Chapter 1

Why Incumbents Fail


Success is empowering. But success is also enthralling and embeds the seeds of failure.

INCUMBENT FIRMS that dominate their markets often fail to maintain that domination for long, despite all the advantages they enjoy of market leadership. For example, Sony created the market for mobile music with the introduction of the Walkman. Yet, Apple's iPod now dominates that market. Kodak dominated the market for film photography but declined and ultimately went bankrupt as digital photography took off. Barnes and Noble dominated the book market for decades, but Amazon is now the biggest force in book retailing. Intel dominated the market for PC chips, yet is a minor player in the fast-growing market for cell phone and ...

Get Unrelenting Innovation: How to Build a Culture for Market Dominance now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.