"The Half-Truth of First Mover Advantage"

Harvard Business Review, 83(4):121-127, 2005 (April), with Gianvito Lanzolla

First-mover advantage is more than a myth but far less than a sure thing. Our research, based on a thorough examination of the literature on first mover advantage, as well as an analysis of more than 30 cases of early entry into new product spaces, has enabled us to identify situations in which companies are likely to gain first-mover advantages and those in which such advantages are less likely. Specifically, we identified two factors that powerfully influence a first mover's fate: the pace at which the technology of the product in question is evolving and the pace at which the market for that product is expanding. Knowing how fast or slow the technology and the market are moving will allow you to understand your odds of succeeding with the resources you possess.

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