06 Jul 2015 20:29 IST

In Tech, first Isn't always best: Study

The researchers focused on the pre-smartphone era, before the Apple iPhone, and before the development focus shifted to new software and applications

The cutting edge is where tech companies say they want to be, but being a follower can be just as prudent according to new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Professor John Joseph found that cell phone companies who were first with new technology tended to launch several new features at once, but didn't perform any better financially than companies that waited to see what features took off before introducing them.

"You can do well under both conditions," he said. "You can be a first mover as long as you introduce broadly, and you can be a second mover as long as you are selective, picking narrowly but picking wisely, and you can have similar performance outcomes."

Joseph and Ronald Klingebiel of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management studied the launch of new mobile phone features between 2004 and 2008, when the introduction of new hardware was at its peak. Their findings, "Entry Timing and Innovation Strategy in Feature Phones," were recently published online in the Strategic Management Journal.

The researchers focused on the pre-smartphone era, before the Apple iPhone, and before the development focus shifted to new software and applications. It was a time when different kinds of hardware — flip phones, sliders, bricks — were battling for supremacy in the cell phone market.

"This was a unique period because you didn't have a dominant player like Apple," Joseph said. "You had a bunch of different players." Click to read the whole story

Recommended for you