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In this chapter, we have introduced many of the fundamental concepts related to understanding differentiation and the diffusion of innovations within the context of monopolistic competition. The key points are the following:
- Monopolistic competition involves many buyers and sellers of products that are closely related, but not identical where entry and exit are easy. It is the dominant form of competition.
- Entrepreneurship is the best method for competing in monopolistically competitive environments. Entrepreneurship involves engaging in a risky endeavor with continuous creation and re-creation of a new enterprise, a new product, or a new idea.
- Radical innovation tends to replace existing ideas, products, services, and processes. Incremental innovations involve smaller improvements in ideas, products, services, and processes.
- Technology life cycles and the product life cycles are used to understand the diffusion of technologies and products.
- Diffusion is the acceptance, adoption, and awareness of a technology or a product by individuals.
- The diffusion of a technology usually lags the performance of a technology and this can be understood using Moore and Metcalf’s laws.
- The Bridge model is a useful way to understand discontinuities in the technology life cycle where problems can occur.
- R&D activities are present in large and small organizations, they are just implemented differently.
- Learning-about involves searching, reading, inquiry, and synthesis. Learning-by-doing involves making and building things. Learning-about and learning-by-doing are the foundation of R&D.
- Developing a strong supply chain and a strong brand through marketing are critical for delivering differentiated products and services.
This chapter has illustrated the foundational concepts for competing in the current marketplace. Subsequent chapters will build on this foundation and present additional details on how to accomplish differentiation and innovation through product and services versioning.