Business Intelligence

Cannibalize Yourself Before Someone Else Does

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Executive Summary

When someone proposes a new product that is similar to an older one ("Old reliable"), the question is always asked: "How much will this cannibalize 'Old reliable'?" Someone makes an estimate, and then the games begin. You see, the wrong question was asked. It should have been, "Who will cannibalize 'Old reliable' and how soon?" The problem that occurred was that there is a finite demand for wastebaskets, and Rubbermaid was dominant in the market. Its new stylish designs cost more to produce and thus sold for higher prices than the older, more mundane products.

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