Architectural Innovation and the Attacker's Advantage from Complementary Assets: The Case of the Video Game Console Industry
Posted: 20 Sep 2006
Date Written: December 2005
In exploring the role that complementary assets play in the face of a technological innovation, researchers have focused on how commercialization complementary assets help incumbents. We focus on how both technological and commercialization complementary assets help attackers erode incumbent competitive advantages. We show that complementary assets can help an attacker not only to offer a better product, but also to more effectively commercialize the product and position the firm to profit from it. We apply our arguments to the video game console industry in which attackers have been able to use their complementary assets to take over leadership of the industry each time a new generation of microprocessors has been introduced. Our framework has implications for research in dynamic capabilities. It also has both policy and management implications.
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