Hi everybody. Welcome to our MOOC on Strategy. I am Professor Carl Joachim Kock, and I have taught this subject for the last 18 years at one of Europe's and the world's leading MBA schools, IE. In this short video, I mostly want to extend a heartfelt welcome to all of you. I am very happy that you have decided to join our learning environment. This look on strategy, will offer you a journey to a few crucial topics that are at the beginning of any attempt to understand or create strategy. Specifically, in our four weeks together, you will initially take a look at economic logics underlying value creation. Then start to analyze the external environment of firms, followed by a deep push into the internal resources and capabilities of the firm stem cell. Then in our final week, we will revolve back to consider and quantify what exactly is a competitive advantage, and what types are out there. Let me give you a bit more detail on each of these weeks. To start with, I have lined up several videos and short exercises to first talk about the most crucial issue for the strategy. If you open the textbook on strategy or simply Google the term, you probably get a host of different definitions, often revolving around some plan to achieve some objectives. That is nice. Yet, as already Prussia Field Marshal Moltke The Elder, suggested, no plan survives the contact with the enemy. Well, he had a bit more elaborate way of saying it, but that short version really has the crucial element. It is great to analyze an industry and draft the plan, but if it was that simple, why do so many firms struggle? That's why we need to delve a group bit deeper into this topic to realize that strategy is not a prefabricated model or tool, but rather a way of approaching complex situations and understanding them better than your competitors. As such, strategy requires the creation of a strategic mindset that will allow us to better understand what is going on, and to react to that in a unique way. Think of Apple doing something very different from what other cell phone makers have so far conceived of. The first couple of videos will walk you through some of the crucial issues here. Specifically in the video, on what is strategy and a sequel or end, I will take a look at the basic logic here. Strategy as the creation of the value within the economy, something that we call, you guessed it, a rent, well, just bear with me. In the next video, I will then make a link to a sister discipline, economics, and review the concepts of perfect competition and monopoly from a strategic perspective. Following that, another video, will wrap up this first week of our MOOC with some thoughts on how you actually move away from perfect competition, where nobody makes money and towards a situation that allows you to actually generate some profits and what that implies for competition at the industry. In the following two weeks, we will then move from such basic economic considerations to the nitty-gritty of strategic analysis, and try to understand how exactly profits in an industry are generated. Is it because the structure of the industry looks so great? Which is what the probably most well known of all strategic models, Porter's Five Forces is all about. Or does it depend perhaps even more on the actions of firms and the resources and capabilities that the same have at their disposal? Accordingly, Week 2 and 3 are structured around first, an understanding and application of Porter's Five Forces and the analysis of the industry structure, and second, an analysis of the resources and capabilities of firms, and the implications that either industry structure or firm capabilities have for allowing firms to curve out and crucially defend a position where they produce valuable and unique products or services, or simply create a competitive advantage that allows them to generate true economic profits. Among other things, these two weeks will introduce you to the issues of economies of scale as well as the learning curve, and with that to the notion of barriers to entry. Well, another video explains core tenets of the so-called Resource-Based View or simply RBV, which was conceived as somewhat of an anti-siezes to the purely industry environment focused, Five Forces view. All of these issues should help you make the most of the small keys that you will find in the middle of these two segments. Pulling many of these issues together, Week 4, will then challenge you to an interactive exercise that accompanied by another video, will ask you to delve deeply into understanding and quantifying what the advantage of a firm actually is over its competitors. Of course, throughout this four week MOOC, you will also have several exercises that will help you to further refine and train your understanding of these various issues. I hope that you will have fun with our MOOC, and I wish you an excellent learning voyage. Also, if you decide to stay for the full module in strategy, here a little teaser of what you can expect from the rest of this course. In Week 2 of the module, we will talk about competitive interactions and disruptive change. In Week 3 of the module, we will develop a deep understanding of how all those Internet companies and unicorns tick by analyzing network externalities, platform markets, and the sharing economy. Finally, in Week 4 of the module, we will discuss corporate and international strategy. Have fun. Thank you very much.