« Don't buy this if you don't want attention. | Main | Start first, and don't let anyone pass you. »



Hi Katie,


- Many people think Volvo created the airbag but in fact Audi did

- Google was late to the search game (and yet has grown faster than any company in history)

I think it takes a combination of first mover advantage as you suggest, but also continuous innovation to meet an audacious goal (everyone but Google thought Alta Vista was a good as search could get), and effective marketing (Volvo persuaded the world they were synonymous with safety).

If an initial innovation is crap, you need to earn the right to have someone spend the time to revisit a later version. The early version of the lastminute.com website was poor, but it was novel enough that people kept returning, during which time they improved it sufficiently. Google Reader went through a similar experience.

If you release early and don't innovate, you can soon be as good as dead - look at the performance of friendster, friends reunited and facebook.

I appreciate alot of these examples are online but that's increasingly the direction of things. Just as kids are digital natives and everyone older is merely an immigrant, so a similar thing applies to companies that have yet to appreciate the speed and innovation of the online world.

Phil Darby

As Surinder suggests, its not about being the first to market, but what you do with the advantage that gives you.

The business world is littered with businesses who failed to leverage ideas that others later made "their own". Microsoft aren't pioneers for instance, but have achieved omnipotence by putting their resources behind ideas that others have come up with, but have failed to exploit.

When I launch businesses and/or products with my clients we spend a great deal of time working out how we can protect against threats, the biggest of which is that a competitor will learn from your early mistakes, take your idea and do it better than you.

The comments to this entry are closed.

  • Katie Konrath loves fresh ideas.

    She's worked with leading innovation company Ideas To Go and creativity guru Edward de Bono, studied at the TRIZ Institute in St Petersburg and earned a Masters degree in innovation from the Institute of Thinking in Malta. LEARN MORE

    Today, Katie helps companies connect with their consumers at TopRank Online Marketing.

    If you are interested in having Katie speak at your event, click here to learn about her speaking topics

    Contact Katie here.

Become a Fan