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Technological Innovation: Oversights and Foresights Hardcover – April 28, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0521552998 ISBN-10: 0521552990

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Why do managers take technology as a black box and do not try to assess or manage it? Some companies, better than others, have recognized the potential of technological breakthroughs, such as the personal computer, VCR, and fax machine. For instance, RCA, a recognized leader in broadcasting, chose not to invest in FM technology. Xerox was amongst the first few to develop the personal computer but failed to commercialize it. Sony was unable to reap benefits from its Betamax technology even though it was superior to its competitor, VHS. The list of such "technological oversights" is endless.Similarly, there are several instances of "technological foresights." Sun Microsystems was among the first to realize the potential of reduced instruction set computing (RISC) chips that are now revolutionizing the computer industry. Though, initially, it could think of no good uses for a not-too-sticky adhesive, 3M has reaped millions from Post-It Note pads.This book suggests why these oversights and foresights occur, and, what actions managers must take for firms to increase their "hit-rates" or "batting-averages."

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