Dominant designs

Categories: DesignTechnology

Dominant designs tend to help everybody. Good ones reduce production costs, benefiting suppliers and competitors as research and development costs are reduced to near-zero. They also greatly improve the situation for complementors, who are able to produce a wide variety of easily standardized, low-cost complementary products. Consumers benefit too, as costs are driven down by fierce competition to produce the dominant design at lowest cost.

The process at its best can be seen in one of the most commonly used and least commonly thought-about products in the world: the lightbulb.

There are thousands of brands of lightbulbs produced using a standard design, yet they are entirely indistinguishable. Lightbulbs from China, from Korea, Vietnam, and even America are all produced at roughly the same cost to exactly the same standards. The main variability between them, wattage, is clearly marked and well-understood. Costs are low, and innovation survives.

The dominant design in the lightbulb consists of the screwing-in part and the wattages. However, lightbulbs can be developed at all shapes and sizes, and with different color filters.

Get quality help now
Dr. Karlyna PhD
Verified writer

Proficient in: Design

4.7 (235)

“ Amazing writer! I am really satisfied with her work. An excellent price as well. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Key innovations, like compact florescent bulbs and floodlights, were seamlessly integrated into the existing system. Even exotic designs, including LEDs and blacklights, were developed using the dominant design. And, of course, the number of available lamps to house them is enormous and standardized. You can even get one with a fan.

Computer operating systems, on the other hand, represent a failure of the dominant design. Because each OS behaves differently, a dominant platform like Windows forces programmers to develop their programs either exclusively for Windows or invest lots of time and effort rewriting the program.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

But since the platform is proprietary, it leads to a powerful monopoly on operating-system technology that creates excessive costs and relatively poor performance, since there are no direct competitors. However, I believe this situation is rare.

Cite this page

Dominant designs. (2016, Aug 27). Retrieved from

Dominant designs

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment