Early bird gets the worm…or fast follower

18 Jul


Just finished reading some really interesting articles about first-mover theory. 

In essence, the theory suggests that those who are first in a market or an industry are those that succeed. According to an article by Tiffany Wong, the advantages to being first include things like developing a reputation and creating a brand and the ability to access existing i
nfrastructure. 
 As a counter argument, business strategy expert Gary Hamel suggests in his article Smart Mover, Dumb Mover it’s all an illusion. He more or less says that success is not about being first, it’s about being smart. 
Hamel also mentions the Apple Newton – Apple’s first kick at the can in the land of handhelds. Needless to say, it failed miserably, I’d never even heard of this device. But it looks like Apple may have learned something from it. So are they a successful first-mover or are they successful slow and steady followers?
What do you think – is there an advantage to being first?     
I’m thinking it will be interesting to look at social media in this frame a few years down the line – will it become the gold standard of communication or will it fizzle away in favour of more traditional means?
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