Here is How First mover Advantage is overrated | How can you get a late mover Advantage | The right time to start a business.

Have you ever felt that it was too late to do something? 

Maybe you always wanted to start a business or you always wanted to work in a different profession. it doesn't have to be that substantial either maybe you just wanted to buy a house or learn how to fly a plane. but you never ended up doing it when you originally wanted to and now it seems like the window of opportunity is gone. maybe real estate has doubled in your area over the past decade . and it feels like you'd be buying in at the top.

 Or maybe you've been working in the same career for 20 years and you don't want to start over from the very beginning. human psychology tells us that there's a golden time to do something . and if the opportunity is missed it's no longer worth doing at all. but in reality most of the companies billionaires celebrities and whoever else you look up to likely didn't start at the right time. in fact they probably started during what felt like the wrong time. so here's the myth of the first mover advantage. the first problem with the first mover advantage is that the people who are actually first aren't actually the ones that benefit from the so-called first mover advantage . people are so often worried that it's too late to do something , but rarely do they consider the possibility of it being too early.

Related questions : 
What are advantages of being the first mover?
Why is Coca Cola a first mover?
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What is late mover disadvantage?


 And the truth is in most cases it's way better to be late than early. take starling for instance over the past few years spacex has been blasting dozens of satellites into space on a weekly basis. but this wouldn't be possible without the falcon 9 rocket which not only increased the launch rate but also decreased the launch cost. imagine trying to set up a satellite-based internet service without the falcon 9. many satellite internet companies like vsat and hughes communications have been building satellite networks for decades. yet spacex was able to overtake them overnight because they had the falcon 9. now you could argue that vsat and hughes don't get the same funding that spacex enjoys, or that the teams behind these companies aren't as good as spacex's team. that could very well be the case with those two companies.

 But it's definitely not the case with the teledesk . elon musk and jeff bezos aren't the first mega billionaires to try satellite internet. that title actually goes to craig mccaw and bill gates. these two tried to launch a satellite internet company called teledesk way back in the early 1990s. they planned on spending 9 billion on launching 840 satellites and they had everything going for them. bill and craig were both multi-billionaire tech founders so they were able to track the best talent and all the funding they could dream of. yet about a decade after founding the company they closed down the venture and return funding to investors. even nine billion dollars and the best talent in the world wasn't enough to make satellite internet work in the 1990s, because it was simply too early. and there are dozens of examples just like this.

 Last year chromebooks were more popular than macbooks for the first time and when you consider the cost and accessibility of chromebooks it's no wonder they're so popular. wouldn't it have been great if you had the idea to make chromebooks before google. you would literally be more popular than apple in the laptop market today. but the thing is larry ellison had this idea before google itself was even a thing. if you're not familiar with larry he is the founder of oracle , one of the largest tech companies in the world . oracle was already massive in the 1990s . in fact oracle was so big and powerful that larry was trying to bail out apple by buying the entire company. anyway in 1996 larry launched the network computer. in contrast to a regular computer the network computer had very little hardware .

Related questions: 
Can a late mover have any strategic advantage with it?
What are examples of successful products that were late entrants to their market?
What are the risk and rewards for early and late movers?

 It relied on oracle service to run similar to chromebooks , but the problem was that in the late 1990s the average home internet connection could only handle 28.8 kilobits per second. so the network computer didn't make sense for most people even though it was cheaper than traditional computers , and oracle ended up discontinuing the nc in 2000. despite coming up with the idea before google was created and being rich enough to buy apple, larry couldn't make the nc a reality, because it was once again too early . the truth is actually being first in a market is not always made up to be. you have to guess what the market wants, you have to teach the market about your product. and the required technology and our market is oftentimes just not ready for your invention. 

So while it may be more difficult if you're late it's often impossible if you're actually first. and that brings me to the second problem with the first mover advantage which is that you never know when the first-mover advantage is actually over. in hindsight we know that though companies like google and facebook weren't the first to the market. they still very much benefited from the first mover advantage . when these companies were created though these opportunities weren't nearly as clear. when google launched their search engine in 1998 it seemed like they missed the train by a long shot. there were several extremely popular search engines already on the market like ask jeeves lycos jump station yahoo altavista and a dog pile. 

