Lanchester was born on October 23, 1868, in London. He graduated from the Royal College of Science. At the age of 28, he built England’s first gasoline-powered automobile. At 31, he founded a consulting firm, the Lanchester Car Company. He is responsible for many significant inventions in the automobile industry. Lanchester invented disc brakes, power steering, four wheel drive, fuel injection, low voltage ignition, and static and dynamic balancing of engines among the almost 400 patents in his name.
Subsequently he was a member of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and a technical advisor to the Daimler motor car company. He was also a member of the British Academy, a Doctor of Laws, and a honorary member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Lanchester’s career ended on March 8, 1946, with his death in Birmingham.
His paper entitled “The Theory of Rotation and Lift,” and a two-volume treatise on aerodynamics, “Aerial Flight,” were published in 1907. These works were major contributions to the science of aeronautics at the time. The ideas proposed in these works were later incorporated into airfoil theory by the German physicist Ludwig Prandtl, and are still used today, known as the Lanchester-Prandtl three dimensional airfoil theory.
After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Lanchester, with great intrest, witnessed battles in which aircraft he had worked on were used. He became convinced of the need for a mathematical analysis of the relative strengths of opposing battlefield forces to describe the effectiveness of aircraft. By doing quantitative studies of the number of casualties on both sides in land, sea, and air battles, he arrived at the Lanchester laws.
His findings are recorded in “Aircraft in Warfare the Dawn of the Fourth Arm, ” which he published in 1916. Lanchester’s quantitative and mathematical studies of the affect of aircraft in combat were the first of their kind and attracted a great deal of attention. His book emphasized the importance of the air force’s role in military strategy of the future. His suggestions were adopted by Major-General Henderson, with the result that the Royal Air Force and the Air Ministry were established.
Subsequently, the laws discovered by Lanchester were studied further in the U.S. They were used with overwhelming success in military strategy in the latter stages of World War II, including operations in the Central Pacific.
Lanchester’s work was introduced into Japan in 1952 in a book on OR (Operations Research) sent by quality expert, W. Edward Deming. [The book in question is Methods of Operations Research by P. M. Morse and G. E. Kimball, published jointly by MIT and John Wiley and Sons 1951 – ed]
In 1960, Mr. Sakurika, then manager of the Japanese Planning Agency’s Policy Bureau, collaborated with some of his ministry colleagues on a book. One chapter, “Applying the Lanchester Laws to Corporate Competition,” cites Lanchester’s work, but mentions only that the most powerful competitor wins.
It was the late Dr. Nobuo Taoka who applied Lanchester’s theories to sales strategy. From 1962 to 1984, he studied Lanchester’s ideas and restructured Lanchester’s military and Operations Reserch strategies into a marketing and sales strategy.
This sales strategy was lauded for dispensing with traditional idealism and spirt, and for being a scientific, realistic sales strategy. The books the Dr. Taoka wrote were unprecidented best sellers in the business category in Japan.
Shinichi Yano, Tokyo, April 1989.
Copyright (c) Lanchester Press, 1996. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part by any means.
From The New Yorker
The Japanese economic miracle is based on successfully acquiring and applying knowledge. Not coincidentally, Japanese people have figured out that Manga can be used to learn as well as entertain. Courtesy of Japan and this new translation, we can now learn about the Lanchester Strategy. Be Smart! Read Manga! Read This Book!
Japanese Lanchester Strategy is the Rosetta stone for understanding Japanese business thought. It provides the economic context (steeped in conflict and strategic planning) that is left unstated in Japanese high-context writings. Anyone competing or negotiating with the Japanese must understand these concepts. — Dr. J. G. Taylor, Professor of Operations Research, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. Author of the two-volume treatise Lanchester Models of Warfare
This lively book explains the unique way in which Japanese businessmen have used Lanchester’s ideas of military conflict to analyze market share battles. A persuasive guide to the benefits of concentration in todays competitive marketplace. —
Dr. N. Campbell, Professor of Strategic Management, Manchester Business School, Manchester, England.
The first volume of Yano’s pioneering New Lanchester Strategy describes the derivation of Lanchester’s equations of combat with applications to sales and marketing strategy. Chapters include basic Lanchester strategy, Lanchester’s Laws No. 1 and No. 2, market share patterns, principle of one-point concentration, strategy and tactics. Translated from Japanese, it is the first work on this subject to appear in the English language. Over 90,000 copies sold in Japan. Designed in Japanese Manga (comic book) style with detailed chapter summaries.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Japanese proponent of Lanchester Strategy, Dr. Nobuo Taoka, who passed away in 1984, first encountered the Lanchester laws in 1960. Through Taoka’s subsequent research, Lanchester’s theories were reborn as a sales strategy perfectly suited to Japan’s business climate.
The Lanchester Strategy has been used as a sales strategy for more than 20 years, and it remains as valid as ever. In fact, recently an increasing number of companies have been turning to the Lanchester strategy, part of a current trend to get back to the basics, because the principles of competition do not change.
However, markets do change, and they have changed over the past 20 years. Some aspects of the strategy are no longer in keeping with actual market conditions, an inevitable situation. For that reason, we have expanded upon the original Lanchester strategy and revised portions of it that have been misunderstood, thus providing a strategy more suited to the battles we face and easier to implement. We have christened the revised version the New Lanchester Strategy.
We have issued this book in Manga or comic-book format, for the following reasons:
1. Most of the writings about sales strategy and marketing, and the theories presented in those writings, have come to Japan from the U.S. They are not easily understandable, possibly because the target audience has generally been business owners or managers.
2. We wanted to make this book accessible to the younger generation. The Lanchester strategy is simply a basic strategy. Companies must customize it to fit their individual situations. The adaption process requires new ideas, ideas unhampered by convention. Regardless of how talented they are, as people age and gain experience, they tend to loose the ability to think flexibly. We have entered the age of the unknown. In this time of turmoil, we need to arm ourselves with new ideas and theories.
3. Since the new Lanchester strategy differs from the original Lanchester strategy, it is necessary to describe it in different terms. However, even though we have used the comic-book format, this book is certainly not a digest or summary. It was our intention in presenting the fundamentals of the Lanchester strategy in three volumes, to describe it in more detail than was provided in previous writings on the subject.
Volume 1 of the New Lanchester Strategy contains five chapters. Chapter one outlines the history of the Lanchester strategy. Chapter two describes the Lanchester laws, the basis for the strategy of the strong and the strategy of the weak. Chapter three focuses on market share targets and the shooting range theory extrapolated from the Lanchester strategy model. In the summary at the end of Chapter three, we include the equations for deriving the 40% and root 3, which many people have had difficulty.
In Chapter four, we provide a detailed explanation of the three main points of the New Lanchester Strategy, which forms the framework of this series. Chapter five discusses the applications of the Lanchester strategy to tactical strength, providing a scientific explanation of offensive strength in terms of flyers and direct mail, with emphasis on sales activities.
The first part of each chapter is in comic-book format, followed by a text summary. Anyone who reads this book from start to finish should be able to understand the basics of the Lanchester strategy.