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Keywords:

  • Market pioneering;
  • order of market entry;
  • start-up business data;
  • skill and resource profiles

Abstract

Are market pioneers more successful because they started with superior skills and resources? The absolute pioneer advantage hypothesis is that because market pioneering is desirable, firms with superior skills and resources naturally choose to pioneer new markets. The comparative advantage hypothesis is that market evolution changes success requirements. Market pioneer skills and resources differ from, but are not superior to later entrants. Empirical results across 171 diversification entrants tend to support the comparative advantage hypothesis. Skill and resource profiles are provided for market pioneers, early followers, and late entrants.