Most people would think that the market already had too many options and that most of these options would eventually die off, and they'd be right the market was overcrowded, and most of these options would fade into oblivion. but where they were wrong though was to think that their first mover advantage was already over. and that the winner had to be someone who was already on the market. this isn't just some fluke for google either. google has repeatedly entered industries late and dominated nonetheless. google didn't launch gmail until 2004. hotmail and yahoomail had a seven to eight year lead on gmail and what about google chrome. chrome didn't come out until 2008 which is 13 years after internet explorer six years after firefox and five years after safari.

 If we said that the iphone was like internet explorer launching google chrome would be equivalent to breaking into the smartphone market in 2020. now you might be saying that all of these examples are within the fast-moving tech industry and that such shifts and dominance don't happen in slow-moving established industries. but that's not really true it does take a lot longer to establish dominance in slow-moving industries , but that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. in fact it happens all the time take the automobile industry for instance. ford is undisputedly the first to mass produced vehicles and this was a massive advantage for them. the model t came out in 1908 and for 21 years ford dominated the automobile space. 

Henry ford was a genius businessman who knew exactly how to scale and attract the best talent. he was one of the first to adopt the 40-hour work week and the moving assembly line. these innovations made ford cars the cheapest on the market and thus the most popular. however as world war 1 came to a close and we entered the roaring 20s, people were willing to spend more on a car and preferred variety as opposed to the generic cars that came out of ford. GM catered to this audience by releasing a new model every year and by 1929 gm overtook ford as the largest automaker and gm has never looked back. 

In the early 1930s chrysler also overtook ford at this point though the competition was heating up between the legacy american automakers it seemed like regardless of which american automaker came out on top, america had won automobiles. yet that didn't stop volkswagen and toyota from being founded in 1937. at the time 1937 seemed like it was late to enter the automobile industry . the first mover advantage was clearly over and entering the automobile industry was like trying to compete against apple google and microsoft. but looking back 1937 was still a great time because there was still so much growth left.

 Now of course given the slow paced nature of the industry volkswagen and toyota didn't become dominant overnight. but eventually in 2009 toyota became the largest automaker in the world. and in 2017 volkswagen became the world's largest automaker but the most ironic part of all of this is that the highest valued car maker today is actually tesla, and tesla was literally founded over 100 years after ford. the aircraft industry has a very similar story legacy aircraft manufacturers like lockheed boeing and martin were founded way back in the early 1900s. meanwhile airbus wasn't found until 1970. yet they just overtook boeing as the world's largest commercial aircraft manufacturer. 

As you can see you never really know when the first mover advantage window closes because the truth is it never does. it's kind of like trying to call a top on the stock market you could be right for a few years or maybe even a decade. but the next set of innovations and growth are perpetually just around the corner and it's just a matter of time until there's a new leader in the market. and that brings me to my last point against the first mover advantage which is the successor advantage. the pioneer of an industry may benefit from reduced competition , more press coverage and greater brand recognition. but i think the successor advantage is actually way better. 

Firstt of all successors benefit from an established market. tesla doesn't have to convince people that they need a car. there are billions of people who are looking for a car every decade . tesla just has to convince these people that their electric offerings are superior to gas counterparts. on the other hand tesla is the first mover when it comes to electric cars. and trying to scale up battery production profitably has almost caused them to go bankrupt on multiple occasions. when it comes to electric cars ford is actually the successor but this isn't really a bad thing for ford . tesla already made electric cars cool . tesla already made the bad investments when it comes to scaling battery production , and tesla has already figured out the brunt of evs. 

Now that the technology is out there how long will it take forward to implement it into their own cars three years , five years? they may never overtake tesla but their ev journey will be far more stable predictable and reliable. and what about regulation? it's going to be a nightmare for tesla to get full self-driving approved by regulators . but once it's approved how hard would it be for mercedes or bmw to come out with their own self-driving packages. statistically it's way better to be a successor than a pioneer. 47 percent of first mover companies fail in their early years . 

While only eight percent of improver companies fail in their early years. at the end of the day i'm not trying to say that first movers don't have an advantage, because they definitely do. starting microsoft in the 1970s and starting netflix in the late 1990s were perfect timing , and both of these companies benefited massively from either intentionally or accidentally timing the market perfectly. but catching that golden opportunity often just comes down to luck and some of the biggest companies in the world didn't time a single thing correctly but they're way more successful than their counterparts that were first movers. 

The truth is consumers don't care if you were the first to the market, they only care if you're the best to fulfill their needs. and if you think you can fill that gap in someone else's life or your own life you should take action right now. the best time to plan a tree was 20 years ago but the second best time is right now. it might feel like you're late but 20 years from now you'll realize that you were actually early.

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