Killing Giants is a Way of Doing (and a Book)

Killing Giants Everyone loves a good David vs. Goliath story.

I shared mine just a few posts ago. The punch line is that we didn't just talk about vision and core values — we lived them. We won every single time, because our focus was on developing relationships, partnering with businesses, not ripping kidneys out.

There is a time and place for being aggressive where it counts — being rigorous and excelling in service delivery and counsel. As Stephen Denny writes in Killing Giants (Amazon affiliate link), we are squarely and permanently in the doing-more-with-less era.

Things have changed. There is no going back.

The good news is that there is plenty marketers can do to move organizations forward. By way of examples from his experience and extensive research, Denny shows you how.

His 10 strategies to topple the Goliath in your industry are filled with useful tidbits, new stories of implementations from organizations you have not read about, and grounding advice. Including:

  • Win in the last three feet. Leverage someone else's investment — just be there the moment the customer grabs their wallet.
  • Create "thin ice" arguments. Shift the conversation to places where the competition can't — or won't — go.
  • Fight unfairly. Learn how the underdog can turn the tables.
  • Polarize on purpose. Push people to make choices by putting meaningful separation between yourself and the giant in your industry.

And yes, he also includes helpful information about how to use new media to increase that advantage in your favor. 

The book started as a series of posts back in 2007. I remember my early exchanges with Denny in the comments, which is actually how we met. I worked at a couple of giants during my career, and I know that giants don't like to fight — they don't like surprises. And I also joined smaller, nimbler teams who could go places where giants had no desire to go.

Personally, I also made it my mantra to think that nothing is impossible. My life is a living example of how much one can achieve when you're not worried about taking the credit and you just focus on doing great work and building others — businesses and people.

I'm a big fan of identifying white spaces in the market and persevering trough the last three feet. One could argue, successfully, that the biggest giant you can take on in your own perception of what you can do, if you only start.

Buy this book, read it, and do it.


[Disclosure: I received a copy of Killing Giants from Stephen Denny, who is a long time friend. I was especially excited to see what started as a blog series become a portable learning tool, and glad I had a small role in encouraging its birth. This review and recommendation is based upon the quality of the material — and not on how I obtained it.]

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0 responses to “Killing Giants is a Way of Doing (and a Book)”

  1. V: thank you dear – appreciate your kind words. The early posts (and your Caravaggio reference) began a long conversation carried on by many, resulting in the book finally seeing the light of day.
    The mindset is what’s important and something you’ve clearly put your finger on in your post. When Mandy at Adobe tells us that any time a competitor acts, you’ve got to be ready – or when Mike Cassidy tells us that “there’s no room for ‘I told you so’ on high performing teams” – we’re deep in the inner game of how to topple giants.
    I hope this deep dive serves as a good starting point for anyone, as Michael Port put it, “fighting above their weight class.” Thanks again –

  2. Ah, Michelangelo Merisi. I’ve been fortunate to see a couple of originals in Vienna and NYC — an experience worth having. Well, as a woman, I know Michael’s quote all too well. Thank you for putting in the research and work to give us this book.

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