“The value chain” is the DNA of business

An introduction to one of Michael Porter’s most enduring frameworks

When a biologist looks at a dog, they don’t just see a friendly bundle of fur, like we do. Instead, they see a complex web of causal relationships and structures. It’s not just a creature—it’s a puzzle.

To solve it, they use fundamental frameworks like DNA, organs, and cell division. And they’ve gotten incredibly good at it. For example, we can now engineer viruses that, when injected into a cell, can edit precise bits of a genome in order to cure diseases.

That’s amazing.

Businesspeople, in comparison, know very little. To fix that, we need a better shared understanding of fundamental frameworks.

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