C. Markides and P. Geroski : “Fast second”

What if the smart strategy to win the over competitors was to be a "follower" ?

This provocative question is raised in "Fast second", written by Constantinos C. Markides, management professor at the London Business School, and Paul Geroski, economy professor, former Dean of the LBS MBA, and current Chairman of the UK Competition Commission,

Which firm create onlined bookselling in the 90s ? If you instantly think of Amazon, you’re wrong. The concept of online book selling was born and put into practice by Charles Stack, an Ohio-based bookseller in 1991. Amazon started selling books over the internet in … 1995. In the same spirit, Ford didn’t create the automobile market, nor Procter & Gamble the disposable diapers markets.

C. Markides and P. Geroski remind us of what we all know : individuals or companies who create new markets by innovating are not always in the best position to make these markets grow. Other organisations are often more adequate to bring the new market to its full potential. A must-read if you still think "first-mover advantage" is a golden rule of strategy…