Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

Strategic Inflection Points to Identify Corporate Risks



Strategic Inflection Points are subtle changes in the environment. If one is notable to monitor or identify New Emerging Technology or Shifts in Consumer Behavior, one may find its products
and services becoming redundant and obsolete in the market place.


Strategic Inflection Points - Fountain Pens


By 1900, the main principles for a successful fountain pen had been established:

1. A reservoir for ink.

2. A filling system.

3. A method of supplying ink to the nib.

Finding the most successful challenge, with 3 American companies - Parker, Waterman and Sheaffer - dominating the market. The design of the
fountain pen has not relied solely on the demands of engineering, for
aesthetics have also played an important role. The look of a fountain
pen, its size, weight, color, and the materials used in its
construction all contribute to its success.

Despite the ascendancy of the cartridge pen and ball point pen and gel pen, the nostalgic tastes of a fountain pen ensure the desirability of the
fountain pen both as collectible item and functional tool.

1. Waterman Eye-dropper - 1903

2. Parker Lucky Curve - 1916-23

3. Conklin Crescent Filler - 1923

4. Parker Pearly Vacumatic - 1935

5. Parker 51 - 1948

6. Parker 61 - 1956

7. Sheaffer Pen for Men - 1960

8. Montblanc 149 Masterpiece - 1970

9. Parker 180 - 1980

10. Parker Duofold [1929] - 1994


Let us now look at Strategic Inflection Points of the Jukeboxes:


Strategic Inflection Points - Jukeboxes


Coin-in-the-slot music machines were already well established by the time the golden age of the jukebox dawned in the 1940s. While the designers of this era
such as Paul Fuller, are particularly revered, design aficionados are
beginning to play closer attention to the two decades that followed.

The machines of the rock 'n' roll era - with which the jukebox has become synonymous - scream teenage rebellion with their blatant use of flashy
automobile looks. The bold, bright colors of these classics are
probably the first thing to cross most peoples minds on hearing the
word "jukebox".

1. Polyp hon - 1900

2. Wurlitzer 1100 - 1948

3. Wurlitzer 1800 - 1955

4. Se burg KD200 - 1957

5. Rock-Ola Tempo 1475 - 1959

6. Rock-Ola Reg is 1495 - 1961

7. Ami Continental 2 - 1961

8. NSM Nostalgia Gold - 1995


Motorcycles had various Strategic Inflection Points because of New Emerging Technology:


Strategic Inflection Points - Motorcycles


Designers continue to exploit the latest materials and technology to enhance performance and provide a safe ride.

1. Werner - 1901

2. Excelsior 20R - 1912

3. BMW R32 - 1923

4. Megola Racing Model - 1923

5. Harley - Davidson Knucklehead 61EL - 1936

6. Triumph Speed Twin - 1939

7. Indian Chief - 1947

8. Vincent Black Shadow Series C - 1949

9. Honda 50 Super Cub - 1958

10. Honda CB750 - 1969

11. Harley - Davidson Evolution FLTC Tour Glide Classic - 1989

12. Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 - 1990

13. Husqvarna TC610 - 1992


Remember the good old fashioned Vinyl Disc which is now being threatened by Digital Technology:


Strategic Inflection Points - Music Systems


Today, the digital technology threatens the vinyl disc with obsolescence.

1. Graphophone - 1900

2. Pathe gramophone - 1908

3. Selecta portable - 1920s

4. Bermuda Dansette - 1950s

5. Braun Phonosuper SK55 - 1956

6. Beogram 4000 - 1972

7. Philips compact disc player - 1983

8. Denon Stacking System D-90 - 1995

9. Beosound 9000 - 1999


Toothbrushes, so common, yet face Strategic Inflection Points due to shift in Consumer patterns:


Strategic Inflection Points - Toothbrushes


1. Early Toothbrushes - 1900s

Bone Handle + Natural bristles

2. Plastic toothbrushes - 1930s-40s

3. Radius - 1984

4. Modern toothbrushes - 1980s-90s

Designers now compete over the details:

A. Most eye-catching colors
B. Most comfortable grip
C. The optimum angle and reach
D. The best bristle combination

5. Fluocaril - 1989

6. Electric toothbrush - 1990


Dolls, a girl child's best friend had the following Strategic Inflection Points:


Strategic Inflection Points - Dolls


1. Schilling doll - 1900

2. Kewpie - 1913

3. My Dream Baby - mid 1920s

4. Tyrolean dolls - early 1950s

5. Barbie - 1959

6. Barbie "Airline Stewardess" - 1963

7. Action Man - 1964

8. Cabbage Patch Kid - 1983

9. Baby Born - 1991

10. Barbie "Happy Holidays" - 1990s


We grow up with Toys and Models, Strategic Inflection Points here were:


Strategic Inflection Points - Toys & Models


1. Magic Lantern - 1900

2. Noah's Ark - 1900

3. Clockwork ship - 1904

4. Steiff teddy bear - 1905

5. Meccano - 1910

6. Hornby train set - 1920s

7. Dinky cars - 1930s

8. Scalextric - 1950s

9. Robby the Robot - 1956

10. Lego - 1958

11. Star Trek - 1977

12. Transformer robot - 1980s

13. Thunderbirds - 1992

14. Playmobil 1 2 3 - 1990s

15. Power Rangers - 1994

16. Tamagotchi - 1996

17. Teletubbies - 1997

18. South Park - 1997


Guitars, the good old fashioned Acoustic faced Strategic Inflection Points due to New Emerging Technology:


