7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy

7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy
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7 Powers breaks fresh ground by constructing a comprehensive strategy toolset that is easy for you to learn, communicate and quickly apply. Drawing on his decades of experience as a business strategy advisor, active equity investor and Stanford University teacher, Hamilton Helmer develops from first principles a practical theory of Strategy rooted in the notion of Power, those conditions which create the potential for persistent differential returns. Using rich real-world examples, Helmer rigorously characterizes exactly what your business must achieve to create Power. And create Power it must, for without it your business is at risk. He explains why invention always comes first and then develops the Power Progression to enable you to target when your Power must be established: in the origination, take-off or stability phases of your business. Every business faces a do-or-die strategy moment: a crux directional choice made amidst swirling uncertainty. To get this right you need at your fingertips a real-time strategy compass to discern your true north. 7 Powers is that compass.

Editorial Reviews:

“Hamilton Helmer is the best kind of big thinker – he offers great insights that you can turn into real world action. At Spotify the 7 Powers are widely used as we discuss new initiatives. His distillation of the key types of strategic power, how to find them, how to leverage them, and how to maintain them is a fantastic toolset for companies at every stage” - Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify
“The forces of competition are just incredibly strong. Everyone is trying to eat your lunch, and if you don’t read 7 Powers you’re going to die a lot sooner” - Reed Hastings, CEO and Co-Founder of Netflix

“7 Powers lays out a clear, compelling and insightful framework for thinking about the persistent sources of competitive advantage. Helmer draws on three decades of experience to break down how companies establish power and shape their industries, illustrating at every turn with entertaining and illuminating examples” - Jonathan Levin, Philip H Knight Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Hamilton Helmer understands that strategy starts with invention. He can’t tell you what to invent, but he can and does show what it takes for a new invention to become a valuable business” - Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and investor

“7 Powers provides vital guidance for any business person developing strategy. I have known Hamilton for over a decade since his time as a strategy advisor to Adobe, and I am delighted that he is now sharing his original and compelling business insights” - Bruce Chizen, former CEO of Adobe

“Hamilton is a deep thinker who makes a compelling connection between passion and good business. His ideas are well thought out, wise, and often challenging. I always look forward to what he has to say” - Pete Docter, Pixar director and two-time Academy Award winner for Up and Inside Out

“Making a small number of decisions wisely is far more important than making a lot of decisions correctly. Hamilton Helmer explains exactly how the leaders of the world’s most successful businesses get that small number just right” - Mike Moritz, Chairman of Sequoia Capital

“Correctly places enormous value on execution and on culture. However, I think this sometimes leads to insufficient importance being placed on strategy. Hamilton Helmer’s deeply incisive work will hopefully help correct that” - Patrick Collison, CEO and Co-Founder of Stripe Silicon Valley

“7 Powers is a highly innovative approach to understanding some of the key underlying drivers of company value and capturing ideas that certainly are not very well understood in the markets. And the result has been one of the most exceptional and sustained alpha records I’ve ever seen” - Blake Grossman, former CEO of Barclays Global Investors

“This book is a must-read for anyone starting or growing a business. It lays out an elegant and insightful framework that really helped inspire my thinking about building and maintaining strategic advantage in a competitive landscape” - Daphne Koller, President and Co-Founder of Coursera

“A startup must have a compelling way of getting traction to be investable. Otherwise, it’s simply a bleeding hole that burns through money. 7 Powers rigorously lays out the strategies for a company to get this traction and details what it takes to get there. Anyone starting a business should read it” - Sean O’ Sullivan, Founder and Managing Partner, SOSV

“A master in the discipline of strategy, Hamilton has condensed 40 years of thought and practice into a single readable book. Read it and to your benefit you will see the 7 Powers everywhere you look” - Mark Baumgartner, Chief Investment Officer, Institute for Advanced Study

“Mentor has benefited from a continuing consulting relationship with Hamilton for the better part of 20 years and has incorporated many of his ideas and principles into the core of our strategy. 7 Powers consolidates those ideas and principles into a powerful framework and vocabulary to describe and permit analysis of where a company stands in its competitive space. It’s a powerful work” - Greg Hinckley, President, Mentor Graphic Corporation 

About the Author:

Mr. Helmer is the Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Strategy Capital. He has spent his career as a practicing business strategist: advising companies, investing based on strategy insights and teaching strategy. At Helmer & Associates (later Deep Strategy), a consulting firm he founded, he led over 200 strategy projects with major clients such as Adobe Systems, Agilent Technologies, Coursera, Hewlett-Packard, John Hancock Mutual Life, Mentor Graphics, Netflix, Raychem, and Spotify. With the Strategy Capital team, he continues to advise the founders of companies such as Brex, Scale AI, Lyft, Convoy, Insitro and Ginkgo Bioworks. In the last three decades he has also utilized his strategy concepts as a public equity investor, first with proprietary accounts and more recently with Strategy Capital. Prior to Helmer & Associates he was employed at Bain & Company. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College. Mr. Helmer taught Business Strategy in the Economics Department of Stanford University for a decade until 2018.