Technological transitions are challenging, particularly for companies in mature industries. Incumbents are frequently blindsided by new technologies, fully missing opportunities to enter emerging markets early. While some established companies do possess the awareness and dexterity to become early adopters of new technologies, they typically lack the vision and the commitment to become leaders. Too often, they cling to the familiar, developing hybrid products that combine elements of the old and the new. The trouble is, hybrid strategies put even the best incumbent companies in a weak position when the market finally embraces the new technology. We call this the "hybrid trap." The transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles demonstrates the dangers of hesitating to embrace the new. New markets are often enabled by technological change and exploited by minds that can envision futures that are far different from the status quo. More so, they are convinced that such a future must happen.
Technological change, Transitions, Emerging markets, Electric vehicles
Technology and Innovation
Strategy and Organisation
Mit Sloan Management Review
Sloan Management Review Association
SUAREZ, Fernando F; UTTERBACK, James; GRUBEN, Paul Von; and KANG, Hye Young.
The hybrid trap: Why most efforts to bridge old and new technology miss the mark. (2018). Mit Sloan Management Review. 59, (3), 52-57. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: https://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5851
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