- Research Feature
- Read Time: 21 min
Entrepreneurs can learn to maintain discipline while pursuing an opportunity and manage — rather than ignore or avoid — the uncertainty that comes with the territory.
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Although large-scale risks garner media attention, it is the everyday, small-scale risks associated with a lack of transparency in countries’ legal, economic, regulatory and governance structures that can confound global investment and commerce. New research identifies the causes and measures the effects of this phenomenon.
Companies should focus less on marketplace premiums for their innovations and more on opportunistically exploiting subsidies for innovations. Thus Microsoft‘s Windows 95 development effectively garnered a $900 million subsidy by drawing upon a valuable technical population to test and help improve the system. An innovation subsidy, says the author, is individuals‘ and institutions‘ cost-effective bartering of resources to reduce risk.
In a world of mobile talent, open markets and brutal competition, it’s increasingly difficult to maintain an advantage over competitors through product innovation. As a result, some companies have figured out how to outdistance rivals through customer-focused strategies that are virtually imitation-proof.
The product-development process is often seen as an undependable “black box” that rarely produces results that exceed business expectations. With an approach called “net present value, risk-adjusted,” the author offers an operational framework of quantitative tools that can be integrated into existing stage-gate methodologies to create a risk-adjusted NPV that considers the impacts of product portfolio, user needs, and technical and marketing risks.
Traditional strategic planning draws from forecasts of parameters like market growth, prices, exchange rates, and input costs that managers are unable to predict five or 10 years in advance with any accuracy. The author discusses a strategy that embodies a coherent portfolio of options, sketches a process managers can use to develop this kind of strategy, and explains how planning and management opportunism can reinforce each other.
Are strategic takeovers, which are generally friendly transactions involving stock and firms in overlapping businesses, more profitable than financial deals, which are usually hostile transactions involving cash and firms in unrelated businesses?
A combination of temporary conditions such as environmental factors or price cuts may permanently affect a company’s market share. What causes the phenomenon of hysteresis in marketing? Can companies predict and take advantage of this effect? Equally important, can they avoid becoming its victims?
The persistent U.S. trade imbalance may have two causes: a declining manufacturing base and the shift of the U.S. economy toward services. Correcting the imbalance will require a substantial commitment to expand America’s manufacturing base.
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