An asset, my dictionary says, may be defined as “a useful thing or quality.” Among commentators on corporate strategy, it is widely accepted that knowledge and competence are useful things for a company to have. At times, particular approaches to the acquisition and profitable exploitation of productive knowledge-such as the experience curve-have been the central focus of strategic discussion. At other times, explicit attention to the place of knowledge considerations in the strategic picture has waned, perhaps to the point where such issues have “dropped through the cracks” of strategic analysis (see Peters 1984: 115). But they certainly cannot drop very far below the analytical surface because any discussion of innovation and indeed the activity of strategic analysis itself implicitly concedes their importance.