Fortune at the bottom of the innovation pyramid: The strategic logic of incremental innovations
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It is not uncommon to come across appeals in business literature exhorting managers to devote greater effort to the pursuit of radical innovations, or to see comments admonishing managers for devoting too much energy to the search for incremental innovations. Over the years, successful radical innovations have undisputedly had a significant impact on the fortunes of a number of companies. At the same time, firms cannot afford to overlook the role of incremental innovations in enhancing and sustaining the revenue and profit streams of successful radical innovations. From the standpoint of survival, growth, and profitability, both home runs, meaning radical innovations, and singles, meaning incremental innovations, matter. The fact that home runs are generally infrequent underscores the importance of frequent singles. This article explores the various competitive strategy contexts in which incremental innovations can be leveraged effectively against that backdrop. 2008 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.