Strategic Inflection Points - Guitars


1. Gibson Style O - 1908

2. National Style O - 1926

3. Rickenbacker Electro Spanish - 1932

4. Gibson Les Paul Gold Top - 1952

5. Fender Stratocaster - 1954

6. Gibson Double - 12 - Late 1950s

7. Stienberger Bass - 1982

8. Ibanez - 1990


Wristwatches, so common, faced the following Strategic Inflection Points:


Strategic Inflection Points - Wristwatches


1. Oris Big Crown - 1910s

2. Waltham - 1920

3. Cocktail watch - 1930

4. Bulova Accutron - 1960

5. Oyster Perpetual - 1965

6. Speedmaster - 1969

7. Lasser digital - 1970s

8. Gold watch - 1970s

9. Casio digital - 1990s

10. Seiko Kinetic - 1990s

11. Omega Seamaster - 1995


The Automobile Industry faced the following Strategic Inflection Points in Cars:


Strategic Inflection Points - Cars


Few things map the development of design better than a car.

1. De Dion - Bouton Model Q - 1903

2. Model T Ford - 1908

3. Rolls Royce 40/50 - 1907

4. Citroen Traction Avant - 1934

5. Auburn 851 Speedster - 1935

6. Volkswagen Beetle - 1939

7. Citroen 2CV - 1948

8. Bentley R-type Continental - 1952

9. Mercedes - Benz 300SL - 1954

10. Fiat 500 - 1957

11. Buick Roadmaster - 1957

12. Cadillac Eldorado Convertible - 1959

13. Chevrolet Impala - 1960

14. Citroen DS - 1960

15. E-Type Jaguar - 1961

16. Volvo P1 800 - 1961

17. Porche 911 - 1963

18. Ford Mustang - 1964

19. Pontiac GTO - 1964

20. Ferrari Dino 246GT - 1969

21. Mazda RX7 - 1978

22. Volkswagen Golf GTi - 1976

23. Audi Quattro Sport - 1983

24. Renault Espace - 1984

25. Ford Ka - 1999


The Perfume Industry faced the following Strategic Inflection Points. Certain perfumes have lasted over 8 decades and are as fresh as ever.
Credit goes to New Emerging Technology.


STRATEGIC INFLECTION POINTS - PERFUME


1. L'heure bleue - 1912

Blend of roses, irises, vanilla and musk.

Positioned as Romantic perfume.

The Baccarat glass bottle reflects this romanticism. Art Nouveau swirls at the shoulders of the bottle and delicately drawn label, the design
suggests sensuality.

2. Chanel No 5 - 1921

Remains the essence of Simplicity.

It is square, with a plain wedge stopper and a minimal white label.

9 stages involved in sealing the fragrance in the bottle, including the placement of the wax-drawn CC at the neck.

3. Zenobia - 1924

The design of this bottle is resonant of nostalgia for the 19th century.

Every element is intended to suggest a sweet, natural, floral fragrance, from a rather syrupy name, Sweet Pea Blossom, to the combination of pastel
colors used on the label and the pink bow tied around the neck of the
bottle.

4. Jabat - 1939

The stopper is finished in the shape of a knotted bow and the base of the bottle resembles the skirts of a petticoat fanned out across the floor.

5. Jean Paul Gaultier - 1993

The perfume is molded in the shape of a woman's torso, pinched and pushed into shape by a corset.

6. DNA - 1993

The bottle is shaped like the double helix form of DNA.


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Comment by Vivek Raghuvanshi on April 21, 2018 at 12:20am

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about Just Noticeable Difference JND aka Differential Threshold which is such a delicate positioning. I compressed 1100 pages of my research of 11 Industry Sectors into simply 10 pages and the Giants at Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Yale and Stanford understood the Just Noticeable Difference.

Comment by Vivek Raghuvanshi on April 11, 2018 at 12:38am

Strategic Inflection Points (Vivek Raghuvanshi)

Industrial Organization: Productivity, Innovation and Technology eJournal
Volume 2, No.72: June 3, 2010

Directors - INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION & REGULATION EJOURNALS
MICHAEL C. JENSEN
Harvard Business School, Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc., National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Advisory Board
IO: Productivity, Innovation & Technology eJournal
ARMEN A. ALCHIAN
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics
STEVEN T. BERRY
James Burrows Moffatt Professor of Economics, Yale University - Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
DENNIS W. CARLTON
Professor, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
HAROLD DEMSETZ
Arthur Andersen UCLA Alumni Emeritus Professor of Business Economics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics
NICHOLAS ECONOMIDES
Executive Director, Networks, Electronic Commerce, and Telecommunications Institute, Professor of Economics, New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics
PAUL L. JOSKOW
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Professor of Economics and Management Head, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics
PAUL W. MACAVOY
Williams Brothers Professor Emeritus, Yale School of Management, Yale Graduates Energy Study Group
ROGER G. NOLL
Professor of Economics, Director Stanford Center for International Development, Stanford University - Department of Economics
SAM PELTZMAN
Professor, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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Professor of Economics, and Director, Research Program in Industrial Organization, NBER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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Howard W. Johnson Professor of Economics and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
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