First Mover Advantage
Time and time again we see the companies who are agile and innovative win.They win because they spot the way the world is shifting and move with it. It seems obvious but in practice is extremely difficult. Businesses tend to be set up for stability rather than change, they are risk averse and often the decision makers are good business people but are way out of touch with cultural shifts (business owners tend to be pretty conservative by nature and in outlook).
Never has this been better illustrated than in the last couple of years in the world of social media particularly with Facebook and Twitter.
The world has been moving in the direction of social media for a long time. In fact since the day the internet was born. And yet and yet….even in the last couple of years when social media has been growing exponentially, causing revolutions abroad, breaking global news stories and influencing every aspect of people’s behaviour, senior business folk are still prevaricating……”it’s just a flash in the pan”, ” we must ban it from the office”, ” I don’t understand why people do it”, ” we are not sure it’s right for us”, ” I don’t think it really effects people’s buying behaviour”…. and the list goes on.
Never before have businesses been shown up as so out of touch or so unable to move with culture. Those that have, have gained huge advantage.The early movers benefited from an uncluttered, low cost media environment. This was never going to last for ever and Facebook is now becoming more difficult and more expensive for brands to gain traction.
Those that went for it early have had a huge advantage. Coca Cola with its 52 million likers or Oreos with its 28 million. As usual America have showed us the way, investing heavily in the future and taking risks.
This week the music video for Gangnam Style achieved the amazing feat of achieving over 500 million views worldwide on YouTube.
Most business leaders I talk to haven’t even seen it. Many haven’t even used YouTube. To them it’s just another flash in the pan in a world they increasingly fail to connect with.