4.0 out of 5 stars
A good book -- but could go further, Dec 8 2004
The Keystone Advantage is a good book. It uses a biological metaphor to discuss and explain the success of various companies within a larger business 'ecosystem'.
But if you want to understand the fundamentals of WHY this metaphor works, and HOW to choose which strategy will be best for your particular business, you need to read "The Escher Cycle".
Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien describe examples of how companies have used different strategies to achieve success in the modern business ecosystem. "The Escher Cycle" explains from first principles (not just a metaphor) HOW that ecosystem came into being.
Iansiti and Levien focus on the impact that Information Technology (IT) can have on business performance. But IT is just one of the ways in which performance can be improved.
"The Escher Cycle" identifies the key activities that deliver strategic success. It shows layer upon layer how to improve skill at carrying out those activities (one means of which is through IT). And it shows how different businesses interact together to form the ecosystem that Iansiti and Levien describe.
Finally, "The Escher Cycle" shows how a business can imitate the natural flows of information and capability that circulate within the business ecosystem. It shows how a business can accelerate its own 'Evolution' within that system, and so create the ultimate competitive advantage.