In the early stages of the online securities industry in Japan, combined factors of expectation based on the precedent in United States created a “dominant perception" that the customer base of the industry would dramatically increase. Based on this perception, companies other than Matsui Securities continued to participate in endless and morass price competitions. These companies shared sufficient knowledge on Matsui Securities' strategies as well as Matsui Securities' performance. However, at least for two years, they underestimated Matsui Securities as “a niche company" and did not seek to its strategies. Thus, Matsui Securities were able to enjoy overwhelming performance and establish a solid position in the initial stages of the industry without being imitated by others.
By focusing our attention on one particular scoring method which is used to evaluate R&D projects, this paper seeks to specify empirically the factors that discriminate successful projects from failed projects in the Japanese chemical industry. Our statistical analysis revealed that when projects are evaluated in this industry, three factors, marketability, technology, and synergistic potential, tend to be valued by practitioners approximately in a 3:2:1 ratio. Although the project evaluations in this research were conducted ex-post, the findings suggest that the results may also be applicable in the project selection stage. Built on our findings, we propose a Continuous Improvement Scoring Method (CISM) that contains continuous improvement cycles, which links ex-ante project selection with ex-post project evaluation.