BUILD, BOR­ROW OR BUY Solv­ing the growth dilemma

The Australian - The Deal - - Ideas And Books -

Lau­rence Capron and Will Mitchell; Har­vard Busi­ness Re­view Press, 220pp.

This book’s the­sis is less ar­gued than as­sumed – busi­nesses must grow and change to sur­vive, rather than just strug­gle to in­crease share in ex­ist­ing mar­kets. The ques­tion is how to ex­pand and where. The authors of­fer an enor­mous num­ber of ex­am­ples of fi rms that got it right or wrong and ex­plain why in this deeply learned book. The de­tail is its great strength, pro­vid­ing so many ex­am­ples that just about ev­ery­body who has ever strug­gled for a strat­egy to grow a busi­ness will fi ne some that res­onate. This range of ideas is im­por­tant be­cause Capron and Mitchell make it clear that no sin­gle strat­egy will de­liver spe­cific out­comes and that the fi rms that sur­vive and pros­per cre­ate their own mix. So who has the build- bor­row- buy mix right? The an­swer is – what a sur­prise – Ap­ple with the iPhone. The com­pany de­signed the oper­at­ing sys­tem, bought li­cences, built al­liances for com­po­nents and pur­chased providers with key skills it did not have. So, easy when you think about it – just do a Jobs.

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