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Harvard Business Review on Aligning Technology with Strategy by Harvard Business Review

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Bold Retreat

A New Strategy for Old Technologies

by Ron Adner and Daniel C. Snow

A SUPERIOR NEW TECHNOLOGY emerges on the horizon, threatening your existing business. Do you simply follow conventional wisdom and strive to make a seamless transition to the new technology? All too many companies can’t admit to themselves that they actually don’t have the wherewithal to make that transition—and so they fail disastrously.

Some firms decide, of course, that they can’t or shouldn’t make the transition—perhaps because they lack the necessary capabilities or financial resources, or because they believe that the new technology isn’t really superior and can be defeated. So, they redouble their efforts to upgrade the old technology and in many cases succeed ...

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