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The principal benefits of outsourcing and a bias toward action (getting up and going as quickly as possible) are illustrated in the way some very different firms—TheraSense, the Synapse Group, and eMachines—managed to succeed in highly competitive industries. These inventive companies all achieved success as entities that were larger than what we have classified as go-it-alone enterprises, but when judged against their competitors, they had a remarkably small number of employees and far more limited resources. Both TheraSense and eMachines announced mergers with larger competitors after they had been selected as case studies for this book. I believe this further validates the management success of these companies and makes them even more worthy of close examination.

Case Study: TheraSense Marches in Where Only Giants Tread

For a start-up firm with a new technology, entering a mature industry dominated by giant players is a daunting challenge. This is particularly true in the medical device arena, where established companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, and Roche Boehringer jealously guard their turf and federal regulations create an additional barrier.

TheraSense developed and marketed a leading-edge blood glucose monitor. The company’s technology allows diabetic people to take blood samples from multiple sites on their bodies,

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.