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Cover Art
Author Suarez, Fernando, author.

Title The Hybrid Trap: Why Most Efforts to Bridge Old and New Technology Miss the Mark [electronic resource] / Suarez, Fernando.

Published MIT Sloan Management Review, 2018.


Location Call No. Status
Edition 1st edition
Physical description 6 p.
Series Safari Books Online
Summary Technological transitions are challenging, particularly for companies in mature industries. Incumbents are frequently blindsided by new technologies, thereby missing opportunities to enter emerging markets early. While some established companies become early adopters of new technologies, the authors argue that they typically lack the vision and the commitment to become leaders. Too often, they cling to the familiar, developing "hybrid" products that combine elements of the old and the new. This puts even the best incumbent companies in a weak position when the market finally embraces the new technology, something the authors call the "hybrid trap." This article takes a close look at the auto industry's transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles (EVs) and compares it to precedents in other industries. Several incumbent automakers, such as General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd., entered the EV market early, but they backed away from these projects in favor of continued emphasis on established engine technology. Gradually, most of them focused on hybrid cars that combined old and new technologies. This opened the door to new competitors, notably Tesla Inc., which focused solely on the EV technology. By mid-2017, nearly every old-line engine producer was playing catch-up on EV technology, working to release new electric models in the next two to five years. Although it is too early to know if Tesla will be successful in the long run, the Tesla example, in the authors' view, points to a fundamental weakness in how incumbents respond to industry transformations. In the 1960s, U.S. electronics companies responded to the introduction of Japanese transistor radios by developing products that blended transistor technology with traditional vacuum tubes. In the early 1990s, Kodak Ltd. tried to sell a "film-based digital imaging" product, which merged film photography and digital technology. And a decade ago, BlackBerry Ltd. tried to respond to the challenge of the iPhone by releasing a phone that had both a touchscreen display (like the iPhone) and a traditional keyboard (like earlier BlackBerry phones). The answer for incumbents, the authors write, isn't to walk away from products based on the old technology and jump headlong into the new. But they need to take precautions so that the company's legacy operations don't hamper their ability to pursue new technology. New technologies can open opportunities that extend well beyo...
Reproduction Electronic reproduction. Boston, MA : Safari, Available via World Wide Web. 2018.
System notes Mode of access: World Wide Web.
NOTES Copyright © 2018 MIT Sloan Management Review 2018
Issuing body notes Made available through: Safari, an O’Reilly Media Company.
Other author Utterback, James, author.
von Gruben, Paul, author.
Kang, Hye, author.
Safari, an O’Reilly Media Company.
Subject Electronic books.
ISBN 53863MIT59328
Standard Number 53863MIT59328