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Will and Vision: How Latecomers Grow to Dominate Markets Paperback – August 23, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Although the "first mover's advantage," a belief that the first company to make inroads into a marketplace has an almost insurmountable advantage, has gained acceptance in recent years, these authors contend it is a faulty conviction based on spotty research. Tellis (who teaches at USC's business school) and Golder (of NYU's Stern School) contend that there are three primary reasons for this incorrect principle. First, the research that has been done tends to downplay those pioneers who failed. Second, the studies tend to interview current leaders of successful companies who may not have a firm grasp of the industry's history. And three, the research tends to define markets very narrowly. After spending the last 10 years studying the history of 66 industries, the authors conclude that "the real causes of enduring market leadership are vision and will. Enduring market leaders have a revolutionary and inspiring vision of the mass market and they exhibit an indomitable will to realize that vision." The authors present countless examples to back their points. People who endorse the first mover's advantage will probably not be swayed by Tellis and Golder's argument, citing personal examples. But this work is bound to make companies question whether they need to be first and also reexamine just how strong their devotion to a particular market is.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
The revolutionary study that debunks the myth of pioneering advantage and reveals the real drivers of enduring market leadership.
Critical Praise for Will & Vision:
"History will prove Will & Vision to be an important milestone in our journey to understanding how to manage innovation effectively."From the foreword by Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author, The Innovator's Dilemma
"If investors and e-entrepreneurs had understood the lessons highlighted by Tellis and Golder, billions of dollars and years of torment could have been saved. The authors present a compelling case through insightful analysis and fascinating stories of corporate successes and failures. Executives who don't understand these lessons will end up on the scrap heap of history."D. Grant Freeland, Vice President, The Boston Consulting Group
"Will & Vision identifies what makes for enduring market leadership. Later market entrants, take heart."Philip Kotler, Professor, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
"Rare research-based insight shows that winners will be those executives that can understand when and how to apply the power of vision and will. A must-read for strategists who want to achieve enduring market leadership."David Aaker, Vice-Chairman, Prophet Brand Strategy, andauthor, Managing Brand Equity and Building Strong Brands
"Tellis and Golder persuasively debunk the widely held belief that first movers will be rewarded with long-run market leadership.George Day, Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
"An important, if controversial, book. Particularly effective is the fugue-like weaving of the different histories into the successive chapters."Joel Huber, Professor, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Gillette entered the safety razor market decades after it began but has dominated it ever since.
Microsoft dominates many markets but has pioneered none.
Amazon is the dominant but not the first Internet bookseller.
These examples and dozens more like them prove that, contrary to popular wisdom, being first to market guarantees nothingnot name recognition, not market share, and certainly not long-term market leadership. The extensively researched and thoroughly readable Will & Vision discovers five key principles that are the true drivers of enduring market leadership:
- Vision of the mass market
- Managerial persistence
- Relentless innovation
- Financial commitment
- Asset leverage
Influential business professors Gerard Tellis and Peter Golder draw powerful and surprising conclusions from their years of in-depth research on market entry and new product markets. Case studies of market leaders including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Federal Express, Procter & Gamble, and Charles Schwabalong with analyses of archival reports written as close as possible to when events actually occurredshow how the five key drivers have remained remarkably similar from the nineteenth century to today. The authors contrast the behavior of firms that endured as leaders with those that had as good as or a better chance to do the same.
Andmost importantthey show how firms today can follow the examples of long-term market leaders to seize substantially greater market share regardless of the cost or complexity of their products.
"I didn't know enough to quit. I was a dreamer who believed in the 'gold at the foot of the rainbow' promise, and continued in the path where the wise ones feared to tread . . .And that is the reason, the only reason, why there is a Gillette today."King Gillette
Based on over a decade of in-depth researchdrawn from hundreds of books and thousands of articlesWill & Vision presents an unbiased portrait of the true causes of enduring market leadership. And whether for photographic paper in the nineteenth century or online stock trading in the twenty-first, the answers it provides are surprising, historically substantiated, and thoroughly convincing.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Tellis and Golder brilliantly build on over a decade of in-depth research to show that vision, persistence, relentless innovation, financial commitment, and asset leverage are the real factors that drive the superior performance of enduring leaders like the Gillette Company and Intel.
