Speaking of first-mover advantage, we enjoyed reading this post by the estimable Seth Godin. Godin notes the challenges for companies trying to compete against internet business models while forced to protect existing models and channels. He writes:
“This conversation happens every single day at organizations large and small. You want to do the new thing, but of course you must do it in a measured, rational way.
Which is great, unless your competition doesn’t agree.
When you have someone who is willing to accomplish A without worrying about B and C, they will almost always defeat you in accomplishing A. Online, of course, this often leads to doom, since there are many organizations that are willing to get big at the expense of revenue, or writers willing to be noticed at the expense of ethics or reputation. But in the short run, the singleminded have a fantastic advantage. And sometimes, their singleminded focus on accomplishing just that one thing (whatever it is) pushes them through the Dip far ahead of you and then yes, they make a ton of money and you’ve lost forever.
Newspapers, magazines, TV stations, hardware companies, real estate brokers, travel agents, bookstores, insurance agents, art galleries and five hundred other industries need to think hard about this before it’s too late.”
We’re seeing a lot of excitement about ShoppeSimple right now because unlike many internet initiatives, it’s easy. And ShoppeSimple’s TransactionalRSS model is a game changer. It’s a game changer for consumers because it gives them anonymity and control over how they connect with brands. And it’s a game changer for online merchants because it gives merchants an opt-in channel that brings in new prospects, retains customers and drives sales — with all the management and analytic tools needed to measure success.