Rarely makes sense to be first with a product

Summary

Josh Hill New London

Actually, Apple came late to these things as well.

Unless you have a whopper of a patent (think Polaroid or Xerox), It rarely makes sense to be first with a product.

OR SERVICE OR NETWORK (first to market or first to get network effects)

Where is Altair today? It was the first PC, not the Apple.

Apple was quite late to the Internet; Netscape was there first (well, actually, even Netscape wasn’t first).

Google was late to Internet search.

Apple was not the first with an MP-3 player.

Apple was not the first to have a smart phone (MS has them earlier).

Apple wasn’t first with a tablet, but it was first with something like what the tablet became, Newton — and got eaten alive, because the tech wasn’t sufficiently mature.

The company that invents and first commercialized something is generally eaten alive by the sharks, which feed off its creative effort.

The trick for a tech business is not to be first, but to be the guy who catches the wave. Gates was great at that, and so was Jobs. Ballmer was not.

Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:53 p.m

Josh Hill
New London

Actually, Apple came late to these things as well.

Unless you have a whopper of a patent (think Polaroid or Xerox), It rarely makes sense to be first with a product.

OR SERVICE OR NETWORK (first to market or first to get network effects)

Where is Altair today? It was the first PC, not the Apple.

Apple was quite late to the Internet; Netscape was there first (well, actually, even Netscape wasn’t first).

Google was late to Internet search.

Apple was not the first with an MP-3 player.

Apple was not the first to have a smart phone (MS has them earlier).

Apple wasn’t first with a tablet, but it was first with something like what the tablet became, Newton — and got eaten alive, because the tech wasn’t sufficiently mature.

The company that invents and first commercialized something is generally eaten alive by the sharks, which feed off its creative effort.

The trick for a tech business is not to be first, but to be the guy who catches the wave. Gates was great at that, and so was Jobs. Ballmer was not.

Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:53 p.m

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