What does a Skunk Works do?

When an established firm aspires to experiment in a radical direction, management gurus recommend opening a skunk works—an organizational home for high-priority original thinking and projects. It is housed away from the organization’s main operations, sometimes in secret or with organizational barriers. Typically the projects involve something of value to the future but are not …

Differentiated Platforms

Differentiation is a standard concept for analyzing competition. It describes a common situation, where one firm develops the ability to serve one type of customer in a market—say, buyers who will pay a lot to save time—while a competing firm serves another—say, budget-conscious buyers who are patient. Differentiation can describe common competitive behavior in technology …