Michael E. Raynor

Any dimension of performance that is the basis of competition must be a dimension on which existing offerings are not yet “good enough” to meet customers’ needs. That is why they are willing to pay more in order to get more of it. On other dimensions, where performance is already more than good enough or simply not as important, still greater levels of performance will not differentiate a product in ways customers value. The most successful product in a given market at any point in time will be-all else equal-the one that is able to outperform alternative offerings on the basis of competition. Responding to the rewards of market dominance, firms rush to find ways to push the limits of what is possible in order to deliver the performance that customers are willing to pay for.

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