Top 3 Reasons NOT to be the First-Mover

“If you’re not first you’re last,” or so we thought according to Will Ferrell’s memorable performance as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.

As it turns out, this isn’t always true as it relates to marketing and the so-called “First-mover advantage.”

But wait, how is it that being first to market, doesn’t put you ahead of the curb?

Well for starters, let’s acknowledge that some of today’s most successful companies, were in fact — not the first to market.

I’m talking Facebook, Google, Starbucks, and Spotify.

Facebook

When we think about social media, most of us immediately think ‘Facebook.’ However, before Facebook entered the market in 2004, there were other networks such as Friendster and Myspace.

These sites were a hit for a while, but they ultimately failed, giving Facebook the opportunity to dominate the market.

Google

Shockingly enough Google was not the first search engine created. While it may, in fact, be the most widely adopted, before them, there were other search engines such as Open Text, Magallen, and Infoseek. 

Spotify

Music is something most people can relate to, however in spite this commonality, most first entrants such as Napster, and Pandora weren’t profitable. Spotify saw this as an opportunity, and they currently control over 80% of the streaming market.

Starbucks

Starbucks wasn’t the world’s first coffee shop, what set them apart, however, was their strategy. Everything from their value proposition, to the atmosphere in their stores, has played a crucial role in their success.

Perhaps the most significant similarity between these companies is that they learned from the mistakes of their less fortunate counterparts.

Of course, that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t rush to market. So, before you run off to work on your next venture, consider these factors:

1. It’s expensive

Launching a new product or service requires a ton of research. Companies resort to research to understand customers buying behaviors, their pain points, and how their product fits in.

Once they complete their research, they are usually looking at additional costs associated with educating the market.

As a result, early movers are usually far less profitable than late entrants.

2. Resistance to change

Consumers are creatures of habit. We want better and shinier things, but at the same time, we have a psychological attachment to our current solutions.

As a company, getting people to adopt your new solution is tricky.

3. No experience to fall back on

The obvious advantage of late-movers is that they can learn from the mistakes of early entrants.

What worked, what didn’t, how did customers react, how does our product compare, and more importantly, how can we be better.

To clarify, I’m not suggesting that innovation doesn’t matter. It does.

However, in a world where consumers are surrounded by choice, it pays to get it right.

Jumping to market too soon can pose a threat, but jumping in too late, can also be detrimental.

 

 

6 Reasons Why I Refused to take my Husbands Name

If you’ve been around for a while, you probably know that I’m married.

(Sorry, guys. Ha!)

In fact, I’ve been happily married (yes, that’s a thing) for over two years now.

What you might not know is that I didn’t take my husband’s last name.

Yes. That’s right.

We had a ceremony, said our I do’s, but at the end of the day our mail still comes home under two different names.

 

But despite the fact that it’s the 21st century, people still get baffled by the news.

Usually, they’ll tilt their head a little and say something along the lines of:

“What do you mean you didn’t take his name?”

 

“He was okay with that?”

Oh, and let’s not forget my personal favorite

“I would never let my woman do that!”

OK, I get it.

It’s not that common.

I’m going against thousands of people that follow this tradition.  And while I respect everyone’s decision, I feel the need to clarify my point of view.

So, for those that can’t fathom the idea, and in an effort to clear up all the confusion, here are the main reasons I refused to change my name.

 

1. It’s who I am.

As cliche as it may sound, my name forms part of who I am. It’s how I’ve always been identified. And I don’t think there’s any reason marriage should change this.

More importantly, my husband fell in love with me. And what could be more me than my last name, which reflects my origin and culture?

 

2. I owe it to myself.

While I haven’t exactly accomplished everything on my list, I’ve worked hard to be where I am today. There’s no denying that I owe a lot of this to my husband, but he is only one piece of the rather large puzzle.

At the end of the day, I owe myself that recognition—shall we say, in the form of a diploma, hanging on a wall in my office?

 

3. I was no damsel in distress.

Despite the negative connotation of the word, I wasn’t a maiden looking to be rescued. My husband and I, are no different from each other. So why should anyone assume my identity is disposable?

 

4. Screw tradition!

In case you didn’t know, the law initially required married women to use their husband’s surname for a variety of things. This was primarily because the law viewed wedded couples as a whole. As a result, men were the only ones that could vote, own property, etc.

Unfortunately, this held true until the 1970s, when several intelligent people finally realized how nonsensical this was.

 

5. It’s the only thing I have left of my father.

This is a tough one, but I’ll try to keep it short. My father was never around, and while I should perhaps want nothing more than to remove any trace of him, it’s the only thing I have left, and I can’t seem to let it go.

 

6. We’re united by a lot more than the syllables in our names.

My husband and I share a life together. We share hopes, dreams, fears, and so much more. Taking his name would have no tangible effect on our relationship.

 

So there you have it.

In the end, there is no right or wrong.

But, to me it’s relatively simple:

I kept my name because it’s mine.

 

My husband respects my decision because he loves me and he knows I that I do too.

 

Women aren’t objects. They come with a mind and an identity of their own.

What do you think about women keeping their maiden name?

Go ahead, let me have it.