BOOK REVIEW: Dispelling certain market share myths

Jack Welch once said, "Too often we measure everything and understand nothing."

Jack Welch once said, "Too often we measure everything and understand nothing."

In The Myth of Market Share, former Wall Street Journal editor Richard Miniter evaluates how companies benchmark themselves against competitors, and attempts to illuminate the misconception that rising profits are linked to market domination. Miniter notes that the most profitable firm in a given market isn't the one with the biggest market share 75% of the time. He offers case studies to support his thesis, from a small grocery owner to Dell and Boeing. A chapter called "Fatal Seduction" outlines the history of the emphasis on market share, which he traces back to the 1870s' "bigger is better" mentality. Another chapter acknowledges companies in which profits aren't as vital as market share because of a unique product. Each chapter is a variation on the same theme, and offers little suspense, but the case studies offer fascinating insight into the philosophy of companies that operate to the benefit of shareholders, not executives. Title The Myth of Market Share Authors Richard Miniter Publisher Crown Business, 192 pages

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