On Thinking Strategically

I just finished reading Thinking Strategically by Avinash Dixit and Barry Nalebuff. This book was recommended to me by my manager as one of his favorite business/leadership books. Thinking Strategically is a book that talks about the different decision requiring situations that involve multiple parties within a variety of settings – politics, corporate etc and the underlying game theory fundamentals. Namely some situations are where the parties involved act simultaneously and ones where they move in a sequential manner. For each backward reasoning is used to determine the different strategies and outcomes for each of the parties. The authors not only present the strategies, but also the reasoning on how one arrives to them and their superiority in different settings and more importantly their weakness in some of the scenarios. Not all problems, after all, have an equilibrium solution.

While there are a number of other books that discuss the topic of thinking and making decisions, this book set itself apart by the plethora of applied examples. My only criticism is that there is quite a bit of overlap amongst other sections. While that serves the reader who is reading one section at a time well, if you are reading the book cover to cover, you will find some repetition.

I will conclude with one of my top learnings from this book is and I quote: “…it suggests that in the case of making offers, “‘Tis better to give than to receive.”” This was in reference to tactics on bargaining.


Omar Halabieh

Thinking Strategically

Thinking Strategically


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