BUILD, BORROW OR BUY Solving the growth dilemma
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.