David B. Yoffie

Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration

Professor David B. Yoffie is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School. A member of the HBS faculty since 1981, Professor Yoffie received his Bachelor's degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University and his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford. Over the last two decades, Professor Yoffie has chaired the HBS Strategy department, the Advanced Management Program, Harvard's Young Presidents' Organization program, and now chairs Harvard’s World Presidents’ Organization program. From 2006-2012, he served as Senior Associate Dean and Chair of the HBS executive education programs. During his tenure, executive education revenues grew almost 75 percent, classrooms were opened in Shanghai and Mumbai, a new executive education building complex was launched, and HBS emerged the highest rated and largest business school in executive education in the world. He currently teaches competitive and corporate strategy in the Owner/President Management Program.

Professor Yoffie's research and consulting have focused on competitive strategy, technology, and international competition. Outside of HBS, Professor Yoffie's activities include being on the Board of Directors of Intel Corporation, HTC Corporation, Financial Engines Inc., MindTree Ltd., TiVo Inc., and the National Bureau of Economic Research. When appointed to Intel's board in 1989, he was the youngest outside director of America's largest 150 industrial corporations. Over the last decade, Professor Yoffie served as lead independent director of Intel, and on the boards of numerous companies, including Charles Schwab, Spotfire, and E Ink. Professor Yoffie has also lectured and consulted in more than 30 countries around the world. In addition, he has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice's commission on international anti-trust.

Professor Yoffie's writings on business strategy and technology have been widely published. Professor Yoffie is the author or editor of nine books, including Masters of Strategy:  Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs for the Next Generation of CEOs and Entrepreneurs (forthcoming), co-authored with MIT Professor Michael Cusumano and Judo Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2001), co-authored with Mary Kwak. Judo Strategy has been translated into ten languages and explores strategic techniques for turning your competitors' strengths to your advantage. His other books include Competing in the Age of Digital Convergence (Harvard Business School Press, 1997), and Competing on Internet Time: Lessons from Netscape and Its Battle with Microsoft (Free Press, 1998, also co-authored with MIT Professor Michael Cusumano). BusinessWeek and Amazon.com named Competing on Internet Time as one of the top 10 business books of 1998. Professor Yoffie has written extensively for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as numerous scholarly and managerial articles on international trade, firm strategy, and global competition in high technology industries. Professor Yoffie has published more than 100 case studies on business strategy and international management issues, which have sold more than 2,500,000 copies.

  1. Apple Computer 1992 - Showcased Among The Case Centre's 40th Anniversary Top 40 Bestselling Cases

    Getting to the core of Apple:  In 1991 the computer industry had just experienced its worst year in history.  Although Apple had continued to outperform its competitors, the intense competition was putting acute pressure on its margins.  This case examines Apple's need to retain its profitability as the structure of the industry deteriorated.  Apple's CEO asked his staff key questions:  Could Apple change the structure of the industry, and if so how?  And what were the alternatives?

     

  2. David Yoffie in Working Knowledge

  3. Judo Strategy: Turning Your Competitors’ Strength to Your Advantage

    Why do some companies succeed in defeating stronger rivals, while others fail? This is a question that, sooner or later, all ambitious competitors must face. Whether you’re a tiny start-up taking on industry giants or a giant moving into markets dominated by powerful incumbents, the basic problem remains the same: How do you compete with opponents who have size, strength, and history on their side?

    The answer lies in a simple but powerful lesson: rather than oppose strength to strength, successful challengers use their opponents’ size and power to bring them down.  This message is at the heart of Judo Strategy. Based on extensive research by Harvard Business School professor David Yoffie and research associate Mary Kwak, Judo Strategy introduces a ground-breaking approach to competition that shows companies how to win against imposing odds.

    Using vivid examples from companies ranging from Wal-mart and Charles Schwab to Juniper Networks and CNET, the authors demonstrate how managers can translate the core principles of judo-a martial art that prizes skill not size-into a winning business strategy. By mastering movement, managers learn to seize the lead and make the most of their initial advantage. By maintaining balance, they can successfully engage with opponents and respond to rivals’ attacks. And finally, by exploiting leverage, managers can transform their competitors’ strengths into strategic liabilities.