Entrepreneurs always want to be first to market. There’s a sense of security about being first and not having any competitors to worry about. New founders brag about the lack of competition to potential investors, and try to demonstrate that they will dominate the market by virtue of being first. Unfortunately, the idea that you gain an advantage by being first in a market is wildly misleading. The companies that eventually dominate new industries are almost never first movers, they’re the fast followers. Think, for a moment, of as many fortune 500 companies as you can. How many of them were veritable pioneers of the industry and how many were fast followers? Google, Microsoft, Apple, GM, eBay, and Wal-Mart—all fast followers. The companies you name will undoubtedly follow the same pattern. Fast followers are companies that are not the first to market but close on the heels of the first movers. They look at what previous entrants have done and learn from their mistakes. So don’t worry if you are not first to market. Use your delay as an advantage to learn everything you can about the competitors, and then out-execute them.
The Agile Startup is an inspiring compilation of the most important lessons of innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s easier than ever to start a new business, and the potential rewards are enormous. But even with all of the available advantages and resources, the likelihood of any one business succeeding is slim. That’s why you need the simple, clear, actionable lessons found in The Agile Startup.
Author Matt Sand
Passionate about making a difference through innovation and entrepreneurship.