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"Cash cows are businesses that have a high market share (and are therefore generating lots of cash) but low growth prospects; stars have high growth prospects and a high market share; question marks have high growth prospects but a comparatively low market share; and dogs are low on both growth prospects and market share" (Economist.com. Growth Share Matrix. September 11, 2009. PP. 1).
In predictable and long- set industries, a firm with a high- growth and high- market share product would understandably allocate more cash to continue the cycle. However, returning to the experience curve, technology can be the great equalizer to a firm which has a significant cost advantage. The 1990's were a period of rapid information and technological advancement which allowed competitor firms to achieve cost reductions on their product lines by "creating new experience curves" (NetMBA.com. N.D. PP. 1). The assumed advantage of cost to control market share could quickly evaporate in this environment.
Tangentially, the 1990's saw rapidly merging industries which had previously not existed, most associated with the internet or information technology. Organizations which misjudged the growth prospects and life-cycles of their portfolio may have sold dogs or cows which they believed were at the end of their dominance, heavily invested in stars that were not,