It’s no longer important whether you were first to market with something, or have been established longer than everyone else. If you haven’t updated your product or service very recently, it’s likely you’ll soon be superseded by something new. You may be the first…to lose out.
When did you LAST innovate? When did you LAST think outside the box and think in a perceptive way about how things are going in your market? Who was the last company in your industry to come up with something new? If it was you, and you continue to out-innovate even yourself, then you’ll be the last one standing when your product or service is compared to your competitors. If you’re still relying on the fact that you were first, then watch out. He who laughs last, laughs longest.
But innovate in the RIGHT way. Take Kodak for example. The accepted giant of the industry for over a century, crumbling because they didn’t react in the RIGHT way to the disruption of the digital age. They did try to innovate and keep up with the changing times — they developed a digital camera, and also purchased a photo sharing website. However, they missed the vital point that people were no longer printing photos but posting them on social media and blogs. If they’d developed their photo sharing website into a networking site, they could have beaten Instagram to it.
So — whatever your industry, where might it go? What do the consumers really want? What is going to be the Instagram or the Google (or even the XXXX) of your market? Keep sharp. Keep alert. Keep thinking. Don’t rest on your laurels or stick with the status quo, or you’ll find your ‘first place’ becomes ‘first to go’.