BCG History: 1968

The Star, the Dog, the Cow and the Question Mark

A Perspective titled "The Product Portfolio" introduces the growth-share matrix. This framework categorizes products within a company's portfolio as stars, cash cows, dogs, or question marks according to growth rate, market share, and positive or negative cash flow. By using positive cash flows a company can capitalize on growth opportunities.

"The payoff for leadership [in market share] is very high indeed, if it is achieved early and maintained until growth slows," Bruce Henderson would tell clients. "Investment in market share during the growth phase can be very attractive, if you have the cash. Growth in market is compounded by growth in share. Increases in share increase the profit margin...The return on investment is enormous."

BCG Insights & Highlights

  • The Boston Company spins off BCG as a separate subsidiary. BCG enters into a joint venture in London called Attwood-Boston Consultants Ltd
  • BCG hires Sandy Moose as its first female consultant
  • "Controlling for Growth in a Multidivision Business" spells out the dangers in an ROI-centered strategy for resource allocation in a company. The core arguments become the foundation of BCG's growth-share matrix
  • BCG publishes Perspectives on Corporate Strategy and Perspectives on Experience. Each comprises essays written by BCG staff
  • BCG publishes "What Makes Japan Grow," marking the beginning of a lengthy strategic focus on Japanese management and manufacturing practices
  • Vital BCG office equipment includes slide rules, desk calculators, and an extremely loud telex machine that enables communication between offices worldwide
  • Consultants = 36

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  • Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Workers in France strike in support of striking students
  • IBM creates the software industry by selling its software separately
  • Alexander Dubcek is named first secretary of the Czechoslovakian Communist Party
  • Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles
  • The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia to suppress the rebellion known as the Prague Spring
  • James D. Watson publishes landmark research on human DNA in The Double Helix
  • Intelsat 3A, the first in a series of communications satellites, is launched by the United States

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