I understand you – this should be an easy inclusion for the ‘greatest business tactics’. Yet there is another issue that is close to my heart because. It is the best business idea to do in the technology world. I was one of the first users of smartphones when they were introduced in the 1990s.
And I have bad memories of using Windows Mobile, the original version, on a touchscreen device with a stylus. I cherished having access to my calendar and email on my phone.
Yet I hated the fact that my smartphone was the width of a mansion and required ox-like force to touch the screen in order for any input to be recognized.
Luckily, BlackBerry appeared a few years later and began to produce smartphones that were not just clever but also considerably more practical. Before Apple ultimately unveiled the iPhone in 2007, a plethora of other manufacturers, including Nokia, HTC, Sony Ericsson, and many more, developed reasonably good cell phones.
When I initially entered the office, I noticed that my boss had acquired the very first iPhone to be issued in the UK. I felt stunned. And I used to be the early adopter. I am the one who gave everyone a glimpse of the future.
So here was this man, in his mid-50s, with thick glasses and demonstrating a technology gadget that I had never even heard of.
I and a few others early adopters could have easily purchased an Apple phone manufactured far earlier than it did.
Nevertheless, it didn’t. It watched till the technology was ready before offering it to my boss, who is much less tech-savvy than I am. But they are also much better off financially, able to spend a lot of money on cutting-edge technology.
Take Away from Apple’s business to do strategy
The key takeaway from this is that the first-mover advantage is frequently not advantageous. Every single time, a well-executed “follower” plan will outperform a less-effective “first mover” one.
One of the biggest myths in the startup sector is that the “idea” is what really counts. The truth is that the most prosperous businesses in the world were hardly ever the pioneering ones. I’m addressing you, Nokia. aimed at Kodak.
Being first actually tends to be more of a drawback than a benefit. Why?
- Your target market is poorly defined and is unaware that your product category even exists.
- If there is a market, it is most likely limited to early adopters; this is a niche market by definition.
- You’ll frequently be held back by technology rather than propelled to success.
- The advantages of gaining insight from your failures will be available to every company that comes after you.
Individuals, and particularly IT companies, become fixated on being the first and overlook that this competitive position has advantages and disadvantages. Strategic planning requires deciding whether to take the initiative or follow it smartly.
This decision, which could mean the distinction between success and failure, should be supported by research such as a SWOT analysis rather than by arrogance or naive optimism.