Trade-offs are your friend

You probably can't have your cake and eat it too. But that's just fine.

This is part of an ongoing series exploring the work of Michael Porter—the HBS professor widely seen as the father of modern strategy. It’s about how to use trade-offs to prevent competitors from copying you, and about how to know when you should (and shouldn’t) copy your competitors.

Enjoy!


One day, Herb Kelleher walked into his office and found a package from his customer service team. It was a bundle of angry letters from a customer with a note attached: “this one’s yours.”

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