The Myth of Being The First With Genius Idea
Probably all of us have heard that to be successful in business, you’ve gotta be the first one who come up with a brilliant idea, and that there is no room for the second, third, and the rest.
I should say that this is foolish!
Let’s say that you are in college now and, for simplicity, you’re planning to continue to medical school. Then I come to you and tell you that there are already hundreds of thousands of doctors out there, and thus you would never make any money.
Naturally you will say that I’m nuts.. and for a good reason.
Yet, whenever we are thinking of a business idea, then someone come to us and tell that it won’t work because someone else is already doing it, we’re likely to GLADLY believe them! Now, who’s nuts?
When Apple entered the mobile phone business, it surely wasn’t the first with the idea. But it improves what is already out there better than anyone else, and thus the iPhone becomes one of it’s profitable product.
I agree that most of the money really goes to the one on the top spot. But… certainly it doesn’t mean that the rest of the business don’t make money at all. In fact, the amount of money can be very good for most of the people.
To be fair, please reminded that I’m not saying that every business will be profitable, because that will be too naive. What I’m saying is, doing what others already doing can still be very profitable.
So whenever you have a business idea, be it something that is totally new, or not-so-new, just give it a shot, and don’t listen to other people who are not as courageous as you to try it! 🙂
David Heinemeier Hansson (partner of 37Signals) in his startup talk mentioned how selling shoes is still a very good business model. (If you have about 30 mins, you might want to watch the whole talk).