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The Waiting Game

Lingering behind put this couple ahead of their competition in a new market.

For consumers, upgrading from VHS to DVD simply meant investing in a new machine. For Miami, Florida-based MTI Home Video, an independent film studio that produced VHS tapes, it meant revamping their entire business.

As they watched competitors fall by the wayside, founder Larry Brahms, 55, and his wife and vice president, Claudia, 38, persevered with patience and a positive attitude that saved MTI Home Video and drove their 21-year-old company to the top, with projected 2005 sales surpassing $8 million.

The couple strategically waited until the major studios had agreed on new format standards, such as packaging. Then, in 1999, they experimentally released 15 films on DVD. By that time, initial problems had been resolved, and the costs for mastering, replicating and digitizing DVDs had decreased. Says Larry, "The whole question for us was not [whether] to pull out, but when to expand."

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This article was originally published in the August 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Waiting Game.

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