Innovation based 'strategy vs 'speed 'stategy

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Innovation versus Speed Strategy

The approach companies take in making strategic decisions regarding such critical aspects including their business model and value chain have direct implications on their ability to sustain themselves over time. The accumulated research shown by Dr. W Chan Kim and Dr. Renee Mauborgne in their best selling book Blue Ocean Strategy (Chain, Kim, 2005) illustrate that new, uncontested markets are created by the decisions companies make over time rather than high levels of research and development (R&D) spending or intensive mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to acquire patents. The differences between companies who rely on innovation-based strategies relative to those that rely on speed-based ones are most prevalent during the decision of when and how to launch new products. This specific decision is in fact quantified as the single greatest and profit-generating event in the analysis completed (Kim, Mauborgne, 2004).

Apple dominates innovation-based decisions and often looks to completely redefine a given marketplace through the sequence of product and service innovations developed. This mindset and resulting decisions within Apple to pursue a strategy of innovation and the development of an entire ecosystem for digital content including iTunes, iPods, and iPhones/iTouch devices has created a platform the company capitalizes on with each product introduction (Jonash,?Koehler, Onassis, 2007). The decision of which features within a given iPod to launch, how to specifically position its video capabilities and the offer of bundling for specific services on iTunes all relate to this innovation mindset.

The computer peripherals marketplace is one marked by rapid product introductions and the continual development of new features. This is an industry marked by rapid technological change and a mindset of speed comparable to the microprocessor industry that seeks to find differentiation and value-add by leapfrogging competition in the process. The decision regarding the launching a new product is for many members of the computer peripherals marketplace including Epson Printers a competitive parity issue at the least and an opportunity to significantly bypass competitors at the most. Epson has learned from decades of competing on speed of product development that the product introduction process must be focused on gaining competitive parity at worst, competitive leadership through technological superiority at the best. The speed of product introductions in the peripherals marketplace also sends a message to company stakeholders that it is still viable and capable of competing effectively over time.


As research has shown, the approach companies take to making decisions about new opportunities can have a significant effect on their ability to create entirely new markets for themselves (Kim, Mauborgne, 2004). The reliance on creating an ecosystem that can flex across product generations and serve as a catalyst for innovation is evident in how Apple makes decisions with regard to product introductions (Jonash,?Koehler, Onassis, 2007). Speed and time-to-market are the competitive strategies most often used in the computer peripherals marketplace, as is seen in the speed of market introductions of Epson with new printing technologies (Saffir, 2005)


Ron Jonash,?Holger Koehler,?&?Iason Onassis.?(2007). The power of platforms.?Business Strategy Series,?8(1),?26-34.?

W Chan Kim,?&?Renee Mauborgne.?(2004,?October). BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY.?Harvard Business Review,?82(10),?76-84.?

David Saffir.? (2005,?May). NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN INKJET PRINTING: An Up-Close Look at the Latest & Greatest.?Digital Imaging Techniques,24-26.?[continue]

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