Corporations: Tangle in Tapes

A company that grabs early sales leadership for a highly popular new product usually finds that the battle has only begun. The harder part of the fight is to stay on top after competitors swarm into the market, as they almost inevitably do. This lesson is hitting home at Ampex Corp., which helped make stereo tape recordings one of the outstanding sales successes of the late 1960s.

Ampex, based in Redwood City, Calif., first won supremacy in the market by the ancient strategy of being first with the most. When stereo tape cartridges and portable players appeared in 1965, most...

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