Review: The Art of Strategy

Title: The Art of Strategy

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Authors: Avinash K. Dixit and Barry J.Nalebuff

Description: Game theory means rigorous strategic thinking. It’s the art of anticipating your opponent’s next moves, knowing full well that your rival is trying to do the same thing to you. Though parts of game theory involve simple common sense, much is counterintuitive, and it can only be mastered by developing a new way of seeing the world. Using a diverse array of rich case studies—from pop culture, TV, movies, sports, politics, and history—the authors show how nearly every business and personal interaction has a game-theory component to it. Are the winners of reality-TV contests instinctive game theorists? Do big-time investors see things that most people miss? What do great poker players know that you don’t? Mastering game theory will make you more successful in business and life, and this lively book is the key to that mastery.

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Comments
dnicoll's picture

A rare treat

dnicoll | | Permalink

OK - I admit I was hesitant to read this book.  Having taught on MBAs and such like before, I've read my fill of strategy books and many of them are wonderful pieces of theory but not a lot of help in the messy, dirty world of life.

The glimmer of light I saw on this one was that it uses Game Theory - one of the few branches of economics that recognises the conflict of society on our (and others) decision making processes.

I'm glad I saw that, because this is actually the most engaging strategy book I have read for many years. And I do mean engaging - this book requires you to think and do stuff. Scattered through the book are what the authors call "trips to the mind gym" where they ask you to work on the ideas they explain and see how it works. This is no 'case study' approach used in the classroom, but real, hands on, bite sized stuff that those of us with real work to do can get to grips with and make sense of.

So, how much do you bid in a sealed bid auction? When do two wongs keep things right? How do you spot that the dog didn't bark at night time? This book asks (and proposes ways of answering) these and other questions.

This book is a real treat for those of us interested in making better decisions. One that you will actually enjoy reading!

 

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