The second mover:
1. Is better than the first mover (or should be, having had the opportunity to learn from the first mover’s mistakes)
2. Has less up-front expense than a first mover (major product and market R&D have already been done)
3. Is entering a proven market, so faces less risk – there is more chance of being noticed and surviving.
So, should you just copy a competitor and adopt a new name? NO! Closely examine a company you like and admire. Make a list of everything about its products, services, marketing, business model, and organization that could be improved, to better appeal to and serve the target market. One objective here is to spot a way to disrupt and disturb the existing market with a brand new concept. Your brand new concept. Your brilliant idea.
Make no mistake – I am not telling you to rip off or clone someone else’s idea. The key to success is finding a way to improve that idea and make it yours. The market is already warm to the product, it is up to you to make it spectacularly yours.
In fact, many great companies, like Google, Facebook and others, were not the first with a new idea, but the BEST at implementing a basic idea. They made the widest audience aware of the idea and made them want it.
Learn from these giants. They are major exceptions to the old idea that “first is best.” In other words, let the first movers make all the mistakes, and build on what they learned to take your own company to a higher level.