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Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize

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Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 11:55
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Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has benefited from the unique opportunity to shape product definitions, forcing followers to adapt to a standard or invest in an unproven alternative. Today, however, the largest payoffs may go to companies that lead in developing integrated approaches for successful mass production and distribution.

Producers of the Beta format for videocassette recorders (VCR’s), for example, were first to develop the VCR commercially in 1975, but producers of the rival VHS (Video Home System) format proved to be more successful at forming strategic alliances with other producers and distributors to manufacture and market their VCR format. Seeking to maintain exclusive control over VCR distribution, Beta producers were reluctant to form such alliances and eventually lost ground to VHS in the competition for the global VCR market.

Despite Beta’s substantial technological head start and the fact that VHS was neither technically better nor cheaper than Beta, developers of VHS quickly turned a slight early lead in sales into a dominant position. Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage. The perception among consumers that prerecorded tapes were more available in VHS format further expanded VHS’s share of the market. By the end of the 1980’s, Beta was no longer in production.

1. The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?
(A) Evaluating two competing technologies
(B) Tracing the impact of a new technology by narrating a sequence of events
(C) Reinterpreting an event from contemporary business history
(D) Illustrating a business strategy by means of a case history
(E) Proposing an innovative approach to business planning
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:D


2. According to the passage, today’s successful firms, unlike successful firms in the past, may earn the greatest profits by
(A) investing in research to produce cheaper versions of existing technology
(B) being the first to market a competing technology
(C) adapting rapidly to a technological standard previously set by a competing firm
(D) establishing technological leadership in order to shape product definitions in advance of competing firms
(E) emphasizing the development of methods for the mass production and distribution of a new technology
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:E


3. According to the passage, consumers began to develop a preference for VCR’s in the VHS format because they believed which of the following?
(A) VCR’s in the VHS format were technically better than competing-format VCR’s.
(B) VCR’s in the VHS format were less expensive than competing-format VCR’s.
(C) VHS was the first standard format for VCR’s.
(D) VHS prerecorded videotapes were more available than Beta-format tapes.
(E) VCR’s in the Beta format would soon cease to be produced.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:D


4. The author implies that one way that VHS producers won control over the VCR market was by
(A) carefully restricting access to VCR technology
(B) giving up a slight early lead in VCR sales in order to improve long-term prospects
(C) retaining a strict monopoly on the production of prerecorded videotapes
(D) sharing control of the marketing of VHS-format VCR’s
(E) sacrificing technological superiority over Beta-format VCR’s in order to remain competitive in price
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:D


5. The alignment of producers of VHS-format VCR’s with producers of prerecorded videotapes is most similar to which of the following?
(A) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with another automobile manufacturer to adopt a standard design for automobile engines.
(B) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with an automotive glass company whereby the manufacturer agrees to purchase automobile windshields only from that one glass company.
(C) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with a petroleum company to ensure the widespread availability of the fuel required by a new type of engine developed by the manufacturer.
(D) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with its dealers to adopt a plan to improve automobile design.
(E) The alignment of an automobile dealer with an automobile rental chain to adopt a strategy for an advertising campaign to promote a new type of automobile.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:C


6. Which of the following best describes the relation of the first paragraph to the passage as a whole?
(A) It makes a general observation to be exemplified.
(B) It outlines a process to be analyzed.
(C) It poses a question to be answered.
(D) It advances an argument to be disputed.
(E) It introduces conflicting arguments to be reconciled
[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA:A

Kudos [?]: 475 [1], given: 412

BSchool Forum Moderator
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Joined: 02 Oct 2009
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Kudos [?]: 475 [0], given: 412

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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2015, 11:57
Hello ,

Can some one provide a detailed explanation of questions 2 & 5.

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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2015, 00:41
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The passage is structured like this:

(1) earlier situation (generally), new situation (generally)
(2) & (3) support (in the form of a particular example) for the new situation

So, for the second question, we could take a look at the second part of the first paragraph.
Quote:
Today, however, the largest payoffs may go to companies that lead in developing integrated approaches for successful mass production and distribution.

(a) The passage indicates that approaches for mass production and distribution are important. Making cheaper versions does not necessarily fit the mass production/distribution bit that the passage focuses on. For example, take a look at
Quote:
Despite Beta’s substantial technological head start and the fact that VHS was neither technically better nor cheaper than Beta
(price might be a great differentiator in reality, but not "according to the passage")
(b) This is the old approach (the opposite of what we're looking for).
(c) Just meeting standards already set does not fit the mass production/distribution bit.
(d) This is the old approach (the opposite of what we're looking for).
(e) Correct.

For the fifth question, we need to find an option that presents a situation similar to the one given in the question (manufacturers of VHS VCRs and manufacturers of videotapes).
(a) This is between manufacturers of the initial product. We need another party to make something that goes into (in this case) an automobile.
(b) Not a good fit for the situation. A tape is something that is combined with the VCR regularly to get the package to work. Glass sounds like a much more long term component (when it comes to automobiles).
(c) Correct. Pretty good fit. A specific type of fuel for a new engine. Regularly added to cars, and is consumed by cars, just as VCRs tend to chew up tape :).
(d) This is the initial design itself and does not involve two products that fit each other.
(e) An advertising campaign again does not involve two products that fit each other.
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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2017, 04:20
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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2017, 04:20
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