Why Winner-Takes-All Thinking Doesn’t Apply to Silicon Valley

Harvard Business

Given that news, it seems that businesses that have dominated their markets are learning that the magic elixir of network effects and winner-takes-all advantages are about as reliable as cures for baldness. Economists developed the theory of network effects in the 1970s and burnished it in the 1990s, and business gurus, entrepreneurs, and the tech media enshrined it as one of the guiding lights of the new economy.

Why We Shouldn’t Worry About the Declining Number of Public Companies

Harvard Business

In a parallel development, the number of companies listed on U.S. The number of listed firms can decline because of three developments: 1) bankruptcy, failure, or closure of listed firms, 2) delisting of firms going private or acquired, and 3) decrease in number of initial public offerings (IPOs). Such acquisitions become more lucrative with rising first-mover advantages, pace of technological development, and network externality. westend61/Getty Images.

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A Survey of 3,000 Executives Reveals How Businesses Succeed with AI

Harvard Business

Our survey, in fact, showed that early AI adopters have primarily bought the right fit-for-purpose technology solutions, with only a minority of respondents both developing and implementing all AI solutions in-house. Long-term: Work with academia or a third party to solve a high-impact use case (augmented human decision making in a key knowledge worker role, for example) with bleeding-edge AI technology to potentially capture a sizable first-mover advantage.

NewTV Is the Antithesis of a Lean Startup. Can It Work?

Harvard Business

The mantra of “ first-mover advantage ,” the idea that winners are the ones who are the first entrants in their markets, became the conventional wisdom in Silicon Valley. First movers didn’t understand customer problems or the product features that solved those problems (what we now call product-market fit). Startups now had tools that sped up the search for customers, reduced time to market, and slashed the cost of development.

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How AI Will Change Strategy: A Thought Experiment

Harvard Business

First, the convenience of predictive shipping makes it much less likely that you purchase the items from a competing retailer as the products are conveniently delivered to your home before you buy them elsewhere. Most people are familiar with Google’s 2014 acquisition of DeepMind – over $500M for a company that had generated negligible revenue, but had developed an AI that learned to play certain Atari games at a super human performance level.

Strategic Choices Need to Be Made Simultaneously, Not Sequentially

Harvard Business

The CEO of a large Australian company called me to relay a particular strategy development problem his firm was facing, and ask for my advice. Despite what many think, there are not generically great ways to win — e.g., being a first mover or a fast follower or a branded player or a cost leader. It turned out that Uber’s How to Win had a lot to do with building a first-mover advantage in markets like the U.S.;

How Netflix Expanded to 190 Countries in 7 Years

Harvard Business

In the second quarter of 2018, its international streaming revenues exceeded domestic streaming revenues for the first time. In France and India, for example, homegrown leaders offer local-language video content, thus depriving Netflix of first-mover advantage. and Netflix has managed to make inroads into even those markets where Prime arrived first. Netflix has demonstrated that developing country-specific knowledge is critical for success in local markets.

Microsoft’s Bid to Make Outlook More than Email

Harvard Business Review

Apple’s iPod started as a music-playing device, until it developed the iTunes music store and App Store to connect content providers and app develops to iPod users. The good news for Microsoft is that it has a first-mover advantage, and can evaluate its platform partnerships to decide which third parties should be acquired, which should be exclusively available on Outlook, and which should be more tightly integrated.

The Hidden Costs of Initial Coin Offerings

Harvard Business

Blockchain startups raised over $5 billion in 2017 through ICOs and over $12 billion through the first three quarters of 2018. These ICOs are nearly always held when a project is at an immature stage of development akin to a seed stage startup — when it is testing hypotheses around its consumer value proposition and forming a founding team. This focused attention from developers has the added benefit of crowdsourcing feedback on the beta version of the project.

What Investors Need to Know About Zimbabwe After Mugabe

Harvard Business

Mugabe’s ouster and replacement with his one-time deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was the most significant development in the Southern African nation since it gained independence from Britain in 1980. ” Once one of Africa’s most developed markets – with a solid education system, good infrastructure, and a relatively large middle class – decades of mismanagement have cost Zimbabwe. Most importantly, executives have to follow developments closely.

