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5 Things to Know About Michael Porter

“He has influenced more executives – and more nations – than any other business professor on earth. Now, he and an all-star team aim to rescue the U.S. economy.” – Geoff Colvin, Fortune Magazine

  1. Has written 19 books and over 130 articles in all subject areas pertaining to strategy, including bestselling Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors and Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. Porter was originally a leader in core strategy for corporations before spending a great deal of time in healthcare. While he is often lauded, he is sometimes criticized for thinking abstractly instead of practically. Porter is incredibly smart. He also has been very talented at promoting his own persona.
  2. Currently a professor at Harvard Business School. In 2000, Porter was appointed Bishop Lawrence University Professor, Harvard’s highest honor awarded to faculty.
  3. In 1980, he developed the generic strategies of business, sections of a company that strategy can target including cost leadership, differentiation or focus. He claims that a company can only aim to focus on improving one of the three sections at a time.
  4. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not do to do.” “The underlying principles of strategy are enduring, regardless of technology or the pace of change.” -Michael Porter
  5. Although Porter is considered the founder of the modern strategy field by many, some believe that his model of the Five Forces is now outdated due to changes in modern markets versus when he established his theory in the 1980s. Further, others credit Peter Drucker far more than Porter as the founder of business management and strategy.