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Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has

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The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition, 2005

Practice Question
Question No.: RC 21 ~ 26
Page: 354

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 (VCRs), 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
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
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.
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
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.
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
OA:A


Originally posted by elegan on 10 Nov 2012, 03:07.
Last edited by hazelnut on 05 Mar 2018, 06:18, edited 2 times in total.
Reformatted question, added OA
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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 13:39
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2
Poorvasha wrote:
Hi mikemcgarry,

Can you please help with Q4. The alignment of producers of VHS format VCRs with producers of prerecorded videotapes is most similar to which of the following?

Thanks :-)

Dear Poorvasha,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, let me say that #4 in this set is a very subtle and difficult question, about as hard as anything the GMAT would ask on RC.

Think about it this way. The VHS-format VCRs and the pre-recorded VHS tapes are mutually dependent: one can't view the tapes of the VHS format without that format VCR, and without tapes in the VHS format, there would be nothing to play in the VCRs of that format. The two manufacturers of two different products need each other, because either one's products would be useless without the other's.

Which relationship is most like this?
The alignment of producers of VHS format VCRs 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

This is about several companies who make the same thing cooperating. This is not analogous to two different companies making two different but mutually dependent things. This choice is incorrect.

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
This automobile manufacturer appears to have a choice: it could buy from any glass company, but choose to agree to buy from one. This is not analogous: the VHS VCR manufacturers don't have a choice about which format tapes will play in their VCRs: similarly, the recorders of VHS tapes don't have have a choice about which format VCRs will play them. This choice is incorrect.

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
A new type of engine appears to require a some specific type of fuel. Here we have two companies making two different but mutually dependent things: the new engine simply will not run with the fuel it requires, and this particular fuel, while it may have some market already, would not have the new expanded market without vehicles with this new engine. This is a promising choice.

D) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with its dealers to adopt a plan to improve automobile design
This is about something being planned. In the current situation, the VHS format had already been designed, and the analogy was about items already in existence and on the market. This choice is incorrect.

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
This relationship might be mutually beneficial, but it's not necessary. The automobile dealer presumably can sell those cars already, even if the rental chain did not exist, but the partnership of the chain would help the dealer. Similarly, the rental chain presumably could rent other cars, but this partnership with this particular automobile dealer will benefit the rental chain in some way. This is not a case of mutual need. This choice is not correct.

Choice (C) is the only possible answer.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jun 2015, 01:22
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All questions for this passage are here

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

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 > directly mentioned in the passage

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. > directly stated
(E) VCR’s in the Beta format would soon cease to be produced.

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

Here the battle is b/w B & D
B is wrong because the lead in sales just gave a head start but VHS won control over market by the pre- recorder tapes marketing ie marketing of VHS-format VCR’s

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.

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. ---- exactly matches the premises of the 1st paragraph
(B) It outlines a process to be analyzed. ---- not a process a trend
(C) It poses a question to be answered. ---- no questions raised
(D) It advances an argument to be disputed. ---- not disputed but expanded
(E) It introduces conflicting arguments to be reconciled. ---- It's states a general trend observed before and now and not conflicting arguments
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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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New post 17 Jul 2015, 00:41
2
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 a new technology has  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2017, 14:23
1
elegan wrote:
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 (VCRs), 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 1980s, Beta was no longer in production.
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 VCRs
E) sacrificing technological superiority over Beta format VCRs in order to remain competitive in price



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



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



The alignment of producers of VHS format VCRs 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





Hello,
I'd like to know your thoughts (mainly why you would not go for certain answer choices) in arriving at the final answer for this RC set of questions.
Thank you for your help.
Best wishes.
**************



Hi mikemcgarry,

Can you please help with Q4. The alignment of producers of VHS format VCRs with producers of prerecorded videotapes is most similar to which of the following?

Thanks :-)
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New post 04 Mar 2018, 19:16
elegan Could you please post OE for Q1 and Q4? Or could someone please explain why option B is incorrect for Q4?
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New post 05 Mar 2018, 04:39
elegan wrote:
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
OA:A


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi abhimahna,

Can you help with Q5?
The explanation is not clear.

Thanks,

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Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 19:36
Hi csaluja,
My 2 cents for why optiopn B cannot be the answer for Q4.
Nowhere in the passage it is stated that VHS producers GAVE UP a slight early lead in VCR sales in order to improve long-term prospects. The passage states that VHS producers received advantage of consumers' perception that prerecorded tapes were more available in VHS format because of their strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes. This situation turned their slight early lead in sales into a dominant position.

Hope this helps..!!
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Re: Traditionally, the first firm to commercialize a new technology has  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 23:30
can anyone explain me why option C is incorrect for questn 4 ? .This is from the last passage -
"Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage."
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New post 08 Apr 2018, 18:03
Hi CharuSingh26

"Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage." This doesn't implies retaining a strict monopoly.Instead retaining the Strict Monopoly was the plan of VCR's

From these sentences of second paragraph "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. ", we can conclude that the Answer is D and not C.

Hope this helps.

Give Kudos if this helps!


CharuSingh26 wrote:
can anyone explain me why option C is incorrect for questn 4 ? .This is from the last passage -
"Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage."

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New post 06 May 2018, 19:05
P1 - early adapt new tech is good. not true today. good approach matters.
P2 - example on P1.
P2 - How approach was really good.


1. The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?

(A) Evaluating two competing technologies - p2
(B) Tracing the impact of a new technology by narrating a sequence of events - less coverage. it should be more general terms.
(C) Reinterpreting an event from contemporary business history - no
(D) Illustrating a business strategy by means of a case history - Yes; its about right tech with good biz.
(E) Proposing an innovative approach to business planning - no
------------------------------------------

2. According to the passage, today’s successful firms, unlike successful firms in the past, may earn the greatest profits by
Ans - implementing good biz strategy.
(E) emphasizing the development of methods for the mass production and distribution of a new technology - yes
------------------------------------------
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?
Ans - The perception among consumers that prerecorded tapes were more available in VHS format further expanded VHS’s share of the market.
(D) VHS prerecorded videotapes were more available than Beta-format tapes.
------------------------------------------

4. The author implies that one way that VHS producers won control over the VCR market was by
Ans - Strategic alignments with producers of prerecorded tapes reinforced the VHS advantage.
(D) sharing control of the marketing of VHS-format VCR’s
------------------------------------------
5. The alignment of producers of VHS-format VCR’s with producers of prerecorded videotapes is most similar to which of the following?
(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.
-------------------------------------------

6. Which of the following best describes the relation of the first paragraph to the passage as a whole?
Ans - P1 gives the base to whole passage.
(A) It makes a general observation to be exemplified. --- yes ofcource general observation and later it was exemplified.
(B) It outlines a process to be analyzed. --- no process as such
(C) It poses a question to be answered. -- no question for sure.
(D) It advances an argument to be disputed. --- seems no argument here.
(E) It introduces conflicting arguments to be reconciled -- no.
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