“Finding your Company’s Second Act,” Downes and Nunes (2018)

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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“In “Finding Your Company’s Second Act,” Downes and Nunes (2018) describe the market forces that impede the long-term success of new, technologically based products. The main point the authors make is that the accelerated spread of product information through social media and the internet combined with the rapid obsolescence of technology requires companies to retain their market share after their first successful product launch. Yet, the article highlights that the attributes that aid a company during their start-up stage can undermine its ability to pivot.

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The tendency of companies to utilize lean business models, short-term oriented capital structures, and stable leadership are key factors that undermine their ability to strategize a second successful launch (Downes & Nunes, 2018). The attributes that contributed to a successful first launch can often undermine sustainable product development.

The article addresses the marketing concept of the adoption process stages. The Rogers model illustrates the process through which consumers learn about and adopt a new product through a uniform bell curve that depicts product adoption levels. According to the Rogers model, innovators, accounting for 2.5 percent of consumers, are the first to adopt the product, while early adopters account for 13.5 percent, the early and late majorities account respectively for 34 percent, and laggards account for the final 16 percent of adopters (Kotler & Keller, 2016). Yet, the article asserts that disruptive technology has altered the pace of this model. Because social media has amplified the influence of innovators and early adopters, they assert that adoption of a new product spikes with early adopters while dropping off sharply at the early majority stage and curtailing before laggards adopt a product (Downes & Nunes, 2018). The article provides a critical evaluation of the assumptions that are made regarding the ability of companies to generate stable revenue from new products under this condensed time frame.

The key takeaway is that a single model cannot be relied upon to understand consumer behavior. As the article demonstrates, while the Rogers model provides a framework for understanding product diffusion, the model can be distorted depending on the speed of adoption in a particular model. Marketing professionals should utilize models as a conceptual orientation but must determine how technological factors and other contributing variables impact their assumptions on market behavior.


  1. Downes, L., & Nunes, P. (2018). Finding your company’s second act: how to survive the success of a big-bang disruption. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbsp.harvard.edu/coursepacks/585665?itemFindingMethod=Coursepack+Navigation
  2. Kotler, K., & Keller, K. L. (2016). Marketing management (15th ed.). New York: Pearson Education, Inc.”
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“Finding Your Company’s Second Act,” Downes and Nunes (2018). (2021, Jun 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/finding-your-companys-second-act-downes-and-nunes-2018/