Wednesday 8 April 2009

Book review

The Invisible Edge: Taking Your Strategy to the Next Level Using Intellectual Property is a book that was published this March by the Portfolio imprint of Penguin. The authors are Mark Blaxill and Ralph Eckardt, both of whom are Boston-based managing partners of 3LP Advisors. The book's theme is how to turn intellectual property into "an indispensable source of competitive advantage" (assuming that it wasn't in the first place). The thesis is not new:
"The key to sustainable profits was intellectual property. Yet most managers are unable to see the power of IP because they were trained to focus on more tangible factors".
The authors address their subject with an all-consuming, fact-filled, anecdote-rich zeal that makes the text almost exhausting to read. If you regularly peruse this weblog, you will have been converted to the cause of intellectual property, that amazingly versatile asset the virtues of which are invisible to all but an exclusive sect of visionary management consultants, long before you turn its pages. Probably the best way to use this book is to present it to the President of an old-style manufacturing company that still has some IP moldering away in its filing cabinets (if you can find such a company -- that's not so easy in the UK where making things seemed to die out the day they invented outsourcing) either shortly before you pitch for his business or before billing him for doing so.

Bibliographic details: ISBN 9781101016244 05. 340 pages, hardback. Price: $27.95. Web page here.

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