The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
Organizations, like people, are born, thrive, suffer, and die. With any luck, there is more thriving than suffering, but the truth is that the vast majority of organizations do not last more than five years.1 Competitive environments can be hostile places, and globalization has made them even more so. Since 1980, the starting point for our financial data, there have been tremendous changes in the competitive environment of every industry, and every indicator suggests that the pace of change is increasing.
The population ecology school of business research, introduced in Chapter Two, has analyzed ...