First to Market Doesn’t Mean You’ll be The Only One

How do companies stand out?

There are three things that a startup must do to stand out from the other bajillion startup companies:

  1.    They need to do something new;
  2.    They need to do something better; or
  3.    They need to be first to market.

There aren’t too many startups that have new and “original ideas, so forget that piece of advice.

There are some startups doing things better than the old way of business was doing things. Good for them.

And there are lots of companies with the same ideas, but it’s a literal race to the finish line, a.k.a, the market. So let’s talk about these companies.

It used to be that business was a gentlemen’s game: if you got to the market first, then others didn’t even think to challenge you. Nowadays, however, it’s anyone’s game, and people are making big bucks off riding the coattails of other company’s innovations and ideas. Thus, making the notion of “first to market” kind of risky.

Consider this Scenario

Picture this: I work hard to perfect my product to get it ready for market. I spent a lot of my seed money or hard-earned cash to market it, and I get a few customers in the space I’ve chosen to work in. I’m doing good, and my business is doing good. Then, you swoop in after months or years of learning from my mistakes with a product that is not exactly the same, but similar and steal my sunshine.

My first reaction is to say shame on you. But then I remember that we are living in a world where people like choice, and they like competition, and they like that they benefit from wars waged in business. So I work a little harder to remind my customers why they should stay with me and my product, and you work a little harder to show people who may not even realize they need this product yet – and sure, you may get some of my customers, but that is the risk of going to market first.

First to Market, Last to Know

Instagram just launched their own version of “SnapChat, ” and they aren’t making any apologies for it. And why should they? They saw a gap that SnapChat wasn’t fulfilling and had their own version of the solution for the problem. And it turns out that the Instagram crowd is loving it. And they are still loving SnapChat. These two companies are serving a lot of the same customers, but they are serving their own brand of customers as well. At a tech conference in New York today, Instagram talked openly and candidly about how they are just engaging in business.

It’s an interesting concept; this thing called business. And it turns out that there is no need to apologize for just trying to stay ahead of the curve, or at least, get on the same curve as your competition. So if you are rushing to get your product to the market first, maybe hang back a bit and see what the competition is doing…you can learn a lot from their mistakes. If you need help on how to start a blog, The Blogging Budda is a one stop shop.