Based on the chart-topping Business Wars podcast, stories and lessons from history’s greatest business rivalries. Using Chinese military genius Sun Tzu’s strategies as a guide, Brown examines why some companies triumph while others crumble.
Business is a fight for survival. In business as in war, leaders match their wills in pursuit of opposing outcomes, they devise strategies, and marshal resources for victory. Success can turn on the smallest of details; a single tactical blunder can topple an empire. Ultimately, one side triumphs—and victory is all that matters.
David Brown, host of the hit podcast Business Wars, masterfully frames some of the biggest business rivalries in history using revered Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s insights and pragmatic advice. Each rivalry he examines tells a story of combined wits, strategies, and resources. Brown chronicles the rise of companies as they vanquish rivals, formulate innovative plans, and adapt to keep up with shifting societal needs. The goal? Stay ahead of the competition and emerge victorious as an industry titan.
By compiling powerful insights uncovered over hundreds of episodes and more than a year of in-depth research, Brown has developed a formula for business intrigue that uses popular history as a hook to lure readers in. The stories in The Art of Business Wars are fascinating, but the lessons we draw from them—about determination, ingenuity, patience, grit, subtlety, and other traits that contribute to a victorious enterprise—are invaluable, whether you're a software-slinging freelancer or the CEO of a multinational manufacturer.
About the Author
David Brown is the host of the hit podcasts Business Wars and Business Wars Daily. He is also the co-creator and host of Texas Standard, the Lone Star’s statewide daily news show, and was the former anchor of the Peabody award-winning public radio business program Marketplace. He has been a public radio journalist for more than three decades, winning multiple awards, and is a contributor to All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and other NPR programs. Brown earned his PhD in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law. He lives with his wife and two children in Austin, Texas.
“A rollicking read about the corporate world’s greatest rivalries. If you’re worried about a well-known competitor or an unseen disruptor—or fascinated by the decisions of founders, the strategies of leaders, or the fates of businesses—this book brings together the best of a hit podcast for your learning and enjoyment.”
— Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think AgainandOriginals, and host of the TED podcastWorkLife
“Anyone who thinks business is all about balance sheets and income statements should be required to read The Art of Business Wars. Whether he’s telling the story of how Apple crushed BlackBerry or how Mattel created Barbie and Ken, David Brown has done a masterful job of getting beneath the numbers to illuminate the real stuff of business: ego, passion, ambition—and all-out combat.”
— Joe Nocera, Bloomberg business columnist
“The Business Wars podcast is a must-listen for anyone trying to understand how new entrants can topple even the most powerful and entrenched industry leaders. The Art of Business Wars leverages the key takeaways from the podcast to illustrate how putting the consumer first exploits the vulnerabilities of incumbents who find it challenging to disrupt their legacy business models. If Blockbuster had learned the ‘art of war’ from Business Wars, maybe they would not have been toppled by Netflix.”
— Rich Greenfield, partner and analyst, LightShed Ventures