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Byline: RICHARD B. McKENZIE
One of the most widely believed tenets in management theory and practice is the so-called "first-mover advantage." That is, the first firm to market with a product will not only have the market to itself, but will be able to fend off all latecomers and dominate the market for some time.
Why? Theory holds that the first mover will achieve name recognition, realize economies of scale, develop brand loyalty and garner the benefits of "network effects" (meaning its demand will build with expanded consumption). Beyond some ill-defined point, the first mover can expect its market expansion to reach the tipping point, beyond which consumers will move to the dominant first mover simply because everyone else is …