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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1404015
 
 

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The Curse of the First-Mover: When Incremental Innovation Leads to Radical Change


Thierry Rayna


ESG Management School

Ludmila Striukova


University College London

May 1, 2009

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 4–21, 2009

Abstract:     
The literature establishes a strong link between radical innovation, first-mover advantage and market dominance. However, there are numerous examples where, despite being the first-mover and radically innovating, companies have failed to achieve a significant market share. In fact, incremental innovation can, sometimes, influence the industry in a more significant way than radical innovation. The aim of this article is to investigate the relation between radical innovation, incremental innovation and market dominance. It explains why radical innovation and first-mover advantage might fail to provide competitive advantage and weaken companies. In order to do so, the article examines the key determinants of why first-movers may face a disadvantage in comparison to followers. These theoretical results are supported by the case study of four products released by Apple, two of which correspond to radical innovations and to others to incremental innovation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: incremental innovation, radical innovation, first-mover advantage, digital audio player, Apple, iPod, iMac, Lisa, Newton

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Date posted: May 13, 2009 ; Last revised: May 7, 2014

Suggested Citation

Rayna, Thierry and Striukova, Ludmila, The Curse of the First-Mover: When Incremental Innovation Leads to Radical Change (May 1, 2009). International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 4–21, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1404015

Contact Information

Thierry Rayna (Contact Author)
ESG Management School ( email )
25 rue Saint Ambroise
Paris, 75011
France
Ludmila Striukova
University College London ( email )
Gower Street
London, England WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
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