Project Management Institute

Slow and steady

Most companies aspire to develop the cutting-edge products and services that will enable them to secure a market position ahead of their competitors. But the struggle to be the first-to-market also comes with pitfalls, setbacks--and often, second-place finishes. This article discusses how organizations can advantageously respond when competitors are the first-to-market with a cutting-edge product or service. In doing so, it looks at the one element that most often determines business success, the one which supersedes first-to-market. It overviews a case study of an innovative Dell printer that failed to reach market before a similar product released by a competitor, one which Dell now outsells. It then explains the advantages of being second-to-market, noting how companies can learn about their own new products and services by studying those offered by competitors. It also identifies the criteria that cleanroom-apparel manufacturer Kimberly-Clark uses to define--and its process to develop--a good product. Acc
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