It's Time to Cut Back on Social Media

Harvard Business Review

Clearly there is a first mover advantage in some cases: Chris Brogan developed a passionate following as an early blogger, and Guy Kawasaki jumped onboard Twitter and became a powerhouse there. I recently got back from the New Media Expo in Las Vegas. Scheduled before the massive annual CES gathering, it's a powwow for bloggers and other social media enthusiasts, early adopters who are quick to jump on board the next great thing.

When to Change a Winning Strategy

Harvard Business Review

In our research on the telecom industry, for example, we found that the great majority of the executives we surveyed preferred internal development to external sourcing when they needed to develop differentiated products and services. Its story starts like many success stories do: An innovative concept coupled with a first-mover advantage, enabling a rapid physical expansion and generating increasing returns to scale.

Structure Your Global Team for Innovation

Harvard Business Review

Essilor undertook a project to develop photochromic lenses with partners PPG and Transitions Optical. To ensure first mover advantage, the schedule was extremely aggressive. Each site involved in global innovation will see the project through the prism of its own contribution and context, rather than putting the bigger picture first. Many firms struggle to exploit the innovation potential of their global networks.

Structure Your Global Team for Innovation

Harvard Business Review

Essilor undertook a project to develop photochromic lenses with partners PPG and Transitions Optical. To ensure first mover advantage, the schedule was extremely aggressive. Each site involved in global innovation will see the project through the prism of its own contribution and context, rather than putting the bigger picture first. Many firms struggle to exploit the innovation potential of their global networks.

Best Practices for Leading via Innovation

Harvard Business Review

Our study clearly shows that great leadership is a strong competitive advantage, with the top 20 BCL firms far outperforming the S&P 500 benchmark on shareholder returns. Toyota's decade-long investment in its Prius sub-brand ultimately succeeded in strengthening the company's reputation as a respected product innovator while allowing Toyota to capture first-mover advantage in the fast-growing hybrid category.

What U.S. E-Commerce Can Learn from Its Global Copycats

Harvard Business Review

I know about this kind of thing first-hand. We were unable to capitalize on first mover advantage. But first mover advantage is a simplistic tenet of global strategy. With limited purchasing power, low credit card usage, and poor delivery networks, it''s clear that the approach for e-commerce in developing markets has to be different than in the U.S. A hybrid approach has to be developed — one that takes good elements from the U.S.

Five Myths of a CEO's First 100 Days

Harvard Business Review

Starting off on the right foot is crucial, especially during "the first 100 days," when new top executives are under intense scrutiny to prove they're equal to the job. Because he initially concentrated on assembling a strong team and personally communicating with them, he was able to develop a firm launch-pad for a variety of initiatives aimed at transforming the company. Perhaps the most dangerous myth of all is that a new CEO's worth can be judged in the "first 100 days."

The Health Care Industry Needs to Start Taking Women Seriously

Harvard Business Review

Instead, according to new research from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), the fundamental issue is the health care industry’s failure to develop a nuanced understanding of, and commitment to, women as consumers and decision makers. The good news: By engaging this market segment and rebuilding trust, health care companies can have a first-mover advantage. What is the greatest impediment preventing Americans from getting good health care?

Growing, or Not, in an Age of Permanent Volatility

Harvard Business Review

In a recent Accenture study involving 1000 CFOs and CMOs across eight industries and a dozen countries in developed and emerging markets, 85 percent of executives expected their companies to grow at a rate equal to or significantly greater than global growth forecasts. Because of stagnation in developed markets combined with unprecedented volatility — in everything from equity markets and commodity prices to currencies and governmental regulations.

Which Nation Has the Best 'Technik'?

Harvard Business Review

Paul Kennedy's seminal Rise and Fall of the Great Powers captures the way technological and economic advances have converted into strategic advantage, and how failure to "lock in" that edge accelerates imperial decline. s Human Development Index and the standard economic measure of per capita GDP illustrates just how important it is to develop a neutral, long-term-focused metric for progress. Many wealthy societies have low human-development scores (e.g.,