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L O K E J I A W E N , O L I V E R S 8 7 0 4 4 1 9 Z
Risk-takers of a different kind
This article has shed considerable light on the unique circumstances facing industries in the adoption of dominating designs and its threats to its product line and survival. While radical innovation is a leap both in components and its relationships, the risks involved for architectural innovation could perhaps be likened to the analogy of a proud explorer declaring his strength atop a mass of quicksand. The naive assumptions facing organizations (especially market leaders) in the assessment of new entrants and their seemingly insignificant modular rearrangements could, in the long run, be detrimental to their survival. This is akin to the explorer dismissing the quicksand as merely earth slime and mud, without understanding the underlying changes in its composition and structural integrity. As such, the explorer’s life is severely threatened if he steps into it, due to his failed assessment of the nature of the new threat (the fundamental difference in effects between quicksand and normal mud through both are made of soil and water as main components) and his presumed ability to overcome it (e.g. by human strength, quality of trekking shoes, experiences).
Advice for leading firms
First, we must realize that dominant design types do evolve at varying rates across product lines, with low research input, high-demand products and services drawing the greatest innovation in most industries. However, the essential need is for firms to recognize that is unrealistic in the long run for their products to remain dominant design types despite spending huge amounts in R&D. This is because innovation will increasingly be build upon greater collaboration across boundaries, leading to further unpredictability. As such, a...