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Being The First To Market Is Not Always The Best Bet

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 5/26/2009

Some entrepreneurs may be better suited to let others make the first mistakes in a new venture.

When entrepreneurs have a new product they often want to rush to market with the idea, but for some that may not be the best plan of action.

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BusinessWeek reports that a recent study from professors from the University of Waterloo, Southern Methodist University and Indiana University finds that when there are few other competitors on the market, companies may be better suited waiting it out and learning from the mistakes of others.

An example of this of this is David Cohen and his folded company iContact which BusinessWeek says was able to raise more than $600,000 from investors for its social network idea for mobile phones back in 2004. But being one of the first on the market meant it was difficult for Cohen to get phone carriers on board and the company was done after 18 months.

"Everybody was saying mobile was coming, it was going to be open; GPS was coming, it was going to be great," Cohen told the news provider. "That didn't really happen for another four years."

The good news for entrepreneurs who do plan to go to market is that they may not need funding to make their dream a reality. In a recent interview with Reuters, Cliff Reeves, head of Microsoft's emerging business team, said that as technology makes it easier for a small business to get off the ground there is less need for outside funding.

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