The Rewards of Trying to Be Different

November 2010 Product

In my research, what I learned was that despite the fact that most companies are committed to the concept of differentiation, at any given moment they are also intensely aware of what their competitors are doing, and it is this competitive vigilance that ultimately pushed them down a path of conformity.” Youngme Moon, HBS Professor and author of “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd”


Intel Lends Support to Achronix Against Xilinx and Altera in the FPGA Industry. Excess Competition or the Rule of 3?

November 2010 Corporate 2 Comments

In October of 2010, Intel Corp. took an unexpected move by granting Achronix Semiconductor Corp. access to its most advanced foundry to produce field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips.  Xilinx Inc. and Altera Corp. currently dominate the FPGA industry.  How serious of a threat is Intel’s move to the historic industry cohorts?  More specifically, will this move harm industry profits as competition heats up?  And, how should executives and investors react?


Rethinking Cost and Price

By: Special Guest Author Patrick J. Taylor
November 2010 Pricing

Most of us accept that if we go to a convenience store to buy groceries late at night, the price of many of the items will be more than if we bought them at a major grocery chain during regular hours. Yet when it comes to operating our businesses, many of us are not convinced that cost has no bearing on price.


“There are three potentially successful generic strategic approaches to outperforming other firms in an industry: 1 Overall Cost Leadership; 2. Differentiation; 3 Focus.”
Michael Porter

One of those strategies is inherently precarious due to excessive market myopias: Overall Cost Leadership.
Tim J. Smith

  1. It’s a bad idea to lead with price in advertising
  2. A cost-based price is not a price we ever want to offer the market.
  3. Mature industries tend to converge to an industry structure supporting three large generalists.
  4. Small specialists tend to be highly profitable in mature industries.
  5. In today’s marketplace there is such a profusion of similar brands and products that the consumer encounters the big blur.
  6. When you see a highly successful company in a highly competitive field, there is a good chance that company got there by successfully differentiating from the “blur.”