FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Standing on the Sun by Christopher Meyer, Julie Kirby

Standing on the Sun

This book is a well-timed, well-written antidote to such post-crisis pessimism. By pointing out how capitalism is itself evolving beyond its 20th century bastions, Meyer and Kirby open a window and let in some welcome fresh air. — Read the complete FT review


For half a century the US has sat at the center of the global economic system,and Western-style capitalism has dominated. Now, it’s no secret that the centerof gravity is shifting. The advanced economies that in 2000 consumed 75% of theworld’s output will, by 2050, consume just 32%. Meanwhile, the emergingeconomies of the world–Brazil, India, China, and others–will surge forward.

As these fast-growing, low-income economies mature, will they adopt thepractices of the old guard? Or will they make their own way, and create the nextprevailing version of capitalism? What new opportunities will that create forfirms around the world?

Standing on the Sun tackles these questions with fresh ideas and provocativeexamples. Based on firsthand observations of companies defying capitalism’s oldrules yet prospering, the authors outline new principles for commercial success.Among them:

  • The obsession with return on equity gives way to more broad-based measurements of success
  • Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market is redeemed by the “invisible handshake” of collaborative networks
  • Businesses take ownership of the impacts they now call “externalities”

Those who need to understand the emerging shape of global capitalism willbenefit from Standing on the Sun.