Customers reward companies that solve their problems

white and black jigsaw puzzle

Addressing the myth of first-mover advantage

In business, there is an oft-cited first-mover advantage. It’s the idea that the first company or product to market is most likely to succeed.

This isn’t always the case. In fact, three years before Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com, Book Stacks Unlimited tried their hand at selling books online. The problem: the internet marketplace wasn’t ready yet.

I know of more than 300 Zoom competitors – all vying to be the go-to video conferencing solution. But Zoom was far from the first – even twentieth – player in the space. Instead, they looked at the frustrations of the users within the market and simplified the process. With Zoom, even a novice could schedule and host an online meeting in a couple of mouse clicks.

Your chosen market has these same dynamics. There will always be competitors, there will always be a first mover. There will always be a more well-known brand.

The difference is you.

In the end, customers reward companies that solve their problems. Simple as that. They don’t care how you did it, who did it first, or the technological achievements. They care that their problem is solved.

You can solve their problem.

Knowing this, obsess over understanding your customer, their needs, struggles, and problems. Then obsess over solving and fixing. Then – just as important as the first two, but often left out – listen to the feedback from the customer as they use your product.

All the best,

-Shaun

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