Move Fast and Break Things? The Contingent Nature of Product Acceleration in Nascent Markets

Xuege Cathy Lu, Hyeonsuh Lee, Ryan Coles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acceleration allows firms to lock in early success upon entering a nascent market, but whether it enables firms to sustain competitive advantage after the entry is unclear. Using a granular data set on the U.S. LED lightbulb market 2010–2017, we apply an abductive approach to examine the relationship between postentry product acceleration and market acceptance. We find that, although acceleration is slightly more beneficial for firms that have accumulated greater pioneering experience, incumbents with more recognizable brands are able to achieve even greater market acceptance by slowing down their product iterations. Meanwhile, deceleration seems to be a better strategy among firms striving to build legitimacy via regulatory engagement, whereas acceleration could be more beneficial for firms competing in subproduct markets with greater technological uncertainties. We contribute to the nascent market literature by showing that the extent to which firms gain market acceptance through postentry product acceleration hinges on their abilities to assess, learn from, and shape both market and nonmarket stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-507
Number of pages24
JournalStrategy Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2023 INFORMS.


  • experimentation
  • market intermediaries
  • nascent industries
  • product development


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