"To survive, companies have to behave like sharks – if they don't keep moving they will drown."
"Stefan not only uses the 'shark' metaphor but has actually swam in shark waters to absorb the drama of life and death. He describes the attack strategems of a shark, but respects the intended victims enough to show how they can defend themselves. A stimulating read!!"
Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
"You are swimming with sharks and you may not even know it. Stefan is your guide to not only surviving Sharkonomics but thriving in these adventurous economic waters."
Brian Solis, author of The End of Business as Usual and Engage!
"Stefan Engeseth draws creative parallels to the world of nature and sharks and provides a fresh look at business and defense tactics. Sharkonomics is not to be missed!"
Merci Olsson, Marketing and Communications Director, Nobelprize.org
"Stefan Engeseth is really a star and brilliant on stage! The audience loved his Sharkonomics lecture!"
Lauri Sipilä, CEO, Finnish Marketing Association
"Finally something new and fresh! Straight to the point!"
Tonje Elisabeth Aaroe, Industry Manager, Google
"A very good advise is to read Sharkonomics before your competitors!"
Michael Raffnsøe, CEO, Danish Marketing Association
"Genuinely surprising and provocative – Stefan Engeseth has a streak of the evil genius."
David Magliano, Former Director of Marketing,
"One thing is certain. The companies that are not constantly moving and developing will sink as shark to the bottom."
Mariann Eriksson, Director of Marketing, World Wide Fund for Nature / WWF
"Stefan Engeseth is brutally inspiring. Sharkonomics will definately rock your boat. Or sink it!"
Jan Morten Drange, CEO, Norwegian Advertisers Association
"In this book Stefan dives in the deep blue to compare natures natural way of hunting with today's business climate. Again he gives us a new way of looking at our own market and competitors; you need to dare to hunt to stay a market leader in your business."
Jenny Näslund, Marketing Manager, Comedy Central Sweden, MTV Networks
"Sharkonomics is a great companion for anyone in advertising dealing with market leaders and their competition."
Calle Sjoenell, Deputy Chief Creative Officer, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, USA
"Businesses have plenty to chew on in Sharkonomics."
"Stefan Engeseth shares strategic tools in Sharkonomics for thought leaders in how to attack and how to defence your business in an ocean filled with sharks."
Luis-Daniel Alegria, Strategist, AKQA Berlin
"Stefan Engeseth is one of the most unique thinkers in business today--continually challenging us to find to new ways to win in the most crowded marketplaces. In Sharkonomics he's at it again, showing how easy it is to take a bite out of your competition by learning from sharks. Read it before you head back in the water!"
Alan Gregerman, Author of Surrounded by Geniuses and President of Venture Works
"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. Walk the line with Sharkonomics if you dare."
Micael Dahlén, Professor, Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics
"Sharkonomics will inspire the retail business to move into new feeding grounds."
Magnus Kroon, Director Business Development, Swedish Trade Federation
"Sharkonomics gives you the tools to attack and to survive depending on where you are in the ocean of companies. Terrific and terrifying reading guaranteed."
Jesper Ek, Head of External Affairs, Roche
"Stefan Engeseth is a marketing thinker and an entrepreneur par excellence. It is time to start thinking like a true predator thru Stefan's new book, Sharkonomics. Unlike the shark, no business has endured over 400 million years - we should start learning from the sharks instead of hunting them to extinction."
Ami Hasan, Founder and chairman, Hasan & Partners, Finland
"Our ability to adapt will decide if we are predator or prey. Stefan Engeseth is in Sharkonomics teaching us both offense and defense by thinking like a Shark."
Martin Deinoff, Senior Vice President, Creuna
"It's about time someone took competitive strategy thoughts to the phase of the 21st century. Stefan Engeseth always has new and surprising angles on how companied should create enduring business success."
Carl Wåreus, CEO, DDB Sweden
"Stefan Engeseth took a plunge with sharks so that we can open our eyes for blind spots to attack the market."
Akram Raffoul, Executive Director, Jacobsons Direct, Dubai
"It is a terrific book and an innovative and fresh approach."
Marie Levine, Executive Director, Shark Research Institute, USA
"Market leaders beware, domination is history."
Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India
Take a bite, free download
Book Sample (PDF).
Lecture slides (samples) (PDF).
Speaker presentation: English and Swedish.
Consultancy services: Info and PDF.
News: 75 million readers of Sharkonomics? Tablet War Week: Will look small if Facebook jumps in the water. 10 points for smaller sharks. Defend your market.
Nature is much smarter than the likes of Stanford, Harvard, MIT, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain, IBM, Apple and all of the other Fortune 500 companies. In nature, sharks have to move to survive. But in business most market leaders do not, because they are stuck in history – and eventually become shark food. Sharks don't perform by producing endless Power Points; they bite into market share. Sharkonomics will reveal how the logos of market leaders will have more bites taken out of them than a seal after a shark picnic.
This book is inspired by Mother Nature’s sharks which have been around for more than 420 million years and completed numerous strategic moves. It will prepare you to jump into the water and attack the market.
Economic competition is increasing rapidly and reduced resources will increase that further. Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) came up with the term “creative destruction” to demonstrate why companies need to innovate constantly in order to survive. In my opinion Schumpeter was converting the saying “eat or be eaten” into economic terms. Sharkonomics is a further enhancement of this: “read this book and take a bite”.
Sharkonomics will reveal where and how to attack companies such as Apple, through some of the enormous blind spots they are unaware of and through mistakes in their defence strategies.
How to attack the market leaders
For many years market leaders hired me to attack their businesses in order to be ahead of potential competitors. On each occasion I asked the CEOs if they had any restrictions for how I could attack them and they always said “No!”. They felt self-confident and prepared for my attack. When I started executing the attack in the workshop, the CEO usually started panicking after five minutes, standing up and calling out “Stop!” and claiming they did not hire me to attack from there but instead from another position. Sharks will attack when the risk for getting injured is small; if they injure themselves they will eventually become shark food. Sharks eat sharks, especially if there is not enough food to go around. Like a shark, I often attack from what I call the blind spot: it is easy and it tastes good. The shark’s way of doing market research is quick and simple. Take a bite and if it tastes good the shark will continue its predatory behaviour. By that time it will often be too late for the market leaders to find protection. Most markets leaders are not willing to adapt to competition. Instead they will use their resources to get their lobbyists in Washington and Brussels to influence or help create laws that will turn Jaws into a vegetarian and stop the evil killing machine from rocking the boat named Business as Usual.
After Jaws came out millions of people suddenly preferred not to swim in the oceans and instead swimming pool sales went up like never before. In their book Freakonomics Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner explored such information connections. My ambition is not to change swimming habits but to connect the nature of sharks nature with business, which I call Sharkonomics.
It’s not just about attack
In all my research about sharks, I noticed that about 90% of the information related to mankind’s fear of sharks and their attacking abilities. However, even sharks recognize their own vulnerability and do not ignore the defence side. The same should be said for businesses, whether you are a market leader or a predator going after the former. Therefore it made sense for to develop a defence part in this book. It is also important to state that Sharkonomics is inspired by nature, but my intention is not to spread fear in any form—except in boardrooms!
Table of contents
Foreward by Chris Fallows
Part one: 10 points to attack market leaders
1. Start planning long before your attack
2. Don’t get stuck in history
3. Spread panic
4. Do market research the shark way
5. Find blind spots to bite
6. Strike unpredictably
7. Timing is key to successful attacks
8. Move or die
9. Kill with style
10. Write a Sharkonomics “attack list”
Part two: 10 points for market leaders how to defend themselves from shark attacks
1. Develop your defense strategies years before you get attacked
2. Never stand still
3. Let others spread the buzz
4. Don’t panic when under shark attack
5. Find out where your blind spots are
6. When entering a new market, don’t send out press releases too early
7. Sharks will not attack you if there is an easier target around
8. Don’t act like a victim
9. Attack is good defence
10. Develop better escape tactics than the hunter
Mother Nature’s endword
For press release, book cover, shark pictures, author portrait, bus and graphics go to press room. © 2012-2016 Stefan Engeseth. When quoting the book or website please quote the source: www.sharkonomics.com.
"Stefan's book Sharkonomics is blood for sharks and steel cages for their prey."
