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"Breaking the Mirror": Interface Innovation and Market Capture by Japanese Professional Camera Firms, 1955-1974

Windrum, Paul; Haynes, Michelle; Thompson, Peter


Michelle Haynes

Peter Thompson


© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved. Improving an interface to increase control over interactions between existing product modules can create new product features which alter the basis of competition in mature (sub)markets. We empirically examine the impact of interface innovation by new market entrants from Japan in the high-end, professional camera submarket between 1955 and 1974. Prior to 1960, the industry architecture of the professional camera submarket was modular, dominated by German specialist body and specialist lens manufacturers. This market structure changed due to the success of integrated Japanese startups who, from 1961, offered novel automated exposure features, facilitated by improving the existing interface between the camera body and lens, and by making this interface a proprietary standard. Their success broke the mirror between the industry architecture, which became vertically integrated, while the product architecture remained modular.


Windrum, P., Haynes, M., & Thompson, P. (2019). "Breaking the Mirror": Interface Innovation and Market Capture by Japanese Professional Camera Firms, 1955-1974. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(5), 1029-1056.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 4, 2019
Publication Date Oct 1, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 5, 2021
Journal Industrial and Corporate Change
Print ISSN 0960-6491
Electronic ISSN 1464-3650
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 5
Pages 1029-1056
Keywords interface innovation; mirror hypothesis; innovation; professional cameras
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Industrial and Corporate Change following peer review. Paul Windrum, Michelle Haynes, Peter Thompson; “Breaking the mirror”: interface innovation and market capture by Japanese professional camera firms, 1955–1974, Industrial and Corporate Change is available online at: and


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