Program Highlights

  • How to use speed and agility to lessen the danger of overwhelming attack.
  • Four rules for successful strategy: be unique, create value, communicate value, and be a moving target.
  • How to take your opponents "out of their game."

In this lively step-by-step guide to business competition, David Yoffie explains how some companies succeed in defeating stronger, more powerful rivals, while others fail. Using the metaphor of martial arts, Yoffie details how successful challengers can turn their opponents' own size and power against them—and bring them down. He outlines three core principles: movement (maneuvering into areas of relative strength); balance (harnessing your competitor's momentum while avoiding head-to-head confrontations); and leverage (a rival's greater size can also be its greatest weakness, if you find the right pivot to bring it down).

But what if you are the stronger competitor, threatened by an upstart? Yoffie points out the "Sumo Strategy" countermoves that can be used by larger companies to crush an attack before it gains ground. 

Professor Yoffie has been a member of the Harvard Business School faculty since 1981. He is the author or editor of eight published books, including "Competing On Internet Time: Lessons From Netscape And Its Battle With Microsoft." Professor Yoffie received his Master's and PhD degrees from Stanford University.

Judo Strategy

David B. Yoffie

Professor, Harvard Business School


52 Minutes