The success of a first product inspires the creation of a stream of subsequent products. At each release cycle managers must decide what to change and what to keep. We examine distinct strategy profiles resulting from different levels of change in product attributes and components of the production team. Results show that strategy profiles in which moderate levels of change in product attributes are paired with moderate levels of change in team members lead to superior performance. However, stream dependence—i.e., the extent to which team members are involved in the focal stream of projects—sensibly reduces new product performance.
Many contemporary industries are migrating toward project-based production, developing sequences of new products connected by a brand identity and repeat collaboration among team members. Badly designed follow-up projects can jeopardize a new product’s commercial success. This is a common issue for example in the entertainment industries, where the success of a first product inspires the creation of additional installments, but generates debates about which features to keep and which to change (e.g., movie and video game franchises). Exploiting unique product and behavioral tracking data, we link decisions about team members and product attributes to market results.
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