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Tracking Trajectories

“Strategy is a complex game that rewards the sharpest thinking,” says Peter Cohan ’79, author of Disciplined Growth Strategies: Insights from the Growth Trajectories of Successful and Unsuccessful Companies (Apress), although he laughs about how little of it he brought to Swarthmore.

“I was very confused,” he says. “As a freshman, I wanted to be a poet, but—to make a point—my father told me to look it up in the Yellow Pages.”

After a brief stint as an aspiring architect, Cohan—who taught himself to program a computer at age 14—decided his future was in tech strategy. Today, he’s a recognized international expert on the subject, the founder of his own management consulting and venture capital firm, and an executive-in-residence at Babson College.

“My two Swarthmore degrees, in art history and electrical engineering, gave me a unique ability to look at problems from many perspectives,” he says. “I hope to provide a roadmap for leaders who are more creative and who can use their capital to create sustainable growth trajectories—especially since some companies will now have about $600 billion in tax cuts coming to them.”