Abstract Building from the resource-based view of the firm and the first-mover advantage literature, this paper asserts that the entry order in a new product-market affects how the firm's resources and capabilities influence the product's performance. This proposition is tested on a sample of 136 product launches by Spanish manufacturing firms. The empirical analysis reveals that firms with superior managerial and R&D resources achieve superior new product performance when an early-entry strategy is adopted. Manufacturing resources also contribute positively to the success of new products, but this effect is weakened by the difficulties and inconveniences that firms with advantages in operations face when they attempt to pioneer a new market. The results regarding the influence of marketing resources on new product performance are not conclusive.