David Charron, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
"Stefan Engeseth offers a completely original point of view -- rooted in centuries of natural history -- to address an age-old problem. It is sure to challenge and illuminate how you think about competing in the marketplace."
Kevin Lane Keller, Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
"Sharkonomics is refreshingly to the point and gives even the mildest mannered goldfish sharp teeth to bite with."
Maria Bergman, President of Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Chicago
"It is a sheer battleground out there; lots of 'strategies', 'tactics', 'attack plans'... Sharkonomics is not about survival of the fittest, but of the 'misfit' who has a streetwise cunning, coupled with imagination and creativity."
Nilgun Carlson, Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Oriflame Cosmetics
"Catch a wave of the groundswell and surf the social web with Sharkonomics! Stefan Engeseth's book will take off and swim by itself."
Martin Lindeskog, blogger and social media evangelist
"A damned good book, Sharkonomics."
Guy Clapperton, Author and social media expert, UK
"Stefan Engeseth never fails to surprise. His logic of taking his inspiration this time from nature—with the simple yet poignant question: "How have sharks survived for millions of years?"—has yielded a business book with teeth, and some pearly whites of wisdom."
Jack Yan, CEO, Jack Yan & Associates. Director, the Medinge Group, New Zealand
"Nature, red in tooth and claw, can be a great teacher. Stefan Engeseth has taken one of its lessons, that of the great sharks, and used it to present a view on strategy that pounces rather than plans and emphasizes movement over models. Sharkonomics is fast, ferocious fun."
Professor Alf Rehn, author of Dangerous Ideas
"This book has bite. It's snappy too. I urge everyone to get their teeth into it."
Stephen Brown, Professor of Marketing Research, University of Ulster
"Market leaders beware, Sharkonomics reveals the vulnerabilities and strategic insight needed to challenge leading brands."
Derrick Daye, Global Brand Strategist, Author, Branding Strategy Insider
"It's brilliant – to serve the result of millions years of shark evolution for business. Sharkonomics develops one's instincts and loads of highly impulsive acts - but only for those who read the book."
Gisle Dueland, Marketing Manager, Turkish Airlines
"Stefan Engeseth leaves no one untouched and challenges once again with his new book Sharkonomics."
Jan Fager, CEO, Swedish Marketing Federation
"He has done it again! Stefan Engeseth shows his knack for communicating the essentials of business success."
Evert Gummesson, Professor of Marketing,
"Sharks are some of the most successful vertebrates on earth, having survived the past 400 million years! If you're interested in surviving today's dangerous and rapidly evolving business waters, feast on the many lessons in Stefan Engeseth's latest book, Sharkonomics."
Tom Asacker, author of A Clear Eye for Branding and Opportunity Screams
"Stefan Engeseth gets to the point again. Silent waters as well as markets are most dangerous in these days and we need to be proactive to survive."
Ritva Hanski-Pitkäkoski, CEO, Association of Finnish Advertisers
"Sharkonomics reveals how to grow business on- and offline. Stefan Engeseth is not just a writer, he is an excellent entertainer and a genius."
Anna Söby, Vice President, Ottoboni Group
"A fresh, easy-to-read and thought-provoking book. Stefan Engeseth has in Sharkonomics captured the essentials explained them lucidly and serves us food on a platter only accessible to sharks. A must read for any business decision maker."
Carlos Viladevall Passola, Managing Director, Posterscope Iberia, Spain
"Vital business insights from deadly sharks is what Sharkonomics provides."
Manoj Aravindakshan, Managing Director, On Target Media, Singapore
"Market leaders: Keep moving! Sharkonomics is a brand new view to the global marketplace."
Eirik Hokstad, Chairman of the board, The Norwegian Market society
"Stefan Engeseth is always provocative and his new book cuts straight to the chase. Highly recommended to sharks (and their prey)."
Johnnie Moore, Author, Blogger and Consultant, UK
"Stefan Engeseth is encouraging us to welcome the unpredictable."
Yann Mauchamp, CEO, Mutual Benefits, France
"This is sharp. For real."
Charlotte Wik, Communications Manager, Odd Molly
"Marketing Week ranks Sharkonomics as one of 2012 marketing buzzwords."