual, summarizing the things I learned in a couple of decades of doing this stuff in Silicon Valley. The book is designed to help anyone who works on strategy, from individual contributor to senior manager. That’s a broad audience, so different parts of the book will be relevant to different readers. To help you find what you need, I organized it like a cookbook. It starts with an overview that's written for everyone, and then dives into very detailed how-to instructions on strategy-related subjects, ranging from how to manage a competitive analysis team to how to assemble a long-term road map.

The central idea behind Map the Future is that most companies think about the future the wrong way. Visionary companies (like Apple) try to impose their will on the future, like a military drill sergeant; analytical companies (like General Electric) try to predict the future in detail, like a weather report. Both approaches fail when there are changes we didn't anticipate. The reality is that you can neither fully predict nor fully control the future, because it hasn’t happened yet. But you can anticipate what could happen. What you need is a realistic map of the possibilities, like a highway map for the future, so you can see where you can and can't go, and then nudge events toward the future you want to create. Map the Future teaches you how to create the building blocks of that future roadmap (using competitive, customer, and technology information), and how to bring them together to drive strategy.

Topics covered include:
—How to segment the market for a new product
—How to create and use technology forecasts
—How to analyze competitors and test competitive products
—How to use market growth forecasts
—How to recruit and manage competitive analysis and market research teams
—How to manage third party researchers and analysts
—How to do competitive analysis and market research if you’re in a small company with no budget
—How to influence in a large company
—How to guide Agile product development through strategy
—How to read the adoption curve and tell when you’ve crossed the chasm

One comment I’ve received from early readers is that the book has a lot of information on what works and doesn't work in large companies. That’s true; steering strategy at a big company is an especially tough task because of the politics involved. But I did my best to also highlight information and techniques relevant to small companies and startups. The sections relevant to small companies are labeled and hyperlinked, so you can jump straight to them if you want to.

For more information on the book, and sample content, click here.

At this time, Map the Future is only available electronically, at the e-bookstores below and through my website. I didn’t want to wait nine months for a print publisher, and besides I’ve spent years preaching the benefits of electronic publishing, so it’s time to eat my own dog food.

PDF & ebook bundle $14.99

(Includes the .mobi file for Kindle; .epub file for Apple, Android, Nook, and most other e-readers; and PDF files formatted for 8.5 x 11-inch pages, 10-inch tablets, and 7-inch mini-tablets.)  

Buy the ebook for $9.99

(Includes .mobi file for Kindle and .epub file for Apple, Android, Nook, and most other e-readers. About 340 pages.)  

PDF version $9.99

(For those who prefer to read PDF files. Includes PDF files formatted for 8.5 x 11-inch pages, 10-inch tablets, and 7-inch mini-tablets.)  

Buy the ebook on Amazon:
Map the Future

Buy the ebook on the Apple iBookstore:

Click here to buy the ebook on Barnes & Noble (Nook)  

Click here to buy the ebook on Kobo 

If you have problems ordering, contact me at the e-mail address here.

If you have questions or comments on the book, feel free to contact me directly, or post them below. Meanwhile, here are a few comments from people who reviewed pre-release copies of the book:

“Even before finishing the book, I had written a stream of emails to my professional colleagues, making suggestions for new approaches in our projects, based on the examples I had just read.”
—David W. Wood, Technology Planning Lead, Accenture Mobility

 “I wish all the business guidebooks I’ve read were as good as this one. Hell, I wish ANY of them were.”
—Matt Bacon, Deputy Director, Device Strategy and Communication, Orange-France Telecom Group

Map the Future will sit on my desk for years to come as an invaluable guide to help me make good decisions about the future.”
—Tom Powledge, VP and General Manager, Symantec Corporation

Map the Future is a landmark guidebook for forward-thinking executives and strategy consultants.”
—Martin Geddes, Founder & Principal, Martin Geddes Consulting Ltd.

Map the Future is your cookbook for developing a strong roadmap and strategy. I wish I'd had a guide like Map the Future when I started my career. ”
—Gina Clark, Vice President & General Manager, Integrated Collaboration Group, Cisco Systems, Inc.

A big thank-you to the many Mobile Opportunity readers who offered advice and encouragement as I wrote the book. You helped a lot!

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