Saturday, January 06, 2007

First-To-Market - is it really important?

Hell, yeah!

We've all heard the terms First-To-Market and early adoption. Well, there have been cases where large competitors, due to their technology expertise and distribution system and excessive marketing efforts, have been able to jump in after first players and still grab the market away. Nevertheless, entering a new niche market quick always has its value. Apple's iPod is a glowing example to underline their importance in today's fast growing industries especially technology.

This is more important for entrepreneurial or startup firms, who may not have enough capital to fight the competition away or excessive money to throw away at their marketing and advertising expenses. I came across a beautiful example highlighting this point on the TechCrunch blog. Look at the Palo-Alto based firm FilmLoop.

FilmLoop's service allows users to create photo slide shows and help users view them via a desktop application. They just raised $7 M in venture capital from VC firm ComVentures 8 months back, and here they are today laying off most of their staff of 30 employees after attempts to sell the company failed.

Why? The Founders made crucial early mistakes versus its competitors. Slide, RockYou and Photobucket, among others, offer crushing competition services. While Slide and RockYou focused early on giving users the ability to embed slide shows into MySpace and other social networking communities, FilmLoop added this service only recently. They missed the social networking opportunity ( a big, big market today!) and now it is too late! Niche markets as this cannot support many players and that's when First-To-Market comes to light.

Whether FilmLoop is going to again try to sell out or shutdown operations or continue the service with their few remaining dollars, we should know soon.



Post a Comment

<< Home