Do you own a start-up? You think you have a ‘unique’ business idea for the next-best thing? Well, you may think you have ‘the first mover advantage’ but in reality you are going for the unknown.
First-mover Advantage? Is it Good or Bad?
If you do have a unique product idea, or even an entirely ‘different’ sort of business idea, you may enjoy the first-mover advantage—but at the same time you are going to tread a completely unknown path.
Firstly let’s talk about the nicer aspects. Well, you are without competition. Once you have earned a reputation, you are on. If you have a stable product with the regular follow-ups and urge to improve upon existing standards, you have the recipe for success.
Market Awareness: Your key to stay in the hunt
You know the market is ever changing—you can’t just sit back thinking ‘Oh! I have such an excellent unique product that going to sell by its own.’ Many tech firms have gone down only because they could not evolve to the ever-changing market and adapt to it.
You may have a ‘unique’ idea that selling pretty well now—but you ought to upgrade it from time to time. You must know your weakness and work on those to offer the best product to your customers. You are going without competition at present—but it’s almost certain to have competition cropping up pretty soon. So, to stay in the hunt you got to evolve and adapt your idea to last the long run.
Someone in late seventies ‘forecasted’ computer-like machine can only be used in office—and it’s never going to be household stuff. But today we see the scenario, as it is—Microsoft and Apple running into almost every house. The same thing is applicable with Walkman when it first came out. Nobody ever thought of a cassette player on the move.
Unknown Market: You don’t know what’s coming
Well another thing is—you may think you have a unique idea but in practically it’s very unlikely—many can think of the same concept but the execution is what differs.
It’s highly probable that someone on other part of the world may be working on the same idea, but what going to make the difference is the execution.
Another possible threat is—maybe someone ‘steals’ your idea and market the idea in an effective way, before you do the same. You can only have the first mover advantage, only if you can ‘foresee’ the market in the entirety. Also, the market you have with your ‘first’ product is going to shrink very early—you can be sure to see competitors propping around to eat away your market-share. Also, the risk element is high in going for business in the completely new domain—because you can’t be sure about the market acceptance. So, to cope with it; there is only solution—evolve and improve.
Does it imply you should not try out new products or venture out at new markets? Certainly not! The simple thing is—do your homework properly and try selecting a group of customers to beta test your new products. Well, this may not create you a big market but the important thing is take the feedback from your potential customers; that would validate your business idea before it really hit the market.
So friends, just do your math before plunging down in the tough market.