Strategies for the Global Rollout of Innovations



The global rollout patterns of mobile-handset innovations during the feature-phone era reveal heterogeneous strategies for entry. Novel innovations are more likely launched one country at a time, with firms being more concerned at first about ascertaining the commercial viability of an innovation than about global market capture. This propensity to prioritize learning over rollout speed decreases when a recent history of competitive preemption sensitizes firms to the risk of missing out by launching too slowly. Furthermore, we find that when firms go for sequential entry, they begin in markets with greater new-feature competition and consumer sophistication - challenging test environments that generate more informative feedback. Our paper thus contributes to the understanding of entry strategy and provides insights into deliberate organizational learning.