Many leading companies lose their market
leadership when technologies or markets change. Why is it that
established companies invest aggressively- and successfully- in the
technologies necessary to retain their current customers but then
fail to make the technological investments that customers of the
future will demand?
Most established companies are
consistently ahead of their industries in developing and
commercializing new technologies as long as those technologies
address the next-generation-performance needs of their customers.
However, an industry's leaders are rarely in the forefront of
commercializing new technologies that do not initially meet the
functional demands of mainstream customers and appeal only to small
or emerging markets.
To remain at the top of their
industries, managers must first be able to spot the technologies
that fall into this category. Managers must protect them from the
processes and incentives that are geared to serving mainstream
customers. And the only way to do that is to create organizations
that are completely independent of the mainstream business.