You’ve probably heard about “First mover advantage”: if you’re the first entrant into a market, you can capture significant market share while competitors scramble to get started. But moving first is a tactic, not a goal. What really matters is generating cash flows in the future, so being the first mover doesn’t do you any good if someone else comes along and unseats you.

For Eg: The online Laundry marketplace : A business which has no entry barriers, in PUNE is booming with about 38 startups trying to get in to the same space and have their share of the pie. But eventually the one who comes in with a focused technology and sound process is the one who will enjoy all the cake, and if i am guessing right, #The Moustache Laundry is the one to look out for. They are on the prowl, slow and steady, away from competition, doing their business and increasing it day by day. 

Likewise, what will stop Google from eating out Practo, Justdial, Zomato or for that matter, any search based unicorns. It’s not as if they cannot, they just have not decided to do it yet. Also google came from behind, there were search engines existing before. It has not competed in search since the early 2000’s because they build an algorithm that was 10 times better than anything else.

It’s much better to be the last mover—that is, to make the last great development in a specific market and enjoy years or even decades of monopoly profits. The way to do that is to dominate a small niche and scale up from there, toward your ambitious long-term vision.

In this one particular at least, business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else.”

First mover advantage Startup Cash flows Unicorn

About the author

Alok Tamhankar

Founder at Think StartUp /Enabler/Entrepreneur/Speaker


10 years of experience in Finance and Team handling.

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