If American companies are to grow their way out of the doldrums, they will need to show some of the imagination of upstarts. Consider Zipcar, whose recent IPO valued the 11-year old company at over $1 billion. The company came from nowhere into a rental car business dominated by giants such as Hertz and Avis, creating a new market of by-the-hour rentals.
Meanwhile, the incumbents focused on battling each other at longstanding airport locations. As the giants continue to duke it out, Zipcar has captured 80% of the industry it created. Ironically, Zipcar repeated a story that happened once before in the rental car industry. Hertz is the leader at the airport, but Enterprise Rent-A-Car grew to become more than double Hertz’s size through concentrating on neighborhood-based locations, where the giants did not compete.
Read the rest of my post at Harvard Business Review.
Story by Steve Wunker.