Being a first mover is touted as an advantage. In reality, it’s often a curse. First movers are often the first ones to fail—providing valuable lessons to fast followers. Shopping app Spring—having pioneered a shopping experience that was almost too seamless for its own good—shone brightly for a second. Instagram watched and learned and years later developed its Checkout feature, with a user experience not unlike Spring’s. Netflix successfully introduced a completely new business model and viewing experience, only to see itself in stiff streaming competition with HBO, Hulu, Disney and NBC Universal. In the modern brand economy, copycats win. They are able to swiftly peruse a road map laid down by the Springs and the Netflixes of the world to launch, iterate, improve and grow their own businesses. They are also able to study established brands and then do the opposite. I wrote for @adage about why fast-followers, not first-movers, hold the advantage in the modern brand economy. Link in bio.
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