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March 23, 2009

The last one into a crowded room

I received a recent email from somebody I didn't know asking me to link to them on yet another networking site. Their line at the end read:

It’s so simple and it’s free… Already 10 million users.
Okay... so... I am so out of touch that 10 million people have caught onto this before I did. So why would I want to be number 10 million and 1? 
The last one into a crowded room is generally pretty uncomfortable because everyone else has already staked out their position. The famous Twitter saying, "If you aren't on Twitter by've missed it"
Why would anybody want to be the last business process consultant? Or the last SaaS service provider, or blogging consultant, or new media consultant or... insert your overdone sector here. 
The first few in get the benefits, the next tranche get less - but still valuable, and the last ones in get to feed the success of the earlier ones. A gigantic airplane game  that needs a population the size of a small nation to sustain itself.
I far prefer being the first one in a field. The person who gets to coin the new terms, create the new message and build a whole new market space.