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Global gamesmanship-student comments

The following were remarks made on our article ‘global gamesmanship’ by entrepreneurship students at the Wharton School.

Global Gamesmanship? by Ian C. MacMillan, Alexander B. van Putten, and Rita Gunther McGrath

This reading was extremely helpful. This reading offered us a useful framework to think about how to position our product to take on established incumbents. While many business texts glibly admonish innovators to ?strike at the weak spots? or ?find the Achilles heel,? their advice seldom extends beyond these platitudes or bothers to explain exactly how to identify these product areas beyond well-intended advice to ?think outside the box.?The model in this reading, in contrast, helped us (1) to map out the competitive space, (2) to locate market segments that we could safely enter without directly raising the full force of our competitors? ire, and (3) to select a competitive engagement strategy. In mapping the competitive space, we considered both our product?s attractiveness and incumbent providers? reactiveness, in addition to market clout. When considering such arenas to enter, it is an all-too-common error to overlook competitive response to your proposed activity. The framework provided in this reading, however, forced us to keep a competitive focus in mind as we pressed forward.

In considering our market entry strategy, the guerilla campaign framework described the perfect model to follow. In the consumer residential market segment, we realized that a large host of competitors stood ready to pounce if we entered. For that reason, we looked at arenas with less pronounced reactiveness as opportunities to enter somewhat surreptitiously. With early product successes, decreasing unit manufacturing costs, and improved operations, we recognized that we would be better positioned to subsequently expand in a niche-by-niche strategy?always having the safety of the established market niche to fall back on.

Beyond our current project, this reading will prove extremely useful in our careers going forward, in that?when admonished by well-paid consultants to ?think outside the box??it will help us to decide where and how to do so. This will further directly benefit the consultant since we will be able to overcome our initial impulse to send him/her out to sea on an ice floe.

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