Story by Steve Wunker
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.