Chapter 2. Assessing Market Potential: Estimating Market Size and Timing of Entry

Although the Internet boom grabbed all the headlines for speculative excess and managerial misjudgment in the 1990s, there was another decision-making arena in which western executives seriously underperformed—market assessment and entry decisions, particularly with regard to large emerging markets such as China. In a retrospective commentary on what it describes as an “infatuation” The Economist commented, “Few companies are stupid, but many have behaved stupidly in China.”[1] Similarly, Harvard economist Pankaj Ghemawat reflects that “companies routinely exaggerate the attractiveness of foreign markets.”[2] Not only have many foreign market investments proven unprofitable, ...

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