1. In their examination of "Vision", Tellis and Golder take their distance from the traditional definition of that much abused business term. Often, vision is indeed synonymous with broad mission statements used to excite and inspire stakeholders of an organization. In Counter-intuitive Marketing, Kevin J. Clancy and Peter C. Krieg concurred that most companies do not have much of a vision (See especially pg. 74 - 86). Vision has two key components according to Tellis and Golder: 1. A focus on the often-decried mass market with its dynamic and evolving needs and 2. A unique perspective of serving that mass market. For example, in contrast to its top competitors, AOL has stressed from the beginning convenience, ease to use, community, and ubiquity. Similarly, McDonald's has stressed from the onset quality, service, cleanliness, and value to build a worldwide network of mainly franchisees for bringing fast food to the masses. In Product Strategy for High Technology Companies, Michael E. McGrath gives a good complement to Tellis and Golder's definition of vision by explaining it as an answer to three key questions: 1.Where does a firm want to go? 2. How will the firm get there? And most critical 3. Why will the firm be successful? (See especially pg. 12, 306, and 317).
2. In their analysis of "Persistence", Tellis and Golder debunk the myth that enduring market leaders usually achieve their success through luck or sudden breakthroughs. In fact, visionaries have the will to persist in their efforts through seemingly insurmountable obstacles, slow progress, and long time efforts. The origin, early struggles, and ultimate success of Federal Express showed how important the vision and persistence of Fred Smith, its founder, made the difference at the end of the day. Similarly, the ultimate success of xerography after 13 years of research was due to the unwavering faith of former Xerox (Haloid)'s CEO, Joseph Watson in the underlying technology.
3. In their approach to "Relentless Innovation", Tellis and Golder remind their audience about the importance of firms not resting on their laurels. Technology and consumer tastes constantly change. Tellis and Golder rightly identify complacency with past successes, bureaucracy, managerial occupation with current customers and competitors, and fear of cannibalizing existing products as the four enemies of the relentless pursuit of innovation. For example, the earlier history of the Gillette Company clearly indicated that its success led to complacency and arrogance detrimental to its market leadership several times. Quoting Andy Grove, one of the founders of Intel, "Only the paranoid survives." In Product Strategy for High Technology Companies, Michael E. McGrath gives a good complement to Tellis and Golder's examination of both time-based and cannibalization strategies (See especially pg. 219 - 234 and 257 - 271).
4. In their study of "Financial Commitment", Tellis and Golder demonstrate that visionaries show persistence in their ability and willingness to raise and commit financial resources whatever the obstacles in their way. For example, Federal Express was on the brink of bankruptcy for years before it finally took off. Similarly, King C. Gillette, one of the co-founders of the Gillette Company, struggled not only to launch the eponymous company but also to raise the capital necessary to commercialize his disposable razor for years.
5. In their dissection of "Asset Leverage", Tellis and Golder look at how generalized and specialized assets can be mobilized for dominating a product category. Tellis and Golder rightly identify the extent to which the new product category does or appears to threaten the old product category, a strict focus on costs, myopic view of markets, and bureaucracy as the four major hindrances to leveraging assets. Xerox squandered more than one opportunity to leverage its assets to adopt and commercialize the revolutionary discoveries of its Palo Alto Research Center for years. In contrast, Microsoft showed sacrificing several products in development as the way to catch up with the competition after it had initially misjudged the potential of the Internet revolution.
Tellis and Golder also remind their audience that the relative importance of the five factors mentioned above varies by firm and market characteristics: new firms, established firms competing in established markets, and established firms entering new, yet unrelated markets (See pg. 265 and 266).
To summarize, Will and Vision by Gerard J. Tellis and Peter N. Golder is like The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen a major contribution to a better understanding of how markets really work.
Five factors that emerge as key to ensuring long term success and market dominance are Vision, Persistence, Financial Commitment, Innovation and Asset leverage- factors that are structurally related in a causal chain starting with a clear vision for a mass market. There are innumerable examples and detailed cases where the inability to see a mass market for innovative products has resulted in late comers grabbing the market from incumbents. Fear of cannibalization of existing products, bureaucracy, complacency, are some other causes that stifle growth.
After explaining the hypothesis, a good and crisp summary of the conclusions from the historical data, every chapter proceeds sequentially to substantiate the findings. This is a rare combination of business history, statistical analysis and strategy. It is this unique combination and the unconventional wisdom that is bound to make this book a classic in its own right. The range of products covered varies from diapers to couriers and computers. IBM, Microsoft, Fed Ex, Xerox, Gillette are some companies that are discussed in detail.
Comparing it with other books on similar research, my prescription for business would be:
Innovators Dilemma + Will and Vision + Built to Last + Good to Great = Road to Market dominance.