The first person is the innovator, but it’s new so it’s strange and unfamiliar.
The second person validates the idea. Now it’s safe.
Then come the vultures.
They offer nothing new. They just copy-paste, and profit.
Who’s the smart one among them?
You might be tempted to think it’s the first, who originated the idea. The first innovates…but rarely wins the market share or profits. They were too early.
Maybe it is the second, who recognized the good idea and made it feel safe. The second copies, generally improves, validates and popularizes the idea but ultimately is the one to invite all the competition. This makes them the architect of their own frustration.
Meanwhile, all of the vultures that came in late got to copy the good idea and profit until the trend ends…then they move on.
There’s nothing wrong with being any of the three. But sometimes it pays to hold off on innovating, avoid moving in to improve a good idea. Instead, save your R&D budget and just copy. After all, this is America.