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The Half-Truth of First-Mover Advantage

Abstract: Early industry entrants are often thought to have the first-mover competitive advantage, whereas others believe there is no competitive advantage. Examples can be given to showcase both sides of the argument, however, Suarez and Lanzolla focus on factors that most influence the destiny of first movers. This article analyzes the affects of the pace of product evolution and market expansion on a first mover’s success. Particularly, it is important to analyze the type of environment and industry that  is present, and assess the character and depth of your resources. With this information, companies can decide on the type of advantages they can leverage most. For example, is short term success, immediate success or delayed success most likely achievable.

Author: Fernando Suarez and Gianvito Lanzolla

Published: April 2005

Link: Harvard Business Review

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